Introduction: La Foresta

A guest post, by Curator Jen Dragon.

K. Kauffman, Wisteria Purple, 63”x36”, ink on silk, 2024

A concept that originated in Japan during the 1980s, Forest Bathing, or mindfully walking in the woods, is prescribed as an antidote to an increasingly technological and alienating world. Kaethe Kauffman meditates on the unseen systems of forest growth as well as on memories of the calm, steady presence of individual trees throughout her life.  

Kauffman’s most recent series of prints printed on paper and silk not only explore the individuality and spirit of trees combined with the physical movement of walking through nature but then captures this sensation with the meditative movements of drawing. These artworks, in turn, are transformed into prints on silk banners and paper prints mounted onto wood panels. The lightweight fabric installations act as thin veils of consciousness while the installation of 20 prints mounted onto woodblocks recombine into larger fields, until the image of individual trees is subsumed into a larger, collective vision.   

Kaethe Kauffman was born in Cheverly, Maryland and grew up in Seattle.  

A long-time practitioner of yoga and body movement, Kaethe Kauffman has been the subject of solo exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad including the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, Troy, NY; Walter Wickiser Gallery in NYC, NY; Banco Gallery, Bethlehem, PA; Czech Museum of Fine Arts, Prague; and Castello 925, Venice, IT on the occasion of the 59th Venice Biennale.  

Jen Dragon, Curator, April, 2024