Kate Demong

Region: South

I make paintings with soil gathered from places integral to my personal history. These paintings connect formally rigorous, nonrepresentational twentieth-century art with current concerns about our loss of respect for the natural world. Although everyone has seen soil before, most have not seen it in the way I present it: on the wall, defying gravity, extracted from its origin, aestheticized, honored. My work compels the viewer to reconsider something essential that is usually overlooked.

When I present my materials within the structure of painting, they are transformed into something more than earth. They become color and texture and order. My effort to control my raw materials speaks to the larger issue of the relationship of nature and man. I use the monochromatic format to draw focus to my works’ materials as well as to encourage introspection. For me, simplicity engenders calm and reflection.