Kathleen Markowitz is a Richmond painter, whose complex, layered and faceted surfaces consider the energy in memory and evidence, weaving the intersecting paths of synapses into a loose and luscious textile. Markowitz's paintings often originate as personal and journalistic, but fluidly transform from the particular to the universal through her processes of interpretation, releasing the paintings outward from intimate titles into an inter- netting of universal experiences.
Deborah McLeod Chroma Projects Art Laboratory 2016
Kathleen Markowitz’s recent series are as much about engaging with nature as they are about engaging with paint on canvas. The impetus for these abstract works came, unexpectedly, from a backyard encounter between Markowitz and a toad: “I swooped him up. He rested easily in my open hand, one leg hanging between my fingers. It was then, eye to eye with that gnarly-skinned creature that I reconnected with the pulsing world,” she explains. Since then, Markowitz has related the physicality of art making—a longstanding focus of her work—to a tactile connection with the physical world. Many of her newer compositions are vaguely suggestive of organic, biomorphic forms, evincing her tendency to reflect on nature while painting. But Markowitz does not depict nature; rather, she captures and channels the energetic rhythm of the natural world. Her bold palette recalls “the riot of color parading on petals,” while her dynamic brushstrokes evoke movement and vitality. In the more gestural paintings, thin layers of pigment build upon each other to reveal the work’s history of creation. As a whole, this latest group of paintings invites viewers to meditate on Markowitz’s practice of art making, which, like life, is an organic and transitory process of renewal and becoming.
Page Bond Gallery 2015