Commonweal could not be happier to launch our second gallery year with two of Philadelphia’s most talented emerging printmakers, Kat Richards and Todd Stong in an exhibition titled LAND•PRESSURE•BODY. Their monoprints (“one-off” prints which are unique) will be the focus of an exhibit that explores the queer body and embodied queerness from Friday, September 9th through Saturday, October 15th.
The opening celebration will take place on Friday, September 9th from 6p – 9p. There will be a press preview preceding the opening celebration from 5p – 6p.
About the Artists:
Kat Richards (b. 1991) has developed their own monoprint stencil technique wherein they reimagine the body by conceptualizing it in parts, creating an index of abstract and fragmented shapes. The shape used to suggest a leg or mouth may also describe a finger or nipple. These ambiguities gain meaning through their contextual placement and elicit the question: what part of the body is being viewed, and what is its function?
For LAND•PRESSURE•BODY, Richards worked with this index which allowed them to distort, collapse, and queer the figure and its parts. Mimicry of the digital space – a location of ambiguity itself – plays an important conceptual role and is attained through using traditional inking methods to create a gradient that imitates a digital surface and simultaneously abstracts the image. Replicating this realm in real life acts as a metaphor for queer assimilation, protection, signaling, and community.
Richards recently completed a residency at the Women’s Studio Workshop. They have been an Artist-Resident-Residence Fellow at Anderson Ranch Art Center, Vermont Studio Center, and Queer Material Labs. They have exhibited work nationally and internationally in locations including Ladies Room Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA, Mount Analogue Gallery, Seattle, WA, and 5-50 Gallery, Queens, NY. They have been visiting artists in several institutions, including the University of the Arts, Parsons School of Design, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Kansas City Art Institute. This fall, they will be included in exhibitions at the following museum and galleries The Momentary, Bentonville, AR, Charlotte Street Gallery, Kansas City, MO, 550 Gallery, and Queens, NY.
Todd Stong (b. 1991) creates prints that combine both traditional printmaking and drawing skills to develop queer figurative narratives. His images and the stories within explore violence, boredom, and desire as they muddy the waters of art history, sexuality, White identity, and ecological collapse. Combining researched subjects and whimsical fantasy with art historical forms and motifs, Stong’s work asks viewers to consider how they navigate the hierarchical and collectivist systems that are part and parcel to the production of the western cultural canon.
For LAND•PRESSURE•BODY, Stong has created a series of works set on a mountainside, which use inclement weather conditions and the earth’s fertility as metaphors for a queer exploration of race and equity. The characters that populate Stong’s world are subtly implicated in the causation of an avalanche, while also rolling the snow away to allow the earth’s verdancy to return.
Stong has recently returned to Philadelphia after a year at Temple Rome where he completed his Masters of Fine Arts at Temple University. He has exhibited extensively in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the past 5 years, and in Berlin at Galerie im Körnerpark. He has been the recipient of a number of grants, awards and fellowships including the Ann Belsky Moranis Award from Brown University and a Ruth Katzman Fellowship at the Art Students League Vytlacil A-I-R. A participant in the Post-Graduate Apprentice program at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, he has also attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Centers, CAC Woodside, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He will exhibit work at the New York SPRING/BREAK Art Show with Libby Rosa in their two-person show, The Cardinal’s Invitation.