Exhibit Description: In a recent series of abstract paintings, artist Cat Gunn creates work which addresses notions of identity within the LGBTQ community that are androgynous, queer, non-binary, transgender, or gender-fluid. The aim of their exhibition “Pretty Boy” is to offer a deeply personal and poetic narrative of growing up, engaging in relationships, navigating the world, and coming into one’s own from a queer, non-binary perspective. As a painter concerned with materiality, the physicality of Gunn’s work largely revolves around the alchemy of the paint. The process involves creating paint from scratch and or manipulating it with various mediums and processes to break it down, change opacity and viscosity, adjust chromatic properties, and alter surface qualities. Through rigorous experimentation, that employs a scientific approach, the Baltimore-based artist often juggles multiple paintings simultaneously, marginally altering a property to study the outcome. Assorted recipes bring about diverse results, and the use of craft materials such as glitter recalls femme, makeup, club, or drag cultures, allowing the work to be a survey of potentially queer objects.
Paint mixtures and additives are layered over time, only to be smeared, scraped, and sanded, charging the work with a visceral energy that refers back to the physicality of process and the role of the body. Building up then erasing layers, Gunn creates a back-and-forth of additive and subtractive, an accumulation and a diminishing. Gunn’s work, both as physical objects and as windows into an illusionistic world, pushes notions of androgyny and queer, combining both masculine and feminine qualities that merge to establish something that is gender-neutral, gender fluid, transgender, or genderqueer. Hard edges flirt with expressive grounds and fields of color, creating an ambiguous space that is dizzying, strange, and dynamic in self-contained worlds made up of repeating stripes, gradated forms, twisted squiggles, and organic shapes. The quirky geometry and irregularity of patterns allow for vulnerable and imperfect moments, and are equally about sameness as they are about difference.
About the Artist: Cat Gunn is an artist living and working in Baltimore who identifies as non-binary transgender and queer. They create abstract paintings with layers of oil paints and mediums built up over time, using a variety of techniques to manipulate the alchemy of the paint. Gunn has recently exhibited work at Maryland Art Place Baltimore, MD, 40 West Arts Gallery in Lakewood, CO, Ashton Gallery in San Diego, CA, Da Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia, PA, and Cade Art Gallery in Arnold, MD among others. Gunn received a BFA in Painting from Towson University in Towson, MD and is currently working towards their MA in Art History. They also work as an art handler at Bonsai Fine Arts. To learn more about the artist, visit:
MEET THE ARTISTS RECEPTION
Saturday, January 11 | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. | FREE
COMMUNITY ART DAY
Saturday, February 1 | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Audience Participation Encouraged | FREE