Contemporary artist painting fire on silk

Kirstin Ilse at Work



  Painting fire as a metaphor, I work to the limits of the medium exploring thematic meditations on subjects ranging from current events to broader philosophical problems and human struggles such as love, loss, duty and society. The graphic control of a drawn glue line is up against the chemistry and physics of dye in an organic material. Chaos and control is both the nature of the medium, and undeniably the story of the pictures I make. Dye is painted in wet-in-wet working over an area as many as twenty times to move and pull a color into another color and leave them sitting at various heights in the weave of the substrate silk. The steaming process on protein dyes causes the color to move below the surface of the thread, creating the richest most intense color experience possible. The gossamer surface gives undulating tones’ way to light.


Selected Exhibitions and Representation:

Fiberlicious, Loading Dock Gallery, Lowell, MA 3/2019

Deception and Deceit- Love and Passion, Karyn Mannix Contemporary, East Hampton, NY 3/2019

Violence Transformed; Symposium on Women and Violence, 4-5/2018 Lesley University, Cambridge

Size Matters, Karyn Mannix Contemporary, East Hampton, NY, 2/ 2018

Fresh Forward, Galatea Fine Art, Boston 12/2017

Medicine Wheel Productions “A Day Without Art, World AIDS Day 2017” Cyclorama Boston 11/2017

Friends, Atlantic Works Gallery, East Boston, MA 7/2017

The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Galatea Fine Art, Boston, 1/2017

Love and Passion, White Room Gallery, East Hampton, NY 2/2016
Fire Paintings: Sea of Love, Galatea Fine Art, Boston MA 10/2015
Violence Transformed, Sky Gallery, Copley Place Boston, 9/2014
Galatea Fine Art Gallery, representation, 2013 - current
The Story of the Creative, See | Exhibition Space, NY 7-8/2013
Rapture: Quarticity, Gallery at the Piano Factory, Boston, MA 6/2011
Making Our Mark, Riverside Gallery, Cambridge, July/August 2010
Martinis and Masterpieces, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, 2010, 2012
Belmont Gallery of Art, April 2010
Waterman Gallery "Synergeticists" RISD, 11/2009
Love and Passion, Ashawagh Hall, East Hampton, NY 2/2008, 2/2009, 2/2011
Global Mala, The Boston Center for the Arts, 9/2008
Gallery 51 MCLA, North Adams, MA 11-1/2008
Rhode Island School of Design, Symposium on Form and Morphology, 11/2007
Beech Tree Gallery, Hyannis, MA 2006-07
Arsenal Center for the Arts 2006
Pebbles, East Hampton, NY "War and Peace" Mannix and Sisti, 3/2006
World Wind, Arlington, MA 2006
SOWA Artwalks Boston South End since 2005
Canvas Alley Gallery, Reading, 2004-2005
Art Attack, Somerville 2004
Robert Gatti Presents: LOUD Fashion Show, Piano Crafts Guild Boston 2004
Joe Moakley Memorial Arts Festival, Moakley Park, South Boston 2004
dEmios Gallery, group show, Artists Talk, Belmont, MA  2004
Herb Country, Liliane Chaglassian, Cushing Square, Belmont 2004
The Art Project, 9/11 Memorial Art Show, New York, New York 2002
Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts 2001
Massachusetts State House, Boston, Massachusetts 2000
ArtVision, Dallas, Paintings 1992
Dallas Visual Arts Center, Texas, 1992
j.l. designs gallery, Dallas; painting, 1990-1991, Bishop Arts District Festival



Dye painting on silk in gutta serti technique with pastes, discharge, washes and marking; mixed media; collage, drawing; paintings in acrylic and oil; mixed media; monotype; linoleum blocks and woodcuts; dry pastels, historic interiors, plaster reliefs, costume, theater sets, fashion/accessories, and film


I have spent thousands of hours in and auditing various classes, symposia, workshops and studios. I was raised and educated by two artists, one of whom worked for the artist Isamu Noguchi and futurist inventor philosopher, R. Buckminster Fuller. Some further studies occurred at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University Extension School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Boston University, Rhode Island School of Design and others too many individual locations and sources to list. I am a dedicated lifelong learner.

The Company I Keep

Karyn Mannix Contemporary

Your place for Hamptons culture

KM Contemporary

Georgia K. Griffin

Paintings of unique character and genius.

Georgia K. Griffin

Shanna D'Antonio

The Feminine Narrative

Shanna D'Antonio

Colleen Patricia Williams

Archetypal Goddesses, Dieties, Animals and Rambunctious Children in Mosaic

Colleen Patricia Williams

Jud Turner

Spiritual Animals and Archetypes in Found Objects Sculpture

Jud Turner


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Kirstin Ilse


Monday - Friday: 10am - 2pm

Saturday: By appointment

Sunday: Closed