Kate McQuillen: Wave Amnesia

Robert R. Shane, The Brooklyn Rail, 2 June 2021

The feeling of having a word on the tip of your tongue—a state between knowing and not-knowing, remembering and forgetting—takes visual form in the paintings that make up Kate McQuillen’s exhibition Wave Amnesia. Here, something always seems to be emerging or dissolving. Through a layering process of screenprinting and manipulation, McQuillen capitalizes on “mistakes” usually avoided by screen printers: moiré patterns from misregistration; “kiss marks” from tearing the screen away from viscous paints; and waves of uneven densities created by applying uneven pressure to the squeegee she uses to print her images. Perfectly sited in the narrow spaces of Massey Klein Gallery, these paintings on panel take up our field of vision and push our own bodies into their liminal spaces, offering us a viscerally felt meditation on the fallibility of memory.


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