Lisa Kairos


As an artist, Lisa Kairos is fascinated with the contrast between urban and natural worlds. What is so interesting about these seemingly contending spaces, is that one can quite swiftly pass into the other.  As she engages with a landscape, Kairos looks for that moment of slippage and surprise–the glitch of beauty in an unexpected place.

Her art process combines site-specific exploration with a studio practice. Kairos selects sites that, hold the tension between the natural and human elements of landscape, usually the remainders and margins of urban space, or land that has been shaped by use and infrastructure. Spending time in a place allows an emotional and intuitive reading of the landscape that fortifies her visual memory; Kairos wants the work to be as much about what a place feels like as what it looks like.

In the studio, she excavates the relationship between the illusion of depth and the limitations of the picture plane, suggesting structures and boundaries, movement and porosity. Kairos develops atmospheric painterly spaces with impressions of nature such as bodies of water and foliage. Working in layers, she then interrupts the painted composition with flat geometry and line, even cutting through the picture plane to shift perspective and scale. The resulting compositions present imagery that evokes rigidity and structure, while at the same time conveying that which is organic and transmutable. She aims to see beneath the obvious and synthesize opposites, both in subject and form.


A California native, Lisa received her degree in painting at UC Santa Cruz in 1990. She has exhibited in group and solo shows and art fairs throughout the United States. Her work is held in many private and corporate collections, and she has completed numerous commissions for public and private spaces. She lives and works in the San Francisco bay area.