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Kathryn Geismar

paintings and collages


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The Myth of Gravity
Oil on Canvas
48x48


Artist's Statement:
The best paintings I have made are ones that I have had to destroy along the way. Something authentic is unearthed in the undoing and subsequent submission to the process and the materials.

While I have subject matters in mind, it is in the construction/destruction process that the true subject emerges. I am forced to reckon with the important interplay between aspects of art-making that are out of my control and those that are tangibly at my fingertips.

In an echo of this process, my work explores transformations which might go unnoticed or from which I might otherwise wish to look away. From human-scale events such as personal illness, to broader-scale incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I am drawn to the rich and unanticipated beauty that can stem from such surprising sources. Even the normative changes at adolescence present an intriguing undercurrent of ambiguity and wonder in their unfolding.

In my most recent series, Aftermath, I have turned this investigation inwards, portraying the layered and complex experience of illness after a diagnosis of cancer. The paintings and collages use fragments of journal entries, drawings from family photos and self-portraits made while I was in treatment. There are obfuscations and exposed places, words that can be read and those that are hidden. The pieces include painted panels, mylar, inks, oil paints, acrylics, colored pencil, and tape in compositions that echo the tenuousness and uncertainty of the experience.


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The Queen
Oil on board
5x5


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Canary (Artemis)
oil, ink, graphite and tape on mylar mounted on paper
30x22



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