Killam’s work takes him from an in situ condition and an engagement with representation toward total abstraction. In his move to Wisconsin from Chicago, Killam discovered a sense of solitude in the woods and by Little Wolf River, often beginning a painting en plein air. He then takes the work back into the studio, rarely nishing on location.
For Killam, direct observation creates a connection to the character, mood, and sensibility of a location or subject, and that mood lends itself to the texture of a work over time. Foundational elements provide something tangible to work through, push against, or interrupt with a bold gesture
that might move a piece toward resolution. Killam’s paintings arrive at deep spatial perspective with a at distribution of marks. The weave of the canvas might punctuate areas of homogenous surface texture, giving way to impasto brush strokes.
Killam’s wood assemblage sculptures are usually made alongside the process of another activity, such as demolition or new construction. While his paintings have an implied duration, these works tend to happen with the speed and brevity of drawing, with one or two quick gestures or alterations. In all of Killam’s work, there are hierarchies at play between color and shape, edge and eld, atness and pictorial space, absorption and refraction.