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"Lustrous Lines" Metalpoint Exhibition
Booth Project: Gaston Ulgalde & Kate Kretz
Milestones: Textiles of Transition
Fiberart International 2013
"Adornment", Selections from the Belger Foundation
"From Lausanne to Beijing" International Biennial Fiber Exhibition
Questions of Identity: Who What, Why We Are
Scope Art Fair
Berliner/Liste Contemporary Art Fair
Campaign Re/Form: Artists Reimagine the Election Process
Eudora Welty Symposium Four-Person Exhibition
"This and That: Unconventional Selections From The Permanent Collection"
Solo Exhibition: "This Sharp World"
SELECTED CRITICAL REVIEWS
"With a bluntly primal wit, Kretz claws at the guts......"
Kate Kretz creates a poetic space in which tenderness and fear can confront one another. It is an absolute dedication to the threat of uncertainty through handiwork, and achieves the consistency of an art that protects life itself."
Kate Kretz embroiders pillowcases with eyelashes and human hair... the result is both delicate and creepy...
Few acts of sexual and romantic love are as oppressive and shocking as Kretz's triumphantly perverse sewn tributes to maternal overinvestment.
"The paintings of Kate Kretz.... have the power to stop people in their tracks."
A reverence, a quiet bubble of awe, is experienced upon viewing her work."
Kate Kretz's needle art is amazing. And I mean that literally. When I look at her work, my mouth falls open and I go into a kind of trance, enthralled by her concepts and captivated by her exquisite technique." - Denise Felton, CRAFTGOSSIP.COM
Kate Kretzs paintings are explorations of identity in various states of extremity, symbolized by the often dramatic or downright lurid effects of light (These effects, incidentally, are what distinguish Kretz as an exceptionally promising younger artist.)
Lush and luminous, paintings by Kate Kretz speak of dreamy nighttime worlds alive with possibilities and portents. Beauty Wrest is her show of painstakingly, immaculately crafted oil paintings....
Powerfully resonant and enticingly complex, Kretzs paintings are crafted - one might almost say wrought - with an exquisite detail that draws the viewer in, unfolding before the viewers gaze, and only with an investment of time and effort....
Kate Kretz... known for labor-intensive art of intellectual heft.
"Kretzs work is decidedly literary... everything plays against other elements and viewer expectation and experience to create stories capable of penetrating the television-addled consciousness of contemporary viewers.
"It's unusual in this TV/Internet/YouTube age for a painting to captivate the nation, but that's exactly what Kate Kretz did with her piece, 'Blessed Art Thou'... "
With the skill of a Caravaggio and the mindset of a Gloria Steinem, Kate Kretz paints disturbing images of the emotional life of women.....
Edgy, seductive, work of a most unusual artist.....miraculous beauty.... How typically clever of the artist to take a conventional genre and turn it upside down. But then there is cleverness throughout this welcome exhibition.
"Kre(n)tz traffics in the unspoken and unacknowledged, even the private thoughts that can be our own undoing..."
The erie glow that emanates from so many of the canvases...is a result of being raised on a regimen of Catholicism and Technicolor movies. Its an odd but apt convergence of influences, with the conflicting impulses of the Vatican and Hollywood coming together to create the emotional turbulence and instability that always seem to lurk just below the deceptively calm surfaces of Kretzs images.
Tableaux as portentous as ones assembled by David Lynch; details of light and shadow combined with dramatic elements of color and composition...
"Kate Kretz...wowing viewers in a variety of media, from oil on canvas to sculpted bas-relief encaustic to embroidery. Her obsessive, detail-oriented images pull us into their magnetic orbit."
"Kate Kretz's paintings are amazing. Realistic and phantasmagoric, she details every inch of the canvas with ardent descriptions of past and present. Her palette is spectoral and the images she paints in both oils and acrylics show her mastery of the craft."
"Kate Kretz's solo exhibition was another display of her impressive work... her work in two & three dimensions is highly taut with emotion that is complex and sensitive."
"These astonishing "pillow drawings" are as affecting for their execution as for the way they unblatently describe a psychological maelstrom."
Complete reviews and downloadable catalogs are on the Reviews page.
The most recent work produced can alwaysbe viewed here, on Flickr.
A new, comprehensive book of Kate's fiber work is available in hardcover, softcover, and e-book form at: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/3428016/fbc6e8b61b9c1b797345225e8de46e1e5f37f1e9
Kate's paper and powerpoint presentation, "The Last Art Taboo: Identity Politics of Motherhood" was delivered at The National Textile Society's Symposium in Washington, DC, on September 20th, 2012. The powerpoint is now available for viewing on Youtube.
This Sharp World...," a solo exhibition at Hardcore Art Contemporary Space, up through July 7, 2012, was reviewed in El Nuevo Herald, and has been featured in The Huffington Post, CraftGossip, Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery, Craftzine, Quigley's Cabinet, and Berthi's Textile Collection Blog in the Netherlands. The show was an Editor's Pick on Flavorpill, and was Art Circuit's Critic's Choice-Best Picks of Summer 2012. A virtual walk-through of the exhibition can be found on Flickr.
Kate's work was featured in the Dec 1st, 2011 issue of "1626", a Chinese street fashion magazine.
Kate's work was included in the documentary, "The Second Tear: Kitsch" for NDR/arte German Public Television, directed by Tink Diaz of Tag/Traum Filmproduktion.
Kate's hair embroideries will be featured in a new foundations textbook, "Foundations, The Fundamentals of Art and Design", to be published by Pearson Prentice Hall Press in Spring of 2013.
Kate's painting, "Blessed Art Thou", was exhibited at the Art Miami Fair, January 5-8, 2007. The painting was covered by over 130 news sources, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, The International Herald Tribune, and the New York Times. Complete list of press coverage for the painting is here.
Kate is currently working in her studio full-time in the Washington, DC, area, giving lectures & critiques as a visiting artist at various universities.
One of the functions of art is to strip us bare, reminding us of the fragility common to every human being across continents and centuries. Often, I will meet someone, and the visible weight of his or her life becomes almost unbearable to me, it rips me open. The objects that I make are an attempt to articulate this feeling.
I give birth to the tactile as I am swallowed by the virtual. I obsess over craft as our world becomes disposable. I wield emotion in its messiness because it's uncool. I work until my hands shake, because the world does not care.
I am banging my head against the wall, but the stain is beautiful.
Kate Kretz grew up in upstate NY, and spent several years living abroad in France, first at age 9, then again at age 18. She earned a Cours De La Civilization Française certificate at The Sorbonne and a BFA at the State University of New York at Binghamton before receiving her MFA from University of Georgia.
Kretz’s work has appeared in over 95 international newspapers and has been featured repeatedly in the New York Times, ArtPapers, Surface Design, Vanity Fair Italy, ELLE Japon, and PASAJES DISENO magazines. Her controversial painting “Blessed Art Thou” appeared in hundreds of international news sources, and continues to be published in university textbooks worldwide.
Exhibitions include the Museum of Arts & Design, Van Gijn Museum, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Wignall Museum, Katonah Museum, Frost Museum, Fort Collins MOCA, Telfair Museum, Fort Lauderdale Museum, the Museo Medici, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, as well as Lyons Wier Ortt & 31Grand Gallery in NY, Chelsea Galleria and Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami, and Packer/Schopf in Chicago.
She has received the NC Arts Council Grant, The South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, The Florida Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Millay Colony Residency. After working as an Associate Professor and BFA Director at Florida International University for ten years, she relocated to the Washington, DC, area. Kretz currently works in her studio while giving workshops and lectures at various universities.