Kathryn Refi:
Conceptual Multi-Media


Neil Bender:
Nether Regions
2D mixed- media

September 13, 2003 through Oct 16, 2003

Opening reception with the artists:
Saturday September 13, 7:00PM to 9:00PM

with surprise guest DJ

In the main gallery...

Kathryn Refi:
Since receiving her M.F.A. from the University of Georgia in 2002 Ms. Refi has had a one-person exhibition at the Saltworks Gallery, exhibited in the Atlanta Biennial, and been selected for an emerging artist exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in 2004. She is an Adjunct Instructor at The University of Georgia in Athens. 

Refi collects data and information that examines her life and habits in a conceptual way. Her visual conclusions are presented in a manner that opens up a dialog between her exterior world, interior world, and her artwork.

In Every Word i Spoke Refi carried a tape recorder (discreetly in her purse) and recorded everything she said over the course of a day. Transcribing and alphabetizing the tapes she generates 2D and audio results.

With My Half of the Duplex, Apt. A, 346 N. Pope St. Refi creates an exact scale model of the apartment she lived in for 3 years. Unsure of how to represent the The following is an excerpt from the 2003 Atlanta Biennial catalog concerning Refi’s Light Readings. neighbors half, occupied by two brothers...

“I NEVER went in their apartment. I would hear the TV on all the time, one brother coughing incessantly every morning, occasional yelling matches. They were right on the other side of the wall from me, and yet I could not visualize their environment. I would be in my apt. surrounded by so much that was familiar and accessible, and right on the other side of the wall was a world I knew only a part of through sound alone. This contrast between the familiar and unfamiliar, what is known and what can only be imagined, really fascinated me.”

The following is an excerpt from the 2003 Atlanta Biennial catalog concerning Refi’s Light Readings.
“Light Readings refers to a common tool of photography. Refi’s painting, though initially read as an abstracted grid of graduations on black on paper, is surprisingly a “true” self-portrait documenting one day experienced in light levels, beginning at midnight in the upper left corner, reading left to right, and ending the following day at midnight.

Refi was interested in ways that she experienced her day in visual terms. The work explores the relationship between technology and the artist’s hand. To record the information, Refi worked with an ecology professor. Using a hand-held data-collecting computer that had a photo cell attached to it, Refi mounted the photo cell on top of a hat that she wore for a day. She programmed the computer to record a reading of the light level every minute. Later Refi converted the numerical readings into a value scale. The work is made with India ink. There is a tension between the desire to make the ink behave in ways that are precise and mechanical, and the underlying quality of the medium which is washy, loose, and expressive.”

In the entrance hall…

Neil Bender:

Receiving his M.F.A. in 2002, Mr. Bender was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant, a nationwide search for excellence in M.F.A. achievement. He is featured in the slide registry of The Drawing Center in New York, recently was curated to fill the project space at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and,like Refi, exhibits at Saltworks Gallery. He splits his time between teaching at The University of Georgia, in Athens, and teaching in Cortona Italy at U.G.A.’s satellite program.

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Bender’s artist statement:
"I’m interested in a faux-seduction, in art maneuvers that are plastic and organic, loving and harsh. My paintings and drawings use ‘hooks’ such as lurid pinks and reds, decorative fabrics, cream-colored paper, glossy surfaces, meaty paint, and fluid, curvy lines. I want the work to contain some of the visual cues used by mass media to engage the viewer to stop and consider my images amongst the miasma of many in a saturated popular culture. Upon further investigation, I hope the surfaces open up to an underbelly that probes how we subjectively digest sexualized media. My personal experiences are layered with objective observation to create an overflowing, lascivious world of pleasure and pain that is more “real” to me because of its inherent flatness and manipulability. The fiction of two-dimensionality allows me to create forms that oscillate between figuration and abstraction, between describing “things” and creating my own visual language. The images refer to comic books, illustration, art history, and kitsch with a critical black humor. Pink is important to me for its passive and feminine connotations, which I turn on end and free from these constraints to create aggressive images of our biology, sexuality, and psychology that are multi-layered spectacles."

His rap group Suave Prospects have released an LP, “The Pumping”, and a new single “The Body Malone”.