Philip Martin Gallery is pleased to present, “FIGURETHROUGHCONTOUR, DRIFT," an online exhibition of new works on paper by Berlin-based artist, Katy Cowan. The rich surfaces and deep spaces of Katy Cowan's works-on-paper explore color, line, shape, texture and pictorial volume.

Katy Cowan writes about her new works, “For this exhibition, I have focused on the figure. The figures I am referencing are drawn from the stone figures that populate the parks and streets of Berlin. The figures, and the landscapes that they live in, carry so much movement and mood; these figures fluctuate, drift through, hide, make themselves known, and, importantly, are never constant. In conversation with these figures, landscape is central to the way in which I have made these pieces; winds shift, water reflects, and clouds move in and through the figures on the pages.”

In these works, Cowan notes, "The buildup of oil and spray paint, the absolutely dense layers of graphite that shimmer in and out of comprehension, and the toothy surface of the paper challenges readability. Like my metal works, these drawings go in and out of abstraction to representation. And, like the stone walls and figures here in Berlin, contours emerge, faces appear, and layers of color conceal those very forms. The history of this place finds space on these drawings, and the fluidity of my observations spills out onto these compositions.”

Concerning color and the sense of pictorial space in her works on paper, Katy Cowan suggests that “Color has a profound effect in these pieces - not just in its application, but its reference. Emerging from the colors of Berlin (particularly the graffiti-covered walls) the juxtaposition of neon marks against dreary buildings and skies - the dripping colors from spray cans and text - pull out the contours of the walls and sculptures that lay beneath. It's as if images bleed through layers of color and history, and I have been paying particular attention to this in the studio.”

Katy Cowan (b. 1982, Lake Geneva, WI) received her BFA from University of Puget Sound (Puget Sound, WA) in 2004; and her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA) in 2014. Katy Cowan’s work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at Miles McEnery Gallery in New York. Cowan was recently featured in the group exhibitions, “Pocket Universe,” at Philip Martin Gallery and “Soulscapes,” curated by Uwe Henneken at Meyer Riegger (Berlin Germany). Recent museum and gallery exhibitions include “Lines of Thought: Gestural Abstraction,” Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA); “Selections from the Permanent Collection,” Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI); “From the Collection of Anonymous,” North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Fork, ND); and “as the sun chases the unfurling fray,” Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). Cowan’s work has been been the subject of solo and group institutional exhibitions at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles,CA); University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison, WI); Synchrotron Radiation Center (Stoughton, WI); Poor Farm (Manawa, WI). She has had solo gallery exhibitions at The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI); Document (Chicago, IL); Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY); Fourteen30 Contemporary (Portland, OR). Cowan’s work is in public and private collections such as Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara,CA); (Milwaukee Museum of Art (Milwaukee, WI); Minneapolis Museum of Art (Minneapolis, MN); North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Fork, ND); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Art in Embassies (Maputo, Mozambique); and Northwestern Mutual Insurance (Milwaukee, WI). Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Wallpaper*, Contemporary Art Review LA, Artnet and other publications. Cowan lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Katy Cowan's exhibition is online June 21 - July 5, 2023.

Philip Martin Gallery is open Wednesday - Saturday 11-5 and Tuesdays by appointment. If you might like to visit the gallery on a Tuesday, please email info@philipmartingallery.com, or call  (323)-507-2037, as it is likely we can accommodate your visit.

The gallery is located at 3342 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles CA 90065. For additional images or information, please call 323-507-2037, or email info@philipmartingallery.com.