Karen Kunc is the Willa Cather Professor and Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Kunc’s work is concerned with forming a response to living in and conceptualizing natural and human processes that affect environment, that contrast ways and means, and outcomes for life. She observes and responds to visual sensations of iconic sources—gridiron scaffolding, repetition of window frames, decaying fragments; she conceptualizes patterns—of channels and pathways as flowing movement or pulsing energy; sounds evoke concentric rings suggestive of rhythmic growth or expansion; aerial perspectives offer viewpoints of suburban sprawl and mining wastelands. She considers the imbalances of architecture over nature, of human efforts related in scale to mountain ranges. Kunc’s images are comparative metaphors, as she finds beauty and strangeness in equal measure, as poignantly meaningful concepts on dwelling, gathering, cultivation, networks, encroachments. Her overarching question—on how things come about—is envisioned here as the natural and unnatural order of things.
Kunc has been awarded numerous residencies around the world and has received numerous awards. Her work can be found in many public collections, places as diverse as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the University of Washington, and Finland’s Jyvaskyla Art Museum.