Katie Walker: Sitting on the Floor With 600 Sheets of Paper
Backyard Archeological Dig, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 79 in
Gallery Opening: 6:00-7:30 p.m. just prior to the Jazz at the Center Music Festival opening concert Light hors d'ouevres and cash bar
Katie Walker is from Greenville, S.C., and has exhibited in the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art, the Pickens County (S.C.) Museum of Art and History, the Columbia (S.C.) Museum of Art and the Georgia Museum of Art. Her work was included in the 2005 Florence, Italy, Biennale, where she was an award winner. Walker regularly shows in galleries across the Southeast. She has taught at Furman University in Greenville, where she earned her BA in studio art. She holds an MFA from the University of Georgia and studied and taught in the universitys Cortona Study Abroad program in Italy. Her work appeared in New American Paintings, Vol. 40, 2002.
*Katie Walker occupies a space somewhere between Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. Shes not alone. Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis and others have combined some of the aesthetics of Abstract Expressionism with the techniques of Color Field painting, especially staining unprimed canvas.
Walkers work also has elements of Minimalism and geometric art, without the hard edges and clinical feel. In the past, she has attached pieces of painted canvas on a larger canvas, stitching one piece to another by applying paint to the edges of the smaller piece on top. At that stage, Conrad Marca-Relli came to mind.
Its hard to pinpoint influences, Walker says, and I hate doing it because you get categorized so easily. But Marca-Relli is a major influence, and maybe Frankenthaler. I admire her work though, I think that my work looks very different. But I like to work with watered-down paint, like her, and I pour paint. I like Motherwell, too, but I dont study him. In my small pieces I like to play with scale, like he did. The small pieces seem monumental because the shape in them is so large.
I like to use off colors, not directly out of the tube. I am intuitive about it but try to have one color activate the next color. I am very calculated, figure stuff out in advance. Its calculated activity.
Walker works with brayers, spackling scrapers and her hands. And she pours and squirts from plastic bottles, sometimes with two or more holes to create multiple streams, parallel lines. She mostly uses unprimed canvas, applying thin layers of acrylic paint, though her small pieces are often on wood, painted with oils.
*Edited from Essay, Katie Walker by Wim Roefs, 2007
The exhibit is free and runs through May 9, open Monday-Friday 10-5, (Thursdays until 6)