Karen Fitzgerald

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Karen Fitzgerald
Woodside, New York - United States







"Karen Fitzgerald’s paintings transform matter into cosmic revelations.”
- Michaël Amy

For 29 years I have been working exclusively in the tondo form. Roundness is fundamental to my visual thinking. The form is uniquely able to convey an essence of interconnection, wholeness and metaphysical purpose. For as long as I’ve worked on this form, I have felt that it is the right container for what I want to say. The energies within our physical world are interconnected; I am interested in the process of elucidating those interconnections. I thin oil paint until it is in a fluid form, building up layers and producing a luminous, subtle, rich surface. The paint is added on top of a gilded surface. The gilded ground, whether copper, silver, 23k gold or 12k gold provides a distinctly "other-worldly" space. It evokes a universal space including our physical plane.

Light suffuses our world – its energy shapes the mood of each day. I use color as pure light, physical energy, creating complex shades and tones that reconnect energies present in the everyday world with my own as well as viewers’ experiences. My work gives you a way to have a visual experience of your own energy. Similar to looking in a mirror, when you look into one of my paintings, you respond to the color, nuance and energy that is embedded in the piece. You have an experience of your energetic self, manifested in the physical properties of the paint. I use the gilded ground as a cue; just as the artists of the Renaissance used gold leaf to signify spiritual aspects, my use of gold does not hold a decorative intention. I intend that the precious metal indicates something beyond our physical world, something metaphysical.


Karen is a visual artist living and working in NYC. She was born and grew up on a dairy farm in the mid-West and it is this early and close association with the natural world that threads through her work. She is focused on the energy that suffuses our world, as well as the Universe: her work explores energy in its myriad manifestations. As a commissioned artist, she has worked with a wide range of institutions and participants, on many different projects. Widely exhibited in the United States, including at The Queens Museum of Art, Islip Art Museum, Rahr-West Museum, Madison Art Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, the University of Arizona – Tucson and the United Nations in NY, she continues to actively exhibit her work. She has received funding from the Queens Community Arts Fund, the Greenwall Foundation and the Women’s Studio Workshop.

Karen’s work is in the Spencer Collection of the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Union Gas collection, the Rienhart Collection of Germany, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center and many other public and private collections. She has completed several large commissions, including 28 round panels at PS 239 in Queens and a 28’ x 56’ exterior mural for PS 193 in Whitestone, Queens. Fitzgerald has curated many exhibitions including, “Change” for Flushing Town Hall (2009) as well as producing a 5 venue exhibit,“Transpositions Along the Queensboro Bridge”, with curator, Judith Tolnick Champa, celebrating the centennial of the Queensboro bridge. Fitzgerald sits on the Board of Directors for Art Connects New York. For 30 years she has been a teaching artist and continues to provide consultations for a wide range of institutions on a variety of educational issues. Since 2013, she has taught a variety of workshop series for Lifetime Arts, including workshop series in drawing, art history, printmaking and quilt-making for the Queens Library and New York Public Library systems. She has taught at St. John’s University, Iona College and worked as education director for the Queens Symphony Orchestra. In 1985 she earned an MFA from Hunter College, and a M.Ed. from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1990. Karen’s work can be seen at: http://www.Fitzgeraldart.com. She lives with her husband and family in Woodside, New York; her studio is in Northern Long Island City.


2016 “Shimmering World,” ARTWorks Gallery on the Green, Norwalk, CT
2015 “For Grace,” Hudson Hospital and Clinic, curated by Chelsea Kelly, Hudson, WI
2014 “Immeasurable Light,”Open Center Gallery, curated by Lola Sheppard, NYC
2013-‘14 “Crossings,”Narthex Gallery, Saint Peter’ s Church, NYC
2012 “Mighty Light,”Evolve Design Gallery, Woodstock, NY
2010 “In a Sparrow’ s Eye,”The Landmark Gallery, Tarrytown, NY, curated by Wendy Kelley
2009 “Earth, Light and Fire,” Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT, curated by Wendy Kelley
2006 “Reverence,”Azarian-McCullough Art Gallery, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY
2006 “Eye of the Sparrow,” Collaborative premiere, St. Bartholmew’ s Chuch, NYC,
         with Carl MaultsBy
2004 “Karen Fitzgerald,”Omega Institute, Reception Gallery, Rhinebeck, NY
2001 “Orbs,”Show Walls, Durst Organization Sponsor, curated by L. L. Powers, NYC
2000 “Shifting Coastlines,” Collaborative premiere, Steinway Reformed Church, Astoria, NY,
         with Goliard Ensemble, Inc.
1999 “Gardens of Light,” Center for Visual Art, Wausau, WI
1995 “New Prints and Drawings,” The Interchurch Center, NYC
1994 “Garden’ s Edge,” Sunnen Gallery, Soho, NYC “Journey,” Jamaica Arts Center, NYC
1993 “Beauty and the Beast,” Westchester Art Workshop, White Plains, NY
1992 “New Paintings,” Daniel Quinn Gallery, NYC
1990 “Homologies,” Macy Gallery, NYC
1980 “Karen Fitzgerald,”Sight 225 Gallery, Milwaukee, WI


Brooklyn Union Gas Co., NYC
Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC
Hotel 718, Brooklyn, NY
Maple Grove Cemetery, Inc., NYC
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC
Montefiore Medical Center, NYC
Museum of New Art, MI
New York City Department of Education, PS 193Q, NYC
New York City Department of Education, PS 239Q, NYC
New York Public Library, Spencer Collection, NYC
NYU Langone Medical Center, NYC
Related Group, NYC
Sentry Insurance, Inc., WI
St. Mary’ s Church, WI