Katie Sehr creates work that has an allure which is not immediately easy to understand. Drawing with a complexity that shares a kinship to an object reality more emotionally connected to painting or sculpture.

Drawing is wonderful, like a solo in a musical composition – paired down with no space to hide – the line is naked. In juxtaposition to the orchestral reality of painting in which a completely covered surface allows the occasional stray stroke to hide. Sehr’s work occupies the space with the sensibility and full lushness that one associates with painting, but doesn’t provide itself with an exit option of layered hideouts.

Space or where the line is not creates an optical depth that normally is tangible with sculpture – providing a dimensionality. Our eyes move around finding pockets and mounds, but not the parlor trick of op art. Just as we find and define these spaces we are not able to escape the lines that provide their definition and then return to them as a track to follow.

On the pathway of the line, where does it start and finish, we try to keep up with or understand the code. At a point when we feel our most overwhelmed, getting to the ground of what we are experiencing, our mental agility tested, we reside in the place where the complete feeling resides. Arrival at an emotional space that is the liminal, neither here nor there, but is ours and shared with the artist. Being occupied by this moment of understanding we are presumably safe in what we see. It is at that moment, when most comfortable, our mind starts to notice the variation of density of the mark making and we return again, happily.


-Scott Propeack, Associate Director / Chief Curator at Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY