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Kate Costello, “Kiki & Me”

Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
September 9 - October 22, 2011
Reception: Friday, September 9, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Wallspace is pleased to announce Kate Costello’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, “Kiki & Me.” An opening reception for the artist will be held on Friday, September 9th from 6 – 8 pm. A new text by Gabriela Jauregui has been written on the occasion of the exhibition.

The exhibition’s title refers to Kiki de Montparnasse, the famous Parisian artist, model, performer and muse to many artists, Man Ray among them, whose name became synonymous with bohemian Paris in the twenties and thirties.  “Kiki & Me,” includes three distinct but interrelated bodies of work that engage the relationship between artist and muse, architectural space and fantasy, and viewer and subject.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors proceed through a large metal archway that mimics an existing structure in the gallery, a vestige of its former use as a turn-of-the-century terminal warehouse. Designed for installation in the gallery, Costello’s structure is built using the same materials and methods as the original architectural form, preserving details that allude to function, to work, and to a past linked inextricably to production and commerce. The replication of the object and the details of its construction draw the visitors’ attention to the interaction between the existing architecture and its history and to the object, and then to their own presence and relationship between the two as they enter the space.

A set of photographs document performances staged by the artist in her studio with nude models posing in front of painted backdrops conceived for each interaction. The performances are collaborations with the models, and the photographs reflect the interactions between the artist/director/photographer and the subject(s)/muse(s). The photographs point to an historical timeline through the quotation of pattern, palette and pose, while the more organic, performative qualities of Costello’s process infuse the images with a psychological tension and uncertainty, merging a static art historical lineage with an improvised theatricality.

A third group of works are prints made from segments of drawings culled from the artist’s sketchbooks—notes and figures used in preparation for the backdrops that frame the photographs. Copied, cropped, enlarged, stripped of color and outputted through a screen-print process, these notational sketches become fixed and monumental, pointing to the unstable and ever-shifting state of images and the viewers relationship to them.

Kate Costello (b. 1974, Newfane, VT) lives and works in Los Angeles. Past exhibitions include “Making Do,” curated by Robert Storr and Sam Messer, Green Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT; “THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and a recent billboard project for LA><ART, Los Angeles, CA.  She will have a forthcoming two-person exhibition opening at the Suburban in Oak Park, IL on September 18th 2011.
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