All at Once
New paintings by Kate Petley
April 20th - June 1st, 2018
Opening reception - April 20th, 2018 from 5:00 until 8:00 pm
Kate Petley’s paintings command an incredible presence through luminous color and dimensionally charged form. Through an innovative conceptual process, Kate’s approach significantly contributes to the expanding story of abstraction today.
Each step of her process impacts the final image. Originating with a photographed collage made of simple materials like cardboard, the rough materials are transformed into a richly layered and subtle surface that defies explanation. Illusion and pure energy combine to create a hypnotic experience of place and sensation.
Connecting the history of abstract painting with the contemporary digital movement, Kate proves that the idea that photography is “fast” and painting is “slow” is false. Her process stems from a time consuming conceptual practice, investigating the marriage of mediums and initiating a dialogue between the viewer and the art of perception.
Experiencing the work in person, the viewer is drawn in to a visual realm where Kate’s sophisticated painterly touch initiates a visual pull. As Ann Landi states in a recent essay, “Petley’s works are richly and immediately accessible, and they carry on traditions while adding a vibrant and provocative voice to the still-unfolding story of abstraction."
Kate’s work has been exhibited at the MCA Denver, the Museum of South Texas, the Nicolaysen Museum, the Martin Museum at Baylor University, the Museum of the Southwest, Diverseworks Houston, and the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe. Kate has been featured in twenty-seven solo exhibitions and has completed numerous public commissions and installations.
Recently awarded a residency in Ireland, she participated in How to Flatten a Mountain for PhotoIreland 2017. She is a Ucross Foundation Fellowship recipient and was granted an invitational residency at the Mayer of Munich Architectural Art Glass studio in Germany. Previous awards include an NEA Rockefeller Foundation Grant. Her work has been included in four issues of New American Paintings.
Kate's work appears in the collections of the Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City, the Houston Airport System, the City of Houston, the Nicolaysen Museum, Casper WY; Polsinelli LLC Dallas, Chicago, and Denver; Fidelity Investments Boston and Denver, UCLA Hospital Santa Monica, and Morgan Stanley San Francisco, in addition to other corporate and private collections throughout the US.
STACKING UP ADDING UP
Paintings by Ward Schumaker
March 2nd – April 13th 2018
Painter, Illustrator and bookmaker, Ward Schumaker creates intimate compositions that derive meaning from memory, dream-scape, and literary sources. Earlier in his life he gained recognition illustrating for such clients as The New York Times, Hermès, United Airlines, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Le Figaro, The New Yorker and Japanese Esquire.
But his true passion always centered on painting and during those years he secretly worked on fine art. It was in 2003, in a class at the San Francisco Center for the Book, that Schumaker first experimented with mixing bookbinding paste with acrylics to create hand-painted, one-of-a-kind books. The resulting work caught the eye of a Shanghai gallerist who offered to show the pages, unbound, as paintings for the wall. The work evolved and grew and has since drawn attention from many in the art world—finding its way into numerous private and public collections in the form of paintings, sculpture and books.
Employing text, cut paper, and gestural brush strokes, Schumaker’s work can be read as related to the work of Terry Winters, Cy Twombly, and Anselm Keifer. He enjoys the hard, tactile surface that the medium of paste and acrylic lends to his work, stating that its unpredictability adds an element of uncertainty which he finds necessary as a catalyst for breaking new ground. Through the abstract brushwork and incorporated text, a quiet, private space is presented, often harkening back to his childhood on the Nebraska prairie, provoking intriguing, intimate thought fields of past and present experience.
Ward will show 16 works-on-paper at Orth Contemporary starting March 2nd. Titled Stacking Up Adding Up, the show features paintings which include stacking shapes, from circular columns to globes to pyramids. The works appear architectural, but somehow spiritual, as well. Some are more linear in style while others lean towards abstract expressionism through the use of intense brushwork. Most often, the work draws the eye upward, evoking a positive construction, versus destruction. A much-needed visualization in a time of cultural dishevelment.
Orth Contemporary will also show three of Ward's hand-painted books: one one-of-a-kind plus two small, limited edition hand-stenciled titles.
At 7pm on Wednesday, March 28th, Ward will speak at Magic City Books in Tulsa about his life of books, art, and about his newest work, Hate is What We Need (published by Chronicle Books).
A reception will be held for the artist on Thursday, March 29h at Orth Contemporary from 5 – 8 pm.
Seldom will you encounter contemporary art in any medium of such relaxed, fearless confidence....Very rarely does a critic encounter new work that immediately rewards a lifetime of learning to look. No one who cares about seeing as a sensation of life should miss this chance to inspect Schumaker's albums."
Kenneth Baker, SF Gate 2013 (San Francisco Chronicle)