Artist Statement

Katherine Ace

The intersection of contraries fascinates me: life and death; humor and tragedy; beauty and corruption; natural and constructed realities; experience and news. I am captivated by complex issues that we all face, and yet experience personally, intimately. I am interested in the role of dark feelings, thoughts and states of mind in the process of transformation. I am drawn to fire beneath reserve.

I think of painting as a dynamic process, expressing energy through the coupling of opposites. The raw canvas is both filled and completely empty. Akin to dreaming, I begin with an image in mind but I am not clear how it will manifest. I do not derive my imagery from sleeping dreams but from my eyes, my imagination, my memory, as well as photography, historical references and chance. These together construct the “whole.” In process, I pursue a dynamic interaction between intuitive images, a sensual and physical handling of the paint, and the spirit or accident of the moment.

Although stylistically I incorporate representation, paradoxically, I approach the canvas abstractly and employ gesture founded in Abstract Expressionism. I throw paint at the canvas and sculpt the surface using painting knives, nails, pins, bottle brushes, gold leaf, plastic, anything that is lying around. I work whatever my mood, and each piece combines the intentional with the accidental, the textured layers forming what becomes the body and flesh of the painting.

I am interested in complex story telling. Figures and still lifes evolve as open ended metaphors/allegories for concepts and environments that are themselves also metaphors/allegories, and therefore fold, like fabric, time or paint, back in on themselves. Like a poem, a painting is a surface. The depth is in the surface (oddly). It sort of dawns on you – like the way one remembers a dream sometimes, in fragments that float up all through the day, assembling themselves oddly, disturbingly…

Explore My Work

Please click here to see portfolio of work from 1990-2015.

‘The Talking To’
(Face to Face series)

OIL ON CANVAS | 20″ x   16″. 2018