Katina Huston Biography
Katina Huston is a mixed media visual artist working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a B.A. in the History of Fine Arts from New York University and earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California.
Ms. Huston's work is represented by Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, Chase Young Gallery, Boston. Her art is in the collection of the San Francisco Fine Art Museums, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Wynn Casino Collection and Visa International Collection, Charles Schwab Collection, Ritz Carlton, Denver, Grand Hyatt, New York, Yale University Gallery, New Haven, Ct.
Ms. Huston's articles and reviews on contemporary art have been published in Artweek, New Art Examiner, Ceramics Monthly, New Mission News, Art and Conversations, Sgraffitto and Visions, Art Quarterly. She is currently on faculty at California College of the Arts in the graduate fine arts area.
Katina Huston Statement
Artist Statement I wanted to make shadows tangible; flat rubbery forms that I could peel up from the ground and slap on the wall, sticky and abstract. I could make lots of them and pile car shadows up like so many pancakes, fifteen feet across. They seemed ideal byproducts of life; vital and mundane. Setting out to capture them, my plan instead inspired a system for making. In a nutshell, I tried to draw in sunlight but the shifting sun forced me to chase the the forms across the page in skittering lines. Instead of capturing forms, I diagrammed fruitless human endeavor. Eleven years in, I am still using this process to generate drawings. Now, in the studio I hang an evocative but common object from the ceiling, shine a light through it and work the resulting shadow in ink. Years of looking revealed forms sharp to diffuse. In turn I had to modify materials to meet new visual criteria. I mixed and evaporated inks to capture a range from crisp black to so light you can't quite see it, just feel it there. These spaces could be rendered in colorless medium which, because of its viscosity, pushed neighboring pigment into recesses, bleaching white its path. In this way, materials take on a life of their own. Contour lines dry quickly and when filled, serve as channels, directing pools of ink to flow through the drawings. The pools bubble and dry leaving marks like geologic forms from evaporated lakes. The source objects of these drawings are essential and meaningless. They have to be so complex that they exceed my skills compelling pursuit and invention from me. There is a whole separate world in shadows. A form can be utterly familiar while completely unrecognizable. I choose objects that are intimate and figurative in nature; a horn, a bicycle, a wheel, a glass. While this is simulacra; generating an object from an image of the thing rather than the original, it is not mediated. A shadow is anti-iconic and distant cousin to its source object. So when viewing the drawings people often respond from body memory rather than intellect. On the one hand, I am fascinated to watch a viewer squeeze his hand when seeing a handlebar brake. On the other hand I have been caught in many discussions about derailleurs. As with the passing sun, I use repetition in the studio based drawings. One wheel drawn over its previous iteration fractures and erases the previous. This mimics how the mind manages new information, adjusting or eliminating previous knowledge to form a compatible understanding. Or, proves the Post-Modern theory re: loss of meta-narrative; knowledge is not cumulative as wheel upon wheel upon wheel becomes an intangible blur not a comprehensive whole. Or, even, like a kid with ADHD taking notes at a lecture trying to get everything down ends up with pages stuttering full of sentence starts, meaningful in form but empty in content. The nature and subject of my inquiry shifts with each new drawing. Many use the tone of shadows to examine the space between the intimate object (this is my glass, I hold it in my hand, I got it from my family; which holds experiences and relationships.) and, the simple mundane object that is a glass. Kenneth Baker has written about my work â€œshe has piled up shadows...to create pictorial structures that wink with recognizable details but finally force the eye to surrender to their sheer graphic brilliance.â€? Katina Huston was born in San Francisco in 1961. She was trained in the History of Fine Art at New York University by an amazing group of scholars; Janson, Rosenblum, Varnedoe, Edward Sullivan, while learning a half dozen computer languages, now obsolete. Her art has been the subject of ten solo shows in the last half dozen years, brought her work to Japan, Sweden, Italy. Her drawings are widely collected from the San Francisco Fine Art Museum, Yale Museum of Art, to Steve Wynn's collection at Wynn Casino Las Vegas. Ms. Huston currently lives and works in Alameda, California and around the world.