3/20/15 6:10 PM
The world can be distractingly fast and slippery thin these days. The work of Kit Keith is not. Keith is a connoisseur of stuff that other people throw out, and she has been since long before we started throwing just about everything out. She has painted on scrap metal shelves and old box springs, treating them as stretched canvases fresh from the art supply shop. She has painted on paper torn from out-of-date books and magazines. On nearly all of these surfaces she inscribes careful black-and-white portraits, themselves borrowed from print ads for products long expired. Everything is inscribed, in subtle but recognizable ways, with the styles and gestures of past generations, especially the scrubbed-clean faces of the 1950s. The combinations she achieves are anything but polite, however, especially when surrounded by scribbles and drips. So welcome Kit Keith, not that she’s new (she was making this work in the downtown New York scene of the late 80s and she continues making it now), but welcome all the same, because it’s nice to know that you and what you do belong, even if by being outside the times.