“I have always been drawn to and aﬀected by human ﬂight, in all its forms. Flight from fear to safety, from isolation to intimacy, from anger to love, and from horror to the unknown."
Price range: $1,400 to $3,200
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Katharine Gould
Katharine Gould’s training as an artist began at age seventeen when she spent five years in studio and academic classes, receiving a combined BFA in sculpture and painting from the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. Shortly after, she earned an MFA from the University of Chicago and went on to teach art history and sculpture at the University.
With sculptural work as her focus, Gould began to explore the contrast of organic wood with stainless steel, creating monumental pieces using railroad ties and 10-foot welded steel bars, works that gained recognition with shows at Chicago galleries as well as an international exhibition. After being awarded a sculptor’s studio at the prestigious Cité International des Arts in Paris, Gould and her family moved to Paris for a three-year period that would encompass important shifts in focus for the artist.
Gould continued to create wood and steel sculpture, works that were featured in “Leonardo,” the International Journal of Contemporary Visual Artists, even as she gradually shifted into
working only in wood and as her work became more figurative. It is the figurative element that became the forebear of an even larger shift to come.
After thirty years as an artist, Katharine Gould returned to school and completed an MSW in clinical psychology. She built a private practice, spending five years in psychoanalytic training to become a child and adolescent psychoanalyst. Gould helped create and direct a clinical training program to teach psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and social workers how to work with children and adolescents and continues to direct the program today.
For Katharine Gould, the artist, this work fed directly into her focus on the human figure, its motions and emotions, its flow and energy. Having had to leave behind large complicated sculptures in both Chicago and Paris, Gould was ready to shift into two-dimensional works and chose pastels as her medium. “Pastel media consists of powdered pigment with a binder. Soft pastels, having the highest pigment concentration, produce highly saturated colors without reﬂection.” Gould began painting and studying to develop her technique and found joy in the immediacy of the pastels which allowed her to capture the movement of the body and the intensity of light, shadow and colors.
Her career as a psychotherapist has greatly informed her newest body of work: The Exodus Series. “Feelings of loss, isolation, anger, pain, and alienation, which patients want to understand, drive a search for the meaning in their lives. The flight from terror, the fear of the unknown, of rejection, of being unfound, and the search for love, hover on the edges of our discourse. … It is this work that I believe made me particularly attuned to the plight of the refugee: the global crisis of the homeless, fleeing persecution and war, wandering the earth, and recreating their lives as they search for a place to be accepted and to belong.”
The Exodus Series:
“I have always been drawn and aﬀected by human ﬂight, in all its forms. Flight from fear to safety, from isolation to intimacy, from anger to love, and from horror to the unknown. In my Exodus Series I want the viewer to experience the plight of the refugee. Syrian, Afghan, Rohingyan, African, to name just a few of the refugees running for their lives from war and persecution.
“War and the will to survive drives families from their homes, whose ﬁghting age men have most often been exterminated, ﬂeeing across land and sea to the unknown. The horrors of war make the demands of maintaining hope seemingly insurmountable. Yet they persevere. Today, just as before modern civilization took root, thousands, millions of people are now living as nomads, moving from here to there. Will they ever be able to ﬁnd their way back? We have no idea what will happen to them. How many will survive the journey? A faceless human ﬂow on the move, across the earth, searching for a place to stay, to live. They are turned away. Stopped at borders. Conﬁned to camps. Drowned.
“I see them hurrying across the horizon, carrying only what their backs can bear, their history in a bundle, or garbage bag. Climbing out of the sea, emerging from a burning skyline, pausing in groups to get their bearings. They seem to be in the middle of not reaching anywhere.
“Pastel media consists of powdered pigment with a binder. Soft pastels, having the highest pigment concentration, produce highly saturated colors without reﬂection. The color eﬀect of pastels is closer to the original pigment than of any other paint medium. They ﬁrst came to popularity in the Renaissance, yet today it is the Impressionists that are most recognized for their use of pastels, especially Edgar Degas.
“I love the intensity of the colors, and possibilities for mark making which pastels provide. With pastels I can draw and paint at the same time, as I mix these powdered pigments on the paper, blending them into an endless range of colors and shades suited to my subject. Earth-like to the touch, I use my hands to mix and blend, rubbing out or layering colors one on top of the other.”