KMR Arts Presents Catherine Erb: Still Looking Up
This exhibition is Catherine Erb’s third solo exhibit with KMR Arts. The selection of works includes Erb’s signature cloud imagery as well as a a group from her newest series, Marbles. Within the Cloud series, Erb’s goal is to encourage the viewer to “Look Up”, both literally and figuratively. By taking a moment to “Look Up”, we take the opportunity to be fully present. Catherine Erb is literally blurring the lines between representation and abstraction in order to get to a point where, as Erb says, “All that’s left is a deeper recognition with knowing.” The origin of the Marble series are the marbles the artist’s children received for kind words actions and deeds when they were growing up. Every time they shared with another child or did a random act of kindness they would get a marble which would then be placed in the jar. One day Erb looked at this huge bowl of marbles now in her house and she was struck by the fact that each one of them represented a kind word action or deed that had taken place. Erb wanted to memorialize and honor them and pass along the acts of kindness. During the making of the Marbles series, Erb began to explore Brene Brown’s “Anatomy of Trust”. Brown compares the trust in a true friendship to a jar full of marbles. This metaphorical marble jar is only given to people in one’s life who have earned one’s trust one kind action at a time. Thus, each of Erb’s Marble pieces represents an individual act, word, or deed of kindness. Each of the Marble works is unique, one of a kind.
Erb’s consistency in her creative approach to her work is elegantly disciplined. Her process begins with a photographic image which she prints on a watercolor paper. The work is then transformed by the addition of multiple layers (sometimes as many as 40) of pigment and encaustic, a specific combination of resin and wax. Encaustic is one of the earliest mediums used in ancient Greek and Roman paintings dating back to 300 AD. This connection to the origins of art history enriches the viewer’s experience while at the same time, the process connects the work to a throroughly modern sensibility.
“It is a privilege to work with Catherine Erb. Her work is layered, soulful, rich with meaning, and simply beautiful. ” — Kathy McCarver