“I want to give women an artificial perfume. Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something synthetic, that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a paradox, a composition.” –Chanel, on her intention when creating No. 5
Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by Allison Katz. In her first solo show in New York, Katz will exhibit works that challenge the notion of formal or thematic coherence, within the picture plane as well as across an artist’s oeuvre. Katz’s work refuses a narrative, rather presenting itself as both a process and a product of extreme jump cuts. In evading continuity, the artist suggests that while contradiction and painting are one and the same, this shattering of firm ground can lead to a form of generative jouissance for artist and viewer both.
“For a man of talent, he had very stupid likings.” –Proust, Contre Sainte–Beuve
There is no hierarchy in Katz's archive of glimpses: the poster from her previous exhibition, an oddly iced birthday cake, a Lehman Brothers' fireplace, Arthur “Boy” Capel's cologne bottle, or a plotless novel about medieval English nuns by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Each painting's autonomy mirrors the attitude of its respective components. The assemblage is a dispersed network, harnessed within the constraints of a frame.
For Katz, painting is a way to unravel the conceit of a consistent style, and its corollary, taste. A counterpoint use of color reflects her interest in hues a little bit acrid rather than pleasantly wholesome. While she is always curious about how two things that don’t belong together would look next to each other, even this – contra surrealism, say – isn’t a defining strategy. Rather, with every painting, the artist attempts to vividly begin anew: taking on different personas, acting out scenes of doubt or absurdity in a pastoral setting, and reflecting the condition of thinking opposing thoughts at the same time.
Allison Katz has exhibited her work in Montreal, Chicago, New York and Hamburg, Germany. She will have a show with Johan Berggren Gallery in Malmo, Sweden, in December 2010. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2008, and was a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant for that year. She lives and works in Brooklyn.