Artist Katie Bell’s Showroom is a halted display of constructed and abstracted space. With fundamental knowledge in drawing and design, Bell expounds with a painter’s sensibility and a fascination for high and low relief sculpture. She layers raw materials in ways reminiscent of applied paint and builds environments that are energetic and directional. That visual language nods to the dynamism and movement of the Italian Futurists and the action and color fields explored by abstract expressionists.
Bell was born in Rockford, IL in 1985. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She thinks of her Brooklyn studio as a “collection site” and a place to ruminate on visual and physical relationships. Since her work is an elaborate mix of found objects, fabrication, and deconstruction, she scavenges for materials in building site dumpsters and at recycling centers. She uses these cast-off materials to explore the concepts of taste, prosperity, and contentment. She is captivated by our relationships with our man-made surroundings and how we use faux finishes and veneers to cloak reality.
The Trustees of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial are proud to present the work of 2016 Fellow Katie Bell.
Bell makes sculptural paintings by constructing found materials scavenged from construction sites, craigslist listings, and anywhere common building materials are disposed of. She appropriates these materials into her pieces, combining the actions of sawing, tying, stacking, cutting, with paint strokes and splatters to create elaborate sculptural constructions that are energetic and directional. Bell is interested in how we relate to our man-made surroundings, and how the history of these materials fits into our visual language. She explores scenarios in which the artificial and natural occupy the same space or are confused, investigating how we use faux-finishes and veneers to cloak reality.
Bell has exhibited work extensively in a variety of venues, was an artist in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Space Program, and was awarded a fellowship in painting by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Bell received her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
The publication for this exhibition: 2017 Katie Bell