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Kate Russo

July 17 – August 9, 2014

Terrain no.1, 2014
Stage no.3, 2014
Stage no.2, 2014
Stage no.1, 2014
Ruthless Ornamentation no.4, 2013
Ruthless Ornamentation no.3, 2013
Ruthless Ornamentation no.2, 2013
Ruthless Ornamentation no.1, 2013

FOLEY gallery is delighted to debut a series of new drawings by artist Kate Russo.

Russo’s work considers the ability of color and pattern to tell a story; to create setting, atmosphere and dialogue within each work.  Using the gridded lines of graph paper as her template, she makes repetitive markings with colored pencil, expressing the relationship between color and obsession; personality and memory.  Her work is fundamentally inspired by art historian Briony Fer’s essay, “Drawing Drawing: Agnes Martin’s Infinity,” in the book 3X Abstraction.  “Everything is in the interval,” Fer argued, “Imposing such limitations like the grid allowed the artist, Agnes Martin, to play with the infinitesimal differences within it.”

In Russo’s Stage series theatrical design is referenced, announcing the anticipation of performance.  The pronounced grid can be looked at as a “ready-made” environment.

Drawings from Ruthless Ornamentation reference atmosphere and setting but in a very claustrophobic and chaotic style.  This series is derived from and inspired by a quote from Shirley Jackson’s The Bird’s Nest.  Jackson describes domestic interiors and explains their relationship to the characters that inhabit them.  Russo’s work includes a nervous energy with her mark-making technique, enabling her to capture both pleasure and intensity in a repetitive motif.

Russo’s additive drawing process allows an on-going pattern to form.  Each new color introduces another simple layer creating the complex overall arrangement.  She is often inspired by domestic design sources and carpet patterns.  Her ornamentation opens a narrative quality to her otherwise abstract drawings, presenting the viewer with a familiar form, enabling a comparison to their own memory. 

Katie Russo lives and works in Portland, ME.  She holds a B.A. from Colby College and an M.F.A. from The Slade School of Fine Art, London, U.K.  She has exhibited throughout England and Maine including a recent solo exhibition at Aucocisco Galleries in Portland; 2013 NN Contemporary Biennial in Northampton, UK, and The Ogunquit Museum of American Art; The Center for Maine Contemporary Art Biennial 2012 and the Zeitgeist Art Projects Open in London, 2012. 

Settings will remain on view through August 9th.  FOLEY gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm.  To request images; please contact the gallery at 212.244.9081 or