KATHERINE HATTAM | Interlocutor Interviews

3 Dec


Dec 1

Exhibition Feature – STRANGE COUNTRY, STRANGE TIMES by Katherine Hattam at Morton Fine Art

Exhibition FeaturesVisual Artists

Photo by Jarrett Hendrix

Morton Fine Art is pleased to present Strange Country, Strange Times, a solo exhibition of paintings and prints by the artist Katherine Hattam. Incorporating literary and art-historical elements into her work, Hattam’s interiors offer materialist explorations of ultimately psychic space. The artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, Strange Country, Strange Times will be on view through December 20, 2022 at Morton Fine Art’s Washington, D.C. space.

The Pinch, 2022, 30 x 22 in. – Jigsaw woodblock print on paper – Edition 14/15
Strange Country, 2022, 30 x 22 in. – Jigsaw woodblock print on paper – Edition 4/5

Curatorial Statement by Amy Morton: 

Katherine Hattam is an internationally-renowned artist and recent finalist for Australia’s prestigious Archibald Prize. We have worked together for over a decade, so it is a great honor to be able to share so much of her incredible artwork in one exhibition, made even more special by the fact that Strange Country, Strange Times is Hattam’s first U.S. solo exhibit at Morton Fine Art and first ever solo exhibition in the U.S.

Hattam’s work is unmistakable. Brightly shaded walls and windows, collaged book spines and iconographic depictions of native Australian fauna and flora make up much of her painterly practice – a lifelong investigation with the domestic interior as its focus. She incorporates literary and art-historical elements, focusing on materialist explorations of ultimately psychic space. Acknowledging a centuries-long preoccupation with domestic space as both the imaginative location and societal bounds of female artistic production, Hattam conjures doubly imbued sites of domestic labor and imaginative longing, full of totemic kitchen tables and charged dining-room chairs. Although uniquely Australian, Hattam’s canon inspires and relates within a global feminist dialogue.

A Strange Country, 2022, 49 x 60.5 in. – Mixed media on linen
Perhaps, 2022, 21.5 x 25.5 in – Mixed media on linen

Artist Statement – by Katherine Hattam:

A painter and printmaker, my practice encompasses works on paper, collages and straightforward oil on linen. Since my mother—a great reader—died, I began to often incorporate books into my work, repurposing them to make a grid as the support in my paper or linen pieces.

The genesis of this exhibition, Strange Country, Strange Times, was the time of Covid and lockdowns. I created six new works during this period, stretching from 2020 to 2021. As an artist with my studio out the back of my house, I was fortunate in being able to work from my studio and—more than that—to revel in the time lockdowns opened up.

I found myself reflecting on the physical and geographic nature of my country, the islandness of Australia. Initially, this relative isolation protected us against the spread of the virus, but not for long. Nevertheless, it did make very clear what a strange island and what strange times that period was and is.

My Blue Pantheon, 2022, 30 x 23 in. – Oil on line
Love From, 2022, 11 x 13 in. – Mixed media on linen
Women’s Estate, 2022, 29 x 19 in. – Mixed media on linen
This Strange Island, 2022, 31 x 23 in. – Mixed media on linen

Strange Country, Strange Times will be on view through December 20, 2022 at Morton’s Washington, D.C. space.

Check out our coverage of other current and recent art exhibitions

All images courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist


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Available artwork by KATHERINE HATTAM

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