Kate Mosher Hall’s work inhabits the charged space of reciprocal looking, activating a locus of estrangement present in any shared visual encounter and amplifying it. Through an interplay of two primary modes of image production—silkscreen printing and painting—she manages to suspend the medium specificities of either address as a way of playfully exploiting the uncertainties inherent to any act of looking. These images share an elusive, ‘hidden-in-plain-sight’ effect, but one that operates through an unavoidable visual regress: flashes of discernment quickly withdraw into instances of misrecognition, while visual identifications are retained as hovering or buried afterimages. The experience is akin to both seeing and not seeing at once, stimulating an awareness of looking siloed by the limits of perspectival bias and the strange over-exposure of seeing oneself seeing. The pictures aspire to the status of an image capable of possessing our visual agency, not unlike a reflexive hypnosis. Material interventions at the level of image production, as suggested in Mosher Hall’s paintings, serve as surrogate procedures for shifting our senses, stimuli for the reconfiguration of our sensual realities.
Mosher Hall’s methods are negatively accumulative. Proceeding from various archival image banks through a careful craft of degradation and obfuscation, the artist defamiliarizes a given image in the direction of short-circuiting the primacy of perceptual command. Staging an image at the remote end of our visual field through means of compositional displacement, she constructs vantages that seem to glimpse, as if at the threshold of a lucid dream, a familiar real from an undefinable outside. What her work gathers as a result is a kind of anti-or counter-archive that preserves only the optical realities or spectral residues left over by the hysterical circulation of contemporary cultural media, the psycho-sensory effects underpinning current visual cultures deranged from the objects and environments that enact them.
Kate Mosher Hall (b. 1986, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UCLA (2020), and her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2013). Solo exhibitions include The Reminder, curated by Kristy Trinier, Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada (2023); Offset, Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2021); Without a body, without Bill, Hannah Hoffman Gallery (2021); LOQK, Artist Curated Projects (2019); and Wind Breaker, Phil Gallery (2019), all in Los Angeles. Notable group exhibitions include Kate Mosher Hall, Fionna Connor, and Bedros Yeretzian, Coastal Signs, Auckland, New Zealand (2023); Something or Other, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich (2023); The Painter’s New Tools, curated by Dean Kissick and Eleanor Cayre, Nahmad Contemporary, New York (2022); and K as in Knight, Helena Anrather, New York (2021). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Rollins Museum of Art.
Mosher Hall’s first exhibition with Miguel Abreu Gallery, Big View, was held at the gallery in September 2023.
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