I use elements from my surroundings to produce gestural and metaphorical paintings that question and refigure familiar forms, focusing on topics such as spatiality, the natural world, organic systems, and gridded structures. Rendered in shades of blue with explosions of violets and yellows, layers of familiar shapes – often referencing the natural world – float above and below painted marks. I often build compositions in response to a grid, within which the shapes and marks push and pull against each other to dissolve hierarchies of space. Residue of forms and sketched lines remain as visible trains of thought, lending the finished paintings a nascent feeling of emerging.
My influences range from expressionism with its exuberant color and mark-making and a minimalist tradition with its subtle approach, frugality of means and attention to process. At the heart of the work is a desire to share a moment of transformation, reveling in the profound as an accumulation of ordinary, even overlooked, moments.
Katherine Keltner was born in Oklahoma City and raised in New York. She studied writing, critical theory, architecture and visual arts at Dartmouth College, Columbia University and American University. Her works have been exhibited in the United States and Europe including at The Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum of Art, Field Projects, Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning, and A.I.R. Gallery among others. Awards include fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale Foundation and the Chautauqua Institution. She is currently at work on an oral history and biography of the late art critic and historian Barbara Rose, for whom she worked, in conjunction with Les Archives de la critique d’art. She lives and works in Brooklyn.