Katy Moran’s abstract paintings conjure atmospheres—at times suggestive of landscape, still life, or figuration—through her exploration of form, gesture, colour and surface. While the legacy of Expressionism is evident in her painterly language, Moran’s work is firmly grounded in the materiality of painting as object. Her work has methodically concentrated on what kinds of alchemy can be offered up in the pre existing surface of the readymade—found paintings, frames, or collage—as it combines with her own mark-making.
Each painting in Moran’s new body of work for Modern Art is created on a found surface, an approach characteristic of her recent practice and found in different ways throughout her oeuvre. More often than not, these readymades are framed paintings, which Moran has reworked through her own vocabulary of gestural improvisations—smears, drips, or careful brushstrokes. At times, sections of the original surface are exposed; perhaps just a thin edge or small fragment, at other times it is the details of the original frame that endure into its new life. Akin to collage, this process of layering enlists the character of the found surface to create a poetic collision of forms, colours and textures. In her new body of work, Moran’s paintings traverse a vast terrain of moods. Her distinctive palette of understated tones is present in several works, while their neighbours radiate with fierce oranges and reds. Paint builds up into rough, gritty sections, or slides smoothly across a plane; sometimes both actions being present in a single work. In others still, pictorial surfaces are delineated to suggest perspectival space, paint is applied in ways that evoke photographic images, and colours come together to conjure bodies of water and landscapes.
at Modern Art, London
until June 18, 2022