Parts and Motions
Until September 14, 2018
Open Mind Art Space
11631 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Parts and Motions
Reviewed by Christine Han
Walking into Parts and Motions, a solo show of new works by Katie Kirk, you begin with a lone small painting hanging almost surreptitiously to the left. I immediately felt it was a self-portrait, an area of strong colors marking out a face over a soft pink, encircled by dark hair. You can imagine my delight when I found out that the point of departure for each piece is a body part.
The main space proposes a world where the divisions of drawing, painting, and sculpture are fluid and where the acts of making are interchangeable, fitting in a city like LA. As Terry Myers commented during the opening, “LA likes to play with boundaries.” Kirk’s paintings and ceramic pieces are lively and joyful, playing off of each other in the white clean space of the gallery. They mirror each other’s movements and gestures, reverberating off of each other.
As a material lover, I really gravitated close to each piece. Standing nose to surface, it was a pleasure to stay with one and dig into the drips, the “paint skins,” the rubbings, drawings, twists in clay, and glaze. The splashes of energy from the multitude of layers are highlighted in the neighboring wall ceramic, a collection of shapes held together by literal imprints of her body. It makes sense that they were created as a collection while working through the same thought process. The exuberant paintings hang amongst her ceramics, some resting atop pedestals while body sized pressed pieces splay improbably lightweight on the walls.
The show is beautiful, lovingly pieced together as a history of her body’s movements. Whenever I see her work, there is something new, alterations to her methods and materials, but always a lively exploration into her interests. I had fun getting to know her work, and look forward to seeing more.