Kate MacDowell

Entangled / 2010

Casualty / 2009

MacDowell creates porcelain sculptures of heartbreaking anatomic beauty. The subjects range from delicate autopsies of birds, rabbits, etc. to a specimen’esque views of internal human organs. In all cases, her intimately realistic renditions evoke deeper metaphors of mortality – each a solemn confirmation of mankind’s intrinsic bond with even the smallest earthly disquiet.

Canary 3 / 2009

Goblin Market / 2008

Solastalgia / 2010

I am impressed by the master craftsmanship of all her sculptures and deeply moved by her ability to balance the common metaphors of ‘bella vita’ and ‘morte brutta’ in a most unexpected way.  She cleverly employs the bloom of youthful splendor to seduce a closer look into the dark places no living being could ever permit passage. Once our gaze is caught, MacDowell encourages Death to kindly escort us within so we may glimpse our fragile impermanence.

First and last breath / 2010

Stillborn / 2010

MacDowell Notes :

What is the part of your process you enjoy the most?
“The most delicate parts are actually the most enjoyable to sculpt as I get immersed in close study of a blossom or a bee.” 

… the least?
Building and hollowing the larger forms at the beginning of working on a piece is quite time consuming and is more nerve-wracking as I’m making so many decisions and adjusting the form as I work, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks.  Science fiction, history, and fantasy are often good accompaniments.”

List of current exhibition cities.
Paris, France : thru Jan 13, 2011  /  Bellevue, WA : thru Jan 16, 2011  /  Pittsburgh, PA : thru Mar 26, 2011  /  Sheboygan, WI : thru Jan 31, 2011

For specific details visit her website.

A special THANK YOU goes out to David Pescovitz at BoingBoing.net for reposting this entry. And props go to Jessica Joslin and Audrey Kawasaki who both introduced me to this talented lady.