Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present The Weight of Color a new solo exhibition by Kathy Butterly. This is the artist’s fifth solo show with the gallery. Continuing and developing an idea she began for her 2014 New York show, Enter, Butterly builds on the concept of color heeding its visual, physical, and psychological weight. Paying attention to how color works in each piece, Butterly thinks of herself as a “collector of color” and explores how each hue relates to the other, the tensions that are created between colors and the ways in which they become equal.
The sixteen ceramics that comprise The Weight of Color are each intricate assemblages of multiple narratives and personal moments. Every crease, fold, frill, and ruffle has a purpose beyond aesthetic delight for they create small spaces where color can be collected giving each piece a unique personality. For example, Koolaide has a palpable tension. On the one hand its frills make it look dainty yet on the other hand, the vivid reds and oranges pool along the frills making the work appear sinister. The unexpected twists, turns and appendages in each sculpture are the result of Butterly returning again and again to a piece bringing to it new experiences sometimes over the course of a year and a half as was the case with Middleclassiness her most complex work to date, which in its finished state resembles a rorschach test—almost symmetrical, half green with white crackle and half yellow divided by a green middle with wild limbs. For Butterly the ways in which color can and does work is crucial and her conceptualization of color lends itself to the idea that color is a character in narrative.
Kathy Butterly received her MFA from UC, Davis and her BFA from Moore College of Art, Philadelphia. She has exhibited extensively and her work can be found in numerous museum collections including, MoMA, New York, NY; the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga, NY; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; MFA Boston, MA; and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX amongst many others. Butterly has been the recipient of prestigious awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2014), the Moore College of Art & Design Visionary Woman Award (2013), the Smithsonian American Art Museum Contemporary Artist Award (2012), and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2011) amongst many others. The artist lives and works in New York.
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