Professor Kevin Appel Named Fellow in Inaugural Clyfford Still Museum Institute Program

Kevin Appel in his personal art studio (Photo: Christopher Burke Studios, Los Angeles, CA)

Honoring a Legacy of Innovation in Painting and Architecture

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine is pleased to share that Professor Kevin Appel, chair of the Department of Art and executive director of University Art Galleries, has been selected as a fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Clyfford Still Museum Institute Residential Fellowship Program. This distinguished fellowship recognizes Appel’s extensive contributions to the intersections of painting and architecture, an area he has explored throughout his career.

Reflecting on the profound impact that Clyfford Still has had on his career, Appel shares, "One of my earliest memories as a painter was with Clyfford Still. When I was young, I visited an installation of paintings within the neoclassical architecture of the old SFMOMA. The color, scale, and emotive force set against the cool demeanor of the neoclassical hall left a profound impression on me and helped form my trajectory as a painter. Painters often have a moment that catapulted us into a passion for the medium — that was mine. It’s an honor to have been chosen to delve deeper into Still’s expansive catalog."

Appel’s work is known for its complex dialogue between the structural and the ephemeral, investigating the dissolution of the physical space of the home and the pictorial space of the canvas. 

His past solo exhibitions include notable museums such as Miles McEnery Gallery in New York; Christopher Grimes Gallery in Los Angeles; ACME. in Los Angeles; The Suburban in Chicago; Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand; Wilkinson Gallery in London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. 

The fellowship will enable Professor Appel to engage further with Clyfford Still’s work, providing a unique opportunity to study the extensive catalog of this influential abstract expressionist. This experience is expected to influence his future works and teachings, benefiting not only his professional practice but also enriching the academic environment at UC Irvine.

To read more about Kevin Appel and his work, visit his Department of Art bio page here, or his personal website at