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Rural Versus Urban Ideology: Art by Ken Herren

A painting with textured pumice layered over itZootSuit, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas

Ken Herren uses abstraction as a way to explore rural versus urban ideology. Ken’s heavily textured works often incorporate unusual materials such as pumice to build up the surface and add visual interest.

An abstract painting with overarching light green tonesVague Plans, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas


I like the way that Ken utilizes colour in his artworks. Not content to simply play with texture, the artist also tends to select a single, bright hue and stick with it over much of the surface of a painted work. The technique that Ken uses is also interesting – his works appear to be layered with an underlying, bright pattern flush against the canvas, hidden below intermitted clumps of textured pumice. The effect is like uncovering a lost treasure that’s been buried underground for many years.


A screen capture of Ken Herren's artist websiteThe front page of Ken's website


While Ken’s paintings are stylistically cohesive, the variation in the interesting and poetic titles keep the viewer guessing. For more interesting textured painted works, check out the portfolio of David Maxim, as well. 


A painting with fox orange tonesFoxtrot, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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