Allison Katz: Regardless
Laura Bartlett Gallery, 4 Herald St, London, E2 6JT
28 September-3 November 2013
From the Press Release
Signing one’s name; sketching from life; note’taking; the compulsion to scribble: Allison Katz’s new body of work sweeps across these categories of action. Underpinned by a dry wit, Katz draws energy from the equivalences of these actions as forms of mark’making, and by doing so, throws the capriciousness of taste into sharp relief.
Cast in this light, the title Katz has chosen for the exhibition takes on fresh significance. Regardless becomes a cipher for the fleeting encounters and portentous moments that mark the starting points of her works. Inspired by a chance glimpse of the sit’up’and’beg wooden clinker Regardless in Suffolk, Katz recently undertook to return to the boat and record her observations:
Duck’shit brown, science’fiction brown, brown mud on the bottom overriding the reflective blue of the sky, transparency transfigured into an opaque hard surface, water becoming caramelised…
Regardless also indicates a willful indifference towards iconographic value. Recurring images’ black pears, monkeys, wheat, noses in profile’ are continuously shuffled and upended by new cues, symptoms, fantasies and autobiographical digressions. Bearing in mind the tensions between introverted and extroverted desires, and an attraction to the margins of narrative, Katz freely employs quotation and surprising combinations of colour and form.
Katz’s handling of paint sees liquidity functioning as both motif and subtext. The potential to disappear, shift or transform is built into the still image. Transparency, layering and evaporation exist on a material level as much as they surface as meaning. The act of seeing’through, whether from a long view or as a glimpse, through a framing device or at an oblique angle, is central to this new group of works.