Leila Heller is pleased to present Ripped Seam and Other Delights, the first solo exhibition in New York by San Francisco-based collaborative artists Kate Eric (Kate Tedman and Eric Siemens), on view at Leila Heller Gallery, located at 568 West 25th Street, from November 15 through December 15, 2012.
The husband and wife team takes turns painting layer upon layer of vibrant jewel-toned colors to create fantastical and dynamic large-scale paintings. These nature-inspired works transport the viewer to a surreal universe inspired by insects, volcanoes, sandstorms, dark galaxies, and the deep blue sea filled with flourishing algae and coral.
Kate Eric have collaborated since 2000, using their collective imaginations to produce magnificent and stimulating paintings. Over the years the subjects of their pieces have gradually shifted from dreamlike human and animal figures to ethereal molecular shapes. In this interconnected artistic relationship, the duo paint separately on large-scale canvases and work off of each others' progress in layers of trailing color and movement.
Since their earliest collaborations, their works have inhabited an uneasy, yet organic, realm. In their most recent series, Kate Eric depict the constant interplay between light and dark matter through images of slow morphing figures in a vast and cosmic environment. These representations reflect the artists' academic backgrounds in Science and Philosophy. Delicate, somber, and distorted shapes dwell in apparent stillness yet gradually move throughout Tedman and Siemens' imagined cosmos. The particles of tissue seemingly float into oblivion, but are in fact interwoven in unfolding stories that span multiple canvases.
The viewer is allowed to peer into this molecular scope of the world only to find himself lost in the vast, hollow, and disorienting oblivion. These works touch upon the ignorant state of humanity with regards to both the molecular and cosmic state of its surroundings. Kate Eric ultimately remind us of the futility with which we, as humans, engage in a constant attempt to control forces much stronger than ourselves.
As critic Doug McClemont writes in the exhibition catalog: “For the viewer, the experience is like being privy to a confounding, roiling incident. “We like to toy with the ability of people who are standing in front of a painting to identify what, precisely, is happening.” This effect is achieved because the compelling nature of the canvas arises not just from its color and movement, but the inescapable truth that the “stuff” is occurring in the gap between representation and abstraction. Not to mention the fact that background and foreground are in constant flux. The paintings have no beginnings and no ends. Crowds of anemone-like forms seem to rise up in protest at the bottom of the canvas entitled Ripped Seam on Bumblemarsh (2012), which emits simultaneous guises of being under sea and in outer space. Diaphanous appendages of fabric appear in the unique state of expanding while frozen into place. Delicate drips are choreographed to evoke otherworldly feathers—or is that a creature tied up with string?’”
About Kate Eric
Kate Eric is the collaborative identity of Kate Tedman and Eric Siemens; Tedman is from Oxford, England, and Siemens from Oregon. Since the two began creating art together in Barcelona in 2000, they have exhibited their work at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, as well as in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Dubai.