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Kellie Romany

Systems | Bodies | Parameters

October 9 – November 13, 2021

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art at University of Southern Indiana is proud to present Systems | Bodies | Parameters, featuring abstract paintings by Chicago-based artist Kellie Romany. Systems | Bodies | Parameters opens on Saturday, October 9 and runs through Saturday, November 13, 2021. Gallery hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Central, Tuesday – Saturday.

A public opening reception for Systems | Bodies | Parameters will be held with the artist on Saturday, October 9 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Central, in conjunction with New Harmony Indiana’s Second Saturday Gallery Stroll. An artist talk will be held on Thursday, October 7 at 4:30 PM Central, at Kleymeyer Hall on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building at the University of Southern Indiana’s main campus in Evansville, Indiana. COVID safety procedures will be required, including masks and social distancing, in accordance with University of Southern Indiana policy.

In Systems | Bodies | Parameters, Kellie Romany’s works utilize the materiality of paint to investigate issues around identity, relationships, and racial constructs. Using a color palette of skin tones, Romany’s shapes and textures become metaphors for the body. As she intuitively shifts and turns the canvas, pigments and oils expand outwards and blend, bleed, clot, and crack. Colors and textures emerge, suggesting the biological complexity of skin.

Kellie Romany’s paintings speak to the intimacy, beauty, and trauma embodied within Black and Brown subjects. She also thinks about bodies in relationship to one other—as family, as community, and as lineages. While she embraces intuitive movement and the organic qualities of the materials she uses, at moments Romany interrupts the flow with abrupt breaks and straight lines. These interruptions ask the question, “What happens to bodies that are placed within systems that deny movement or potential?”

Abstraction as a way of digesting trauma. —TK Smith*

Kellie Romany is an abstract painter interested in bodily representation, materiality, and the history of the painting process. Using a color palette of skin tones, Romany creates objects that act as a catalyst for discussion about human connections, femininity, and race and the systems surrounding these themes. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Romany has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including museum shows at the High Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and DePaul Art Museum.

*TK Smith is a writer, art critic, and curator. Quote referenced is from Smith's talk Abstraction as a State of Being: Identity, Fragmented Archives, and the Photographs of Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.