In a Minor Key: Tonalist Landscape Paintings by Shawn Krueger

A landscape oil painting titled Dusky Hillside by artist Shawn Krueger.
Shawn Krueger, "A Dusky Hillside," oil on linen, 10 x 8 inches

Grovewood Gallery will present In a Minor Key, a solo exhibition of tonalist landscape paintings by Shawn Krueger. This exhibition will be on view from June 18 through July 31, 2022. Join us for the opening reception with the artist in attendance on Saturday, June 18, from 2-5 pm. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

In a Minor Key will feature studio works from plein air studies that Krueger did on his travels throughout Western North Carolina. His work focuses on landscapes and scenes in nature and is rooted in the American Arts & Crafts and Tonalist traditions.

Shawn Krueger, “It Never Ends,” oil on linen, 10 x 8 inches

Tonalism, an American art movement that began in the late 1800s, explores the use of tone and color to create mood and atmosphere. It’s very loosely connected to the Impressionist art movement, based on painting outdoors from life. Unlike impressionism, though, tonalism doesn’t focus on depicting reality accurately. Tonalist art depicts a more dream-like state, with emphasized shadows and a colored atmosphere or feeling of mist. Dark, neutral hues, such as gray, brown, or blue, usually dominate such compositions. By the late 1890s, critics began to use the term “tonal” to describe these works.

“The title In a Minor Key speaks to the tonal nature of my work,” says Krueger. “There’s a subtlety to the paintings, and while I think they can be described as ‘colorful,’ I frequently utilize a limited color palette. I feel this approach, along with my tendency to work on a smaller scale, asks a bit more of the viewer and invites them to contemplate my paintings in a more intimate manner.”

Shawn Krueger, “Low,” oil on linen, 10 x 8 inches

About Shawn Krueger

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Shawn Krueger received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Calvin College in 1998, where he studied under award-winning artist Chris Stoffel Overvoorde. Upon graduating, he traveled often to paint all around Great Britain. In addition to showcasing his work at Grovewood Gallery, he has been a regular exhibitor at the annual National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn for the past seven years.

In 2016, Krueger was juried into the highly reputable Roycrofters-at-Large Association (RALA), whose mission is “educating, fostering, and inspiring through the continual evolution of the Arts and Crafts Movement.” He was named Master Artisan by RALA in 2021. Krueger has also been a member of the American Tonalist Society (ATS) since 2019 and participated in their inaugural exhibition “Shades of Gray” at the Salmagundi Club in New York.

Krueger’s work can be found in private collections throughout the United States. His paintings are also held in the permanent collections of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Calvin College, and the Bissell Corporation.

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