Bartha Contemporary is delighted to present an exhibition of recent works by Kate Shepherd and Allyson Strafella. The show will present paintings and works on paper by two American artists sharing an interest in colour, space and movement.
Kate Shepherd’s paintings construct probable and improbable spatial propositions. Reflections from glossy surfaces obscure the networks of delicate lines. Often using systems of measurement and renderings in SketchUp, a three-dimensional modelling software. Her forms often suggest the contour of an object situated in space. The carefully calibrated interactions between her graceful hand-drawn line work and her reflective surfaces keep the work in flux; her paintings seem to oscillate between two and three dimensions. Lines sit simultaneously on the surface and in front of her monochromatic panels. Shepherd’s unrivalled sense of colour contributes to the meaning of her work, casting a discernible mood over the space she creates. Often describing an experience rather than a particular locus, Shepherd’s deceptively restrained works reveal layers of visual complexity that reward sustained attention.
Allyson Strafella’s work embraces a similar sensibility for colour and space. She creates abstract forms by using dense repetitive marks set on pigmented hand-made paper. With patience and fearlessness she finds the edge of form and formlessness, made and un-made.
The experience of the work evolves from a multifaceted process. Their fragile nature stems not solely from the thinness of the material but the quality of the mark making. Piercings through the surface of the paper reveal a substructure of unblemished paper that barely manages to hold its shape. Their immediacy stems from an unexpected familiarity; these intimate works carry an immense presence, which often stands in complete antithesis with their delicate appearance.