Kiki & Me

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© Courtesy of the artist & Wallspace Gallery
Kiki & Me

619 W. 27th St.
New York, NY 10001
September 9th, 2011 - October 22nd, 2011
Opening: September 9th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

(212) 594-9478
Closed as of August 2015
photography, installation


Wallspace is pleased to announce Kate Costello’s second solo exhibition at the
gallery, “Kiki & Me.” An opening reception for the artist will be held on Friday,
September 9th from 6–8 pm. A new text by Gabriela Jauregui has been written on the
occasion of the exhibition.
The exhibition’s title refers to Kiki de Montparnasse, the famous Parisian artist,
model, performer and muse to many artists, Man Ray among them, whose name became
synonymous with bohemian Paris in the twenties and thirties. “Kiki & Me,” includes
three distinct but interrelated bodies of work that engage the relationship between
artist and muse, architectural space and fantasy, and viewer and subject.
Upon entering the gallery, visitors proceed through a large metal archway that mimics
an existing structure in the gallery, a vestige of its former use as a turn-of-thecentury
terminal warehouse. Designed for installation in the gallery, Costello’s
structure is built using the same materials and methods as the original architectural
form, preserving details that allude to function, to work, and to a past linked
inextricably to production and commerce. The replication of the object and the details
of its construction draw the visitors’ attention to the interaction between the
existing architecture and its history and to the object, and then to their own
presence and relationship between the two as they enter the space.
A set of photographs document performances staged by the artist in her studio with
nude models posing in front of painted backdrops conceived for each interaction. The
performances are collaborations with the models, and the photographs reflect the
interactions between the artist/director/photographer and the subject(s)/muse(s). The
photographs point to an historical timeline through the quotation of pattern, palette
and pose, while the more organic, performative qualities of Costello’s process infuse
the images with a psychological tension and uncertainty, merging a static art
historical lineage with an improvised theatricality.
A third group of works are prints made from segments of drawings culled from the
artist’s sketchbooks—notes and figures used in preparation for the backdrops that
frame the photographs. Copied, cropped, enlarged, stripped of color and outputted
through a screen-print process, these notational sketches become fixed and monumental,
pointing to the unstable and ever-shifting state of images and the viewers
relationship to them.
Kate Costello (b. 1974, Newfane, VT) lives and works in Los Angeles. Past exhibitions
include “Making Do,” curated by Robert Storr and Sam Messer, Green Gallery, Yale
University School of Art, New Haven, CT, “THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles,”
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA and a recent billboard project for LA><ART, Los
Angeles, CA. She will have a forthcoming two-person exhibition opening at The
Suburban in Oak Park, IL on September 18th, 2011.