Katy Cowan: In the Studio

17 - 23 April 2020
  • Katy Cowan

    In the Studio
  • “I am completely interested in breaking down barriers of categorization.' –Katy Cowan

    “I am completely interested in breaking down barriers of categorization." –Katy Cowan

  • “I love incorporating accidents into my work and learning to react to them, to build off of them.”

    “I love incorporating accidents into my work and learning to react to them, to build off of them.”

     

     

  • 'The decision to echo fabric and aluminum ropes is a material conversation of weight and levity, humor and sadness, beauty...

    "The decision to echo fabric and aluminum ropes is a material conversation of weight and levity, humor and sadness, beauty and utility. This flipping permits those conversations to arise."

  • 'For this series, I laid out the ropes to show the shifting winds, the force of the Pacific ocean on...

    "For this series, I laid out the ropes to 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.”

  • “In the studio, forms re-appear all over different works - kind of like re-appearing characters.”

    “In the studio, forms re-appear all over different works - kind of like re-appearing characters.”

  • “You’re meandering around these different material decisions, all the ways of making different pieces ricochet off each other...you see those...

    “You’re meandering around these different material decisions, all the ways of making different pieces ricochet off each other...you see those decisions reflected in a painting or a sculpture or a wall work.” 

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  • Press Release

    Katy Cowan's work 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. Cowan's latest works are formed in part by the legacy of human experience and the traces left by such experience. They suggest the presence of objects and ideas as both physical and metaphorical impressions. Commenting on her recent work involving hand-painted casts of rope assemblages, Cowan writes:
     
    “My...challenge was to approach ropes in a new way; not as a tool to dangle, suspend, or strangle subject matter (as I've done in the past), but to approach ropes as if I were creating minimal line drawings. I wanted to simplify the rope and allow these aluminum rope lengths to encapsulate areas of raw aluminum for me to paint. Also, the decision to echo fabric and aluminum ropes has a material conversation that I have long been interested in of weight and levity, humor and sadness, beauty and utility. This flipping permits those conversations to hopefully arise."
     
    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. Her work was recently included in "The Day in the Night" at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); “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). She 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 Minneapolis Museum of Art (Minneapolis, MN); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Art in Embassies (Maputo, Mozambique); and Northwestern Mutual Insurance. 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.
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