To create this painting on silk, the artist undertook hours of painstaking hand embroidery and delicate application of dye. The resulting composition employs close cropping of a body that is both uncanny and uncomfortably erotic. The subject's body is full of blemishes and scars that sometimes veer into the grotesque. The surface of the silk, either smooth and ultra-delicate crepe de chine or nubbly raw silk, mimics the look and feel of skin. At the same time, the embroidery brings an unexpected texture. Pattern is another major component of the artist's work—either printed on the silk itself or created by the stockings and clothing of the subjects.
Riesing's works often have a play-within-a-play quality, where other forms of imagery are wittily in focus: tattoos of bodies; negative spaces that suggest caves or sunsets; patterns that form drawing within drawings; and sheer garments that create a screen or veil. The artist draws from a disparate range of influences, including artists Christina Ramberg, Sarah Lucas or Ghada Amer, and imagery drawn from medical illustrations of skin disease, prison tattoos, stock photography and pantyhose labels. Riesing's work reinvigorates our relationship to the body with equal parts seduction and brutality.
Katarina Riesing’s work encompasses dyed paintings on stretched silk and colored pencil drawings. Betraying an infatuation with laborious detail and rich material, the artist hand-embroiders with gold thread and creates exquisitely-rendered swirls of patterned stocking—seemingly inspired by northern Renaissance luxuriance. Riesing’s compositions disrupt the delicacy and sensuality of their materials through the use of close croppings that depict awkward, unsightly or uncomfortably erotic aspects of the human form—reinvigorating our relationship to the body with equal parts seduction and brutality.
Katarina Riesing was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. The artist received a BA from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and an MA and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Solo exhibitions of Riesing’s work have taken place at: Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York City; Downtown Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin; Seligmann Center for the Arts in Chester, New York; and SoHo20 Gallery in New York City.
Group exhibitions that have shown Riesing’s work have taken place at: Eve Leib Gallery in London, UK; Dinner Gallery in New York City; Essex Flowers in New York City; Kristin Lorello Gallery in New York City; New Discretions in New York City; Field Projects in New York City; Spring/Break NY in New York City; and Bertrand Productions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Riesing has been awarded residencies at: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine; Saltonstall Artist Residency in Ithaca, New York; Cite International des Arts Residency in Paris, France; Icelandic Textile Center in Blönduós, Iceland; Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont; and New York Artist Residency and Studio Foundation (NARS) in New York City.
Riesing’s work has been reviewed in New York Magazine, The Observer, Juxtapoz Magazine, Cool Hunting, and Cornelia Magazine, among others.
Riesing lives and works in Detroit, Michigan.