Tag Archives: Katherine Hattam

KATHERINE HATTAM’s “Backwaters” Opens at LUMA – La Trobe University Museum of Art in Australia

16 Sep

Congratulations to Morton Fine Art’s KATHERINE HATTAM for her 24 September, 2014 opening of Backwaters at the La Trobe University Museum of Art in Australia.

 

OPENING:  Wednesday 24th of September at 6pm.

To be opened by Cathy Leahy,

Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, NGV
Hattam Backwaters pr image

 

Katherine Hattam’s new series of works, Backwaters, examines the relationship between minor waterways and the sites in which they are situated, exploring how they have shaped the history and character of the diverse cities in which they exist; the Merri Creek in Melbourne, the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai. The resulting woodblocks, prints and collages reveal intriguing similarities between these disparate locations and the people who use them. Despite radically divergent national frameworks, each of these waterways share the power of perceived obscurity and the insignificance, disguising their important histories and places of cultural exchange.

Exhibition runs 22 September7 November

Curated by Anita La Pietra

 

LUMA | LA Trobe University Museum of Art

Glenn College, Kingsbury Drive
Bundoora Campus 3086
Mon – Fri 10am to 5pm

Australian artist WILLIAM MACKINNON reviewed by Alex Weinstein

9 Sep

The Speed of Light: paintings by William Mackinnon.

William Mackinnon’s landscape paintings portray the Australian terrain and the road laid upon it with ebullience, wonder and whispers, perhaps, of terror.

The artist makes paintings you can almost inhabit.

Mackinnon’s vision of the rural parcels around Melbourne captures the vastness of his domain in manners both terrestrial and emotional. But movement and displacement abound in his pictures too, conveying temporal urgency with stunning effect.

In day-lit long-range views of wooded cliffs along the sea, and racy snap shots from nocturnal car rides wrought with dazzling painterly invention and compositional risk, Mackinnon suggests the notion that the extraordinary abounds in the mundane and that the search for a perfect wave is not unlike the struggle to make a perfect work of art.

WILLIAM MACKINNON, "Crossroads"

WILLIAM MACKINNON, “Crossroads”

In Shoreham, 2013, imposing forests with trees like prison bars occlude the vista of a distant and lonesome cove flecked with hooded surfers, waiting for sets. The effect is both resplendent and chilling. In another work, Crossroads, 2013, headlights illuminate a solitary house, poised inches from a lost highway in an instant of hysterical oddness: this looming ghost house with Christmas lights dangling pell-mell, battered fence posts and a sad, leaning tree, all coming into garish focus across the windshield of the car you, the viewer, are driving. Conflicting, loaded messages abound here: is this a place to rest? Is this a place to die? Menace and welcome in equal measure; light and darkness showing and obscuring in equal measure.

These are key players in Mackinnon’s output: menace and welcome. His pictures read beautifully as maps of specific places and actual experiences but also speak so clearly to the universality of travel itself, with its conflicting emotions, drama and surprise. Many of his paintings are made from the perspective of a car’s driver, often at night, and the theme of locomotion, of movement itself, becomes a central one. Other times, the view is set back, almost idyllic: looking to the distance, through the trees at a possible destination. But the view is always interrupted by foregrounding trees and swooping valleys, larded with colorful, abundant distraction.

To move into the world is to find oneself elsewhere, redefined perhaps, by a new setting or a new set of circumstances. This is the backbone of travel and adventure and a wellspring for Mackinnon’s imagery. But he also courts this investigation and its potential prizes (and pitfalls) by taking risks with his compositions and handling his materials loosely. After all, the process of creating the painting is as much a journey as anything and Mackinnon clearly likes to go places. His paintwork recalls the fast and furious additive technique of current Euro uber-kunstlers Peter Doig and Daniel Richter but there’s also a joie-de-vivre in Mackinnon’s color that smacks more lovingly of David Hockney or even Henri Matisse. All are artists who’ve sought to advance their craft in terms personal and historical and here again Mackinnon is fighting the good fight: he’s done the reading and wrung his hands in the miasma of heady critical theory: studying in London (a bristling Art World capital) and completing a residency at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa Texas, (an American Mecca for the worship of Minimalism). But these scholarly experiences inform the work quietly. Mackinnon has an obvious gift for grand presentation and clearly wishes the work to speak for itself. It does.

 

The Dark.

Strange things happen in the dark and it’s the darkness that permeates many of Mackinnon’s best paintings. Mackinnon allows the dark real primacy. In his landscapes, blackened areas abound; often dominating his compositions and offering juicy counterpunches to the light-filled and boisterous passages where content is visible and real. In the blast of his headlights, the road dazzles with reflective markers, swooping passing-lane stripes and glowing, orange panels with arrows indicating a hard left turn to come. But beyond that, beyond the turn, utter blackness. The Void. Inky, fathomless expanses abut his lit areas with such sheer tension as to suggest potential doom or potential bliss. It becomes clear that these blackened fields are not really empty at all. No, Mackinnon’s “empty” spaces behave with all the fecund possibility – of bounty, of menace – that the imagination dares to ignite. Look into the dark spaces and there is nothing to “see” there, nothing is rendered, and yet all is perceptible. The dark stares right back at us, pregnant with the scary shit we cannot see. So while there is pictorial absence – blankness, depth, openness, what painters call “negative space” – this is also fertile acreage for great emotional density, as the viewer can’t help but load the space with content, expectation and possibility. The anti-void is what it has become.

 

The lightness of being.

In brighter pictures, cast in daylight, Mackinnon delights in exhibiting what lies at the end of his rainbows: waves. Surf spots: just beyond reach, behind trees, over hills, mighty and majestic. Immense waves loom in monolithic arcs recalling Hokusai’s brilliant woodcuts. Verdant hills and valleys flecked with light, undulate in and out of shadow, not unlike the sea itself, sometimes pictured in the distance. In the surfing paintings, the great expanse of the ocean (often rendered in stunning, curdled pools of poured pigments, surfers bobbing) quickly replaces the blackness seen in the road paintings as a cauldron of possibility. Vistas are perceivable here but this is the Ocean, with its own mysterious territory, moods and forces. And as all surfers know, once you are out there anything, anything at all, can happen.

 

Alex Weinstein

Los Angeles, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katherine Hattam’s essay “Counting and the Vulgar Reader”

14 May

To view available work by visual artist, KATHERINE HATTAM, please visit http://www.mortonfineart.com.

Katherine Hattam, "The Egoist"

Katherine Hattam, “The Egoist”

KATHERINE HATTAM

COUNTING AND THE VULGAR READER

“The desire comes first”. This phrase, one I read in a book about American artist Eva Hesse, explains most things in my life, and certainly why I decided two years ago, to call this exhibition Consciousness Rising, to create work springing from reflections on the 1970s feminism and the phenomenon of “Consciousness Rising” particular to that time.

I am revisiting and reflecting on that time, my education – literature and psychoanalytic theory disguised as political science – when I read texts like Sanity, Madness and the Family; The Divided Self; The Greening of America – now I physically cannibalize them to provide a grid over which to work, incorporating covers and spines.

Why look back now? Death – less importantly politics – watching Julia Gillard’s resignation speech, for all my criticism of her as leader, there was a huge sense of sadness. Certainly it was different being a woman as a politician – harder…I am not a political artist – that is where my drive comes from – so to death…Both my parents have been dead for years, changing me and the work. But it is the more recent and shocking death of my friend Diana Gribble that feeds directly into this work. It certainly raised my consciousness of mortality but it was her stories of the South Yarra women’s consciousness raising group in the 1970s, stories of young, mostly married women, awakened to the fact of living in a patriarchy and simultaneously – almost without knowing it – finding themselves out of their once happy marriages – she was fabulous talking about this, being funny yet acknowledging its significance, at the same time both mocking it and taking it seriously.

As I didn’t do it, my knowledge of “consciousness rising” is secondhand. I wasn’t asked – it was an urban thing and I was married at twenty, living in far western Victoria on a family property (that life less conservative than it appeared), where women were of necessity integral to the business and daily life, through it was assumed the sons would inherit the land. But, I was commuting to Melbourne University once a fortnight and reading various second wave feminist texts. In fear of ever being stuck at a cattle sale or outside the stock and station agents in town, I always carried a book, at times Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch or a novel, say Anna Karenina or Women in Love. We were reading of student unrest in The Uncommitted, about the personal being political, so I was, through my visits to university, in touch. Importantly, a friend, Winsome McCaughey emailed me information about WEL (Women’s Electoral Lobby) that, significantly, I chose not to act on.

Looking back, I see an intellectually sophisticated, but emotionally backward young woman, navigating my marriage, living in a place and a life more exotic and different than if I had gone to another country rather than to the country. Maybe I was too young; my friends who did join consciousness-raising groups are years older. However, talking about this with my sisters, it was perhaps more the legacy of my intelligent but anti-joining mother. Added to this, she was a Modernist, believed there was only good and bad art, not Women’s or Muslim, Gay or Indigenous art, and would have been horrified, mocked the idea of quota, affirmative action.

It’s taken me pretty much until now to disagree with her. Reading the essay on “consciousness rising” titled “The personal is political” in the 1960s pamphlet “Notes from the Second Year”, I now see what I missed. I get it – women told their personal experiences and, in the repetition, the similarity of experience came to realize that personal experience was political. In a recent lecture, Sophie Cunningham, publisher, writer and Chair of the Literature Board, listed damning figures in all the arts – portraying an extremely unleveled playing field – the visual arts being by miles the worst. She pointed me to the blog, “The Countess”, which does just that, counts. Two examples: 1) the 1986 Sydney Biennial had 50/50 male female artists – the Australia Council, for once, specified that the money would be given on the condition that this would be the case, the only time both things have happened – the numbers have never since been equaled. 2) of the two thousand works in the Kaldor Collection donated to AGNSW, two or maybe three are by women.

An erstwhile friend, a writer, a good one and amusing friend, a man who used to ring me to talk and gossip – it was always interesting and fun, but somewhere in these conversations, he almost directly, and I’m sure, unconsciously, quoted Mr. Tansey in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, saying, “Women can’t write and women can’t paint”. Eventually our friendship ended when we argued over the portrayal of an artist in a novel which enraged me, “That just wouldn’t happen”, I objected – (it annoys me when writers use the character of an artist to explore their own creativity and, unfailingly, get the details of the trade wrong). Hs reply was to call me a “vulgar reader”, a title I now wear with pride.

Morton Fine Art & *a pop-up project – “FAIR FOCUS” Opening Reception Photos

16 Apr

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A group exhibition of artwork by artists MAYA FREELON ASANTE, OSI AUDU, KESHA BRUCE, ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, NATHANIEL DONNETT, VICTOR EKPUK, KATHERINE HATTAM, WILLIAM MACKINNON, JULIA FERNANDEZ-POL and VONN SUMNER
April 4th, 2013 – April 27th, 2013

EXHIBITION LOCATION Gallery B 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E (across from The Original Pancake House) Bethesda, MD 20814

Join MFA & its mobile art gallery *a pop-up project for “FAIR FOCUS” exhibition in Bethesda

9 Apr

FAIRFOCUS web

FAIR FOCUS

A group exhibition of artwork by artists MAYA FREELON ASANTE, OSI AUDU, KESHA BRUCE, ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, NATHANIEL DONNETT, VICTOR EKPUK, KATHERINE HATTAM, WILLIAM MACKINNON, JULIA FERNANDEZ-POL and VONN SUMNER

 

April 4th, 2013 – April 27th, 2013

 

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Gallery B

7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E

(across from The Original Pancake House)

Bethesda, MD 20814

 

HOURS

Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 5pm

 

OPENING RECEPTION

Friday, April 12th from 6pm-9pm

*in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk

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Morton Fine Art and its mobile fine art gallery, *a pop-up project, are pleased to present an exciting exhibition of work by artists MAYA FREELON ASANTE, OSI AUDU, KESHA BRUCE, ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY, NATHANIEL DONNETT, VICTOR EKPUK, KATHERINE HATTAM, WILLIAM MACKINNON, JULIA FERNANDEZ-POL and VONN SUMNER.

The exhibition will be on display from April 4th, 2013 through April 27th, 2013. The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 12th from 6 to 9 pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Several featured artists will be in attendance.

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About FAIR FOCUS:

Morton Fine Art and its mobile gallery, *a pop-up project, bring “home” our national fine art fair booth to our regional DMV collectors.

 

The exhibition displays substantive, museum quality contemporary artwork promoted in MFA’s booths in national fairs including Houston Fine Art Fair (HFAF), Aqua Art Miami and Art Hamptons.
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MFA artists WILLIAM MACKINNON and KATHERINE HATTAM in Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery, Australia

15 Mar

Enjoy this impressive video about three generations of internationally renowned artists, William Mackinnon, Katherine Hattam and Hal Hattam. On display from 27 February – 21 April 2013 at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery, Australia.

The video documents the work and inspiration of all three artists and offers valuable insight into artistic process and the transference of creativity from generation to generation.

Morton Fine Art invites you to join us at AQUA ART MIAMI 2012

31 Oct

Contact Morton Fine Art for complimentary passes to this exciting international art fair!

Morton Fine Art at AQUA ART MIAMI BEACH Suite 216

19 Oct

 

FAIR HOURS:

Wednesday, December, 5 | 7:30-11pm | VIP Opening Preview Party (for VIP pass holders)

Regular Fair Hours:
Thursday, December 6: noon – 9pm
Friday, December 7: 11am – 9pm
Saturday, December 8: 11am – 9pm
Sunday, December 9: 11am – 4pm

Location:

AQUA Art Miami – Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Morton Fine Art will be located in Suite 216.

Aqua is located on Collins Ave, a short walk south of Art Basel Miami Beach, across from the Loews Hotel.

Featured Artists:

Maya Freelon Asante (Baltimore, b. USA)

Kesha Bruce (France, b. USA)

Rosemary Feit Covey (Washington, DC, b. South Africa)

Nathaniel Donnett (Houston, b. USA)

Victor Ekpuk (Washington, DC, b. Nigeria)

Julia Fernandez-Pol (St. Louis/Buenos Aires, b. USA)

Katherine Hattam (Melbourne, b. Australia)

William Mackinnon (Melbourne, b. Australia)

Vonn Sumner (Seattle, b. USA)

Preview the work on the Morton Fine Art website:

http://www.mortonfineart.com

Get to Know MFA’s Australian Artist KATHERINE HATTAM

3 Jan
Katherine Hattam with one of her latest exhibits, Federation Square. Photo: Angela Wylie

Katherine Hattam with one of her latest exhibits, Federation Square. Photo: Angela Wylie

Colours of the hectic city

Gabriella Coslovich for The Age, Australia

November 15, 2010

Katherine Hattam’s art is inspired more by places around Melbourne than by family friend Fred Williams.

ART has been an intrinsic part of Katherine Hattam’s life. Her father, Harold Hattam, was a leading Melbourne gynaecologist and art collector, who eventually gave up medicine, a profession he loved, to take up painting, whose call he could not resist.

His friends included some of Australia’s greatest artists – among them Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, John Perceval and Charles Blackman – whose work he and wife Kate collected long before it became fashionable. Indeed, it was Boyd who first noticed the remarkable talent of Harold’s daughter Katherine.

”I did these big black and white drawings in my bedroom and I can remember Arthur Boyd came to my parents’ house and he said, ‘Take her out of school’, and my parents both went, ‘No’,” Katherine says.

Not that she minded terribly much. Academically gifted, Katherine went to university and studied English literature and political science, developing a fascination with psychoanalysis along the way. Her love of art, however, never left her – and, unlike her father, she forged a career in it from the start.

Hattam is largely self-taught. She made and exhibited work for 10 years before starting a master’s in fine art at the Victorian College of the Arts. By then, she was 38, twice married and the mother of three.

Her work has been bought by significant public and private institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and Queensland Art Gallery. But Hattam still struggles with the ”impossible combination of obsession and self-doubt” that is perhaps the mark of an artist’s life. Her latest solo exhibition, which opened at the John Buckley Gallery in Richmond on the weekend, was 2½ years in the making, with plenty of ”duds” destroyed along the way. Experimentation and failure was a fundamental part of the process and led to a breakthrough – Hattam’s first exhibition composed entirely of paintings. About half are in gouache, a medium that points to the influence of her father and Fred Williams.

”As a teenager I went on several painting trips with my father and Fred Williams, to the You Yangs and outlying Melbourne suburbs. Both used gouache on paper to paint out in the landscape. Fred worked fast and with intensity, and I remember watching on a couple of occasions him hosing down one or two which he was not happy with when he got home,” she says.

Stylistically, though, the influence of Williams or her father is slight. Hattam’s paintings have more of a Matissean flavour, and this latest lot are so energised and vibrant, pulsating in glowing pinks, reds, oranges and yellow, that they caused one woman to remark how fitting it was to have a show about ”spring” now that the season had finally arrived in Melbourne.

In fact, the show is not at all about spring, but about Melbourne and is inspired by some of Hattam’s favourite places such as Merri Creek, Federation Square, Princes Park and the Tan track.

”I look at the show now and it looks like a celebration of Melbourne. I went for a walk last night at Princes Park, about seven o’clock, it was a hot, summery evening, I love that, where everyone is out exercising and you have all these amazing coloured clothes, socks, sneakers and caps.”

But the paintings are more than mere colourful landscapes. Hattam’s work is a mesmeric tapestry, hovering between the abstract and the figurative, and includes autobiographical elements and recurring symbols that speak of her interior world, and the tension between the domestic and artistic life.

The bright geometric patterns in the painting Federation Square (pictured above) allude not only to the square’s paving and facade, but also to a stained glass window at her sister’s home in Brooklyn, New York. Other paintings feature Hattam’s dogs Minnie and Olive, and her cat Melba – all three creatures are strikingly (and conveniently) black and white. As for the repeated image of the snakes and ladders board game, it’s a metaphor for the ups and downs of life.

About to turn 60, Hattam remains dynamic and questioning. She regularly attends the shows of younger artists whose works excite and inspire. Among them is her son, William Mackinnon, with whom she has collaborated in the past. Both of them feature in a group show opening at Utopian Slumps next week.

And yet, just as her parents had done with her, Hattam dissuaded young William from going to art school.

”I just think it’s too precarious a life,” Hattam says. ”I love the work, but I hate the precariousness.”

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/colours-of-the-hectic-city-20101114-17spu.html