Don Kottmann was born and raised in St. Louis, MO.  He earned his BFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and his MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle.  He is Professor Emeritus at AUARTS at Calgary, Alberta, Canada part of the year, and maintains a studio practice in Kansas City, MO the other part of each year.  His travels by car between Kansas City and Calgary, often stopping to observe the vast open spaces, have a big impact on his work.  Don was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant for Painting in 2014.

Kottmann's abstract paintings are influenced by the natural world and often resolve themselves into horizontal bands, sediments and sometimes "space between".  He has said "I begin every painting not wanting to know what I will do or how I'm going to do it ... It's good to embrace doubt ... The big sky and big space, the Rockies, Lake Louise with its cerulean blue, just overwhelm and inspire me; the vast Midwestern spaces affect me the same way".  His principle of "Everything, nothing, something" informs his process of working through each painting and understanding of its origin and potential. 

Abbreviated CV


1970 MFA, drawing/painting - University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1968 BFA, drawing/painting - University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

2014/15 Joan Mitchell Foundation - Painting Recipient

Solo Exhibitions

2022 "Lovers in Winter", Joseph Nease Gallery, Duluth, MN
2019 "Rethinking the Room - Kottmann Paintings and Drawings", Museo, Kansas City, MO
2016/2017 “Everything  Nothing  Something” curated Bruce Hartman, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas
2016 “Sites of Reveries” New Works  -Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, Kansas
2015 “Primary Matters” Recent Paintings by Don Kottmann, Todd Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri
         “Symphony in Rose Major –Don Kottmann“ Masters Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
2014 “Sediments: Symphony in Rose Major” Paintings by Don Kottmann, Stride Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
         “Recent Work” Paintings by Don Kottmann, Niza Knoll Gallery, Denver, Colorado
2012 “Seeing Work” Paintings by Don Kottmann, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri
2011 “Standing North” BNIM, Power & Light, Kansas City, Missouri
2010 “Here & Now” Niza Knoll Gallery, Denver, Colorado

Group Exhibitions

2018 "Sweep", Joseph Nease Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota
2017 “A Dazzling Decade” curated Bruce Hartman, Nerman MOCA, JCCC, Overland Park, Kansas
2014 “UrbanSuburban X: Perception & Reflection” juror Joshua Fischer, Epstein Gallery, Overland Park, Kansas
2013 “UrbanSuburban“ curated Marcus Cain, Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas
         “Made in Calgary: The 1980’s “ curated by J. Spalding, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta
         “River Market Regional Exhibition” Juror Jerry Saltz, “Sediments” Kansas City Artists Coalition Galleries, KC, MO.
2012 “What Makes You, You?” Todd Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri
2011 “Holiday Show” “Rab Swamme” Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri
2010 “Kansas City Collects” Tradebot, Kansas City, Missouri
         “Kansas City Collects” Inergy, Kansas City, Missouri
         “Kansas City Collects” Barkley, Kansas City, Missouri
         “Kansas City Collects” Bishop McCann, Kansas City, Missouri
         “Cocoon Gallery, Kansas City Collects”, Kansas City, Missouri
2009 “Art Bidz”, curators STRETCH & Todd Weiner,  CrossRoads, Kansas City, Missouri

Lectures, Workshops, Interviews

2017 Artist Presentation –“Everything Nothing Something”,Nerman MOCA ,Overland Park, Kansas YouTube Video Nerman MOCA
2015 Don Kottmann -ACAD Web & YouTube Video “Symphony in Rose Major” Interview with Marc Scholes, Calgary Alberta.
2010 Artist Talk –‘Here and Now’ Exhibition, Niza Knoll Gallery, Denver, Colorado


2019 Alice Thorson “Rethinking the Room” ‘Revolution’ KC Studio Magazine, Kansas City, MO.
2016 Alice Thorson “Everything Nothing Something” Review/Statement  KC Studio Magazine, Kansas City, Missouri
         Alice Thorson, “Everything Nothing Something” Statement Nerman MOCA, Kansas Focus Gallery Overland Park, Kansas
2015 Alice Thorson ,  “Primary Matters”  KC Studio Magazine, Kansas City, MO.
         James Martin, Don Kottmann , Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, KC Studio Magazine, KC, MO.
2014 Tanya Hartman,  “Sediments: Symphony in Rose Major” Stride  Gallery, Calgary, AB.
2010 Kirsch, Elisabeth, “Kansas City Collects Catalogue” Kottmann Interview


Nerman MOCA Collection, 2021
“Everything Nothing Something” Drawings , Nerman MOCA Collection 2017
Bubble Sun, Inergy Corporation, Inergy Corporation Collection, Kansas City, MO 2011
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON Alberta Culture, Edmonton, AB
General Motors Building, New York City, NY
New Zones Gallery, Calgary AB Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, AB
Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, AB
Shell Canada Collection, Calgary, AB Guarantee Trust, Calgary, AB.
National Trust Company, TD Square, Calgary, AB
NOVA, Calgary, AB Alberta Art Foundation, Edmonton, AB
Canada Council Collection, Ottawa, ON
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, AB Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary AB
Various private and individual collections
Alberta Art Foundation, 2008 Alberta

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