Have you ever made a pros and cons list? Or if you’re real neurotic like me, an excel spreadsheet, Venn diagram and brainstorming web in order to figure out where to go for dinner? The ways we try to map out and navigate our lives (the big decisions and the little encounters) become beautiful, quirky abstractions in the mind of Katie Walker. In her new show here at Art & Light, Notes to Myself, Walker shares with us the process of translating reality and memory into visual maps for reference and reflection.
Like a stenographer she has a shorthand of shapes and colors that perform like players on a stage. They act out a tense conversation or a hilarious dinner party. Before looking to the title for hints at a meaning you are struck by the movement and energy of each painting. These are stories. I mean, they are her stories and we’re not going to get a whole lot of details from that rectangle or those lines, but she still perfectly conveys the feeling.
Walker’s work is a synthesis of pure energy and detailed construction. Like Helen Frankenthaler’s work, the canvases record her movement. This fluid and organic part of the process speaks to the living part of memory. It changes, it twists and is never static. But as she builds upon this foundation, she is constructing how she chooses to define that memory and how it will affect her. Some imagery gets completely blacked out or maybe just obscured by 200 precisely drawn charcoal lines. Others are highlighted, encircled and notated. The end work may not be a concrete plan, but it is a blueprint to reference going forward.
We are going to kick this show off this Thursday, November 17th from 6 – 8pm. Come to decipher and decode or bring your own story or simply sit back and bask in the brilliant colors at play. Katie Walker’s new works are sure to speak to you.