Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Bitter Ends" by Katie Bond Pretti - FRESH PICKS V1E14

“Loves me, loves me not, loves me, love me not, loves me, loves me not, loves me...”

Katie Bond Pretti illuminates intimacy in "Bitter Ends", a gently gestural abstract painting featured as Fresh Picks Vol.1 Edition 14.

Pretti says, "I'm not one to plan things out, exactly - I don't even keep a sketchbook. There is for me, however, a difference between making those broad strokes on a large canvas and holding a delicate sheet of paper on your lap to work on. Both of these have their value in my practice. Bitter Ends is a series in the smaller, intimate vein. In terms of treatment of negative versus positive space and colour harmony, it has influenced several larger pieces on paper as well as a canvas series which I plan to include in an upcoming show. This one piece is my favorite. I hope you like it.”

Freely scribbled calligraphic mark-making on solid fields of mostly neutral colours blur the line between drawing and painting combining “bare astringency and sensual indulgence”. This could easily describe Pretti’s work but rather, is an explanation of the work of American Abstract artist Cy Twombly both on Wikpedia and in a Retrospective tome by Kirk Varnedoe. There is also an uncanny synchronicity with Twombly’s favourite French poet, Mallarmé who directly inspired musical creations by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Toronto based musician Jeremy Strachan, a key figure in indie rock and improvised music in Canada, created a woodwind solo in response to Pretti’s installation, The Heart of the Matter in 2007.

Katie Bond Pretti is a 2004 honours graduate of OCAD. Her work has been featured in Elle Canada, Fashion Magazine and Canadian House and Home. Her book - Sonority of Words - is in the collection of The National Gallery of Canada and she is in the 2008 Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting, The Magenta Foundation. She is represented by the LE Gallery in Toronto. For information on original works please see, and