Kate Petley, The Very Thing
Von Lintel Gallery, in Los Angeles, is currently hosting an exhibition of new work by represented artist Kate Petley. The exhibition marks the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.
For Kate Petley’s upcoming solo exhibition at the University of Colorado Art Museum (CUAM) in June, 2020, the museum’s director and chief curator Sandra Q. Firmin, wrote this savvy statement:
Kate Petley’s image-making process is guided by a will to transform. Assemblages of cardboard, tape and other castaway materials are carefully placed into intensely lit arrangements and photographed. Images of recognizable patterns of corrugation and pitted surfaces undergo a startling shift when the photograph is transferred to larger canvases.
Translucent and opaque forms, often architectural in nature or resembling geological outcroppings, float in front of or fold into horizonless fields of gradated reds, greens, indigos and violets. The overall flatness of the printed images contravenes their holographic appearance. To enhance their mystical opacity, Petley introduces hard-to-detect brushwork that draws attention to certain areas while concealing the image underneath. These brushed overlays of acrylic paint generate cognitive dissonance as the mind toggles between digital and material realms.
Petley harnesses physiological responses to color and light, inviting feelings of joy, quietude and wonder. These works on canvas belong to a long lineage of painters concerned with the luminous surface as a space for absorption, a space increasingly usurped by the ever-present backlit screen.