Born in Louisville, KY, 1977.
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
La Estrella, [P]y[X]i[S], oRiOn: We’re caught up in the jumbled syntax of the heavens in Keltie Ferris’s dazzling show of ten paintings and six body prints, all from 2015. The constellations that lend their name to some of these canvases trace distinct forms but are composed of flickering stars whose boundaries are less clear to us down on Earth. And this is a central aspect of Ferris’s paintings, whose thin airbushed oil layers and dragged acrylic strokes build a rich color space (here, moving beyond the loose neon graffiti of her 2012–13 gallery show into deep purples, reds, ochers) that shifts in and out of focus. Are these shapes or are they impressions?
This, of course, is also a key query for Ferris’s body prints, which for the first time are shown alongside her paintings. In these prints, the artist, dressed in jeans and a denim shirt, like Elvis in Warhol’s screen prints, pressed her oiled figure against paper and then sprinkled powdered pigment over its ground, revealing a wrinkled, indexical presence. Yves Klein, Jasper Johns, and David Hammons come to mind. Their complicated relationships to body and identity are not lost on Ferris.Download PDF Artforum
This has been a summer of women warriors: Serena Williams, Angela Merkel, Charlize Theron’s character in “Max Max: Fury Road,” and Shaye Haver and Kristen Griest, the first women to earn the United States Army’s elite Ranger designation. Now, in the final days of summer, painting’s warrior women are advancing, and Keltie Ferris is among them.Download PDF The New York Times
Brooklyn-based painter Keltie Ferris creates marks—smeared, sprayed and hand-painted—that solidify or dissolve into abstractions with a sense of perceptual depth that allows for multi-dimensional readings. The 38-year-old artist returns to Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash for her second solo exhibition (Sept. 10-Oct. 17) with several new works created during her recent trip to Los Angeles. This show marks the first occasion where both her paintings and body prints—her recent method of working with natural oils and pigments, using her whole body as a brush—will be shown together. Ferris recently spoke with A.i.A. about identity, constellations and what keeps her interest in abstraction alive.Download PDF Art in America
This fall, Ferris’s paintings and body prints will be shown together for the first time in her second solo at Mitchell-Innes and Nash in Chelsea. As she prepared for that exhibition (opening September 10) and two other upcoming shows at the University Art Museum in Albany and Klemm’s in Berlin, Ferris welcomed Artspace's Karen Rosenberg to her Bushwick studio to talk about her embrace of body art and what it means for her paintings.Download PDF Artspace
Keltie Ferris is known for large paintings that lap, layer upon layer, into glimmering pictorial spaces; like her, they are utterly debonair. Last month she debuted Body Prints at Chapter NY, surprising new works which, as the title suggests, are impressions of her body on paper. Ferris’s paintings can also be seen in the 2014 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts at the American Academy of Arts and Letters (March 6 – April 12) where she received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in painting. She met with Jarrett Earnest in her studio to discuss bodies, abstraction, and color-feelings over beer and mint tea, respectively.Download PDF The Brooklyn Rail
The most noticeable, and therefore notable, features of Keltie Ferris’s well-lavished paintings are their two most immediate strata: Ferris finishes off her large-scale abstractions with arrays of spray-painted dots and dashes and then returns with a brush loaded with a higher-intensity, contrasting color to lay down short, chunky strokes tightly packed in vertical, parallel arrangements around the previous layer.Download PDF Artforum
One of the more difficult tasks for younger artists is to make abstract painting genuinely new—that is, sincerely and intelligently felt instead of performed (as with too much geometric work) or blurted out (as with too much AbEx-redux brushwork) like a rant in a family argument. Keltie Ferris, a 35-year-old painter born in Kentucky, educated at Yale's art school and now living in Brooklyn, has followed a not uncommon path. Uncommonly, she's managed to come up with something fairly fresh.Download PDF The Wall Street Journal
At some point while I was walking around the spacious exhibition space of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, it struck me that Keltie Ferris’s paintings no longer seemed to be making obvious allusions to Joan Mitchell, Frank Stella, and Piet Mondrian. This may have been due to the order in which I looked at the paintings, but as I went from one to the next I could sense her increasing confidence.Download PDF Hyperallergic
He-She, 2010, by 32-year-old Louisville-born, Brooklyn-based artist Keltie Ferris dominates the stand of Horton Gallery (Sunday L.E.S.) (P94/750/850).Download PDF
Keltie Ferris--a 2006 Yale MFA who participated in the height-of-the-market, art-department-raiding exhibition "School Days" at Jack Tilton Gallery in 2006--has a lot of good ideas, even if they're not all fully developed yet.Download PDF