Kate Pincus-Whitney — Born 1993, Santa Monica, CA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Represented by Fredericks & Freiser, New York.
Just as a Coca-Cola bottle in Tom Wesselmann’s Still life series is understood not simply as a coca cola bottle, but instead an icon of American identity, or as in Morandi, a custard cup is not simply a cup — it is holding space as Madonna and Child, Kate Pincus-Whitney’s maximalist, feminist, and unapologetically boisterous work is not only about the reality of the still life or the things painted. Mapping the movement of culture through histories of spices, wax candles, or fine white china bowls, her tablescapes are a place of narrative portraiture — sometimes a sort of shrine, sometimes a stage or a commons. Sometimes they are a place for formal or historical political acts of agency, and sometimes, she simply wishes to capture the essence of a person through the objects they consume or surround themselves with.
Invested in the sociopolitical and emotive possibilities of the dining table, Pincus-Whitney reimagines the still life as a form of narrative portraiture while harnessing the psychological power of the communal meal to tap into the collective unconscious. As much about life as about death, Pincus-Whitney’s scenes are a very contemporary investigation into the Dutch legacy of the ‘stilleven’ (still life). Apparent are the artist’s myriad sources that span cross-discipline: from the writings of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, to Maya Angelou to Tom Wesselman’s resolutely American approach to the still life genre, Judy Chicago’s feminist intervention into the foodscape, and Matisse’s ability to make juxtaposing colors vibrate, to the symbolism of Les Nabis and the aggressive, fleshy strokes of Soutine. And of course, it is hard to miss the Warholian Campbell’s Tomato Soup can that has been emptied out to house a cactus, for example. As a self-proclaimed artist-anthropologist with a ferocious appetite, Pincus-Whitney excavates the annals of history to consider rituals of consumption alongside identity constitution.
Pincus-Whitney graduated with a MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020.
Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work
Feast in the Neon Jungle:
When the Moon is in Medusa, 2021
acrylic and polycolour on canvas
101.6 x 76.2 cm - 40 x 30 inches
Courtesy of the Artist and Fredericks & Freiser, NY.