work : work
12.14.14 — 01.25.15


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

Katy Cowan’s contribution to work:work is a series of new sculptures that are meant to comment on the particularities of the exhibition space. Her interest is on how one’s understanding of the artwork is shaped by their materials in conjunction with their placement. The work combines wax, concrete, ropes, steel, daylight, dye, ceramic casts, rebar, dead flowers, toes, fingers, outlets, stasis, noses, hands, love, two-by-fours, wood scraps, banana peels, electrical wire, time, hammers, space, weavings, quickness, gravity and extension cords. There is a constant regard to the humor involved in confronting a person’s physical space.

Cowan is as 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 viewers to question issues of 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 in Los Angeles. Her recent solo and two-person exhibitions have been at Cherry and Martin, Elephant Art Space and ltd Los Angeles, all in Los Angeles; and Green Gallery in Milwaukee. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at 321 Gallery in Brooklyn, The Torrance Art Museum in California, and Los Angeles Nomadic Division. Cowan lives and works in Milwaukee 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.

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