Kate McQuillen: Wave Amnesia
Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Wave Amnesia, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Kate McQuillen. This is the artist’s first solo show in New York City. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, May 7th until Saturday, June 19th. The gallery will host an opening reception from 12-5pm on Sunday, May 9th. For information regarding works available, please email email@example.com.
Kate McQuillen's paintings presented in Wave Amnesia reference various natural phenomena within the human mind, most notably, the "tip of tongue" phenomenon and the specific mental energetic emptiness felt when the word is about to be recalled. There is a deep sense that retrieval is imminent, and the mind feels at once an awareness of “knowing” and “not knowing”.
McQuillen's work visually seeks abstract imagery that communicates this same experience of that which is familiar but still unknown. The artist's paintings are hyper-flat and have a deeply matte surface. This allows the viewer to experience the painting without any visual obstruction, creating a feeling as though one might be able to enter each pictorial atmosphere. The artist premixes her colors then paints, layer after layer, a thin and precise application of acrylic through silkscreen. Alternating the direction of the screen and cultivating imperfections and chance happenings through her materials and process, the artist achieves organic imagery that champions and magnifies elusive moments.
The paintings on view present two distinct styles in the artist’s practice that counterbalance the exhibition. The first, a deeply rich and complex color field painting style is at once engaging and contemplative. The process for these works conceal the artist's hand and rely on a repetitive layering process that is more mechanical in nature, showcasing the chance happening within a set of constraints. The second, a more painterly and energetic style, deliberately breaks the rules set in the first, allowing the artist's hand to be made visible. These works rely on a loose and intuitive use of the screen painting process.
Spontaneous optical effects and patterns within each piece appear and disappear, dipping in and out of color fields. These moiré patterns illustrate information that has yet to solidify, like a radio station fuzzing in and out of reception. Vibrating, hazy, erased lines and shapes occupy rich spaces, and simple, repeated patterns are easily registered by the brain, triggering a desire to look deeper into the works.
For this new body of work, McQuillen’s visual language is influenced by the works of Jacqueline Humphries, Charline von Heyl, and Joan Mitchell, among others. Through her use of mechanical and intuitive painting processes, she is engaged in a conversation with her materials, focusing on the fundamentals of balancing form, line, and color to evoke an intense energetic emptiness that captures the in-between spaces of our emotions and mind.
Kate McQuillen lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The artist explores emotive states through color and the systematic application of paint. She creates work by combining methods found in acrylic painting, watercolor, and silkscreen. Vivid color palettes imagine things like astral planes, optical after-effects, psychedelia, and simulated RGB colorspaces. They suggest moments of intangibility, lapses in time, and out-of-body experiences.
Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. For inquiries regarding works available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.