Katy Cowan + Michael Milano

work:work
Katy Cowan + Michael Milano
December 14 – January 24, 2015
Opening reception: Sunday, December 14, 4 – 7pm

In the exhibition work:work, Katy Cowan has installed a series of new sculptures. Here, her interest is on the way in which one’s understanding of the artwork is shaped by the materials they are composed of in conjunction with where they are placed. Many of the sculptures are meant to comment on the particularities of the exhibition space; combining: wax, concrete, ropes, steel, daylight, dye, ceramic casts, re-bar, dead-heads (or, dead flowers), toes, fingers, outlets, stasis, noses, hands, love, two-by-fours, wood scraps, banana peels, electrical wire, time, hammers, space, weavings, quickness, gravity, humor, and extension cords. Her work is done with a constant regard to the funniness involved in confronting a person’s physical space.

Cowan is as equally interested in abstraction as she is in the ideas of labor and craft. She employs common building materials like concrete, steel and wood, as well as the materials and processes associated with craft, such as ceramics, weaving, and candle making. The collision of sculpted materials—both physical and conceptual—allows her viewers to question issues of both quality and quickness in making, and the assumptions regarding gendered symbols and processes. Much of her work addresses, in no determinative way, the contrasts between the notions of rest and work, labor and play, and presence and absence

Katy Cowan recently earned her MFA at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA). Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Cherry and Martin (Los Angeles, CA); Elephant Art Space (Los Angeles, CA); ltd Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); and Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); The Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); and Los Angeles Nomadic Division (Los Angeles, CA). Cowan lives and works in Milwaukee, WI and is represented by Cherry and Martin.

In work:work, Michael Milano presents new fabric-based constructions indebted in equal measure to abstraction and textile materials and processes. These works, motivated by a curiosity in making, reveal their own materiality and fabrication while oscillating between image and object. Milano combines a minimum of processes–such as folding, stitching, pressing, and piecing–seeking a studied simplicity that is responsive to the physical properties, and sympathetic to the social and historical connotations of the works’ subsistence.

Michael Milano is an artist and writer, living and working in Chicago. He received a MFA from the Fiber and Material Studies department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Humanities from Shimer College. He has shown at Roots & Culture, threewalls, Peregrine Program, Adds Donna, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, and has written for Surface Design, Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, and Bad At Sports. He is also a member of the artist collective/study/exhibition space ADDS DONNA.

  • Katy Cowan, Trace (2013)

    plaster, sun-sensitive paint on fabric, poplar, fabric dye, mirror shards, 44 x 24 x 8 inches

    image courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

  • Katy Cowan, Bananana (2014)

    ceramic, wood scraps, blue tape, woodworking screws, 16 x 8 x 1 inch

    image courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

  • Katy Cowan, Chain (2014)

    sun-sensitive paint on cotton, poplar, 23 x 18 inches

    image courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

  • Michael Milano (Triangles, 2014 )

    cotton broadcloth on canvas, 21 x 22 inches

  • Michael Milano (Soft Monochrome, 2014)

    pieced cotton broadcloth, batting, and pins on canvas, 33 x 36 inches

  • Michael Milano (Horizontals, 2014)

    cotton broadcloth and thread on canvas, 26 x 30 inches

  • Michael Milano (Untitled Stitch, 2014)

    thread on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

  • Michael Milano (Grid Grid, 2014)

    distressed cotton broadcloth and thread on canvas, 16 x 18 inches

  • Michael Milano (Stripes, 2014)

    pieced cotton broadcloth and thread on canvas, 23 x 25 inches

  • Michael Milano (Untitled, 2014)

    pieced, distressed cotton broadcloth and thread on canvas, 16 x 18 inches

  • Michael Milano (Dots, Shapes, 2014)

    printed cotton, batting, and thread on canvas, 13 x 15 inches

  • Michael Milano (Vertical Dashes, 2014)

  • Michael Milano (Dots, Fold, 2014)

    printed cotton and thread on canvas, 18 x 19 inches