press release

Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 28, 6 pm

The New York Academy of Art is pleased to present the exhibition “Milkweed to Mercury: The Alchemical Paintings of Catherine Howe” from February 28 to March 26, 2017, with an opening reception on Tuesday, February 28, from 6 – 8 pm.

The exhibition will be a variety of experimental works initiated during the artist’s sabbatical year, featuring six large-scale paintings and an installation of smaller reverse glass paintings, in a variety of bold materials, including acrylic and mica pigment on glass. Lush and densely layered, Howe’s paintings overflow with sensuous color and ecstatic engagement, while forms from nature emerge from her expressionistic brushwork, balancing abstraction and representation.

Born in Western New York in 1959, Howe received an MFA from SUNY Buffalo in 1983, and later became the Associate Director at White Columns. She has been on faculty of the New York Academy of Art since 2000, and currently serves as the director of the Critical Studies department. Howe has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe for over twenty years, including at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., White Columns in New York, MoMA/P.S.1 in New York, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.

The many publications that have reviewed her work include Art in America , ArtForum , Art Critical , The New York Times , The New Yorker , and The Los Angeles Times . In a catalogue essay in 2015, critic David Ebony writes “Catherine Howe’s recent paintings provoke engaging dichotomies. At once anarchic and elegant, meditative and frenzied, they are, above all, exuberantly alive.” The author Michèle C. Cone observed “Though Catherine Howe takes her motifs from the Continental tradition of nature morte , her transpositions are anything but static, her images swarm, boil over with energy, sensuality, abundance, and warmth. Her reds are hot but so are her blues, and her blacks...Howe’s evocative paintings are not about still life per se, but about the naming of things transposed into paint, and the magical interaction between medium, memory and perception.”

Founded in 1982 by artists, scholars and patrons of the arts, including Andy Warhol, the New York Academy of Art is a not- for-profit education and cultural institution which combines intensive technical training in drawing, painting and sculpture with active critical discourse. Academy students are taught traditional methods and techniques and encouraged to use these skills to make vital contemporary art. Through major exhibitions, a lively speaker series, and an ambitious educational program, the Academy serves as a creative and intellectual center for all artists dedicated to highly skilled, conceptually aware figurative and representational art.