|BRIAR ROSE BIRTHDAY oil on canvas|
|FISHERMAN'S WIFE Oil and charcoal on canvas|
|FITCHER'S FEATHERED BIRD (with eggs) Oil/alkyd with paper and small objects on canvas|
|FROG KING Oil/alkyd with paper and small objects on canvas|
|TALES FROM THE GROUND UP Oil/alkyd with paper on canvas|
There is a narrative aspect to Katherine Ace's paintings that does not stem solely from the fact that many of them are based on the tales of the brothers Grimm. It's rather that they function in very much the same manner as the stories. By juxtaposing unexpected and often improbable elements they create associative possibilities that encourage interpretation and meaning. Although some of the paintings have clearly illustrative aspects, picking specific visual imagery from the source material, illustrations usually interpret a text more literally. But underneath the literal imagery of folktales lies a bottomless well of meaning. As the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim pointed out in his book "The Uses of Enchantment", the message of a fairytale may change many times even for a single listener or reader depending on age and experience. Each story is so loaded with images and ideas that one must construct a relationship between it and one's personal experience in order to develop an interpretation. Interpretations will vary as widely as the audience. Ace's paintings work much the same way, attempting to trigger a kind of narrative instinct. A painting cannot tell a story on its own, being only a static image frozen in time. But stories bloom in the minds of human beings like wildflowers in spring. We dream them. We select moments in our past and ignore others in order to create stories about who we are. Stories define us. At their root, and at the root of all language, and possibly human consciousness itself, lies metaphor. Science is mankind's best tool for creating and discovering knowledge about the world around us. But far older, metaphor, in the guise of language, art and stories is how we create and discover knowledge about ourselves. These are the kind of paintings one could live with for a very long time, allowing their meaning and interpretation to slowly evolve and grow.
There are a lot more to look at on her website. Although there is no easy browsing through the images they're worth the extra little effort.
In other news: I'd like to apologize for the huge delay. Unfortunately I will be gone most of August so don't expect new posts then either. After that, we'll see. I want to continue the blog but may change it in some ways. Maybe add some interviews? Maybe more thematic posts featuring multiple artists. I'm not really sure. But thanks to everyone who's enjoyed following along.