Opening: Thursday, January 24, 2019, 6-9 PM
Exhibition: January 25 – March 9, 2019
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5 PM
1129 East Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V6A 1S3
KATE METTEN’s work situates itself at the intersection of painting and ceramics. Recent group shows include The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction, NCECA (2019),  Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Leaning Out of Windows (LOoW) Process Design, Art and Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformation, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2018); and 88 Artists from 88 Years, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2017). Winner of the Thelma Ruck Keen Memorial Award for Ceramics when graduating with her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2017, she recently completed a formal apprenticeship with ceramicist Gailan Ngan with funding from the BC Arts Council’s early career development program. She will undertake an artist’s residency at the Burrard Arts Foundation in 2019. Untitled, the exhibition at Wil Aballe Art Projects, is her first solo show.
A powerful current runs through this first solo exhibition by Kate Metten. She has made abstract works of quiet intensity that ask for our attention and concentration; given time, they reveal the processes of reflection, discovery, contemplation, and recurrence that underlie their making.
The small, personal scale of the works on canvas acknowledge the object nature and phenomenology of painting. Their intimacy addresses the individual; they are paintings for one person to observe, a window for one person to look through. Windows are membranes that divide inner from outer, a theme that relates to the artist’s interest in the psychology of the subconscious and the work of R.D. Laing. The window is also related to the commerce of the soul, and to the great mystical traditions that continue to speak to us in the present.
For Metten, ceramics and painting share an elemental chemistry; craft-based media bond over this shared materiality and are in constant dialogue. Her hands, when throwing and marking, are in conversation with the women who have embraced these conversations before her, including Sonia Delaunay, Mary Heilmann, Carmen Herrera, Hilma af Klint, Agnes Martin, and Bridget Riley. Alchemy and transformation are alive in this exhibition, attended by a rigorous intelligence and an open heart.


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