Kate Barbee


oil paint, cold wax, acrylic, quilt pieces, painted scraps, yarn, embroidery string, and oil pastels on canvas
60 x 48 inches

Kate Barbee lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, and received her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin, TX in 2017. Barbee’s practice is an interdisciplinary one, ranging across hand embroidered mixed media painting, collage, drawing, and sculpture. The inherent tension in her work is born from a flurried relationship to her body and her visceral power within it. Barbee’s densely populated paintings pulse with an energetic sexuality. Her subjects push and pull through a fractured composition—intimately spaced and dynamically posed, creating an energy and rhythm which forces the eye on a nonlinear journey throughout the canvas. Barbee’s figures reveal themselves slowly as they engage in activity, and emerge from the tactile, multi-hued, collaged, and textile-laden canvases which they populate. Her works harness an exceptional degree of emotional and sexual directness and figural distortion which abstracts the figures beyond recognition and distances them from the activities in which they are engaged. Every painting is a snapshot of the self, taken from an angle removed from the moment as if floating above or next to it—raw, naked, and dominant.

Works by Barbee can be found in the Hill Art Foundation, New York; Andrew Xue Collection, Singapore; and Danjuma Collection, London.

[excerpted from Kohn Gallery website: www.kohngallery.com]