Allison Katz (b. 1980, Montreal, Canada) has mounted solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Freiburg in Germany (2015) and the ICA Studio in London (2015). In 2018 she will present her first institutional exhibitions in Canada (Oakville Galleries, Ontario) and the US (MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Boston). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, UK (2017), South London Gallery, UK (2014) and SculptureCenter, New York (2014) in addition to recent collaborations with Fredrik Vaerslev at Bergen Kunsthall and Le Consortium, Dijon (2016 – 2017) and DAS INSTITUT at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2016). Her work has been featured on the cover of Frieze, CURA and Metropolis M magazines, in addition to articles and interviews in Art in America, The White Review, Border Crossings and BOMB.
“The paint (oil or acrylic) is applied in a perfunctory fashion, without giving the subjects a finished, conclusive body, without explaining the whole underlying game. We get a keen sense of something hermetic, moody, and human. Not all the allusions can be fathomed. Some can only be glimpsed, whiffed. Others remain ungraspable, in gridlock.”
“On each of Katz’s canvases, as well as between them, an extrapolated joust with intentionality is enacted – word play in painted form. Just as language can be made to flex into puns, rhymes and jokes, so Katz tests the flexibility of gesture. […] Leitmotifs become placeholders brought in to solve the problem of subject matter while inevitably creating new problems in their wake. The elements she adopts – noses, signatures, her sister’s drawings, animals that sidestep the issue of identity which is raised in representations of the figure – deal with fakery, intention and the issue of problem-solving. Each work seems to ask: what do you want from me?”
The presentation of 46 posters at Billedrommet is the first instance of her graphic practice being displayed independently.
“I always felt I was asking too much of painting, asking it to do things it didn’t want to do, and then I questioned my own attachment to it. Like, why does it have to be in that form? So I thought about graphics, and taking control of the advertising aspect by producing conflicting versions of announcement posters for each show, which end up as works in themselves, which are either displayed alongside the paintings or as an edition. It’s a way to bring up my references without condensing things into a single statement regarding what the show is about. I get to play with this other language of communication, while keeping it ambiguous. I didn’t want to put that kind of graphic into the painting but I still wanted the information and the energy. It was as if certain ideas couldn’t be painting but they could feed back into painting once they’d been something else. It involves a circulation where I’m copying myself and appropriating my own work to expand it from the inside. It goes off the specific surface of painting but it’s still drawn from a painting sensibility.”
Production began in 2009 and is ongoing, currently numbering 87. A painted and collaged box which houses the archive is also on display, the decoration of which reflects previous themes while developing new ones.