Katie Stout: OlympiaDecember 4th, 2023 - January 6th, 2024
Nina Johnson is pleased to announce Olympia, a solo exhibition of entirely new works by New York-based artist and designer Katie Stout, opening December 4th in the Front Gallery. The exhibition is Stout’s fourth solo show with the gallery and her most ambitious yet, marking a new era for the artist.
Drawing inspiration from personal developments in her life—including the artist’s move from New York City to the countryside upstate, and the birth of her first daughter, Olympia—the works in the exhibition encompass bronze, glass, and ceramic pieces produced at an unprecedented scale, alongside a body of never-before-seen watercolors.
Stout is renowned for her singular aesthetic, often characterized by bold floral patterns and peopled with life-sized clay female figures holding lampshades above their heads. Her work as an artist and designer tows the line between the utilitarian and the abstract, and wryly investigates themes of form, function, and what is traditionally considered female.
In Olympia, viewers can expect to see a shift in highlighted characters: creatures often found in upstate New York, such as frogs, and dogs emboldened with nods to natural poisons and power, fertility and motherhood, and potential and luck.
This exhibition emphasizes the form of the vessel, featuring colorful structures melding metal, resin, and papier-mache in an exploration that the artist embarked on while pregnant, as she viewed herself as a vessel for another life. The vessels and jugs on view are also accompanied by functional furniture including dog lamps and chandeliers. Many works on view utilize a new technique in which the artist draws on historic, Victorian-era wicker furniture as a starting point for ceramics, and then fires the entire piece to construct a ghostly replica of the original object.
Of note in the exhibition are 20 new watercolors, a long time inspiration in Katie’s practice (not previously exhibited) many of which directly refer to sculptural works in the exhibition.
Olympia is on view through January 6th, 2024.
Katie Stout is regarded as one of the leading designers of her generation. Her works have been featured in T Magazine, the New York Times, Apartmento, Artforum and numerous other publications. Stout’s work can be found in museums and private collections across the globe, including the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY. Katie Stout’s first solo exhibition was in Miami with Nina Johnson (then Gallery Diet) in 2015.