Ray Kiihne:
A Painter’s Journey 1963-2021

December 5, 2021 through January 29, 2022
228 East 5th Street / Winona, Minnesota

Opening Reception: Sunday, December 5 from 3-5pm

Gallery Talk: Sunday, December 5 at 4pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesdays from 4-7pm / Sundays from 1-4pm

Please review our Covid-19 Protocol before planning your visit to the Winona Arts Center. We appreciate your understanding.


This exhibit features nearly 60 years of work by Ray Kiihne, an abstract minimalist painter and mixed-media-artist.

Kiihne’s works include bold flat pattern acrylic paintings, unframed stitched canvases, photography, encaustics, and printmaking.  His single-color works investigate the emotional impact of an individual hue.

“When invited to install a retrospective show of my work,” recalls Kiihne, “I realized it was an opportunity to show my involvement as an artist. People often ask me, ‘Where is the subject matter?’ It is light and shadow, pigments, captured movement, and rhythm.

The show includes some 30 works. Many are stretched canvases, but also unstretched works of pieced and sewn canvas which have been painted or stained with acrylic and hung on rods. Irregular in shape, layered, or braced by crossed rods, they are studies of pattern and rhythm. Another work is an installation of a 6 x 6-foot canvas square that Kiihne placed and photographed in Mexico, England, and the US.

Canvas itself holds a unique place for Kiihne. “A stretched canvas is a beautiful thing with its thousands of tiny spaces within the fabric surface. Acrylics allow me to work directly on that surface with thinned paint or stain, rather than having to seal it. I enjoy color as such. I usually avoid, for example, creating yellows that refer to sunlight or blues that refer to sea or sky.”

Kiihne grew up in northeast Nebraska where “there was still native prairie before everything was irrigated and planted to corn. I had to climb the windmill to get a sense of the landscape pattern. I got a ride in a Piper Cub whenever I could in order to see the larger pattern, to see Jefferson’s grids in the gravel roads and mile lines. The open space of the plains I find calming. And that sense of space and the colors of rainbows that I saw on oiled farmyard puddles have been profound influences on my work.”

Kiihne earned his BA from Wayne State College, MA from Ball State, and MFA from the University of New Mexico. His work has been shown nationally in solo, group, and invitational shows and exhibitions. He has traveled extensively, seeking out and experiencing the horizons of New Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Morocco.

“With this show, I invite you to take a journey with me: Enjoy color as an entity unto itself. Get lost in a field of blue stain, red paint, sprayed pigment. Explore the shadows of stitched canvas.”

Ray Kiihne
Red Dynamo
Searching for Pattern, Series 4,
wood cut print 15" x 15"
Banded Crate, acrylic 31" x 41"
Standing Stones, Dartmoor