Catherine Erb

Thin Air

December 2 - January 27, 2018

Photography dealer Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly announce the opening of Thin Air, an exhibition of work by Memphis artist Catherine Erb. The opening is December 2 with a reception from 3-6 pm and the exhibition continues through January 27, 2018.

These large scale pieces in Thin Air begin as photographs that Erb takes out of airplane windows while traveling. The images are then printed on watercolor paper. After adhering the paper to board, the artist then adds as many as 20 layers of encaustic wax and additional pigment to create a gauzy almost hazy look. The magic of these pictures is that they combine opposing impressions: hazy with clear, impressionism with realism, dream with fact, solidity with transparency.

Catherine Erb’s cloud series evokes moments in art history: Renaissance Italy, Baroque Rubens, now, tomorrow. They explore shape and form and energy while relating to a wide variety of artists who have used clouds as subject matter: Titian, Turner, Monet and modern artists such as April Gornik and Will Cotton. Within the medium of photography, Alfred Steiglitz created his revolutionary photographs of clouds, his Equivalents series, in the 1930’s. Steiglitz felt that clouds became abstract equivalents of his own thoughts, experiences and emotions. So, too, does Erb make that connection between “searching for glimpses of a thing's divine essence and being still and present enough to capture those moments.”

McCarver Root says, “Catherine and I were childhood friends in Memphis, Tennessee and then went out to make our way in the world. It has been a joy to reconnect with her through our mutual passion for photographic art. I am deeply impressed by her passion and devotion to her work and I feel immensely grateful that we can work together in the complimentary roles of artist and gallerist. Of course, the most important thing is that the work is stunning!”

“There is a little break in time that occurs after something comes into my viewfinder but
before I have a chance to react or form judgment.” – Catherine Erb

So fine was the morning except for a streak of wind here and there that the sea and sky looked all one fabric, as if sails were stuck high up in the sky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.

– Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse