In 2005 a profound change occurred in my work when I stopped making sculpture and began making drawings. Nerve damage had made it impossible for me to continue my work in bronze and cast stone. As an artist I was determined to continue to work and communicate. The transition from 3-D to 2-D space meant learning a new language- how to compress space, set perimeters, understand figure/ground relationships, manipulate illusory space, and communicate weight and gravity. Yet my drawings are constructed in a way that relates to my earlier work in sculpture- I layer, laminate, sand, tear, cut, reconfigure, and assemble the paper. The paper allows me an immediacy, however, that eluded me in sculpture.
The ideas of composer/musician Ornette Coleman have been important to me in this transition. Coleman talks about sound as language. His free jazz has a syntax that evolves from inside the work rather than being imposed from without. Without the web of preordained structure Coleman believes sound has the capacity to communicate directly. "You can play the alto saxophone in a way where people can't hear nothing you're doing, but they feel everything you're playing." (Ornette Coleman: Decades of Jazz on the Edge, Ashley Kahn, NPR Music).
Coleman's ideas go to the core of my work: I am not interested in rendering, but in liberating feeling from description and getting it down in color, shape, line, texture, and material.
"Barking at Clouds" explores delicacy and transparency- the shift of cold red into a warm grey. The drawing has a free form section of thickly layered paper that thins down to the translucency and texture of snake skin. This snake skin 'tail' moves into a foggy rectangular piece of extremely fragile paper, increasingly marked and tattered with each showing. It is about the changing sky, the wind, and the ephemeral character of existence.
Bowling Green State University, MFA, 2009
Case Western Reserve University, MA, 1986
Cleveland Institute of Art, BFA, 1976
Graduate Scholarship Award, Bowling Green State University, 2007-09
Best of Show, Artists' Archives of the Western Reserve Annual Exhibition, Cleveland, Ohio, 2007
Artist's Profile, City Artists at Work, published by CAAW, Cleveland, Ohio, Berr & Barberic Designers
Mapping Relief: Kim Bissett at Feinberg Gallery, Douglas Max Utter, Cleveland Scene, July 30, 2008
solo or two-person exhibits
Transition and Language: MFA Thesis Exhibition, Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, BGSU, Bowling Green, Ohio, 2009
Act II, Audrey and Harvey Feinberg Gallery, Cain Park, Cleveland heights, Ohio, 2008
Kim Bissett: Liminal Space, Hawken School Arts and Humanities Series, Hawken School, Gates Mills, Ohio, 2007
Drawing & Sculpture: Bissett & Letman, First Green Studio, Cleveland, Ohio, 2007
Earth II, Wasmer Gallery, Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, Ohio, 2010
Beef Bunker Studio Gallery: Invitational Exhibition, Cleveland, Ohio, 2010
Cleveland Institute of Art Faculty Exhibition, Cleveland Institute of Art, 2010
Artists' Archives of the Western Reserve Annual Exhibition, AAWR, Cleveland, Ohio, 2007