New York based artist Kirsten Kay Thoen (b. 1977) is interested in the complex roles image making plays in shaping relationships to nature in contemporary culture. Reworking her images of landscapes and natural elements into experiential forms, Thoen places personal and cultural value in the act of transforming the photographic picture plane out from the digital and back into the physical. Raised in a family of adopted children in Salt Lake City, Utah, she dialed into larger questions of identity and her connections to nature at a young age. On early trips through Southern Utah, Thoen recognized an attraction to otherworldliness in nature that continues to compel her travels to experience and study phenomenal sites. She received her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009.
Thoen’s works contemplate concepts of time and space, as if time capsules from the future and/or vehicles of the unknown. With her deft use of materials and geometry, Thoen explores the interplay between representation and abstraction. In the winter of 2014, Thoen’s first large-scale works Crystalline Pendulum & Crystalline Pyramid exhibited at Galeria Melissa Soho curated by Natalie Kates Projects. Her work has also exhibited in New York at Gallery Nine5, Bernarducci Meisel, Field Projects, Affirmation Arts, and the Chelsea Art Museum and has been presented at art fairs including NEXT Chicago’s Special Projects, NADA Miami, SCOPE Basel, SCOPE New York, and Art Southampton. In 2018, Kirsten Kay Thoen’s work was included in Desire Lines at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.