For Art Basel: OVR 2021, Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present new sculptures and paintings by Holly Coulis, Katy Cowan, Tomory Dodge, Sedrick Huckaby, and Kristy Luck. The fair will be accessible online February 9 - 12, 2022.
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 if the fruits and dishes were 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. Dynamic lines separate the objects and the bright color fields around them, engaging the respective areas of the painting like interlocking puzzle pieces. The objects in Coulis's paintings and the planes on which they sit have started to morph in Coulis’s work over the course of the last few years. She comments, "The work is getting more abstract, which initially wasn't something intentional. When I first started making these still life paintings, I never intended to push them into abstraction, it just slowly started to happen. Now, in the next body of work, I am starting to become most interested in the abstract elements, how the lines intersect and weave and the places that open up for color. Sometimes I even want to eliminate all recognizable form! I'm not in any rush to do that, but there is part of me that wants to see what would happen if they became completely abstracted.” "You can sense that something else might happen,” she says. "I create the language and then it feeds on itself. A number of possibilities open up a few directions (or not) and you have to just follow along. If you're a scientist, there's no end. There's no answer. You find an answer, and then you find another problem.”
Katy Cowan’s work investigates the terms of the art object, her identity as a maker and the site of creation itself. Cowan’s body, her studio tools, and the events in her immediate environment serve as generative subject-matter for her artworks. Cowan moves easily between media. “I am completely interested in breaking down barriers of categorization,” she states. Her transitions rely on a larger, systematic way of thinking that emphasizes alteration, repetition, and a conceptual emphasis on material choice. At the same time, Cowan’s work embraces an open attitude towards studio practice: “I love incorporating accidents into my work and learning to react to them, to build off of them.” Recent works reflect Northern California, where Cowan lives and works; they “show the shifting winds, the force of the Pacific Ocean on Northern California coastlines, the foggy calm of the evening sun burning through the atmosphere.” Poetry is another influence in Cowan’s work. As a visual artist, working in response to poetry, “takes time,” Cowan writes, “you have to step back, see your world in a new way, and let that change affect you.”
Tomory Dodge’s dynamic paintings explore representation and the mechanics of picture-making. He writes, “I have often talked about paintings being inherently contradictory things. They are objects that are spaces, walls that are windows. They are the intersection of object and image. Painting maintains a physical anchor at a time when the image generally is becoming more and more ethereal—everywhere and nowhere at the same time.” Painting’s power to represent images and events means that we often forget the fact that paintings themselves are a matrix of applied material signs. The vision of the painter and the subjects that they depict are figured through brushstroke, color and texture. Dodge comments, “Paradoxically, similar to analytic cubism perhaps, the attempt to understand something in its totality often results in partially obscuring it.” Within Dodge’s large oil-on-canvas paintings, many smaller “paintings” seem to jostle together, making room for themselves within the greater composition. The artist’s practice is both additive and reductive. He paints over older moments and scrapes away, finding the painting within the painting, to reach the final form of the work.
Everyday people are the essence of Sedrick Huckaby’s work. “Ordinary people matter,” he comments. Many of his subjects live in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he also makes his home. The work reminds us of art’s power as a communicative tool that engenders change by empowering an understanding of one’s own life, and those of the people around us. “The African-American family and its heritage has been the content of my work for several years,” Huckaby writes. “In large-scale portraits of family and friends I try to aggrandize ordinary people by painting them on a monumental scale.” Huckaby’s words and images ask us to think about our communities. They ask us to look hard at the people around us, to really see them, and to listen to the stories they have to tell. “I am most enthusiastic about painting from a live sitter. There is an incredible energy when painting directly from another person and I love the challenge. Sometimes there is conversation, and at other times silence–but always there is a feeling of sharing a small slice of life together. I hope these paintings not only celebrate the sitter’s facial features but also send the message that ordinary people, who may not be great in society’s eyes, should be of paramount importance to us.”
Kristy Luck’s paintings are windows into psychological spaces where forms emerge from fluid gestures and rich colors. Building upon sketches, her surreal landscapes evoke a subconscious understanding of space and objects. The titles give viewers a glimpse of her intentions and the imagery and patterns echo historical depictions of women in melancholic or revelatory states. "I think of it as revisiting the same place at a different time of day, or years later. The color, the emphasis, the images, all shift and change - like music,” Luck says. "Color as a narrative device can be incredibly elusive. Both the image and the emotional experience are guided by the color. It is nuanced and requires intimacy.” Luck includes motifs of erupting volcanoes, bursting blooms, and spinning tornadoes, all events that signal transformation. At the same time, these shapes are open so that viewers can also bring their own associations and readings of the scenes. “I want my surfaces to generously reveal their making to the viewer in visible, built-up layers and repeated patterns. At the same time, I let the forms in the image slip out of grasp to evoke personal or private mystery.” Inspired by artists and writers like Carol Rama and Clarice Lispector, Kristy Luck's work addresses sensuality, imagination and memory. We experience these spaces as if in a dream: "Part of how I gauge when a piece is finished is that there is no pre-dominant read." There is a sense of presence in these works, but also one of absence, a feeling of things coming together, and breaking apart.
Holly Coulis (b. 1968, Toronto, Canada) received her BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto, Canada) in 1995 and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA) in 1998. Her work is currently included in the Thailand Biennale at the Pimamthip Art Gallery (Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province); and in “Evocations: Celebrating the Museum’s Collection” at Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS). Coulis has had recent solo and group exhibitions at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery (New York, NY); Cooper Cole (Toronto, Canada); University of Georgia (Athens, GA); Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA); Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston, MA); Sardine (Brooklyn, NY); Paramó (Guadalajara, Mexico); El Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Oaxaca, Mexico); Galleria d'Art Moderna (Milan, Italy); The Bruce High Quality Foundation (New York, NY); and Leo Koenig (New York, NY). Coulis’s work is included in the collections of the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX); Fidelity Investments (Boston, MA); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); Rollins College (Orlando, FL); and UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX). Her work has been reviewed in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Flaunt Magazine, Hyperallergic, and FT Magazine. Coulis lives and works in Athens, GA.
Katy Cowan (b. 1982, Lake Geneva, WI) received her BFA from University of Puget Sound (Puget Sound, WA) in 2004 and her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA) in 2014. Cowan’s work is currently subject of the solo-exhibition, “as the sun chases the unfurling fray,” at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). Cowan's work is also currently included in the exhibitions, “Lines of Thought: Gestural Abstraction,” at the Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA), and “From the Collection of Anonymous,” at the North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Fork, ND). Recent solo and group shows include “Suns Pass Flat” and ”The Day in the Night,” at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); “Winds Glow Unceasing“ at Document (Chicago, IL); Centennial: 100 Years of Otis College Alumni” at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA); “Left, Right, Left, Left” at The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI)’ and “The Blue Sun Moans” at Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY). Cowan has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); Fourteen30 Contemporary (Portland, OR); University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison, WI); Synchrotron Radiation Center: Home of Aladdin (Stoughton, WI); Poor Farm (Manawa, WI); The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI); and Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY). Cowan’s work is in public and private collections such as the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA); (Milwaukee Museum of Art (Milwaukee, WI); Minneapolis Museum of Art (Minneapolis, MN); North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Fork, ND); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Art in Embassies (Maputo, Mozambique); and Northwestern Mutual Insurance (Milwaukee, WI). Her work has been reviewed in “Artforum,” “Los Angeles Times,” “Architectural Digest,” “Wallpaper*,” “Contemporary Art Review LA,” “Artnet,” and other publications. Cowan lives and works in Berkeley, CA.
Tomory Dodge (b. 1974, Denver, CO) received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI) in 1998 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA) in 2004. Tomory Dodge will have a solo exhibition at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) February 19- March 22, 2022. Tomory Dodge’s work was recently featured on David Zwirner Gallery Platform; in spring 2021, a major painting by Tomory Dodge's was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA). Recent solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery (New York, NY); LUX Art Institute (Encinitas, CA); "Stranger Than Paradise," Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence, RI); "Grafforists," Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); "Nowism," Pizzuti Collection (Columbus, OH); "An Appetite For Painting," National Museum (Oslo, Norway); "Pouring It On," Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA); "Tomory Dodge and Denise Thomasos: Directions to a Dirty Place," Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, NC); "Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape," Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, NY); "American Soil," Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); "Sheldon Survey," Sheldon Memorial Gallery, University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE). His work is in the collections of such museums as Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, CA); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, (San Francisco, CA); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA); Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA); Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas, TX); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, MN); Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN); Orlando Museum of Art (Orlando, FL); Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN); Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC); Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC); RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI); Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT); and Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY). Dodge's work is the subject of several monographic catalogs and has been discussed in such publications as Artforum, Flash Art, Modern Painters, Art Review, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Dodge lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Sedrick Huckaby (b. 1975, Fort Worth, TX) received a BFA from Boston University (Boston, MA) and an MFA from Yale University (New Haven, CT). His work is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX). In 2022, Huckaby will be included in “Kinship,” curated by Dorothy Moss, alongside Njideka Akunyili Crosby and others at the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.). Recent solo exhibitions include Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth, TX); African American Museum (Dallas, TX); The Grace Museum (Abilene, TX) and Danforth Museum of Art (Framingham, MA). Huckaby has been the recipient of awards and fellowships such as Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (New York, NY); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (New York, NY); The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (Washington, D.C.); John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (New York, NY); and the 2018 Texas State Visual Artist Award. His work is in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA); Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); Elaine de Kooning House Collection (East Hampton, NY); Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX); African American Museum (Dallas, TX); Amon Carter Museum of Art (Fort Worth, TX); City of Fort Worth (Fort Worth, TX); Grace Museum (Abilene, TX); Jesuit Dallas Museum (Dallas, TX); McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, TX); Museum of Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX); Tyler Museum of Art (Tyler, TX); University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX); Kansas African American Museum (Wichita, KS); Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN); Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO); Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL); Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University (Bloomington, IN); Ball Slate University Museum of Art (Muncie, IN); Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN); Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University (Durham, NC); Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA); Yale University (New Haven, CT); the U.S. Embassy, Namibia (Republic of Namibia, South Africa); and the U.S. Embassy, N’Djamena (Chad, Africa). His work has been featured in various publications including “Artforum,” “Hyperallergic,” “National Geographic,” and “Houston Chronicle.” Huckaby lives and works in Fort Worth, TX.
Kristy Luck (b. 1985, Woodstock, IL) received a BFA from Rockford University (Rockford, IL) and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Kristy Luck’s solo July 2021 exhibition at Philip Martin Gallery was selected as an Artforum Critic’s Pick. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Mendes Wood DM (São Paulo, Brazil) in 2022. Kristy Luck’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); ODD ARK LA (Los Angeles, CA); Eastside International (Los Angeles, CA); and Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Chicago, IL). Additionally, her work has been included in group shows at Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); Jacob’s West (Los Angeles, CA); 0-0LA (Los Angeles, CA); Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA); Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago, IL); A Public Space (Fishers Island, New York); and Projet Pangée (Montreal, Canada). Luck was awarded the Lighthouse Works Fellowship in 2017. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Artillery Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, The Editorial Magazine, and Opening Ceremony. Luck lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.