Katy Schimert and Ping Zheng Explore the Nature’s Majestic Wonders at Geary

Widewalls | August 12, 2023

By Hesper Cane

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Although solo shows are an excellent opportunity to overview an artist’s oeuvre in totality, exhibitions showcasing two artists offer a chance for artworks to contrast, correspond, or align. This display strategy establishes a dialogue between two practices and, whether they are similar in formal elements or subject, highlights qualities often overlooked. The upcoming exhibition Katy Schimert & Ping Zheng at Geary applies such a mechanism, showcasing how the two artists explore the wondrous aspects of nature.

Katy Schimert’s Niagara Falls artworks and Ping Zheng’s colorful oil stick landscapes form a thoughtful juxtaposition, demonstrating a mesmerizing blend of artistic expression. United by subject and vibrant colors, the two artists explore the sublime, meandering through the wonders of the planet.

The Dynamism of Waterfalls

New York-based Katy Schimert received the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 2020 and was recently the artist in residence at The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA. Schimert, who is a Professor and Department Head of Ceramics at Rhode Island School of Design, has exhibited avidly, including notable solo displays at Derek Eller and David Zwirner in New York, University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and The Renaissance Society in Chicago.

Schimert was also showcased in two significant group exhibitions: Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950-2019, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and Moon Shot at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston. Drawn to the dynamism of waterfalls, Schimert explores the beauty and force of cascading waters in ceramic sculptures and electrifying drawings displayed at the Katy Schimert & Ping Zheng show at Geary.

Ethereal Landscapes

Brooklyn-based Ping Zheng attained an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016 and a BFA in Painting from the University College of London, Slade School of Fine Art in 2014. Zheng’s works have already become part of collections, including JP Morgan Chase Bank, Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection, and the Cleveland Clinic Art Program.

Zheng’s oil stick works on paper fuse geometric shapes, bold lines, and vibrant colors, achieving ethereal landscapes that verge on the threshold between reality and imagination. Sunlit forest paths and convoluted ravines highlight the relationship between light and landscape. Situated in an urban setting in her city studio, Zheng relies on her childhood memories and experiences as visual foundations for her work.