On the Wall

By Hope Palmer

Often when we enter an exhibit, we are transported to another world, a space where the impossible has seemingly taken place. A richness of whispered lives permeates the air and drenches the walls in images in the works presented by Kathleen Cammarata and Deborah White.

“On the Wall”
By Kathleen Cammarata and Deborah White
Fri, Oct 7, 6–9pm
Berlin Bar
Umarán 19

Cammarata’s nine works present vignettes of worlds that exist in a classical landscape devoid of practical corners and recognizable space. Vectors intersect and vanishing points lead nowhere. The images coalesce into industrial vistas and rooms, built and unbuilt. A city with solid geometry encroaches on the psyche and gives no intuitive answers. Somber colors rich in their hues and tints add textured layers to the walls and stairways that vanish into impossible spaces. Roads lead nowhere but beckon onwards. Doors are backlit with intense light that threaten to vanquish all who venture through them.

Located within these scenarios are anonymous androgynous figures rarely engaged in a dialogue with one another and who contribute an ethereal quality to the scene. Overarching all is the pure visceral joy of the surface of the painting.

White’s interest is also in surfaces that are layered with meaning, weathered and scarred with gestural lines, part of what makes her art so absorbing. In her work we view images that recreate part of a city felt through wandering its alleys, thoroughfares, bridges, and dark underpasses. As White passes through these neighborhoods, be they Berlin, Amsterdam, or Barcelona, weathering posters and old advertisements found on exterior walls that speak to the city’s former life catch her eye. Many of these posters are not taken down but rather glued on top of one another, layer upon layer, sometimes going back as far as 15 years, creating a pop culture history. Using actual fragments torn from those walls, she incorporates them into paintings and photographs, giving commentary not only on contemporary culture but hints of a past of muted secrets.

Both Cammarata’s and White’s work invite the viewer to linger in worlds rich in imagination and vibrant with meaning.

Cammarata has been painting for 32 years. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and has taught in two museums and a university. Her work has been collected in the US, Canada, and Mexico. White had a successful career in Chicago as a graphic designer and advertising art director. She has exhibited in galleries in Chicago and Germany.


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