TUD KEMPF

 

TUD KEMPF was born in Jasper, Indiana, on October 22, 1886, and studied at the Cincinnati Mechanical Institute, Michigan State College and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He has sketched and carved in England, France, Cuba, the West Indies, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and in almost every state in the United States. He is a member of the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists and has been a member of the Chicago .Society of Artists, the Chicago Galleries Association, the Hoosier Salon and the All-Illinois Society of Artists. Works of his have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the John Herron Institute of Indianapolis, Kraushaar Gallery and the Art Center, in New York, Knoedler's Gallery, the Walden Gallery and Chicago Galleries, in Chicago, and the Cincinnati Museum. He has had one-man shows in the following Chicago exhibition places: the Little Gallery, Walden Gallery, Allerton Club, Thurber's Gallery, Increase Robinson's Studio Gallery, Pidot Gallery, the Chicago Galleries-also in Leber's Gallery in Indianapolis. He is represented in the Mrs. Cyrus McCormick, Jr., collection. His work has been written about in The Chicagoan, Townfolk, Homecraft, Popular Mechanics, Art Digest, Billboard and various newspapers, by C. J . Bulliet, J. Z. Jacobson, Nick Matsoukas, Meyer Levin, Chas. Victor Knox, Eleanor Jewett, Marguerite B. Williams, Robert D. Andrews and Sterling North.

I believe that my work is emotional and creative and that that is what makes it "modern" art-not the fact that it is produced in this day and age. My aim is to produce artistic works for the love of it and not for the sake of selling, though, naturally, I value appreciation of my work and want to exhibit and sell. These latter facts, however, do not influence me directly. My brothers, Thomas the painter, Roman the designer and Dr. E. J. Kempf the psycho-pathologist, along with Gaugin the painter and Rodin the sculptor have had some influence on me indirectly-inspiring me to work with the end in view of producing true art. Also the primitives-American Indians and African Negroes-have, through their work, had a bearing on my work. My aim always is to achieve emotional expression, emotional expression which pervades and dominates original form both inwardly and outwardly. Art should be created with a bold directness, and when one is in the act of producing a work of art one should not allow thought of precision, theories and formulas to get in one's way-though, of course, the finished product must never lack design. Subject matter has little to do with the essential in art. It should be regarded merely as a starting point around which to build up original form. Yet direct, spontaneous work with a living person as a model may be creative as is, I believe, my portrait of the promising young artist, Gertrude Abercombie. I say this despite the fact that portrait making generally does not appeal to me because it binds the artist to the need of producing a likeness. "Photography" has no place in the realm of real art because it is lacking in emotional qualities. The mystery in a work of genuine art and, especially a work of genius is difficult to explain but it can be seen and felt. The idea, held by the wide public, that art should be beautiful in the conventional sense is sometimes disturbing to me. There is beauty to be found in objects which to the casual observer are hideous. Tud Kempf.

© Copyright Protected Use PROHIBITED without credit given to the Illinois Historical Art Project