CHICAGO – Up, carcass, and march!, a solo exhibition of new work by Chicago artist Katie Kahn, will be on view at Kruger Gallery Chicago, 3709 N. Southport Avenue, from September 11 – October 24, 2015.
Using ballpoint pen, correction fluid and tape, gouache, and gel pen, Kahn draws into the printed images and texts of New York Times double-spread pages. Generally finished over an extended period of time, the resulting works, steeped in social, political, and personal content, explore the connections between the formal and improvisational processes of artmaking. They could be understood as revealing one psyche’s response to media stories and mass-market images.
Kahn began using the New York Times as a generative ground ten years ago, after the death of her father, Chicago artist Max Kahn. Using only ballpoint pen and correction fluid, these bare-bones drawings were focused on the act of drawing itself, and were fueled by a desire to make work that was as close to pure content as possible. As the series progressed gouache, metallic paints, and gel pens were utilized to, among other things, shift and amplify the meanings of the often ironic juxtaposition of headlines, news photos, stories, and advertisements. Patterns of representation in both text and images were noted, and formal strategies evolved – including layering, subtraction, subdivision, and elaboration – to reveal, conceal, and alter content.
In 2013, Kahn collaborated with Chicago writer Terri Kapsalis on a series of twenty-five works exclusively from first/last pages of Tuesday’s New York Times Science Times. Kahn’s newspaper drawings were shown side by side with Kapsalis’ serigraphed free-verse text pieces arrived at through structured word operations, as singe pieces. Throughout the process, Kahn and Kapsalis worked separately from the same Science Times page, until each piece was completed. According to Cory Tamler writing for Art Parasites Online Magazine about Kahn’s newspaper drawings, “Her figures, created with pens and gouache and correction fluid and tape, react to the words: enclose them, embrace them, cradle or stare at them, swallow them, spit them back out. Words become objects that the creatures in her drawings have to grapple with.”
Kahn’s most recent body of work “Up carcass, and march!” was begun on Martha’s Vineyard, where she has spent summers since the age of six. It utilizes sumi stick and ink, and tattoo ink on the Vineyard Gazette, and is informed by both the local news cycle and the Herman Melville quote, “Up, carcass, and March”. This expression was used frequently and humorously by Max Kahn to address the depredations of the body, the necessity and comfort of work, movement into the unknown, and the fluid possibilities of the vast and romantic sea.
There will be an opening reception for the artist on Friday, September 11 from 6 - 8 PM.
About the Artist
Katie Kahn exhibits nationally, with solo exhibitions in Chicago, Houston, and New York. She received her MFA from Yale University and is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist fellowship. She lives in Chicago and is an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University.
About Kruger Gallery Chicago
Kruger Gallery Chicago is committed to an avant-garde ideal that art can be an agent for social and political change and represents artists working in a variety of media and design. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 6 pm or by appointment. For additional information, visit www.krugergallerychicago.com or call 312.995.0776. Follow Kruger Gallery Chicago on Facebook at Kruger Gallery Chicago and Instagram at Kruger_Gallery_Chicago.