Katy Stone : New Work


Katy Stone : New Work
May 13 – Aug 28, 2010

In her first solo exhibition at Robischon Gallery, Seattle-based artist Katy Stone presents new sculptural installations amassed from cut and shaped metal, archival plastic and paper. With assembled work meant to blur the boundaries between sculpture and painting, each of Stone's individual pieces is born from a generative process where every singular element is thoughtfully layered piece by piece over the proceeding one. Using archival Duralar plastic sheets that the artist paints with gestural, nature-based forms which she then cuts into multiple shapes, Stone plays with the translucence of her material. The artist allows a mercurial, impermanent interplay of silhouette to emerge as light erupts over the individually installed elements. Reminiscent of organic growth or even lush decay, each installation in both imagery and process, slowly gathers to reveal its counterpoint aspects.

Uncoiling like tensed springs releasing their energy or buds manifesting vital blossom, each unique sculptural installation hints at monumentality while at the same time, exudes a fragile transience. The exhibition's multi-part layered Duralar installation entitled Forest gathers on the wall in a form evocative of an ebonized physical world where the tree itself paradoxically becomes the distant view as its many layers reveal a topographical landscape. For smaller plexi-box works, bright yellow pools of paint are combined with cut elements to create an intimate scale of delicate, shimmering forms that serve to bring the viewer close into a ripe, abundant world. This is also subtly evidenced in Boom Bloom (Mandala), a large chrysanthemum-like work where the soft finely-cut, shadowed metal becomes enlivened as the light shifts over its spiraling floral forms.

The unmitigated visual exuberance of Stone's work belies that its origins are often inspired by the language of poetry – even the possibility of a single word. Currently, following an exhibition in Vienna, Stone became influenced by the word lichtung. Derived from the German word licht or light, lichtung also refers to a forest glade and in an esoteric sense, describes a certain state of being. Curtain-like layers of pure-white paint superimposed over blackened foliage and yellow blades for the work entitled Glade 2 (Lichtung) aptly illustrates ethereal possibility and in a direct sense, illumination. Katy Stone's works of accumulation deftly express the inherent duality contained at the nexus of the lighted clearing and the plentitude of the tangled thicket.

Katy Stone received her BFA from Iowa State University and her MFA from the University of Washington. Her work is in the collections of the Boise Art Museum, City of Seattle and McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas with large-scale installations in the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, MI, King County Correctional Facility, Seattle, WA and a Daniel Libeskind-designed building, The Ascent, in Covington, KY.