Starting work on some new drawings….
ABOVE: Crack in the Real, 2013.
Installation view of solo exhibition at VAN HORN, Dusseldorf, November 8 - December 21, 2013.

Starting work on some new drawings….

ABOVE: Crack in the Real, 2013.

Installation view of solo exhibition at VAN HORN, Dusseldorf, November 8 - December 21, 2013.

Review in the March/April 2014 issue of FRIEZE D/E 
A new discourse is developing in contemporary art. It is one that, on the surface, concerns itself less with ideology than with evolution, less with language than with material structures, less with subjects than with objects. In Germany, it could be seen in the group show Vom Eigensinn der Dinge at KAI10 in Dusseldorf, as well as at the recent solo shows by Timur Si-Qin at the Bonner Kunst­verein and Anne Pöhlmann’s exhibition at Clages in Cologne. In Crack in the Real, her impressive fourth solo show at Van Horn, Katie Holten made an important contribution to this developing movement, giving much needed warmth to intrinsically cold matter.
One might say that Holten was one of this trend’s first protagonists. From her earliest works in 2003, Holten has consistently engaged with the material structures of the world around her. The central premise throughout her oeuvre is that culture and nature aren’t all that different; that we may examine civilizations in terms of nature – and vice versa.
In Crack in the Real, Holten used drawing to explore the unexpected similarities between man-made constructions and natural phenomena. Entering the gallery, two large chalk and acrylic paint drawings on black canvas – Constellation (Earth at Night: The Midwest), 2013, and Constellation (Earth at Night: Germany), 2013 – gave the impression of having entered a planetarium. Starscapes dotted across the canvases, cluttered in mysterious constellations, brightly illuminating the dark space around them. The works’ titles, however, made clear that these were not telescopic images of the milky way but drawings of satellite photos of the Midwest and of northern Germany. A reversed play on the imagination was present in the titular piece Crack in the Real (2013), where kitchen mould takes the appearance of impressive roadmaps, networked and elongated, with thin lines travelling from concentrated node to node.
What made the show so compelling was the craft that had gone into these works. Intricate composites of white charcoal, chalk and oil stick on black canvases, the pictures were painstaking drawings of photos. This tactic was an interesting one: drawing as an art of extraction, carefully teasing out the lines of whatever it is you are putting to paper, as opposed to the photograph as an instant copy, demonstrated the artist feeling out, by hand, the hidden patterns or codes imbedded in the natural world – the crack in the real. To attempt something so grand and ambitious, not with mathematical formulas and computerized algorithms but through the humble, personal form of drawing, was a moving gesture.

—by Timotheus Vermeulen

Review in the March/April 2014 issue of FRIEZE D/E 

A new discourse is developing in contemporary art. It is one that, on the surface, concerns itself less with ideology than with evolution, less with language than with material structures, less with subjects than with objects. In Germany, it could be seen in the group show Vom Eigensinn der Dinge at KAI10 in Dusseldorf, as well as at the recent solo shows by Timur Si-Qin at the Bonner Kunst­verein and Anne Pöhlmann’s exhibition at Clages in Cologne. In Crack in the Real, her impressive fourth solo show at Van Horn, Katie Holten made an important contribution to this developing movement, giving much needed warmth to intrinsically cold matter.

One might say that Holten was one of this trend’s first protagonists. From her earliest works in 2003, Holten has consistently engaged with the material structures of the world around her. The central premise throughout her oeuvre is that culture and nature aren’t all that different; that we may examine civilizations in terms of nature – and vice versa.

In Crack in the Real, Holten used drawing to explore the unexpected similarities between man-made constructions and natural phenomena. Entering the gallery, two large chalk and acrylic paint drawings on black canvas – Constellation (Earth at Night: The Midwest), 2013, and Constellation (Earth at Night: Germany), 2013 – gave the impression of having entered a planetarium. Starscapes dotted across the canvases, cluttered in mysterious constellations, brightly illuminating the dark space around them. The works’ titles, however, made clear that these were not telescopic images of the milky way but drawings of satellite photos of the Midwest and of northern Germany. A reversed play on the imagination was present in the titular piece Crack in the Real (2013), where kitchen mould takes the appearance of impressive roadmaps, networked and elongated, with thin lines travelling from concentrated node to node.

What made the show so compelling was the craft that had gone into these works. Intricate composites of white charcoal, chalk and oil stick on black canvases, the pictures were painstaking drawings of photos. This tactic was an interesting one: drawing as an art of extraction, carefully teasing out the lines of whatever it is you are putting to paper, as opposed to the photograph as an instant copy, demonstrated the artist feeling out, by hand, the hidden patterns or codes imbedded in the natural world – the crack in the real. To attempt something so grand and ambitious, not with mathematical formulas and computerized algorithms but through the humble, personal form of drawing, was a moving gesture.

—by Timotheus Vermeulen

Installing at the 1st Bienal de Arte Cartagena in Colombia. February 7 - April 7, 2014. Photo by Mauricio Rodriguez.

Installing at the 1st Bienal de Arte Cartagena in Colombia. February 7 - April 7, 2014. Photo by Mauricio Rodriguez.

My current solo exhibition at VAN HORN was reviewed by Andrea Gyorody for ARTFORUM -
At first glance, Katie Holten’s six large-scale drawings on canvas and four smaller drawings on paper aim to reassert the medium’s vital relationship to nature—a historical bond that has been largely subsumed over the past century and a half by the ever-evolving medium of photography. While the stark black-and-white palette of Holten’s drawings hint at their mediation by photographic images, these works are magnified and fragmented such that they obscure their real-world references. Constellation (Earth at Night: Germany. Satellite image source: NASA Earth Observatory) (all works cited, 2013), for example, is a drawing of a blown-up satellite photograph of the earth; the clusters of pinpoint “stars” are in fact bursts of electricity from streetlights, cars, neon signs, and domestic interiors, recorded from outer space. The photographic image, as Holten has rendered it, captures detail so fine that the resulting index subverts its purpose, allowing us to mistake an alienating representation of our man-made world for that of distant nature. Holten’s drawings are far more arresting and far less dangerous than the infamously misinterpreted satellite images of silos purportedly containing nuclear weapons in Iraq, but they hint at the same potentially troubling disjuncture between photographs, what they depict, and how they are interpreted.

What is perhaps the strongest work in the show, however, translates one of Holten’s own photographs into drawing, to very different ends. From The Library of Clouds is an oversize black canvas with a massive cloud at its center, turning in on itself with a movement that expresses intense inner turmoil. The work’s title points again to photographic mediation and the archival impulse, but the cloud’s atmospheric quality of coming-into-being, recalling the portraits of Eugène Carrière, offers a poetics that exalt the inimitable power of the drawn image, even—or especially—when a photograph lies hidden behind it.
http://www.artforum.com/picks/section=de#picks44268

My current solo exhibition at VAN HORN was reviewed by Andrea Gyorodfor ARTFORUM -

At first glance, Katie Holten’s six large-scale drawings on canvas and four smaller drawings on paper aim to reassert the medium’s vital relationship to nature—a historical bond that has been largely subsumed over the past century and a half by the ever-evolving medium of photography. While the stark black-and-white palette of Holten’s drawings hint at their mediation by photographic images, these works are magnified and fragmented such that they obscure their real-world references. Constellation (Earth at Night: Germany. Satellite image source: NASA Earth Observatory) (all works cited, 2013), for example, is a drawing of a blown-up satellite photograph of the earth; the clusters of pinpoint “stars” are in fact bursts of electricity from streetlights, cars, neon signs, and domestic interiors, recorded from outer space. The photographic image, as Holten has rendered it, captures detail so fine that the resulting index subverts its purpose, allowing us to mistake an alienating representation of our man-made world for that of distant nature. Holten’s drawings are far more arresting and far less dangerous than the infamously misinterpreted satellite images of silos purportedly containing nuclear weapons in Iraq, but they hint at the same potentially troubling disjuncture between photographs, what they depict, and how they are interpreted.

What is perhaps the strongest work in the show, however, translates one of Holten’s own photographs into drawing, to very different ends. From The Library of Clouds is an oversize black canvas with a massive cloud at its center, turning in on itself with a movement that expresses intense inner turmoil. The work’s title points again to photographic mediation and the archival impulse, but the cloud’s atmospheric quality of coming-into-being, recalling the portraits of Eugène Carrière, offers a poetics that exalt the inimitable power of the drawn image, even—or especially—when a photograph lies hidden behind it.

http://www.artforum.com/picks/section=de#picks44268

Infinity Field (All I Need), 2013
White charcoal, chalk, and oil stick on black primed canvas, 230 x 150 x 2 cm.

Infinity Field (All I Need), 2013

White charcoal, chalk, and oil stick on black primed canvas, 230 x 150 x 2 cm.

A set of hand-drawn ceramic dinner plates made in collaboration with Nicholas Mosse Pottery for Feast Together at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin on November 13, 2013.

A set of hand-drawn ceramic dinner plates made in collaboration with Nicholas Mosse Pottery for Feast Together at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin on November 13, 2013.

Crack in the Real, 2013, white charcoal, chalk and oil stick on black paper, framed 78 x 63 cm.
From solo show at VAN HORN, Nov 9 - Dec 20, 2013: http://www.van-horn.net/exhibitions/current.html

Crack in the Real, 2013, white charcoal, chalk and oil stick on black paper, framed 78 x 63 cm.

From solo show at VAN HORN, Nov 9 - Dec 20, 2013: http://www.van-horn.net/exhibitions/current.html

 - the show’s installed + ready for the opening tomorrow -
VAN HORN PRESENTS KATIE HOLTEN
CRACK IN THE REAL
NOVEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 20, 2013

OPENING FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8, 7-9pm

 - the show’s installed + ready for the opening tomorrow -

VAN HORN PRESENTS KATIE HOLTEN

CRACK IN THE REAL

NOVEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 20, 2013

OPENING FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8, 7-9pm

You are cordially invited to the opening of my solo show at VAN HORN in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday November 8th at 7pm.

You are cordially invited to the opening of my solo show at VAN HORN in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday November 8th at 7pm.

A found drawing - Autumn in New York, September 2013

A found drawing - Autumn in New York, September 2013