Kate Shepherd. Battlezone
11 Jan — 17 Feb 2017 at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco, United States
Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by New York based artist Kate Shepherd. Titled Battlezone, the show foregrounds a new method of composition in Shepherd’s work. Known for her complex networks of delicate lines rendered on highly reflective surfaces, this new work shows Shepherd materially reinterpreting her production. In place of her signature brushwork, these new paintings exploit marks made with transferred inks.
Shepherd’s work is marked by an extreme economy of means, which she exercises to make paintings that fluctuate between two and three dimensions. In the past, this dynamism was achieved with complicated systems of geometric patterns, or wireframe renderings of architectonic space. The paintings in this exhibition rely instead on vertical and horizontal lines, occasionally gridded, whose compression creates deep and shallow space.
To make these paintings, Shepherd laid inked sheets of vellum onto panels of highly saturated industrial enamel, and used an awl to transfer lines of ink. The imprecision of this strategy produced interference patterns, spectral marks that appear to hang in perspectival space, like clouds of smoke rising from the horizon.
Battlezone also debuts a new floor-based sculpture. On a ground of the same reflective enamel used in her paintings, Shepherd placed four pieces of candy cast individually in precious metals: silver, bronze, rose gold and brass. They float above their ghostly reflections, recalling the inky dots registered on her paintings. Taken together, these works describe vistas on the verge of fleshing themselves out, their development suspended in favor of formal rigor and linear concision.
The title of this exhibition, Battlezone, refers to an early arcade game that featured green and red wireframe graphics on a black ground, drawn in one point perspective. Shepherd borrows and builds upon this reductive visual language to make images in dialogue with the palette, taking part in its nostalgia, its graphic relation to night-vision, and its references to battle.