P·P·O·W is pleased to host a conversation between painters Katharine Kuharic and Kurt Kauper in conjunction with Kuharic’s ongoing solo exhibition, The Foliated Room. Moderated by artist TM Davy, whose solo exhibition, Fae, is on view at Company Gallery through January 6, the conversation will explore both artists’ distinct approaches to image-making, shared affinity for multilayered symbolism, and interest in cultivating open-ended narratives through figurative painting.
Over the past three decades, innovative painter Katharine Kuharic has pioneered a genre of distinctly queer image-making that is both pastoral and pop. Eschewing various gendered historical tropes, Kuharic’s work conjures open-ended narratives, always insisting that things are different from what they seem. Emphasizing an individual aesthetic counter to the virtual realities of technology, Kuharic’s performative, labor intensive process necessitates an equivalent time-based immersion and emotional impact on the viewer. Her consistently multi-layered symbolism, hyper-realistic style, and highly keyed pallet, forms a dizzying yet incisive picture of America. Kuharic was born in South Bend, IN and completed her BFA in Painting & Drawing at Carnegie Mellon University in 1984. She has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad in solo or group exhibitions in Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Stockholm, London, and Amsterdam. Kuharic has been the subject of museum exhibitions at the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; the South Bend Regional Art Museum, South Bend, IN; the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; and the Portsmouth Museum of Art, Portsmouth, NH. She has been represented by P·P·O·W since 1994.
Kurt Kauper was born in Indianapolis, IN, in 1966, and raised in a suburb of Boston, MA. He received his BFA from Boston University in 1988, and his MFA from UCLA in 1995. He has lived in New York City since 1999. His figure paintings of historical and imagined people leave expectations unfulfilled and resist simple categorization. In contrast to his clear and precise articulations of form, Kauper's content is characterized by indeterminacy, unintentionality, ambiguity, fluidity, destabilization, strangeness, amorality, uselessness, and neutrality. He considers himself to be a formalist. Kauper has had solo shows at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, Deitch Projects in New York City, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions both in the United States and Europe, including venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Pompidou Center in Paris, the Kunsthalle Vienna, and the Stedelijk Museum in Gent. He has received numerous awards, including grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hammer Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Weatherspoon Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. He has taught at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Yale University, Princeton University, and the New York Academy of Art. He is currently a Professor of Art at Queens College in New York City. He will present his next solo exhibition at Ortuzar Projects in November 2024.
TM Davy is best known for his figurative paintings and pastels rendered in a luminous reality. Davy paints with light and shadow, centering relationships of love and self-realization. He often depicts the subjects of his work in intimate interactions, allowing the viewer to participate in moments of uncanny engagement. Davy's painting style is a virtuosic layering of radiant color and symbolic illusions of form. Believing that all of art history is the ground for a present understanding, Davy's practice connects with mystery, metaphor, and the metaphysical. For Davy, painting finds roots in a broader tradition of meditative corporal experience. His work often integrates breath-work, song, and experimental performance as extensions of his paintings. Davy's solo exhibitions include Fae, Company Gallery, New York (2023); TM Davy. Fire Island, Galerie Thomas Fuchs, Stuttgart, Germany (2021); Horses, Exile, Berlin, Germany; and 11R, New York (2017). Davy has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Perrotin, New York; Company Gallery, New York; CF Hill, Sweden; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Tate Modern, UK; X Initiative, New York; and Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo. Davy graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he now teaches. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.