Berman Gallery presents two Texas artists with contrasting views
Katie Maratta's favored media are Graphite, ink, and Pastel. Her
scenes taken from all over the state evoke a nostalgic sense of
traveling through the countryside. She says of her work, "My
subject matter is the Texas horizon. My pieces are typically 1
inch high and 4 feet long...Because the pieces can not be seen
all at once, the viewer has to 'travel' the work. What I like
about these pieces: They should feel cramped and crowded, but
they manage to convey a surprising sense of space. They should
be corny because they include elements such as windmills and cows
and pumpjacks, but in this small scale the cliché becomes
fresh again. They allow me to play with the notion of beginning,
middle, and end in new ways. They are, in fact, a basic geometry
lesson with the verticality of the viewer complementing the line,
squares, and basic shapes of the horizon and the pictorial elements
strung along it. They are powerful without being intimidating.
They are satisfying to do and satisfying to look at. They share
a quality with Chinese porcelain of the complete world that one
can hold in one’s hand." Maratta lives and works in
Twaddle's new work revisits imagery he first started using over
twenty years ago - pole-mounted transformers and the distribution
lines that run to and from them. In this new work, however, Twaddle
focuses on the lines themselves, and eschews charcoal, a medium
he used for 25 years, for the unusual and striking combination
of ink and coffee. In these drawings, Twaddle pours and "steers"
coffee over a light ink-wash ground, creating images that evoke
tangled tree limbs or shadows of the silhouetted black ink distribution
and telephone lines above. Twaddle describes his interest in the
distribution lines: "I love to drive down Houston streets
- especially at dawn or dusk - when the transformers and the distribution
lines and telephone lines are in silhouette. I'm constantly awed
by the variations of their unintentional beauty and lyricism.
They have a strong musical association for me, like some trippy
score that's been drawn in the air by an anonymous composer."
Twaddle lives and works in Houston.