CATALOG ESSAY FOR KATY STONE’S SOLO EXHIBITION, FORCE FIELD, AT J. RINEHART GALLERY, SEATTLE, MARCH 2022
What follows is an excerpt from an essay that was originally printed in a beautiful hardbound coffee table book published by J. Rinehart Gallery in Seattle, Washington. This publication features full-page full color images of the artwork in Katy Stone's solo exhibition at J. Rinehart Gallery, Force Field, for which this essay was written. You can purchase your copy here!
Seattle-based artist Katy Stone is invoking the spectacular. Brilliant, layered, illusory landscapes vibrate along a horizon line. A scattering of sparkling dots creates ripples of concentric waves. Vaporous spheres and columnar prisms hover and shimmer in the expanse of white walls. None of these appear anchored in any way, even as they reveal their pins and armatures. Rather, their overlays and projections feel like holograms; catalysts for the permeation of light and color to interact across material and travel beyond it in unexpected ways. They amplify the relationship our bodies have in our place among them; but they also allude to our place among mountains, sunsets, planets, and the cosmos. We're in the midst of a force field, a site of attraction; the pull at the edge of an accretion disk. Illuminated and seduced by light, we imagine ourselves stepping into these fields to meet it.
I have long contemplated the space between the wall and the floor, forming a triangular position of infinite possibilities, as sacred and sacredly activated. What is placed there within, is magnified. What isn’t there, matters. These are spaces that hold light in a particular way. Depending on the space itself—its size, the light, or the time of year and the location of various windows—we will find an angled beam of sunshine, or a soft gradient of shadow. Katy Stone has often set her eyes and her work upon this sacred space to either hover expectantly above it or to point, if not literally pour down, to the floor where we stand. In each case, the work is a fluid offering of connectivity and the opportunity for meditative reflection, maximizing the potency of this space and our relationship to it. Our experience of observing the floor at all when looking at art is a reversal of what is normally prioritized in white cubes, our cathedrals of art. Looking down becomes a grounding and embodying experience, collapsing the division between the sacred and mundane. Work that references, employs, or otherwise activates the floor subverts the narrative to house divinity where we stand, instead. The space between the wall and the floor is an altar. When the space Katy activates is within this sacred altar of wall and floor, as it so often is, then the altar is where we effectively step into the field—the divine space of the painting.