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Opening Reception – April 20th, 2018
Kate Petley’s paintings command an incredible presence through luminous color and dimensionally charged form. Through an innovative conceptual process, Kate’s approach significantly contributes to the expanding story of abstraction today.
Each step of her process impacts the final image. Originating with a photographed collage made of simple materials like cardboard, the rough materials are transformed into a richly layered and subtle surface that defies explanation. Illusion and pure energy combine to create a hypnotic experience of place and sensation.
Connecting the history of abstract painting with the contemporary digital movement, Kate proves that the idea that photography is “fast” and painting is “slow” is false. Her process stems from a time consuming conceptual practice, investigating the marriage of mediums and initiating a dialogue between the viewer and the art of perception.
Experiencing the work in person, the viewer is drawn in to a visual realm where Kate’s sophisticated painterly touch initiates a visual pull. As Ann Landi states in a recent essay, “Petley’s works are richly and immediately accessible, and they carry on traditions while adding a vibrant and provocative voice to the still-unfolding story of abstraction.”
Kate Petley’s work has been exhibited at the MCA Denver, the Museum of South Texas, the Nicolaysen Museum, the Martin Museum at Baylor University, the Museum of the Southwest, Diverseworks Houston, and the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe. Petley has been featured in twenty-seven solo exhibitions and has completed numerous public commissions and installations.
Recently awarded a residency in Ireland, she participated in How to Flatten a Mountain for PhotoIreland 2017. She is a Ucross Foundation Fellowship recipient and was granted an invitational residency at the Mayer of Munich Architectural Art Glass studio in Germany. Previous awards include an NEA Rockefeller Foundation Grant. Her work has been included in four issues of New American Paintings
Kate’s work appears in the collections of the Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City, the Houston Airport System, the City of Houston, the Nicolaysen Museum, Casper WY; Polsinelli LLC Dallas, Chicago, and Denver; Fidelity Investments Boston and Denver, UCLA Hospital Santa Monica, and Morgan Stanley San Francisco, in addition to other corporate and private collections throughout the US.
The artist will be present for her opening reception in Tulsa, April 20th, from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. to meet the public and answer questions. All are welcome to attend.
I am a process-driven materialist with a history that crosses disciplines, deliberately emphasizing positivity as an authentic position to contrast these unsettling times. Photography has played a major role in the development of my work over the past thirty years. Without it, my process possesses no magic.
This work originates with a photographed collage that is faithfully printed onto canvas. Color and image are created entirely in-camera without computer alteration other than to rescale. This is conceptually important. Additionally, unlike traditional collage, I don’t appropriate the materials from a pre-existing source. Instead, I manipulate rough materials like cardboard and tape that contain no identifiable narratives.
I return to the canvas surface with very selective painting, anchoring shapes to the photographic image. Often the image remains almost intact, resisting anything but the most subtle additions. The dance between the real and the imagined slows down at this stage. I may spend weeks searching for what the image itself wants from my hand painted contribution.
Luminous color appears from irrational lighting. Forms lean, float, collide, and stand firmly – referring to structures, landscape, or to the physical sensations of the body. Perception is jerked back and forth as the viewer resolves the image. What exactly is happening on the surface isn’t immediately discernable. I want the work to encourage these shifts in awareness.
I’m looking for an experiential presence, an awkward rhythm that is almost tender. I want to push on the history of photography and painting, but I'm most interested in chasing the sublime. If I catch it, the image will present more questions than answers.
Kate Petley 2018
20 South Lewis Aveneue / Tulsa OK 74104