Catherine G. Murphy Gallery opens fall exhibits September 8

"Thresholds," Melanie Pankau

Melanie Pankau's "Thresholds" is part of her exhibit in the Catherine G. Murphy East Gallery

The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University proudly opens its fall exhibition season with two shows by artists who explore the theme of creative process through abstract painting.

Chicago artist Caroline Kent is known for dynamic acrylic compositions that reveal an intuitive mark-making process. The Kármán Line, named after engineer and physicist Theodore von Kármán, commonly represents the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space. This reference to the crossing of territories relates specifically to the artist’s wall-sized paintings that, due to their scale as well as their scumbled, black backgrounds and their installation within narrow, niche-like walls, creates an alternate viewing space that invites physical, spatial and emotional interaction. Kent posits abstract painting as a site that can be enacted upon, and this exhibition explores a diverse art practice engaging that site through text, the body and performance. Kent is St. Catherine University's 2018 Amy Marie Sears Visiting Artist.

Melanie Pankau, a Minneapolis artist, makes pristine, geometric abstractions reflecting the role of meditation in her painting practice. Her small, acrylic on panel paintings invite intimate viewing and reveal the artist’s methodical hand. About her work, the artist writes: “I am interested in visualizing a contemplative consciousness and producing work that is laborious – embodying a deep, latent or durational sense of time.” In addition to her paintings, the artist will exhibit compositional drawings, color studies, palette records and other relics of the studio, giving viewers insight to her creative process.

These exhibitions are presented as part of a larger collaboration between Augsburg University, Bethel University, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and St. Catherine University in conjunction with the publication of Kenneth Steinbach's book, Creative Practices for Visual Artists (Routledge, 2018).

The artists will be present at the opening reception for both shows on Saturday, September 8, 4-6 p.m. Both shows will be available through October 20, 2018. All events are free and open to the public.

Catherine G. Murphy Gallery