Katy Stone - Grasswave
American, b.1969
Grasswave, 2010
Acrylic on laser cut aluminum, 108 x 300 x 2.5 inches

Gift of William J. Lutz and Karen Wicklund Lutz (MBA '78)

Katy Stone was born in rural Iowa in 1969. It was during this phase of her life that she developed a deep connection to the landscapes around her, including the green shag carpet in her childhood bedroom. It inspired a revelatory experience through nature, material, and color that would forever inspire her work. While Stone was receiving her BFA from the University of Iowa, she encountered the concept of the Abstract Sublime. This concept, characterized by Marc Rothko and Joan Mitchell, would be a key factor in the evolution of Stone’s work. It was not until graduate school, however, that Stone started to truly explore the non-traditional materials that she is so known for. She most often uses archival plastic film or laser-cut aluminum to reflect the abundance of nature in her artwork. Stone currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

“This piece is made of hundreds of individual elements of hand-painted, laser-cut aluminum. The artwork began as a small gestural sketch. The individual strokes were isolated and translated into CAD files so that they could be enlarged and laser-cut. The repetition and accumulation of these linear elements suggests cross-hatching, a drawing technique where patterns of lines are used to create a sense of mass and form. The work is precisely composed and arranged yet looks very spontaneous. The shadows in the work add visual interest and intrigue--they are an immaterial element that becomes an integral part of the artwork. The piece plays off the idea of the surrounding landscape that is so present from the vantage point of the colloquium. The grass roof, the green of the trees, and the larger sense of the environment of Michigan. Sited in a dynamic place, a space full of thought, energy and innovation, it seemed fitting to make a piece that was full of life and suggests a surge of movement. My work often expresses the sense of both the fleeting and the eternal, those enduring yet momentary processes that are all around us. One such process is wind, and it is a metaphor for change, motion and renewal. Equally important is the idea in the work that a simple action or mark can transform itself into an image. The piece dances back and forth between line and image, as it suggests the continual change that is all around us.”

Katy Stone, Artist, 2010