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Kathryn Spence

Kathryn Spence has spent years compiling, sorting and transforming culture’s discards into sculptural objects that reveal a human determination on the topic of sufficiency. Fascinated with space, materiality, and objectness, she attends to materials conventionally wasted to produce installations and individual objects that act as a point of unhinging between the natural world and the controlled world.

The show being discussed is Kathryn Spence at P. Bibeau, September 9 – October 22, 2022.

Kathryn Spence (b. 1963) resides in the Bay Area and is featured in numerous public collections including SFMOMA, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., U.C. Berkeley Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, Mills College at Northeastern University, the Denver Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 

Museum solo exhibitions include the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, 2010, the Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Ithaca, 2001, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 1999. Spence is a recipient of the Anonymous was a Woman award, the Eureka Fellowship, an Artadia award, and the Fleischhacker Foundation award. Her ‘Pigeons’ were recently on view at SFMOMA in ‘Greater Than the Sum,’ 2021-22. Spence showed for 18 years at Stephen Wirtz in San Francisco.
The books mentioned in the interview are: Douglas W. Tallamy, Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard  and E.O. Wilson, Half Earth.
Installation (close-up) P.Bibeau Gallery, 2019-22Socks, sweatpants, t-shirts, bed sheets, curtains, necktie, fabric scraps, found crocheted and knitted project parts, brown corduroy, yarn, cell phone ads, string, thread, mud, felt, wood, cardboard, pencil drawings, field guides, magazine scraps, stuffed animal fur, wax, plaster, plywood. Photo by Peter Sit.
‘Untitled, (Great gray owl)’ 2019-22:: Gray socks, sweatpants, t-shirts, fabric scraps, stuffed animal fur, cardboard, bird field guide pages, wax, wood. Photo by Peter Sit.
‘Untitled, (Boreal owl),’ 2019-22 Found crocheted and knitting project parts, scraps of fabric, yarn, fur from stuffed animals, field guide, cell phone ads, cardboard, thread, string, mud. Photo by Peter Sit.
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  1. […] Kathryn Spence sat down with us to discuss, among other things, her fall 2022 show, Kathryn Spence at P. Bibeau. The space itself suited the work in the exhibition, small object pieces that relate to each other that Spence had been working on for the last two years. This theme of the objects she creates relating to each other is a common one in her work, and Spence explains that the relationship between is as important as the objects themselves, which, in turn, makes the space an important part of the overall installation. To hear more about this, including how native plants influence her work, listen to the complete interview. […]


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