Keltie Ferris

 ( 1977, Brooklyn, NY,)

American, b. 1977, Louisville, KY, United States, based in Brooklyn, NY, United States

New York-based artist Keltie Ferris covers her mostly large-scale canvases with layers of spray paint and hand-painted geometric fields, creating the effect of brightly colored digital screens dissolving into pixels. "Paintings can seduce, they can shock, they can whisper," she says. "I try to make the most direct and frank painting as possible, paintings that are so obviously being themselves." While Ferris's work frequently evokes references to Tron, The Matrix, and other sci-fi movies, the use of technology is mostly absent from her painterly, hands-on process. As The New Yorker once described: "Picture Monet's garden as a graffiti-tagged plot in Bushwick and you get some sense of the grit, bravado, and beauty of these big abstract paintings made of oil, spray paint, and pastel."


Keltie Ferris is known for her mostly large-scale canvases covered with layers of spray paint and hand-painted geometric fields. Ferris's pixilated backgrounds and atmospheric foregrounds create perceptual depth that allows for multidimensional readings of her work. Characterized by a continuously expanding investigation into painting, her practice considers a multiplanar site for constructed light and shifting space. In her ongoing series of body prints, Ferris uses her own body like a brush, covering it with natural oils and pigments and pressing it against a canvas, to literalize the relationship of an artists' identity to the work that he or she produces.

Keltie Ferris was born in Kentucky in 1977 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Recent solo exhibitions include Body Prints and Paintings at the University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, New York (2016); Paintings and Body Prints at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2015); Keltie Ferris: Doomsday Boogie at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2014); Body Prints at Chapter NY, New York (2014); and Man Eaters at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City (2009-10). Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions, including Saatchi Gallery, London (2014); Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Texas (2014); The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (2014); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2012); the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis (2010); and The Kitchen, New York (2009). She was recently awarded the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting by the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ferris's paintings are inspired by subjects that range from the broken up pixelation of digital images, rubbed out graffiti on New York streets to the glimmering city lights that are visible from her Brooklyn studio at night. She has commented that "bedazzled energy, and bright artificial light" are themes that have filtered into her painting process which explains the underlying, palpable current within her paintings.

Ferris started to use spray paint, in order to make gestural, expressive marks that moved on from the physical and historical implications of the traditional brush stroke. By using thinned consistencies of oil paint sprayed on, rather than an aerosol, she is reproducing the immediacy of a graffiti style mark, and its directness, on the same level that she might reference the hands-off monochromes of Josef Albers or the pictorial, free-wheeling depth found in the paintings of Albert Ohlen.

"I like the feeling of looking through things to a world you can't quite access, or a residue of a former world that you can't quite get to, and I try to have that in my paintings".

The balance and symmetry in Keltie Ferris's paintings makes it tempting to look for underlying grid formations within their layers of colour and varying styles of application. Broad brushstrokes and sprayed on oil paint, are interrupted by patches of smudged colours appear to energise neighbouring, more defined parts of the painted surface, particularly those in 00>><<00 and ((!!!!!)) which resemble the pixels and repetitive shapes found in computer games like Tetris.
Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Feed the Meter, Wandhaff
September 23 - December 16, 2017


Solo and Duo Shows

2017
M/A/R/C/H, Michell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY

2016
Keltie Ferris, Klemm's Berlin, Allemagne
Keltie Ferris : Paintings and Body Prints, University Art Museum, Universit de l'tat de New York, Albany, NY

2015
Keltie Ferris : Paintings and Body Prints, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY

2014
Body Prints, Chapter, New York, USA
Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, USA

2012
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, USA

2010
KF+CM 4EVER, Horton Gallery, New York, USA

2009
Man Eaters, Kemper Museum, Kansas City, USA

2008
Dear Sir or Madame, SUNDAY L.E.S., New York, USA
Sincerely Yours, New Art Dealers Alliance Fair, Miami, USA
Keltie Ferris & Molly Larkey, SUNDAY L.E.S., New York, USA

2007
Boy Genius, Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, USA
Boy Genius, curated by Simon Watson, The Prequel, Scenic, New York, USA

Group Shows

2014
Shakti, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy
Outside The Lines, CAMH, Houston, USA

2013
Brooklyn Rail, Brooklyn, USA
Paint On Paint Off, Halsey McKay, East Hampton, USA
On the Grid, curated by Sima Familant, Magnus Gallery, New York, USA

2012
Raw/Cooked: Ulrike Mller, Brooklyn Museum, USA
Astral Weeks, Gallery Diet, Miami, USA
Open Windows: Keltie Ferris, Jackie Saccoccio, Billy Sullivan, and Alexi Worth, curated by Carroll Dunham, Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy, Andover, USA

2011
The Working Title, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, USA
Salon Zrcher with the Horton Gallery, Paris, France

2010
Spray!, D'Amelio-Terras, New York, USA
Purity is a Myth, Pilar Corrias, London, United Kingdom
Illusions Lounge, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, USA
Informal Relations, curated by Scott Grow, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, USA
The Armory Show, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
This Is A Performance, curated by Sam Gordon, ACP, Los Angeles, USA

2009
This Is A Test, curated by Sam Gordon, ACP @ X initiative, New York, USA
The Open, Deitch, Long Island City, USA
Aberrant Abstraction, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, USA
Besides, With, Against, And Yet: Abstraction and The Ready-Made, The Kitchen, New York, USA
Oculus Imaginationis, Horton Gallery, New York, USA
The Best is Yet to Come, Galleria Glance, Torino, Italy
Rattled By the Rush, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, USA
DiSoRgAnIzEd (Another 24 Hours), curated by Jacob Robichaux, Museum 52, New York, USA

2008
Party at Phong's House, curated by Chris Martin, Galeria Janet Kurnatowski, Brooklyn, USA
There is No There There, Rivington Arms, New York, USA
Accident Blackspot, Freight + Volume, curated by Jim Lee and Rob Nadeau, New York, USA
Defining A Moment: 25 New York Artists, curated by Chris Martin, House of Campari, New York, USA
Unnameable Things, Artspace, New Haven, USA
Accident Blackspot, curated by Jim Lee and Rob Nadeau, Markus Winter, Berlin, Germany
Performed Identity, curated by Simon Watson, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, USA
Untitled (Works on Paper), Moti Hasson Gallery, New York, USA
Living Room Paintings, Bucket Rider Gallery, Chicago, USA

2007
Painted Faces, Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, USA
Some Kind of Portrait, curated by Simon Watson, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA
Distinctive Messengers, curated by Simon Watson, House of Campari, Miami, USA

2006
Flex Your Textiles, curated by Travis Boyer and Ginger Brooks Takahashi, John Connelly, New York, USA
School Days, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
MFA Thesis Show, Yale School of Art, New Haven, USA

Keltie ferris

New York Times - Ken Johnson

December 13, 2012


Feed the Meter Vol. 2

Feed the Meter Vol. 2

December 12, 2017