Let me be the wind that pulls your hair

Kate Newby

In Residence: Jan 17 – Mar 20, 2017

Exhibition: Mar 16 – May 7, 2017

Kate Newby’s work consists of site-specific projects that form relationships with locations through actions. Her work engages with a wide range of situations using everyday actions and materials in order to displace and challenge how contemporary art is exhibited, viewed, and archived. These projects draw directly from the locations in which they are presented.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Big Tree. Bird’s Eye, Michael Lett, Auckland (2016); The January February March, The Poor Farm, Wisconsin (2016); Two aspirins a vitamin C tablet and some baking soda, Laurel Doody, Los Angeles (2015); I memorized it I loved it so much, Laurel Gitlen, New York (2015); I feel like a truck on a wet highway, Lulu, Mexico (2014). Selected group exhibitions include: In Practice: Material Deviance, Sculpture Centre, New York (2017); Ordering Nature, Marianne Boesky, New York (2015); The Promise, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2014); Eraser, Laurel Gitlen, New York (2015). Two publications have been produced on Kate’s work in recent years, Incredible feeling, Clouds Publishing, Auckland (2013) with essays by Chris Kraus and Tahi Moore; as well as Let the other thing in, Fogo Island Arts and Sternberg Press, Berlin (2013), with essays by Jennifer Kabat and Mami Kataoka.

Kate’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, Monopol, Art in America, The New York Times, The Weeklings, Content Magazine and Art News. During November and December 2017 Kate will undertake a residency at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX.


My research usually consists of installations that form relationships with locations through a series of sculptural interventions. In my work I examine concepts such as being in the world, addressing the everyday, the role of the travelling artist, the artwork as object, and casualness. Though very specific, I intend my art works to come across as open and casual gestures.

The project here in San Antonio draws directly from the situations I have encountered since I arrived. The sheer amount of physical space around me, along with the people I encountered along the way, significantly influenced my work. I wanted my project to focus on reflecting the things I was looking at and learning throughout the residency. During my time here, I experimented with a mix of new and ongoing processes and forms. I explored alternative firing techniques such as barrel firing and pit firing with a range of different clay bodies. One of these clay bodies was found locally with the help of Kellis Chandler who processed the clay on his front porch. It’s a process I have long been fascinated with and it was fantastic to finally see how it works. The forms
I made from clay were primarily rocks and different versions of wind chimes. These works are installed on the window ledges of the gallery as well as a throughout the city of San Antonio in friend’s backyards.

I want all aspects of my work to capture a kind of atmosphere of my time spent here. I was lucky enough to work with Janet Flohr from Hare & Hound Press to produce two series of prints. The first is a pinhole camera that we turned into a print by exposing the camera for around 6-8 hours to capture different scenes. The white line across the image is the sun. This series of prints is shown in the artist book that we made. Janet and I also made three prints that involved local birds making and scratching the surface of a copper plate we left outside for a few days at a time. The birds landed on the plate and ate the seed we left out for them, resulting in very different prints documenting their activity. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome because I am fascinated in constructing situations and leaving the rest up to nature. Quite literally. The first plate was left out during the recent tornado and you can see that it has marks from the wind blowing debris over the plate.


I explore whether context and situation can be just as informative and useful as materiality or the content of the work itself. I have work installed outside my gallery window (which will remain open during my exhibition) and on the rooftop of Artpace where many glass bags hang. Throughout the city of San Antonio itself and beyond I installed a series of works at five different sites. These consist of two ranches, two back yards, and one front porch. It made a lot of sense to me to install work back in the places where the work either took place or where I had formative experiences for my project. These site works will be up for the duration of the exhibition, though they will only be viewable through the artist book. In this instance, my gallery space will be rather empty. The final project reflects my process because I spent my time in San Antonio seeking experiences rather than producing finished works. My work was predominately made outside of the studio and in direct relationship with people and places.


The artist would like to thank Jenny Smith, Gloria Glo, and Chris Zuniga at Roadrunner Ceramics, Ryan Takaba at the Southwest School of Art, Linda Perez, Jake Zollie at Zollie Glass, Larry Stevens at Stevens Art Foundry, Kellis Chandler, Holly Tupper, Alston Beinhorn, Janet Flohr and Gary Nichols at Hare & Hound Press, Anthony Rundblade, Charlie Kitchen, Riley Robinson, Joey Fauerso, Daniel Rios Rodriguez, Ash Rios Rodriguez, Loretta Rey, Chris Castillo, Amada Miller, Robert Hodge and Nicholas Frank.


Kate Newby

Floresville, Texas, USA / Auckland, New Zealand

Kate Newby was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lives and works in Floresville, TX. In 2015, she graduated with a Doctorate of Fine Art from the Elam School of Fine Art at the University of Auckland.

Kate Newby creates sculptures and installations using a variety of media including ceramics, glass and textiles. By incorporating discarded everyday objects (cigarette butts, coins, broken glass), she magnifies the prosaic by giving it new form and space, from the minuscule to the monumental. Her interventions are unique and site-specific, playing with their luminosity, their spatiality and their original use. The artist interferes in these places with handmade works, transforming raw materials into bricks, match sticks or windows and invites the spectators to come closer to better (re)discover their textures and details.

Her work has been shown at the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018, as well as in various institutions and galleries around the world: at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Villeurbane (2019), Kunsthalle Vienna (2018) and Index, Contemporary Swedish Art Foundation (2017). In 2012 she won the Walters Prize, New Zealand’s largest contemporary art prize. In 2019 Kate was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors grant.

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Michelle Grabner

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Michelle Grabner is an artist, curator, and writer. She is the Crown Family Professor of Painting and Drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at several universities including The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bard College, and Yale University. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Public collections include: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; RISD Art Museum; Walker Art Center; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum; among others. She co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the 2016 Portland Biennial. Her reviews are regularly published in Artforum, and she is a contributor to several art journals. Michelle Grabner is co-founder of The Suburban in Oak Park, IL, which hosts a range of contemporary art.

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