Kate Petley : Repositioned


Kate Petley : Repositioned
May 17 – Aug 25, 2018

Kate Petley

Colorado artist Kate Petley’s process-driven approach continues to evolve and expand in
“Repositioned,” her third solo exhibition at Robischon Gallery with works of acrylic and pigmented ink
on canvas. In earlier series, the artist engaged with sheets of theatrical film transparencies sealed in
resin which laid visible every mark made by the artist; an unusual materiality of transparent layers that
invoked space. Petley’s current in-camera collage constructs make tangible the possibility of a visually-
experiential sense of place located in abstraction. Petley states, “The push-pull between the illusion of
visual depth and the physically flat reality of the paintings compels me. I am determined to pull a non-
existing image out of thin air using a vocabulary that is not about language. I am a process-driven
materialist with a history that crosses disciplines while 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.” As each
canvas speaks on its own, it is further supported once Petley’s unorthodox and inventive process is
considered. Intrigue arises from investigating how the photography and painting join to create her
surprising and desired effect. The artist welcomes the scrutiny of the works’ surfaces - to discern, for
example, if the bold black triangle of Somewhere Out There is part of the photography or the painting
process, and similarly if the glowing red background element reveals its origin as well.

The artist continues, “Conceptually, this series originates with a photographed collage that is
faithfully printed onto canvas. Color and image are created entirely without computer alteration other
than to re-scale my image. 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. Luminous color appears from irrational lighting as forms lean, float, collide, and stand firmly –
referring to structures, landscape, or to the physical sensations of the body. Perceptions shift and
awareness alters as the viewer resolves what exactly is happening on the surface isn’t immediately
discernable.” Kate Petley’s engagement with photography and painting takes form in what for her is an
ordering of the real and the imagined made visible and a way to chase the sublime. The artist states, “If
I catch it, the image will present more questions than answers.”

Kate Petley has a BFA cum laude from University of Utah. Recently included in Metropolitan
State University’s Center for Visual Art important exhibition entitled “Colorado Women in Abstraction”
which coincided with Denver Art Museum’s groundbreaking “Women of Abstract Expressionism,” she
has also shown at Nicolaysen Museum of Art Caspser, WY, The Harwood Museum, Taos, NM with
additional work shown at University of Denver, Curfman Gallery, Colorado State University Gallery and
others. Petley has been the recipient of numerous awards including: a Ucross Foundation Fellowship,
Sheridan WY, Peripheral Vision Publication Fellowship, Dallas, TX, Monoprint Series, Manneken Press,
Bloomington IL, Invitational Artist Residency, Franz Mayer of Munich Glass, Munich, Germany,
Monoprint Series, Manneken Press, Bloomington IL, Artist Residency and Teaching Intensive,
PlatteForum, Denver CO, The Big Show, Second Place Award, Lawndale Art Center, Houston TX, Special
Opportunity Grant, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris
County. Texas Visual Arts Alliance Ninth Annual Exhibition, First Place Award, New Forms Regional Grant
Initiative (NFRIG), National Endowment for the Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation. Her work is
included in the collections of: The Nicolaysen Museum, Casper WY, The Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas
City MO, Polsinelli LLC, Dallas TX, Chicago IL, and Denver CO, Houston Airport System, TX, Suntrust Bank,
Atlanta GA, Intercontinental Exchange, Atlanta GA, Osage Art Consultancy, Hong Kong, Fidelity
Investments, Denver CO and Boston MA, UCLA Hospital Santa Monica CA, Denver Children’s Hospital,
Denver CO, The City of Houston, The Town of Vail, Vail CO, The Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Marriott, and
Caesar’s Palace Hotel Corporations, Park South Hotel, New York NY, Propriety Capital, Denver CO,
Morgan Stanley, San Francisco CA and Vail Industries, Chicago IL.