Kenneth Richard Turner has been a professional artist for over 35 years and including his student years has been painting for 48 years. His paintings hang in collections around the world. One of his gifts is his ability to work with people realizing the painting that they have envisioned a rare trait for a fine artist. He is best known for his large, multi-figure canvases of historical subjects. These paintings combine his mastery as a portrait painter, landscape artist, and painter of horses and manipulator of light. Ken is comfortable with a wide range of subject matter. The majority of his time is spent filling commissions to an international clientele.

Born July 4,1948, Ken began formal training at age 11 with Harry Worthman, receiving the Westbury High School art Scholarship Award in 1966 and the Conservative Arts Scholarship Award in 1968-71. He was the first undergraduate in the history of the University of Houston to have a sculpture erected on campus. After graduating with a BFA, he taught figure sculpture at UoH in 1972 and painting for the Art League of Houston in 1973-74. His paintings were part of an exhibition of young American artists in Geneva Switzerland in 1975. In 1974 he became the protégé of the Hungarian Master Lajos Markos who completed his training and helped launch his career.

In 1976 Florence and Ali Al-Abssi of the Ishtar Gate Gallery, the Galleria, Houston Texas began to purchase his paintings calling him "a serious artist of immense talent". "Sagoot Al Riyad", a large painting commissioned in 1985 by the ruling family of Saudi Arabia hangs in the Palace where the King and senior members of the Saud family meet weekly. It is important to note that even the galleries were willing to purchase all of his artistic endeavors. In the mid-70's and early 80's these include: Herzog Gallery, First State Bank of Kilgore, Galerie Barbizon, Brass Door Gallery, and of course, Ishtar Gate Gallery.

"Decision at the Alamo" painted in 1986, was displayed in the Texas State Capital for the Sesquicentennial and is now in the collection of K.S. [Bud] Adams owner of the Tennessee Titans. Rotisserie for Beef and Bird purchased "The Light of Freedom" in 1987 to begin their collection of 15 original Turners. He received official recognition from the mayor and city council of Houston in 1994 for his painting "Union de Dos Culturas" commissioned by Benito Albarran of Guadalajara, Mexico. Reproductions of his painting "Out of the Ashes', commissioned by Randy Dean in 2001, hang in the George H. Bush Presidential Library, the office of the Governor of New York, N.Y.P.D, F.D.N.Y., and Port Authority Police Department New York and New Jersey Headquarters.

Ken Turner

Kenneth Richard Turner remains in a constant state of change, learning, and development. He believes that each painting represents himself and that he must give the best of himself to every canvas. To quote: "What I try to express on canvas is the two dimensions of life. One being the external form of things perceived by the eye, the other sensed internally. I have always thought that depth of contents and feeling are the synergistic partners of technique."




Transcript of an interview with the Artist, Ken Turner *10/4/2004*

Question :What role did your Mother and wife play in your success?
Answer: My mother, Florence Raffetto Turner, was 44 years old when she had me and considered me a miracle. I was spoiled rotten, nothing I ever did was wrong, actually she was a good and responsible mother. The love she had for me was always displayed, she had a lot of confidence in me. Therefore, as a child I always had confidence in myself. When I was young, I was always encouraged to draw and she would have my drawings up all over the place and keep them. When I was 11 she made sure... Well when I was 9 she made sure I had oil paints to paint with... When I was 11 she made sure I had a professional artist to study with.
My wife not only had the courage to marry a professional artist, but to bear 7 children... And through thin and thick times, and there were more thin than thick, never suggested I look for a different profession... And that took a lot of courage on her part.

Question: If you could only use 3 words to describe your paintings what would they be?
Answer: Three words... Synergistic... Spiritual... And [short pause] work! [brief laugh]

Question: Most of your paintings feature either ghost from the past or the future, can you explain why this has become a hallmark of your art?
Answer: The ghost in the paintings are symbolic of the spiritual reality in our world that aren't always visible. I have had many experiences where things have happened that aren't always explainable under totally traditional means... Um... And the ghost are meant to symbolize the spiritual reality of the world.

Question: Most people know Ken Turner the artist and Ken Turner the public face, what is Ken Turner the private man like?
Answer: That's a hard one... Ken Turner the artist, Ken Turner the public face and the private man... Probably the easiest way to explain me is to say there is no difference, I am what I am..
[reporter] so what you see is what you get?
Exactly... I don't know how to be anything else...

Question: Everyone was affected by 9/11 but you put it in perspective, can you explain how you came to perceive the image you painted?
Answer: Out of the ashes was a synergistic combination of Randy Dean, myself and other individuals as well. David Hickman, who is a Art professor at the University of Houston,... When I mentioned to him that I was doing the sketches for the painting... He said that he had assigned that project to his students for a class project and had all the research in a briefcase... Would I like to have it?
The image evolves slowly first with a general understanding of what the overall composition would be, but everything else is loose and adjustable and I added things as it became evident that they needed to be included.

Question: Many of your paintings showcase a patriotic theme, do you think that perhaps the fact you were born on the 4th of July instilled a love of historical figures at an early age?
Answer: I loved history too... I read books on history as a child, I have always had an understanding of history... An interest in it. [ soft laugh] I thought the fireworks were for me from the age of about 4 through 8, until I got a little more mature...
I think... Um... I think that I tried to avoid the patriotic nature of a lot of my paintings, it was like... It was there but I wanted to be creating something of a greater artistic depth... I thought... Finally I discovered that indeed what I was, was actually what I was.

Question: This question may sound dumb, but your answer will give me a handle on the way your mind works… if you were commissioned to paint a piece entitled "Time" what would it entail?
Answer: One of the things that has fascinated me about time was what Einstein said.. He said.. If you were to travel fast enough you could watch yourself doing stuff... And that being the case.... Time is the only thing that stops everything from happening at once. [short laugh as his cell phone rings]
With time also it is possible to remember the future... It is called prophecy and I have seen that happen.
I have actually done some things with time... One was a 360° view of a room I did for Royce Nelson. It had the same stairway in it twice, on one a young man on the other was him coming down as an old man....
Time is a fascinating subject...

Back to top



1038 Milam Street, Columbus TX 78934

Website content including graphics, photos and text are property of Turner/Chapman Gallery L.L.C.
Copyright © 2006-2008 Turner/Chapman Gallery L.L.C.. All rights reserved.