Karl J. Kuerner was born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania on January 12, 1957 – to Karl and Margaret Kuerner – third generation farmers. His artistic talent was recognized and nurtured at a very young age by Carolyn Wyeth – sister of Andrew Wyeth and a renowned artist in her own right.
Kuerner grew up surrounded by artists and the task of painting. From the age of seven he watched Andrew Wyeth paint some of his greatest works at the Kuerner Farm – Karl’s family homestead for three generations – and a major source of inspiration for more than 1,000 of Wyeth’s works of arts – and eventually over 300 of Kuerner’s own works.
As Karl matured artistically, Andrew Wyeth took a keen interest in the young artist and took him under his wing – mentoring and teaching him for more than three decades.
Andrew Wyeth said of Karl Kuerner, “I have always emphasized to Karl that an artist must paint what he loves . . . and Karl has been painting that which he loves for nearly forty years now. His work is inspiring and deeply introspective . . . it exhibits a strong honest quality that comes from deep within and touches the ordinary in a profound way.”
"Wyeth looked at Karl Kuerner and said, 'It's up to you to carry this on. And it won't be easy'. . . . Wyeth added, 'Karl understands what I'm about: pure, deep, emotion. (1) Karl's work is inspiring and deeply introspective . . . it exhibits a strong honest quality that comes from deep within and touches the ordinary in a profound way.' " (Excerpted from "The Mother of All The Arts: A Personal Journey Into Agrarian Sources of the Artistic Impulse" by Gene Logsdon, to be published by the University Press of Kentucky, Fall, 2006.)
Although Karl was initially influenced by the Wyeths, he is certainly not one of them – nor does he want to be. He is described by many as a fine painter of great merit – possessing his own intimate and straightforward style. He paints realistically using strong abstract shapes. He paints portraits of great variety – his wife in Heirloom, his neighbor in Dreams, his father wonderfully depicted in the landscape in Pennsylvania Farmer and mysteriously in the barn in Unloading Straw.
Karl J. Kuerner is an exceptional painter of great restraint – deeply immersed in the teaching and influence of his mentors – but also very absorbed and moved by his farming traditions and Pennsylvania ancestry. He has contributed greatly to the tradition of American realism, and will continue to be a major force in American art for years to come.