Artist Photo Credit © Siel Timperman Photography
In a time of global uncertainty, where our thought-structures and belief-systems have seemed to fragment and crumble, it has become the remit of the artist to steer a collective navigation towards the new. For artist Catie Dillon, this process has involved painting a new world entirely. Dillon’s spirited abstractions, inspired by childhood and the nostalgia associated with recreational play, reference her first memories of making. From building blanket forts and mapping sidewalk trails, to weaving bracelets and collecting rocks, magical memories return to the surface.
Dillon choreographs a dream-like dance as riotous colors, framing devices, and tangled shapes set the stage for exploratory looking. Fugitive visions of the past - her mother’s looped handwriting, the rhythm of an adventure novel, morning fog in the Pennsylvania hills, and a lava lamp’s amorphous bubbles - take form. These layered forms echo and grow as fast drying acrylic paint and the memory of mark-making carry the history of previous attempts. As if dancing at a silent disco, where collective movement is spurred by individual song, Dillon’s artwork is both celebratory and introspective. Her paintings, equally vibrant and nostalgic, offer a haven: a place to explore and discover and feel joyous rejuvenation, especially in times when exuberance is hard to come by.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (b. 1996), Dillon graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BFA in painting. She has been an artist-in-residence at Open Wabi Residency in Fredericktown, Ohio, Fish Factory Residency in Stodvarfjordur, Iceland, and PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal. Her artwork has been exhibited in a recent solo exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and in group exhibitions in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Italy, and Portugal.