“Kate Petley: Signal & Marker”
an exhibition of recent monoprints
this online exhibition can be viewed at Artsy
Exhibition dates: December 6, 2022 – February 15, 2023
The twenty-seven works in Kate Petley: Signal & Marker are monoprints created at Manneken Press in 2022. These arresting images are a singular blending of 3-D and 2-D imagery, analog and digital photographic processes, and relief printing.
above: (l:) Signal #11, 2022. (r): Marker #8, 2022. Photogravure monoprints on Hanhnemühle Copperplate paper, 24.75″ x 20.25.
below: Signal #12, 2022. Photogravure monoprint on Somerset Velvet paper, 24.75″ x 20.25.
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 thinKate Petley
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.
P hotography plays an important role in Petley’s paintings, and to make the Signal and Marker prints she began in much the same way she would begin a painting: making simple, temporary objects out of cardboard and paper, wrapping the objects with gradient film, then staging and lighting them, and composing within the viewfinder of a digital camera before finally faithfully capturing the images. Through this process the humble sculptural forms are elevated to mythical proportions. These photographic images became the basis for copper photogravure plates made at Manneken Press which were hand-printed in black ink on paper. To these prints Petley added layers of color using relief printing and stencils, building layers of luminosity, subtle gradients and overlapping geometries to create a stunning series of related but unique prints.
Marker #9, 2022. Photogravure monoprint on Hahnemühle Copperplate paper, 24.75″ x 20.25″.
T he “Signal” and “Marker” prints are photogravure and relief monoprints. Each piece is unique, printed by hand using archival oil-based inks on Hahnemühle Copperplate, Somerset Velvet and Arches En Tout Cas papers. “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 blind stamp. Published by and available from Manneken Press.
“Signal” and “Marker” constitute the fifth project by Kate Petley published by Manneken Press since 2013. All of the artist’s prints can be viewed on the Manneken Press website.
About the artist
Kate Petley is an American painter based in New York. Collapsing the boundaries between photography and painting, Petley reframes the luminous surface via the ever-present backlit screen. She draws inspiration from sources such as portraiture, still life, personal experience, and the mechanics of visual perception. Ordinary materials like cardboard and paper are manipulated and placed within intensely lit arrangements that defy description. Indeterminate light sources illuminate vivid environments that question scale and orientation, using color and form to upend expectations of photographed reality. Sculptural shapes assume mythic proportions, acting within atmospheric backgrounds. Roughly handled, her constructed arrangements show signs of their making, with no attempt made to conceal their flawed surfaces. Petley’s longstanding commitment to experimentation and transformation as both process and content is offered up with imagery that generates complex reactions, pointing toward the artificial sublime.
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 holds 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.
above: Kate Petley signing prints at Manneken Press
below: An illuminating video of the artist discussing her work and process, produced for her recent exhibition at Robischon Gallery.