Nature And Humanity Harmonize In Exhibition Showcasing Katy Schimert’s Glazed Ceramics And Ping Zheng’s Oil Stick Landscapes

Forbes | August 2023

By Natasha Gural

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Imagine some 60 tons of dissolved minerals, including sandstones, limestones, and dolostones, sweeping over a 110-foot talus slope every minute, the erosive power painting the water mostly green. Now gaze out of a Brooklyn apartment window during the pandemic, surrendering to the balmy sunlight as it carves a winding path illuminated by green and blue emanating rays.

The two elegant, ethereal depictions engage in a dialogue, amplified by their creative coincidences. The clever curation by Dolly Geary draws together Katy Schimert’s glazed ceramic, Painted American Falls (2019), and Ping Zheng’s oil stick on paper, A Ray of Sunlight (2022). The undulating lines, the colors that evoke otherworldly nature, and the precise compositions, create a conversation between the works that meet for the first time at the joint exhibition, Katy Schimert and Ping Zheng, on view at Geary Contemporary in Millerton, New York, until October 1, 2023. The fortuity of artistic elements evokes a natural collaboration that both New York-based artists embrace.

“I first saw Ping’s work at Kristen Lorello (gallery on the Upper East Side), and when Dolly proposed it, I intuitively thought it would be a good idea. Then when I went to the gallery to help install, I was really amazed at how well our work went together,” Schimert said. “There’s something a lot deeper happening between the two. It’s almost the vibration of the line quality in both of our works that seems to be on the same frequency. … (There is) a very intense back and forth that resonates.”

Both artists explore the relationship between interior and exterior worlds, and both bodies of work are imbued with a sense that the asomatous and the corporeal coexist in a fluid, rhapsodic realm where the connection between humanity and nature is dynamic and essential.

Schimert’s sculptural works are presented as both convex and concave, performing as body armor or breast plates, and her 2015 watercolor on paper works (With Caves, With Falling Rock, Caves, and Split Open with Sun) hint at anatomical drawings with joints (perhaps the articulations of the the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral knee joints) connecting the Falls. I especially appreciate the deliberate and meticulous nuance of Schimert’s ceramics, some with areas of intentionally or spontaneously exposed, unglazed clay, and others fully saturated. Painted American Falls conveys a painterly quality with a frame at the bottom where the glaze painstakingly ceases at a perfect border, almost like a waterfall haircut, save for one lucious teardrop of glaze that reminds us how imperfection is the intrinsic truth and beauty of nature and humanity.