Jimmy Kuehnle takes up space. His past works include massively-scaled inflatable costumes and outlandish bicycles that put the artist in close, unusual contact with the world around him. Most recently, Kuehnle has started making site-specific sculptures, representing a shift from personal performance to the activation of space. These works “get in the way,” disrupting usual functions and raising questions about public versus private, and the “place” of art.
For How to Remain Human, Kuehnle created the giant soft pink sculpture, Please, no smash. For the Museum’s Kohl Atrium. Made from hundreds of yards of neon pink PVC fabric, the work hovers above viewers as it slowly inflates and deflates, inviting visitors to push, press, nuzzle, and otherwise engage with its curious presence and shifting form. Its lights flicker and glow according the time of day, and the form radiates a hot pink glow that is visible from outside the Museum at night. It appears to move like a living, breathing organism, or a beating heart inside the Museum.
Jimmy Kuehnle (1979, Atlanta, GA), lives and works in Cleveland, OH. He received his BFA from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri in 2001, and an MFA from University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas (2014); ARS, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, Italy (2010); and Betsu no Sekai, Nagakute Cultural Center, Nagoya, Japan (2008). Selected solo exhibitions include Inflatable Wonderland Labyrinth of Joy, The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio (2013); and Things Bigger Than People, Pittsburg State University, Kansas (2010). In 2013, Kuehnle participated in SWAP: SPACES World Artist-in-Residence Program, SPACES, Cleveland, Ohio. He is a 2008 Fullbright grant recipient.