The prolific artistic production of Vesna Kittelson
always maintains autobiographical connections: her installations of deconstructed books and her luminous drawings of fountains recall her childhood in Split, Croatia; her early color field paintings represent people and places she remembers; her war paintings portray the tragedy and emotion experienced in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as her reactions to the 9/11 attack in the United States; the brilliant botanical watercolors in her artist’s books result from her research on Charles and Emma Darwin; and her dynamic cutout portraits of her students reveal bonds with fellow artists and immigrants of a later generation. A vital participant in the Minneapolis arts community for decades, Kittelson demonstrates her strong passion for creativity through her ever-evolving practice and extensive international career.
Today I talked to Vesna about Synthesis: Lost and Found in America: The Art of Vesna Kittelson
(Afton Historical Society Press-University of Minnesota Press, 2020).
Contributors to the book include: Heather Carroll, Minnesota History Museum; Wendy Fernstrum; Joanna Inglot, Macalester College; Lyndel King, Weisman Art Museum; Camille LeFevre; John Lyon, Walker Art Center; Kerry A. Morgan, Minnesota College of Art and Design; Marcia Reed, Getty Research Institute; Susannah Schouweiler, Weisman Art Museum.
Kirstin L. Ellsworth is an Associate Professor of Art History at California State University Dominguez Hills.