Kate Petley | Since Then


Kate Petley | Since Then
Jun 13 – Jul 3, 2020


Robischon Gallery is pleased to present Kate Petley’s “Since Then,” the Colorado artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. As in her previous series, Petley creates work reflective of her interest in abstract form, materiality, and the cultivation of her exploratory in-camera process combined with archival print and acrylic on canvas techniques. In “Since Then,” the artist’s vision results in surprisingly vivid arenas that support dynamic light-filled structures, further expanding upon Petley’s unexpected sense of shape and textural read.     

In consideration of the conceptual and process-oriented complexity of Petley’s work, and the artist’s slated 2021 newly expanded solo exhibition at the University of Colorado Art Museum, Director and Chief Curator Sandra Firmin writes: “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.”

Collapsing the boundaries between sculpture, photography, and painting, Kate Petley participates in reframing the conversation regarding radiant surface, as well as prompting the discussion as to how an artwork comprised by varying means might be received and experienced. With a strong desire for discovery, alongside a rigorous studio practice, Petley’s quest for transformation remains essential and resides at the heart of each new body of work.

Colorado artist Kate Petley has a B.F.A. cum laude from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her multimedia work resides at the intersection of photography, painting, and sculpture. Petley has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including: a Ucross Foundation Fellowship, Sheridan WY; the Peripheral Vision Publication Fellowship, Dallas, TX; PhotoIreland Residency in Dublin, Ireland; Invitational Artist Residency, Franz Mayer of Munich Glass, Munich, Germany; Artist Residency and Teaching Intensive, PlatteForum, Denver CO; and the New Forms Regional Grant Initiative (NFRIG), National Endowment for the Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation, among others. In 2016, Petley was included in Metropolitan State University’s Center for Visual Art influential exhibition entitled “Colorado Women in Abstraction” which coincided with Denver Art Museum’s groundbreaking “Women of Abstract Expressionism” exhibition. Her work has been widely exhibited and is represented in the collections of: The Nicolaysen Museum, Casper WY; The Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City MO; Polsinelli LLC in Dallas TX, Chicago IL, and Denver CO; Houston Airport System, Houston, 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, TX; The Town of 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, among others. In 2021, Petley’s work will be featured in a solo exhibition entitled “Staring into the Fire” at the University of Colorado Art Museum he has also curated a nine-artist exhibition for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art with an opening date to be announced.