Keltie Ferris

Keltie Ferris
River Run, 2019
Oil and acrylic on canvas in artist’s frame
83 x 63 x 3 inches
(210.8 x 160 x 7.6 cm)


Morán Morán is pleased to announce Keltie Ferris’ first solo exhibition at the gallery, titled RELIEF. This show presents seven new paintings, at various scales, that use acrylic and oil, spray gun and brushes, as well as erasure and impasto to create energetic abstractions. For this series, the artist completed each piece with a custom, hand-painted frame that physically and visually combines with the painting by way of gradients and color blocking. The frames also add a third dimension, attributing them with a hefty sculptural and object-like presence.

Immediately, the exhibition projects an expressive setting of ornament and flux. The dexterity and confidence of her sweeping, lyrical marks, which are either black or grey lines, mimic the appearance of pencil marks, and are literally composed of graphite dust. These marks feel spontaneous and quick, suggestive of water or sound waves. As a result, notions of movement, speed, and technology come to mind.

Between the French curve contours, Ferris builds-up thick areas of oil paint relief. However, just as she adds this dimension she redacts her process as well by wiping away areas of the imagery. The swath she cuts through the paint, via solvent drenched rag, gives an impression of weaving or carving while also exaggerating and complicating the relationships between figure and ground. Some of the impasto sections are tiled in a grid fashion that lend a mosaic feel but also one of contrast between structure and flow.

Consequently, the paintings in RELIEF form a group of muscular abstractions that vibrate with contrasts of medium application, color combinations, and compositional maneuvers. With each piece, Ferris lives somewhere in the middle of precision and intuition, calibrating the effects of various alterations that vacillate from subtle to shrill, but always manage to land solidly at a poetic, sculptural image.

A 200-page monograph with essays by Miranda Lash, Wayne Koestenbaum, and John Yau, featuring an overview of Ferris’ work, will be published in spring 2019.

Keltie Ferris, born 1977 in Louisville, KY, currently lives and works in Brooklyn and Woodstock, NY. She graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2004, and received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Solo exhibitions include *O*P*E*N at The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY (2018); [[[GENAU]]], Klemm’s, Berlin, Germany (2018); (F(U(T()U)R)E), Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY (2018); Body Prints and Paintings at the University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, Albany, NY (2016); Keltie Ferris: Doomsday Boogie at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA (2014); and Man Eaters at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO (2009-10). Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as: Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL; Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Houston, TX; The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN; and The Kitchen, New York, NY. In 2014, she received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting by the Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work is included in public collections at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Oppenheimer Collection), Overland Park, KS; The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; and The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY.

Feb 15 - Mar 20, 2019

937 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069