GlogauAIR Winter Residency

Berlin, Germany. 2022.

Canadian artist Kate Metten came to Germany to further connect her phenomenological research in painting and ceramics to the Bauhaus school of Modernism. While at GlogauAir, Metten is generating abstractions that reaffirm Bauhaus Modernism while embodying contemporary ideas in neuroscience. As a neuro-divergent artist, she is interested in perception as the starting place for artistic inquiry. This body of work was sparked from a dialogue with neuroscientist Radoslaw Martin Cichy, professor at Freie Universität Berlin, discussing colour constancy, pattern recognition, retinal illusions and object recognition. Her approach activates readymade tubes of paint by layering transparent pigments within a grid structure so the colour mixes in the brain, rather than on the palette. She carefully plays with the indexical quality of both oil paint and clay to retain the intuitive logic of the maker’s touch; articulating a material language that demonstrates her dedication to craftsmanship. Metten’s ceramic sculptures are wheel thrown and use a potter’s vocabulary to invert our understanding of the vessel by creating objects that are at once familiar yet functionally ambiguous. She further connects her ceramics to the theme of perception by glazing her pots with Neodymium, a rare earth mineral used in cellphones that has colour changing properties; pale blue in florescent light and lavender in natural light, shifting in hue depending on time of day. This presentation of the still life and oil painting confronts the viewer with the conditioning of their own subjectivity.