Frieze New York: Viewing Room: Holly Coulis, Katy Cowan, Kristy Luck, and Joanne Petit-Frère

5 - 10 May 2020
Due to the cancellation of Frieze New York 2020, Philip Martin Gallery presents an on-line viewing room with works by Holly COULIS, Katy COWAN, Kristy LUCK and Joanne PETIT-FRÈRE. These four artists work in painting, sculpture, and textiles. In their respective bodies of work, each artist pursues the nature of the art object and how it functions in our society, questioning how we come together through artworks - the role of maker and viewer alike.

Holly COULIS (b. 1968, lives Athens, GA) engages with the traditional genres of painting — still life, landscape and portraiture — as a framework for a complex exploration of the language of painting. Holly Coulis's paintings operate as stages where still life scenes unfold. A table, for example, creates an initial structure where simplified, geometric forms are arranged and interact. There is a sense of order in these scenes as though the fruits and dishes had been laid out by some external force. Through layers of paint, linear elements are created, giving the illusion of colorful stripes or energy fields around individual objects. These works feel familiar, but upend our sense of figure/ground, horizon-line, perspective, and scale.

Katy COWAN (b. 1982, lives Berkeley, CA) investigates the terms of the art object, the identity of the maker and the site of making itself. Cowan's body, her studio tools, and the events in her immediate environment serve as generative subject-matter for her artworks. These artworks investigate human experience and the traces left by such experience. They suggest that ideas and objects are both physical and metaphorical, and that an impression can take forms both indexically literal and expressively iconic. Katy Cowan moves easily between media. Her transitions rely on a larger, systematic way of thinking that emphasizes alteration, repetition, and a conceptual emphasis on material choice. 

Kristy LUCK (b. 1985, lives Los Angeles, CA) makes paintings that engage with the medium's tradition of depicting women in melancholic or revelatory states. Luck considers Modernism, its legacy and implications with regard to individual voice and transformation. Luck’s paintings point to mysterious significance and contemplation. The artist has said, “I am trying to find a visual language for personal melancholia and intuition; melancholia not as a pathology, but as an illuminating discourse with oneself, and intuition as subconscious pattern recognition. I’m interested in how these emotional experiences have been dismissed or devalued when associated with the ‘feminine mind.’” 

Joanne PETIT-FRÈRE (b. 1987, lives New York, NY) addresses the human body as a site of beauty and adornment. Drawing on sources ranging from African Diaspora traditions, Old West movies, the photographs of Cindy Sherman and the history of Haiti, Petit-Frère makes labor intensive tapestries and sculptures that involve weaving by hand eight or more colors of synthetic hair. In the gallery, Petit-Frère’s work is realized as sculpture; however, it is often activated by performance. Petit-Frère enlists performance as a means by which to think about our own bodies, and those around us. In the midst of crisis, human touch and presence in society is increasingly charged, and Petit-Frère responds to this, and the underlying currents in societal dialogue. 


Philip Martin Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-6pm and by appointment. For further information and images please contact the gallery at +310-559-0100 or

Philip Martin Gallery
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034