Lives and works in Longmont, CO
1976 B.F.A. cum laude University of Utah
Kate Petley is an American abstract painter whose work collapses the boundaries between photography and painting, reframing the the history and meaning of the luminous surface via the ever-present backlit screen. She draws inspiration from a number of sources including portraiture, still life, personal experience, and the mechanics of visual perception. Manneken Press has published Kate Petley’s monoprints since 2013.
Petley’s newest prints are arresting images that are a singular blending of 3-D and 2-D imagery, analog and digital photographic processes, and relief printing. For the Signal and Marker monoprints, Petley began by making simple objects that she wrapped with gradient film. These constructions were staged, lit, and digitally photographed without making any alterations. Through this process Petley elevated the humble sculptural forms to mythical proportions. The 19th C. technique of photogravure was used to etch these photographic images into copper plates, which were hand-printed in black ink onto paper. To these prints, using relief printing and stencils Petley added transparent colors to build layers of luminosity, subtle gradients and overlapping geometries, resulting in a stunning series of related but unique prints.
The Signal and Marker prints are photogravure and relief monoprints. Each piece is unique, printed by hand using archival oil-based inks on Hahnemühle Copperplate paper. Signal and Marker are bleed prints, with the image extending to the edges of the paper; their dimensions are 24 3/4″ x 20 1/4″. Each print is titled, signed and dated by the artist, verso, in pencil, and is impressed with the Manneken Press blindstamp. Published by and available from Manneken Press.
The initial release of ten prints of the Signal series and seven of the Marker series will be followed by a subsequent release of additional impressions that will raise the total to twenty unique impressions of each image. Contact Manneken Press for current pricing/availability or additional information.
Kate Petley has been awarded an NEA Rockefeller Foundation grant, a Ucross Foundation fellowship, and residencies at the Franz Mayer of Munich Architectural Art Glass studio, Platteforum Denver, and Cow House Studios in Ireland for PhotoIreland.
Her work has been presented in over thirty solo exhibitions, most recently at Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles; Robischon Gallery, Denver; and the University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum. Other solo and group exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Fotofest Houston, Grinnell College Museum of Art, PhotoIreland at Rathfarnum Castle in Dublin, the Museum of South Texas, the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University, the Museum of the Southwest, Diverseworks Houston, the Harwood Museum of Art, and the Arlington Museum of Art. The artist’s installations and two-dimensional works have been widely reviewed and documented, noted for exaggerating the unusual nature of our everyday world.
In 2021, Petley served as guest curator for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary art. The Stubborn Influence of Painting occupied the entire museum with the work of nine artists from across the US and London.
Petley obtained a BFA cum laude from the University of Utah in sculpture and ceramics.
Selected Collections include the University of Colorado Art Museum, the Museum of Texas Tech University, Houston Airport System, Stanford University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City, the Polsinelli Collection, Morgan Stanley San Francisco, the Nicolaysen Museum, UCLA Hospital Santa Monica, Denver Children’s Hospital, the City of Houston, Intercontinental Exchange Atlanta, Vail Industries Chicago, and Fidelity Investments in Boston and Denver.
"There is an awkward tension, a sense of familiarity, and an odd balance in the compositions. I’m looking for a particular rhythm, a clumsy formality that seems almost tender. Moving towards sensation, subject matter is pushed out and an experiential sense of space fills the gap left behind. I am determined to pull a non-existing image out of thin air using a vocabulary that is not about language and by complicating the relationship of foreground to background, alluding to a distinct presence, my own experiences are inserted”.Kate Petley