Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio
Beth Katleman, ‘Folly’, 2010, Todd Merrill Studio

Beth Katleman’s Folly is a porcelain three-dimensional wallpaper inspired by toile de jouy. Quoting the decorative language of the rococo, handmade rosettes and elegant, Asian-inspired pavilions lure the viewer in only to reveal a more subversive agenda: approaching the opulent installation, we become struck by the oddities in what Anthony Haden Guest calls Katleman’s “naughty Arcadia”. Creamy, dreamy porcelain landscapes are surprisingly populated with kitschy pop-culture figures cast from the artist’s collection of flea-market trinkets and toys. As Katleman explains: “porcelain suggests luxury, refinement and royal provenance. While one flea market treasure seems a little sad, a florid profusion of them is cause for celebration.” Katleman blurs the boundaries between high and low art, quoting from literature and traditional design and adding a contemporary narrative that is all her own.

Folly has been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design (New York, 2011) and was the recipient of the Moët-Hennessy prize for Best Decorative Art Object (PAD, 2011). Recently, the House of Dior acquired Demi Folly for their Hong Kong and London flagship boutiques. Folly was the subject of the Harpers Bazaar’s September issue art and jewelry collaborative spread, “Off The Walls” (2015). Katleman is currently working on unique private and public commissions, including a porcelain installation for a museum’s permanent collection.

Katleman’s artwork is exhibited across museums, art-fairs, and prestigious private and public collections worldwide. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the M.H. de Young Museum (San Francisco, CA), the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI), Kohler Company (Kohler, WI), the Archie Bray Foundation, (Helena, MT), amongst others, and has garnered critical attention in the New York Times, The Art Economist, Financial Times, New York Magazine, American Ceramics, La Tribune et Moi (Paris), The Art Newspaper (Basel), and numerous other publications.

As Katleman works on a commission basis, a unique porcelain installation may be custom created. A full color catalogue of Katleman’s work is available through Todd Merrill Studio.

Folly is available in full size as shown and Demi Folly, at approximately half the size.

208″W x 112″ H x 11″D

Porcelain and wire

About Beth Katleman

In the late 1990s, Beth Katleman exhibited an elaborately adorned porcelain toilet on the floor next to a work by Andy Warhol. More recently, Katleman’s ornate ceramic sculptures have made their way to the walls in compositions that resemble three-dimensional toile. In all of Katleman’s work, she fuses florid Rococo aesthetics with mischievous, sardonic details that question traditional modes of decorative and narrative art. Taking a close look at Girls at War (2013), for instance, reveals closer associations to Henry Darger’s dystopian paintings of armies of young girls brandishing guns than it does bucolic, Baroque picnic scenes.

American, b. 1959, Park Forest, Illinois, based in Brooklyn, New York