Fredrick Kuhn is a contemporary abstract painter and sculptor based in Mid Coast Maine. He has a Master
of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a background in Industrial Design and
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Syracuse University.
A practicing professional he specialized in corporate architecture, interiors and industrial design. As a full
university Professor he taught Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design and Art History. He was
responsible for establishing and successfully nurturing the expansion and growth of an Industrial Design
As a bright young child growing up in Manhattan, weekends were spent visiting museums. Both The
Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History made deep impressions on his young
consciousness. Art in particular represented something important and satisfying shaping his attentiveness to
the world around him. He drew freely as most children do and made things with easy access to basic tools.
Formative events and individuals in his evolution as a creative person included his first visit to the Museum of
Modern Art; the evening he spent as a college sophomore with Buckminster Fuller; a visit with Walter and
Ise Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus and his wife, at their iconic house in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Kuhn had
long been interested in Walter Gropius because of Gropius’ insistence that fine art be a part of architecture.
Kuhn also regarded art and architecture as a continuous spectrum of design, a philosophy or belief that
validated his years of university teaching.
Kuhn works on cotton canvas or wooden panels using acrylic mediums as paint. His abstract paintings are
explorations to discover the visual possibilities of painting by means of images and forms that he conjures.
His approach is rigorous utilizing the fundamentals of composition and design. His goal is to create art that
pleases; art that provides psychological and physical sensory experiences. Use of large size format allows
the viewer to physically engage with the painting in a more direct way. Large paintings limit one’s visual
field. In creating a space that is visually closed, Kuhn seeks to enhance the viewer’s engagement, making it
a more compelling experience. His non-objective paintings often involve optical effects. His purpose is the
elimination of the focal point found in traditional compositions. He achieves this by creating overall patterns
and saturated complementary colors which when juxtaposed cause an optical effect.
In the NONSTOP painting series the relationship of formal elements of line and color is structured against
primary geometric configurations. NONSTOP color either reinforces the line or challenges it with intruding
linear breaks. NONSTOP paintings are non-objective visual explorations with an intent to eliminate the
focal point found in traditional works. The series NONSTOP is aptly named. The title emphasizes the
unbroken flow of line as a fluid movement without beginning or end.
Very different stylistic exploration is pursued in his paintings done in a range of smaller sizes presenting a
number of distinctive free form, non representational curvilinear organic shapes, at times bordering on
pattern painting, executed in a controlled way. He paints because he is intrigued by the need to discover
what forms or images will emerge from his subconscious and the mystery of the process entailed.
Kuhn’s sculptural intention is to create 3-dimensional form that offers multiple meaning, and ambiguity. His
sculptural objects are primarily minimalist; influences from human anatomy and from the binary organization
he finds in the physical world. Kuhn’s sculpture is curvilinear, monochromatic and abstract; a contrast to his
rectilinear form-making as an architect. In his sculpture he works exclusively in wood. Surfaces are either left
clear or finished with paint or stain. The final finish on each is either polished or matt.
Kuhn’s drive to paint and makes sculpture is emphasized in his original statement: “My intent is to create art
that delights, that is pleasing, joyful . . . unexpected. To create sculpture that delights the senses. Let the
viewer decide what it is they see.”