Ken Kohoutek was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and grew up in Great Falls, Montana. He received a B.A. in Ceramics in 1980 from Montana State University, Bozeman and in 1983 an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Ken taught ceramics in St. Louis, Missouri from 1983-1995. He returned to Montana with his family in 1995 and is currently a studio artist as well as part owner of a liquor store in Great Falls. Ken’s work has been widely exhibited and is in museums and numerous private collections around the country.
Since 1982 my work has been concerned with using ceramic tile and thrown vessel surfaces as a “canvas” for low-fire glaze narrative paintings. In this medium I have been able to control flat areas of brilliant color that are organized into obsessive surface pattern. My goal is for color and pattern to interact with exuberant visual energy, adding to the desired visual and emotional tension of the imagery. I enjoy combining realistically rendered, large scale machines and household objects with a bemused male subject in a chaotic spatial environment. The result is not so much a premeditated comment on contemporary life in a consumer society as it is a delight in playing with contrasts of color, pattern, perspective and scale to create a vibrant, rapid-fire visual field. My work draws inspiration from Cubism, Dada, Pop Art, Folk Art and quilt making.