Kathryn ArnoldArtist

San Francisco, California, United States
Artist Statement
Kathryn Arnold

Kathryn Arnold (United States) is an artist working primarily with painting. By applying abstraction, Arnold formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. Her work externalizes private processes of thought, highly subjective and unfiltered references to dream worlds. Her work urges us to renegotiate painting as being part of a reactive medium.

Arnold’s paintings feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise and complement art history. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, she creates intense personal moments masterfully created through rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer into an internally comprehensible narrative through spaces, fields of color and interpretive markings. Space becomes intuitive aesthetic power.

Looking at these works, as a non-literal analogy, is a bit like looking at Google Earth, a satellite vision of our human life, environment and experience. Walk up close to one of these paintings – very close. The physical experience is a defining moment. Art critic Dewitt Cheng refers to them as “…ambiguously horizonless, scaleless vistas…”. These vistas capture deep visceral experiences – one imagines the human touch, kinetic sensation, chaotic energy – a building, a destruction, a complex, bewildering space – and, at the same time, warmth.

Kathryn Arnold’s works typically do not reference recognizable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By rejecting objective truth and narratives, she creates a unique situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his/her own perception and has to reconsider predisposed positioning.

What Kathryn Arnold’s paintings look like:
The colors in Arnold’s paintings are variously jewel-like or subtly muted; the paint’s texture varies: drawing the viewer in as a crescendo builds and then diminishes. In Kathryn Arnold’s own words, ” I allow for intense optical mixing as the layers build up on each other with the translucent effects integrating both on canvas and in the eye. I build up the surfaces with marks. As I work, I notice a sense of personality and emotive nature developing and pursue it. Poetic gestures reveal the diaphanous character of thoughts and associations (processes of mind) in substantial and solid form..”

Selected Critics:

Raphael Rubenstein when writing on Kathryn’s work stated ” From Monet to Bonnard to Joan Mitchell, one of modern art’s most central traditions has been the color-rich painting that departs from the experience of landscape to travel the path to abstraction. Kathryn Arnold is clearly a vigorous inheritor of this tradition.”

Dewitt Cheng states about Kathryn Arnold’s works ” These field paintings oscillate between records of time passed creating such dense interweavings - … her profusely patterned surfaces, cross-hatching set free from representation, ask the engaged viewer to bring into focus the layers of visual cues and create totality from parts…”

Kathryn Arnold currently works in San Francisco.


Preludes January 2015 Kathryn Arnold With this selection of paintings I work with color and its relationship to space. I use abstraction, formalizing the coincidental and emphasizing the process of composing which plays a part in these seemingly random works. Private, unfiltered, highly subjective thought processes play about in the creation of these works which reference the world of dreams and illusions, experience and feeling. These paintings feature accidental and unexpected connections making it possible to revise art history yet also find ways to complement the past traditions. These works create surprising relationships, inventing ways of combining unrelated aspects. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, I create intense personal moments using sets of contrasts: rules/omissions, acceptance/refusal and the viewer suspends the use of logic as they enter in. My works do not reference recognizable forms but at times exchange inferences with real life (for example ‘Autumn’). The results deconstruct meaning – meaning is shifted and possible interpretations are multi-faceted. By rejecting objective truth and narratives I create a situation where the viewer confronts their own perceptions and has to reconsider visual experience. ‘Preludes’ are an ongoing series
Breaking Away

Date :

Medium : (Oil on Canvas)

Dimensions : 30

Availability : Yes



Kathryn Recommends

Ashley Gallman Williams believes in the power of the creative community. Her unique background combining art business and technology has given her extensive insight into the innovative methods that can be used when marketing to and for creative professionals. She began her career working in client development at international auction house Sotheby’s. She then became Assistant Director of Hawthorne Fine Art, a commercial gallery specializing in American paintings. Today, she is the Client Relations and Events Manager at website platform Wix.com, primarily leveraging the Wix Lounge, a free co-working, events, and exhibition space for creatives and entrepreneurs.
I am interested in employing the use of painting, drawing, writing, video, and installation in an effort to explore methods of curatorial process, arrangement, and display to investigate issues of collecting, ownership, site, and taste.
Having curated 6 shows and having the pleasure of working with The Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, I tend to embrace mature artists who have gone under-recognized and who work in non-traditional mediums, approaches or techniques. The story behind the artist and the art is important to presenting a body of work. Narrative and social engagement are the talents I to bring to a collaboration between myself and an artist or group.
MK Meador is a curator and arts organizer in Chicago, IL
I am thinking of the idea that, as the writer Vince Passaro put it, "every truth must be able to accommodate its own contradiction."

I am unstretching the paintings. And making books.

I have started to curate shows in order to better organize and understand my thoughts about painting/art, and to facilitate access to art being made by colleagues that I feel deserves a larger audience and closer look.
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