The gallery is pleased to announce KF + CM 4EVER, the second New York solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Keltie Ferris.
Ferris' large abstract paintings mirror the aggressive vibrations of New York City in their intensity of spirit, layered surfaces, and angular compositions. Ferris balances the mechanical application of sprayed oil paint with hand-painted grounds, wielding a brush and palette knife to carve forms out of the sprayed haze. In this way, figure and ground wrestle with each other for supremacy and create dynamic labyrinth-like pictures. Working forward from a faceted acrylic ground, to an oil pastel latticework, to a final exploding spray-painted and brushed blur, Ferris' paintings lunge forward from the picture plane.
While evoking pedestrian experiences and art forms such a airbrushed t-shirts, cartoon culture, and this city's omnipresent graffiti, the paintings also draw on the rigor of modernism, from Pollock's hand-thrown paint, to Mondrian's city grids, to create an abstraction emblematic of life here and now in New York City. Treating every mark like a found material, Ferris builds her work like a bird builds a nest, or a beaver a dam. Each mark remains openly and honestly itself, and of its material: the spray is not masked, the oil pastel is not blended, and all 48 colors from the box set are used. However each mark is tightly knit to the structure of the painting. Rainbow matrixes and striped textures radiate through more transparent marks, echoing complex cultural and geographical strata.
The work is non-verbal, more like noise then language, more akin to flashing lights and potential energies then anything namable. Therefore each painting is titled by a set of punctuation marks, such as (((!!!))) created by the artist to emblematize the emotive, nearly expletive nature of her work. Other titles (including the title of the show) allude to bathroom graffiti, notebook valentines, as well as the ambition of marking a space and marking a future.
Keltie Ferris (b. 1977, Louisville, KY) lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a MFA from Yale University in New Haven, CT and a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). In addition to Horton Gallery, she has been featured in exhibitions at the Nerman Museum, Overland Park, KS; Deitch Projects and D’Amelio Terras, both New York, NY; David Castillo, Miami; and Pilar Corrias, London, England. Her work has recently been discussed in The New York Times, Modern Painters, Artforum, and Details, among others. She is the recipient of both a Jacob Javits Fellowship and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Her work was the subject of a solo show at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO, for which a publication is available through the gallery.