In Conversation with KATHRYN LYNCH

All images: © Courtesy of Kathryn Lynch

Curated by: Varia Serova

Curator Varia Serova in conversation with Kathryn Lynch on the occasion of the artist's first solo exhibition prepared in collaboration with Sears-Peyton (New York) at the gallery and the online viewing room, opening on May 27, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. (GMT).

Kathryn Lynch in her studio. Courtesy of Kathryn Lynch.

Varia Serova: Do you like doing interviews? Kathryn Lynch: I do like interviews — when I start to paint words leave my head and I use another part of my intelligence, I always feel like I am painting from instinct. It is difficult to put what I am painting into words, so I like the challenge of an interview.

VS: Are you a first generation painter? How did your initial interest in painting develop? KL: I am a first generation painter. My mother loved art and architecture - on weekends we would spend the day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Both my sister and I loved going, we invented stories around the pictures and imagined living in different time periods. We would look at all the paintings to see which ones gave us the most amount of deja vu. Early on I felt connected to paintings, the way one feels connected to their relatives.

VS: Let's talk about your artistic formation that happened further on. KL: I felt a magnetic pull towards art. Luckily, in high school I had an excellent art and art history teacher who encouraged me to think of myself as an artist and introduced me to contemporary art. She took our class to the Guggenheim in New York City to see de Kooning - it was the first time I realized that it was possible to live as an artist in New York City. From that point on, my dream was to live in New York City and become an artist. At the time it felt so farfetched.

River, 2020, oil on board , 48 x 46 in.

Four Bushes, 2020, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.

VS: And look where we are now. What do you know when you are starting a painting? What do you have already established as a framework for the painting, and what happens on the surface? KL: Walking informs what I will be painting. I absorb the world around me and make sketches of things I see that I want to paint. The sketches allow me to start and, once started, the canvas begins to direct where I put color and brush strokes. Some paintings finish quickly, and others take a while - the surface on the painting will change accordingly.

VS: How does the process unravel? KL: I have no set process, the way I go about the painting changes according to what the canvas needs, each painting takes its own course. It is very important to keep air in a painting, to let it breathe. All my favorite paintings in the world feel open and alive. Art has a pulse and reflects what it is to be human.

VS: How long does each painting take, roughly from beginning to end ? KL: Some paintings are made very quickly, others take more time. I think of them all taking a lifetime, as each one is an accumulation of all the years spent making paintings. Painting is an open road, there is always room to grow, when painting you are actively learning.

Yellow cab, 2021, oil on canvas, 36 x 24 in.

Wave, 2021, oil on canvas, 53 x 49 in.

Foggy River Park, 2021, oil on canvas, 53 x 48 in.

East river, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

Moon, 2020, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

Sagaponack sun, 2021, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.

VS: Some images appear to be reoccurring in your work, boats, it a conscious effort? KL: I am drawn to certain shapes, the same way I am drawn towards art. What I paint is not a conscious choice - I take long walks and while walking, there are things that pop out and demand to be painted. My process works like an antenna - I pick up signals - absorb where I am and put the information I gathered on the canvas.

VS: Lets talk about the city as inspiration. How did this relationship develop? KL: Anyone that lives in a city loves living with lots of people and enjoys the flow of movement. It is too hot in the summer, so I like going to the country - when I return I am as equally energized by city lights as I am by the stars in the sky, the sun and the moon. Cities show our human natures while the country shows true nature. I want to celebrate both places - I want to celebrate feeling alive which comes with feeling inspired. The City inspires me as does nature.

Big red, 2020, oil on paper, 32 x 22 in.

Gated city, 2021, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

Sirens, 2020, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.

VS: Are you encouraged by what seems to be a renaissance of painting in the new generation? KL: I am so excited about how many people are making terrific paintings world wide. Joy is infectious - to paint is to live with joy. With everyone tethered to zoom and computers, I think painting will continue to be appreciated and is needed. It keeps us human and connected to our souls.

VS: What are you working on right now? KL: I am still walking on the East River, sketching boats, sky and lights. A new shipment of canvas just got delivered to my studio - I think they will be about one thing, but once I start I am never fully in control of where they will lead me. That is what makes painting so exciting.

Kathryn Lynch in her studio. Courtesy of Kathryn Lynch.

Kathryn Lynch in her studio. Courtesy of Kathryn Lynch.