LOS ANGELES, CA.- Kohn Gallery
announces its participation in Frieze Viewing Room. The gallery present works of emerging and mid-career artists. The all female presentation will be highlighted by the powerful works of Caroline Kent, Kate Barbee, Heidi Hahn, Rosa Loy, Lita Albuquerque and Sharon Ellis.
Based in Chicago, Caroline Kent explores the relationship between language, translation and abstraction through her enigmatic paintings and drawings. Kents work offers a deep investigation into the space of painting as a site of creation and mediation of meaning. Beginning with all-black surfaces, Kents rich mark-making recalls pre-linguistic symbols, whose fleeting shapes and shifting perspectives suggest both the power and the limitations of language, and ultimately questions the modernist canon of abstraction. Through geometry, color, and pattern as a method of communication, Kent constructs a visual manifestation of linguistic concepts of rhythm, tone, and measure. Reminiscent of Hilma Af Klints large-scale, mystical geometries and the atmospheric abstractions of Alma Thomas and Norman Lewis, Kents own abstractions become a language for translating cultural references and personal experiences. Her compositions paint a way of talking that has yet to be pronounced, inviting the viewer to explore the symphony of a new visual syntax.
Kate Barbee lives and works in Los Angeles, receiving her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin, TX in 2017. Barbees practice is an interdisciplinary one, ranging across hand embroidered mixed media painting, collage, drawing, and sculpture. The inherent tension in her work is born from a flurried relationship to her body and her visceral power within it. Barbees densely populated paintings pulse with an energetic sexuality. Her subjects push and pull through a fractured composition intimately spaced and dynamically posed, creating an energy and rhythm which forces the eye on a nonlinear journey throughout the canvas. Barbees figures reveal themselves slowly as they engage in activity, and emerge from the tactile, multi-hued, collaged, and textile-laden canvases which they populate. Her works harnesses an exceptional degree of emotional and sexual directness and figural distortion which abstracts the figures beyond recognition and distances them from the activities in which they are engaged. Every painting is a snapshot of the self, taken from an angle removed from the moment as if floating above or next to it raw, naked, and dominant.
Since the early 1970s, Santa Monica-based Lita Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work, ranging from sculpture, poetry, painting and multi-media performance to ambitious site-specific ephemeral projects in remote locations around the globe. Often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, Albuquerque has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using the earth, color, the body, motion and time to illuminate identity as part of the universal.
New York-based Heidi Hahns paintings portray the engagement with the female body, and her atmospheric and layered application of paint draw the viewer into a psychological space that evokes our attachment to the female form and how that is processed through both a traditional and a contemporary reading. Hahns works are gestural and spectral, reframing and re-contextualizing her subjects while they explore the shifting boundaries between public and private selves.
Rosa Loys work comes out of a worldview influenced by her upbringing in Leipzig, in the former East Germany, cut off from the rest of postwar Germany by Communism and the Berlin Wall. Using casein, an ancient water-based paint derived from milk protein, Loy fills large canvases with mysterious and compelling all-female dream worlds. Brittle and thick, the casein imparts intensity to her paintings, which are both dark and lovely, abounding with references to fairytales, German and art history, Freudian eroticism, authoritarian rule, and death.
Sharon Ellis creates kaleidoscopic abstractions of the natural environment. Bridging the gap between 19th century Romantic painting and psychedelic art of the 1960s, Ellis identifies as a contemporary landscape painter. Stars and atmospheric phenomena are made active as shimmering agents that create a circuit of energy running throughout the entire picture plane. Ellis takes us on a trip through a hallucinatory landscape and illustrative network of flora and fauna.