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Katy Stone's debut solo show with Ryan Lee on view in New York
Katy Stone, "Untitled (Other World)," 2013, acrylic on Dura-Lar mounted on frosted Dura-Lar. Courtesy of Ryan Lee, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ryan Lee is presenting Katy Stone: Other World, the artist’s debut solo show with the gallery. The exhibition features hand-painted wall installations of cut aluminum and a site-specific room installation, including works made of Dura-Lar, an archival acetate. This new body of work highlights the organic forms instrumental in her practice over the last decade. Drawing on ontology, Stone uses specific shapes to explore the transformation of parts into particular states of falling, floating, clustering, replicating, dashing, rushing, or breaking apart. She examines the multiplicative elements of nature through space, materiality, time, and form, deliberately injecting a contrasting sense of monumentality and fragility in her work.

Stone has developed an intricate vocabulary of line, shape, form, and mark-making to blur the boundaries that exist between traditional techniques of drawing, painting, and sculpture, typically using Dura-Lar, paper, or metal materials. For the metal works on view, she hand draws each shape, which is then translated into aluminum, using repetition and layers to create large-scale sculptural assemblages. Recurring motifs of natural phenomena include clouds, fog, smoke, willow trees, waterfalls, and root systems. On these constructions, she paints using a tonal range of specific color to suggest various aspects of nature, such as water, sky, or light. The nuance of color on the surfaces is achieved by chance effects as a result of the chemical reactions between the paint and metal. The alkyd resin in oil paint produces elaborate washes and variations once dried. Inspired by natural and fantastical processes that exist on a cellular level, Stone’s sculptural assemblages simultaneously flow through states of micro and macro, investigating the suspended space between containment and release essential to transformation. This tension between transience and permanence, nature and artifice, growth and decay is evident in each work.

On view in the second gallery is a site-specific installation, featuring “Cathedral” made of aluminum and smaller works made of Dura-Lar. Painted a rich carmine color and populated with architectural references provided by its proportions and shapes, “Cathedral” pours down the wall. The floral elements conjure images of distorted rosette stain glass windows. The height and reach of the linear elements are similar to flying buttresses. The clusters that shoot up and tangle within one another suggest the fairy rings at the bases of redwood trees. Here, again, you see the play between abundance and restraint. These familiar forms are shaped by a fantastical element: What is being evoked is not abject or mundane, but transformed or elevated from simple materials to a dramatic event. In addition, several smaller Dura-Lar works will be in dialogue with “Cathedral.” Stone’s Dura-Lar practice originates with a stream of conscious mark-making allowed by the immediacy of the material in contrast to the deliberate mark-making on the metal pieces.

Based in Seattle, Stone received her MFA from the University of Washington. She has exhibited widely, including at Boise Art Museum, Boston University Art Gallery, Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, McNay Museum of Art, Missoula Art Museum, and the University of Richmond. Public collections include Boise Art Museum, City of Seattle, Iowa State University, McNay Museum of Art, Missoula Art Museum, and University of Michigan. Stone has completed major commissions at the Jackson Federal Courthouse, Jackons, MS; The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV; Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA; and Woodmont Library, Des Moines, WA, among others.

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