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Katherine Ace: Coupling
January 14, 2005 - February 27,
The Ellen Noël
Art Museum announces a new public art exhibition: "Katherine Ace: Coupling
Dichotomies" opening January 14, 2005 through February 27, 2005.
Katherine Ace, a Portland artist, builds on the painting
legacies of the old masters to contemporary artists in her multi-layered
surfaces infused with painted imagery and found objects. Ace mirrors the
seen and unseen world through the exploration of extremities. Highly personal
dialogues become universal themes to be investigated within the context
of the viewers' own personal narratives. (right: Katherine Ace, Venus
Reviled, 2004, alkyd/oil and mixed media, 42 x 60 inches)
Ace's unique background as street portrait artist, potter,
commissioned copyist and corporate portraitist yielded an eclectic array
of commissions and experiences, from Simon & Schuster's textbook series
on great composers to her work on Motley Crew's first album. Working for
more than ten years as a studio artist, Ace has shown her works in museums
and galleries across the country. She is currently represented by the Woodside/Braseth
Gallery in Seattle and the Froelick Gallery in Portland.
- "If there were one overriding thematic connection
in my work it would be contradiction. The intersection of contraries fascinates
me: ecstasy and agony; humor and tragedy; natural and constructed realities;
experience and news. I find that I'm curious about the struggles of diversity
vs. unity in human, animal and plant societies. I am captivated by complex
issues that we all face, and yet all experience as deeply personal. I am
interested in the role of dark feelings, thoughts and states of mind in
the process of transformation; l am drawn to fire beneath reserve.
- Simple, common visual communication allows addressing
broad yet complex issues. I value the strengths of an intuitive and common
visual vocabulary coupled with a vigorous and acute process.
- The energy created by the coupling of opposites (or
contraries) intrigues me, and I think of painting as a slow yet dynamic
art form. I have an image in mind but don't know how it will look to the
eye -- the raw canvas is both filled and completely empty- rather like
dream imagery, although images are not derived from sleeping dreams. I
use my eyes, mind, imagination, memory, photos, historical references and
chance to construct a whole. As I work, I pursue a dynamic interaction
between an intuitive mental image, a sensual, rich and physical handling
of paint, and the spirit/accident of the moment.
- Although images appear "realistic", I paradoxically
approach the canvas as a pure playground for paint and employ gestural
approaches to the canvas grounded in the abstract expressionist traditions
of the 20th century. I use knives, nails, pins, bottle brushes, scouring
materials, gold leaf, plastic, brushes - new and old, and anything else
that might be laying around - plus I throw paint at the canvas, use my
fingers and incorporate small objects into the paint such as feathers,
beans, tacks, sticks, glass and more. Paper collage elements are often
digitally manipulated. Still life images (invented or remembered) are often
explored: paper, fabric, flowers, birds, knives, food, insects, fish, toys,
figurines and I think of still life as a type of figure. I work when I'm
happy, angry, sad, confused, curious, thinking, longing, impatient and
whatever else happens along. Each piece becomes a combination of the accidental
and the intentional, and the resulting layers and textures form the flesh
of the painting.
- I often approach cultural truths, myths, objects and
histories that reach back into our collective and personal pasts. Figures
and still life figures evolve as open ended metaphors for concepts and
environments that are themselves also metaphors, and therefore fold - like
fabric, time, or paint - back in on themselves. I think of a work of art
as a vehicle akin to the Trojan Horse - what you get from it in the long
run is not the same as what you initially see."
- -- Katherine Ace, Artist Statement
An opening reception and artist gallery talk is scheduled
for Thursday evening, January 20, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The reception
is free and the public is invited to attend.
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