Canadian artist Allison Katz is the subject of a major travelling solo exhibition now on view in London, where she has been based since 2014.
The critically lauded presentation opened in May last year at Nottingham Contemporary, an institution known for having its finger on the pulse, giving significant solo shows to the likes of Tala Madani, Sung Tieu, and Otobong Nkanga early in their careers.
At Camden Art Centre—another institution with a penchant for highlighting major talents at defining moments in their careers—new paintings and ceramics encompass the past 18 months of Katz's practice.
Though the works are in a sense figurative and representational, any explicit, overarching meaning is foregone in favour of metaphor, wordplay, and allusion.
It is a conceptual and often irreverent practice that keeps the viewer somewhat at arm's length. Yet, there is also a charm to the artist's idiosyncratic language and use of motifs, particularly in her series of still-life 'portraits' of cabbages (2013–present) and a group of works painted seemingly from the perspective of tongues, peering out at the world from open mouths.
With over ten years of exhibiting around the globe, including the Kunstverein Freiburg in Germany in 2015 and at the MIT List Visual Arts Centre in Massachusetts, USA, in 2018, Katz's first institutional solo exhibition in London signals ever-increasing interest in her work.
Since 2020, Luhring Augustine have joined her list of co-representatives, with a much-anticipated solo show in New York hopefully just around the corner. —[O]
Main image: Exhibition view: Allison Katz, Artery, Camden Art Centre, London (14 January–25 March 2022). Courtesy Camden Art Centre. Photo: Rob Harris.