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Kalani Engles

United States

You can hear the Hawaii in the rhythm of her name and you can see it in the rhythm of her work. Kalani Engles paints a world that is unfailingly organic, a people-less world that is animated by human touch and idiosyncrasy, a fecund fever-dream of the natural world. The style of Engles' work is an intriguingly sourced stew of modernism.  She readily admits to an admiration for Arthur Dove.  And there is a distinctively American stamp to her work. Milton Avery, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, perhaps even the baroque undulations of Thomas Hart Benton come to mind as well.  Yet style and influences are beside the point with Engles, it is the vigor of her images that is of paramount significance. 

There is a shifting, which is seamless and effortless, between figuration and abstraction and back.  While one can discern series, and even periods, in her oeuvre, there remains a startlingly serene one-mindedness also, a self-assurance which has been earned hard the old-fashioned way. But all of that hard labor, in the American Grain, to borrow a title from the poet William Carlos Williams, is not the product of a puritan perfectionist, for there is no question but that the work is unabashedly hedonistic, rooted in Engles' direct, sensory, sensual, experience of living. Like a tropical plant, the work grows on you, its tendrils pull at your lapel, thorns and petals and leaves sway in a hothouse wind, they threaten to sweep you off of your feet and, with an exuberantly bold palette, to take your breath away. 

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Kalani Engles, Hearts Winged Flower, Painting

Kalani Engles

Hearts Winged Flower, 2008
50 x 61 x 2 inch


Kalani Engles, Ocean Music III, Print

Kalani Engles

Ocean Music III, 2018
30 x 22 inch


Kalani Engles, Arctic Spring 2, Painting

Kalani Engles

Arctic Spring 2, 2019
62 x 32 x 1.75 inch


Kalani Engles, Arctic Spring, Painting

Kalani Engles

Arctic Spring, 2019
48 x 48 x 1.75 inch


Kalani Engles, High Plains Tango, Painting

Kalani Engles

High Plains Tango, 2017
30 x 44 inch


Few works remaining by Kalani Engles

These are the last remaining works by Kalani Engles.
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Inspired by Nature

Branner Spangenberg Gallery

Inspired by Nature
From April 21, 2020 To December 25, 2020

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