Her rationale :” I am interested in the possibilities of exploring the translucency of colour, possible in printmaking processes.
An element I explore in my blown glass pieces is the translucent and opaque properties of glass, how colours overlapping create third colour and how opaque colours mask interior colours.
I wish to use printmaking to explore my ongoing interest in striped glass.
Printmaking offers me the possibility of creating editions of work in varying colour combinations and to explore proportions of stripes and simple two dimensional effects that I would then interpret into blown glass.” ( quoted in the gallery handout)
I have lost my notes on titles and dimensions. Luckily for me – she names each by list of colours used, i.e. Soft Optic Cylinder, Pink and Pistachio.
There was a video – a well made video – showing her at work with hot glass and tools. Quite fascinating; she works fast with an elegant assurance.
Her objects are pleasantly pretty without showing off. Miles away from the aesthetics that governs Gene Davies (1920-1985) stripes harvesting strong contrast and seducing an after image when three reds have pale blue neighbours, for example. The just- just perceivable shiver of the stronger hue has been central interest of both impressionism and op- art.
The rich exploratory systematic paintings by Bridget Riley (b 1931) enchant both with poetics as well as with sheer power to forge an illusion of movement, e.g. Horizontal Vibration, 1961,
Keenan not only sees stripes, she manufactures thick stripes from glass, before assembling a glass ready to be blown. Her concern about allowing colours to enter various dynamics with one another ( two overlapping create third…opaque colour masks the colour of the interior of a vessel) links her art to the assemblages by Thaddeus Wolfe (2014, http://www.thaddeuswolfe.com)
Keenan’s method of layering material resonates with Sandra Davolio’s sculptural vessel made from porcelain.(www.sandradavoglio.dk)
Ceramicist, painter/glass maker and glass maker/print maker make objects traditionally classed as lesser art, art which in William Morris’ s terms is supportive of good life, introducing aesthetics that crosses the border to so called disinterested art. Art objects with a simple function.
Keenan’s art is in a lively young company.
Images from the exhibition courtesy http://www.catherinekeenanglass.com