Katy Stone | Force Field at J. Rinehart Gallery • Seattle, Washington

Wednesday, March 02, 2022 12:21 AM | Debbi Lester (Administrator)

Katy Stone’s recent body of work on display at J. Rinehart Gallery harkens back to the artist’s earliest work as an undergraduate. The exhibition is entitled, “Force Field,” and it brings together decades of her artistic explorations in both the small and large artworks. Viewers are immediately transported into the atmosphere: an otherworldly realm created by the artist that billows with artistic expression. The work is full of juxtaposition, but the expert hand of Stone guides the materials through each thoughtful step.

Stone reflects on how this group of artworks is a return to acrylic and Duralar; two materials that the artist is known for utilizing. The artist’s stainless-steel installations are instantly recognizable, but this exhibition features a softer, more ethereal side of Stone’s oeuvre. Tall strips of Duralar are attached to the wall with nearly invisible pins and appear to float on their own against the white wall of the gallery. Swells of blues and pinks evoke the sun as it sets behind the clouds, a quality that the artist describes as “atmospheric.” Stone is a master of color and layers, and the installations in this exhibition are no exception. The colors build upon one another, and the subtle movement of the material evokes clouds moving across the sky.

While Stone discusses returning to acrylic and Duralar, she also reflects on the importance of geometric abstraction in her work. This aspect is perhaps best seen in the smaller works in the exhibition. Their bold colors and structured compositions allow them to stand on their own in confident contrast to the installations. But even within these small, structured works, Stone manages to evoke movement and expression. The shapes contain flowing paint, and it is as if the artist has captured bubbling liquid within the picture plane. Each of these framed artworks is a world of their own. Glowing yellows are contrasted with a grounded landscape. The viewer is drawn into these dreamlike scenes by the force of Stone’s use of color and technique.

Katy Stone’s exhibition is a welcome burst of spring that also creates a moment for reflection, which is a welcome respite as the Pacific Northwest emerges from winter. As this writer reflected on the exhibition, the setting sun created blues and pinks in the sky above Lake Union. It forces you to take a moment to breathe and builds up excitement for the next moment of awe. 

Chloé Dye Sherpe

Chloé Dye Sherpe is a curator and art professional based in Washington State.

“Force Field” is on view through March 26, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.  at J. Rinehart Gallery, located at 319 - 3rd Avenue South in Seattle, Washington. For more information, visit www.jrinehartgallery.com.

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