David Kettner is on sabbatical for the 2011-2012 school year. He was the former coordinator of the Painting/Drawing program and chair of Fine Arts, 2008-2011.
His professional career as a painter/teacher began in 1968. He is a "shade-loving" artist whose work over the last four decades has included highly detailed drawings of natural objects, systems-oriented symbolic abstractions in circular formats, color codifications of the music of J.S. Bach, and most recently -- analytical studies of drawings by children, and paper-collage reconstructions of their original artwork. He owns 99% of his own work from the last 25 years.
Solo exhibition venues in the late 70s through the mid-80s include the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC; the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia; the Morris Gallery of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art; and the State University of New York in Albany. Philadelphia-area group exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Moore College of Art, Arcadia University, Nexus Gallery, Painted Bride Gallery, and Rider College and Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Select early pieces of his work can be found in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Richard & Jalane Davidson Collection in Chicago, Rutgers University in Camden, N.J., and in the History Department of the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2006, he was awarded the Richard C. Von Hess Faculty Prize at the University of the Arts.
The artistic and philosophic objective that interests me the most in my work of the last 25 years is the creation of a visual and intellectual paradox: innocence/experience, unskilled/skilled, trivial/serious.
In the paper collages, I compose arbitrary scraps of children's artwork into new images that simultaneously reflect and transcend the nature of the original resource material.
In the analytical drawings, I seek -- following geometrical procedures with compass and rule -- a verifiable and persuasive congruence between the intuitive design of an image drawn by a child and some archetypal model of proportion and symmetry.