Opening Reception Nov. 8
ELLSWORTH Gallery will present a solo exhibition of paintings by Kathryn Stedham. In her gestural abstract paintings, Stedham explores the complex and paradoxical nature of our world. The artist’s observations of shifting phenomena and illusions found in nature fuel her paintings, which are at once atmospheric and muscular. An ardent explorer – long distance sailor, rock climber, and world traveler – She is also a long time student of the Sanbo Kyodan School of Zen Buddhism.
“My paintings accrete from a system of drips, scraping and incising, not unlike the natural process of erosion and deposition occurring in the landscape around us. Just what can we discover about what is uncovered, or revealed? My inspiration is drawn from the likes of explorers, scientists and philosophers traversing great unknowns. Much like a journey without end, or finding the center of an onion, my life and work are a series of excavations with nothing, or perhaps everything, to find.”
This, in its most visible form, is Kathryn Stedham’s subject matter. Not the sunset, nor the shadows: what she paints is the experience of being in the moment, on the cusp, between illegible impressions and the instant when what may be vaguely perceived suddenly makes sense. Most of the time it is the briefest of essential experiences. Only when we struggle to see, as when we stare into the distance or the dark, or open our eyes in an unknown place, are we likely to notice it. Yet it’s the purpose that our nervous system built itself to achieve, and the source of powerful rewards...
~ Geoff Wichert, 15 Bytes
Stedham’s paintings and monoprints have been featured in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. Her accolades include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships and public art commissions. The artist recently completed an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Rio Mesa Center, a University of Utah field-based program that focuses on ecology and the environment.
“Alluvium” is the first solo exhibition of Kathryn Stedham’s work in Santa Fe, NM