"It is my belief that painting can be a poetic way of reasoning on a two-dimensional surface. It is certainly my best voice. The paintings are bent to my will in a sort of dance, a balancing act between where I think a piece can go and where the piece will lead me, and it seems that a significant part of this process is allowing myself to be less in control. I think I am trying very hard to not limit myself, persistently making an effort to encourage accident, and to let the work both change and evolve. This means that I create paintings that spring from, essentially, a continual uncertainty. But, this also allows for the process to be interesting and invigorating while I am working." — Kevin Tolman
Tolman works in a variety of mediums including drawing in pencil and caran d’ache, and painting with acrylic, collage and mixed medias on canvas or paper. These are abstract works that primarily are influenced by the natural world and are often informed by a sense of place.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1949, Kevin Tolman attended classes at the Detroit Institute of Arts and Cass Tech as a youth, and he is a graduate of the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts, in Detroit. In 1981 he moved to the Ramah Navajo Reservation in western New Mexico. Feeling at home in the southwest, he later settled in the Duranes area of Albuquerque, building an adobe house and studio in 1987. In 1990 he spent a year painting in Arraiolos, a small hill town in central Portugal, and in the years since he has continued to work when traveling in Europe, Mexico, South America, and most recently as an Artist in Residence with the Obras Foundation in Portugal.
Kevin Tolman has been painting for over four decades, and exhibiting his work in many galleries, museums, and universities across the United States where his paintings are included in a large number of private, corporate, and public collections. His work has also been exhibited internationally in Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, England, and in Portugal. A Tolman canvas is included in the Albuquerque Museum’s permanent collection, and his work now hangs in the collections of the New Mexico State Capitol, and the University of New Mexico. Recently a large canvas was purchased by the city for installation in the Albuquerque Convention Center. His work is also in the Tyson Collection, along with Boston Scientific.