Nina Johnson is pleased to announce Narcissus, an exhibition of new work by Katie Stout, opening with a public reception on December 4th (7-9pm), and remaining on view until January 6th. Across a range of functional objects, the Brooklyn-based Stout has become one of the most talked about designers of her generation. Whether working within the functional logic of lighting, seating, or shelving, or with mirrored or textile surfaces, Stout recasts the domestic world in her own, singular way—the effects being both absurd and abject, playful and sinister.
Stout’s recent work has engaged notions of coming of age. In Narcissus we find Stout’s girl turned into a woman, one who not only conveys her role in life through her material surroundings, but also in her ability to leave untouched that which is naturally beautiful. This exhibition takes a lurid approach to what is normally considered decorative architecture, re-thinking the female form through its role in classical objects of function; a Venetian Moore lamp, a stool, a vanity, a mirror, a chandelier and tapestry.
Stout’s furniture is haunted by the period pieces she took as inspiration, and, through embroidered bodies, the people that could have once used them. A group of stools are dispersed through the space. Each anthropomorphizes into a female form. One breastfeeds. The uncanny union of body and furniture speaks to the social power of domestic spaces, the power to, quite literally, shape the people we become. By holding up a smoked mirror to our familiar spaces, Stout replaces the known, communal world with one of individual fantasy.