Chicago-born artist Dennis Kleidon paints robust abstractions exploring the possibilities of paint in action, reveling in color in ways that appear at first to be intuitive, but soon reveal a sure sense of gesture – at once invigorating and calming.
Through decades of sailboat racing, Kleidon was influenced by the turbulence of water, the violence of the wind and the complexity of nature’s details. His paintings pair bold strokes with complex detail, where the paint smashes against itself to create a ‘whitewater’ of color. Dissonant, yet composed, the paintings stretch the imagination and stoke the dreams of the viewer.
Throughout a successful career as a university professor and co-founder of a marketing communications firm, Kleidon continued working as a fine artist, drawing on a surprisingly diverse background as a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, architectural illustrator and classically trained pianist.
His recent Unleashed Series captures the motion of the artist’s hand, layering spontaneity with control, inspiring the viewer to see a fresh reality. In paintings that explore illusions of scale, perspective and color, these explosions of grace and power create an unexpected visual wellness. His work shows the influence of Asian calligraphy with its simplicity of broad, direct strokes. Balancing this in the Taliesin Series are delicate textures inspired by the rough desert boulders used to build Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West. Kleidon gives depth to these textures through the application of twelve to eighteen layers of paint.
Kleidon developed Designer Grids, a perspective drawing system once used worldwide by architects and designers. He is the co-founder of Kleidon and Associates and Kleidon Publishing, companies with clients in the United States, Canada and Europe. Kleidon now divides his time between his studios in Phoenix, Arizona, and Akron, Ohio.