History in a New Medium

by Sarah Hysong Photographed by Kim McCarty
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Looking Over Shoulder, 2017


On October 26 the Morgan Lehman Gallery is opening the exhibition New Work by Kim McCarty, an artist who is known for her wonderfully works of wet on wet watercolors.

McCarty’s obsession with watercolor started after her home and studio burned down in a massive wildfire in ’93. Since she has used the wet on wet technique with watercolors on paper to symbolize how temporary things can be. The difficulty of this technique is that instead of waiting for layers of paint to dry before adding new ones, artists immediately continue their works. Adding in the already finicky nature of watercolors presents another challenge. In a moment, one can go from a beautifully developing work to a ruined piece should the colors move in an unexpected way or blend in an unwanted fashion.

But McCarty embraces the unpredictable technique. In a statement for the Morgan Lehmann Gallery she said, “By using a ‘wet into wet’ watercolor medium and without specific subject, I wish to convey the transitory and emergent state. The figures’ heads become too large for their small, narrow bodies, their hands too large for their arms. The watercolor is so translucent that the medium expresses both flaws and perfection.”

While strong in McCarty’s favorite subjects, the nude and the botanical, this new set of works highlight more obviously art history with her interpretations of classics such as Venus de Milo and Garden of Eden.

The exhibition opens in the Morgan Lehman Gallery, located 534 West 24th St., with a special viewing on October 26th from 6–8 p.m. and runs through December 9. For more information visit Morgan Lehman’s exhibition page.


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