Kate Levant was born and raised in Chicago, and it is with great pleasure that moniquemeloche announces her first solo exhibition in her hometown. This body of work is comprised of the artist’s latest material investigations into the functioning of objects and their properties. She asks much of her materials, to be at once legible, coded, and acted upon, but also asserts that they are indifferent to her physical control over them as they become art objects. Her relationship to objects (that at times may stand in for bodies) is charged, sometimes violent.
“When I step away from the work I am making right now, the applied treatments appear to pronounce a raw kind of struggle with the physical properties of the materials involved. It all seems stressed. While this way of working is common for me (a kind of default manner of visual/physical activity), I think I’m Letting things disturb me a bit more right now…
The material, the substances and subjects themselves, seem to be what has the whip in them. Of course I am working ON them, transposing material through these corrugated surfaces, slides, flaps and folds; but I seem to need to alter my role each instant: content provider or shield, inspector or sieve, reactor or reactor, etc. I don’t feel in charge of the dynamic.” – Kate Levant artist statement 2013
This agonistic relation to materials is complicated by the artist’s first-ever use of objects traditionally designated as “feminine” (hosiery, earrings, etc.). Her new body of work shows a fresh approach to negotiating gender codes and working with readily available “poor” materials. The exhibition as a whole presents a slice of time like one of the raw, glossy snapshots in her installation, a moment frozen and extracted from her intensive studio process.
Kate Levant (born 1983 Chicago, IL, currently lives and works Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is currently in her second year as artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie. Her work was featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial and included in other group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (upcoming); The Island, organized by LAND /OHWOW Flagler Memorial Island, Miami;St. Joost Akademie, the Netherlands; Center for Creative Studies, Detroit; and Frontroom Gallery, Cleveland to name a few. Her most recent solo show at Zach Feuer Gallery in NY opened only a week before Hurricane Sandy. Levant earned a BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and an MFA at Yale University School of Art where she received the Susan H. Whedon Award in 2010.