Kate Klingbeil: Thick

February 17 - March 26, 2017

CRUSH CURATORIAL Chelsea is pleased to present “THICK” new work by Kate Klingbeil, opening February 17th from 6-8, and running through March 26th, 2017. 

As a constant observer and an American woman, Kate Klingbeil has borne witness to a tremendously affecting, and undeniably bizarre, sociocultural harvest. Events of recent years have spawned mutations, and necessitated antiserums. When pressed by need, women inhabiting this present moment have shed idealism, grasped onto anger, and allowed vulnerabilities to calcify into something less permeable. With THICK, our world is revealed, through Kate’s textures, color, and figurative representations, to be an organism buckling beneath a powerful and insidious toxicity. When we view Kate’s paintings, this is what we see: curtains pushed aside reveal a scene of Boschian chaos and vivid life. 

Her new work reflects the unspooling, almost psychedelic horror of our predicament, and calls attention to the voice that describes the scene: bell-clear, shattering. These bitter fruits could be seen as the only gifts 

that come from hitting rock bottom. (During toxic times, the greatest mercy can be that equalizing hum that settles when denial and disguises are thrown out, their efficacy used up.) 

Vulnerability, both revered and destroyed, is among the themes that this collection of work holds aloft as offerings. The generosity of women, the fallibility of love, and the constant interplay between craving and toxicity- like a flower that you cannot help but eat, some oleander that will not be refused- we see women who cannot help but love, even when their freedom, their very bodies, are surveilled and controlled. Kate’s depictions of carnal desire, intimacy, and the determination to pursue pleasure are revolutionary in this context: every woman depicted, a revolutionary following her own inclinations. 

Kate’s usage of paint and texture highlight that contradiction of womanhood- those cosmic twins, sustenance and poison. We are offered an unending stream of illusions and lies: designed to sedate us, and so appetizing, one can almost taste them. This is the nature of our hour on earth: needs that are torn down the middle, strength made profound by fragility. And always, the knowledge that oppression summons forth great rage, and ultimately, a greater and wilder freedom. 

—Allison Hummel, writer 


Kate Klingbeil (b. 1990) is a multi-media artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work investigates self acceptance, relationship dynamics, and questions ideas of ownership placed on women's bodies. Her work combines printmaking, animation, sculpture, and ceramics. She graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in printmaking in 2012 and has attended residencies at ACRE projects and Kala Art Institute. This is her first solo show.