Hermann-Josef Kuhna

"...Among the numerous influences that have shaped this unique form language, two should receive particular emphasis: Hermann-Josef Kuhna’s passionate interest in paleontology and his discovery of the works of Vincent van Gogh. The fascination with fossils began when Kuhna was only eight years old, and it remains unabated today. The artist confesses that he is more likely to accept an invitation as guest professor if the geography in question promises a particularly interesting harvest for the fossil-gatherer. The gathering itself is followed by a systematic process of categorizing and labeling and registration that lends order to seemingly random finds. The sedimentary strata that the fossil-gatherer explores reveal obvious parallels to the paintings, but also to the process by which a painting is realized. Occasionally a title like “steinbruch” (2008) makes direct reference to this passion. Kuhna’s professionalism in the field of paleontology is indicated by the fact that his private collection, gathered over decades, has now become part of the Geological Collection of the Natural History Museum in Münster, while he himself has been accredited to pursue his passion even in areas closed to amateurs. Needless to say, the empty drawers and cabinets left behind in his Düsseldorf studio are filling up once more with his finds – most recently, those made during a sojourn in Provence. ..."

From "Beyond Abstraction" by David Galloway