Distilling to the Core: Katy Stone’s Myriad

Katy Stone’s Myriad visually reverberates throughout the otherwise silent rooms of Seattle’s Greg Kucera gallery.   The artist’s vibrant forms of painted aluminum are known for walking lines, fluctuating between two and three dimensions, between the linear and the organic, between painting and sculpture.  In her most recent body of work, these explorations expand to include additional mediums, as the oversized collage titled Myriad (You Are Here) extends across the floor, forming a 15 x 5 ft. centerpiece for the show. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Katy Stone | Myriad installation view. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

Katy Stone | Myriad (You Are Here), 2011, Acrylic on Duralar and paper collage, 108 x 60 in.

Radiating from below, paper fragments, swaths of acrylic, and Durlar fragments construct a highly concentrated moment of pure, aesthetic noise. The surrounding works in the gallery offer the counterbalance of focus. Smaller, framed collages extract elements of colossal centerpiece, creating an opposing sensory experience through detailed references and punctuated instances of color.  Pouring Tree pulls the spider-like, black forms that coat Myriad’s surface into a single, weeping tree evocative of Chinese landscape paintings. Layered among the simple contrast of blues and oranges, the subdued gesture of Pouring Tree and its heightened focus commands a level of attention Myriad’s hyper-saturation cannot sustain.

Katy Stone | Pouring Tree, 2011, acrylic on Duralar and paper collage. 22 x 17.5 in. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

Katy Stone | San Juan, 2011, acrylic on duralar and paper collage. 16 x 12.5 in. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

The echo of form continues, again once removed, into the branch-like coils of Tangle Mountain. An oil and aluminum wall piece, Tangle Mountain utilizes the same imagery found in Pouring Tree to create a painting/sculpture hybrid more closely aligned with the artist’s past work. Presenting a two-dimensional, semi-organic image, the structure extends from the gallery wall in such a way that its shadows evoke the natural layering of tree branches, despite the piece’s industrial medium. Stone’s use of monochromatic, aluminum line forms offer the strictest focus among the new works, stripping away the barrage of ideas and concepts seen in Myriad (You Are Here), as well as the more pointed references and compositions created in the smaller collages, to reveal a bold, unflinching core.

Katy Stone | Tangle Mountain, 2011, oil on aluminum. 104 x 60 x 3 in. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

Katy Stone | Fall (Montmarte), 2011, chenille pipe cleaners. 34 x 54 x 3 in. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

More notably, the image incorporated in Tangle Mountain is only one thread of the exhibition that can be followed all the way through; other tropes presented in Myriad (You Are Here) similarly reappear throughout the work, indicating the project’s vast scope and detailed execution. While the progression Stone creates overtly offers insight into her process, it also subtly offers larger questions about the nature of perception; what must be stripped away in order to find clarity?

Katy Stone | Candy Sky 2, 2011, acrylic on aluminum. 204 x 60 x 3 in. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.


Myriad is on view at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA through December 24, 2011.

Erin Langner is a writer based in Seattle and is Assistant Program Manager, Education and Public Programs at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


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