Living in the City, Painting in the Wild, an exhibition of new paintings by Kay WalkingStick – haunting yet alluring landscapes that represent a significant departure from the mystical mountains, abstract shapes and patterns of her earlier work is on view at the June Kelly Gallery through May 7.
WalkingStick shows us in the new works how she relates abstraction to the more literal and how both depict a poignant and poetic sense of timelessness, sound, movement and larger-than-life wonderment of the landscape.
Kay WalkingStick, July, Low Water, 2010, Diptych, oil on wood panel, 24×48 inches
WalkingStick says she has been painting landscape all her life, yet it has not always been the focus of her work. But increasingly, her images had come to include history, art history, geography and specific place, as opposed to an earlier emphasis on “expressive landscape as metaphor or symbol.”
In her new paintings, all diptychs, WalkingStick directs her focus to the landscape itself. Among her subjects is the Ramapo River in Northern New Jersey just 45 minutes west of Manhattan; she is there taking in the seasonal sounds and visual nuances. “It is lovely anytime of the year,”she says. WalkingStick is captivated by and driven to depicting the seasonal beauty of the area.
WalkingStick combines panels of gold and other metallic leaf with the landscape imagery to reinforce its reflection, to give a sense of largeness that transcends the more literal landscape depiction … “to give it the distance from the mundane that the scene gives to me.”
In her new landscapes, WalkingStick uses the panels of her diptychs to express differing views of the location as well as different times of day. Abstraction is always there, she says. The mere act of looking away and looking back is separation enough to alter the original perception.
WalkingStick lives and works in New York City. She holds a BFA from Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College), Glenside, Pennsylvania, and an MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
WalkingStick has been awarded the prestigious Lee Krasner grant for 2011 from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. In 2003, she received the Distinguished Artist Award from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, and in 1995 she won a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting. She also is a recipient of the National Honor Award for Achievement in the Arts from the Women’s Caucus for Art, and a Visual Artist Fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at Skowhegan, and also had a residency at the Rockefeller Conference & Study Center, Bellagio, Italy.
WalkingStick’s works have been shown in many one person and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe. She is represented in major public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; The Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California; Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art; The Cherokee Foundation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the National Museum of Canada, Ottawa.
Category: Fine Art News