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Cathleen Ficht was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. She focuses on drawing and printmaking, mainly photolithography, stone lithography, and wood engraving. She received her BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Illustration in 2011 at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, and received her MFA in Printmaking in 2014 at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. She also completed a one month residency at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California in 2018 and a one month residency to Chateau d’Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France in January 2020, and was awarded The Denis Diderot [A-i-R] Grant. Her work has appeared in many juried and group exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, Colorado, Texas, Rhode Island, Italy, as well as online exhibitions. Her work mainly focuses on capturing the often-unrealized beauty in common objects and scenes at certain moments in time to hold on to and create experiences within a piece of artwork. Cathleen is currently living and working in New York City.
“So time is not just a negative space, a passive intermission to be overcome. It is a productive or formative force in itself.” – Jennifer L. Roberts
My work challenges the eye to open wider, eliciting the inquisitive gaze. This creates a unique experience by using the movement and life within a disturbed surface. Water is a major theme in my work because of its unpredictable and quixotic nature. I take the time to replicate by drawing a photograph that I take creating a variety of drawings and print media such as photogravure, photo lithography and stone lithography. Through meticulous work, the relationships between the reference photographs and drawings are revealed, yet evolved. It is not merely about the accurate representation, but what is happening within and beyond that surface. The process requires intricate examination to uncover new lines, shapes, and images creating new orders and relationships.
By recreating textures and lines, a more obscured surface emerges inviting the viewer to take a closer look and get lost in its complexities. This intimacy gives greater depth to the piece and creates a more haptic quality, the tactility and its effect on the observer. With each viewing it is easy to become lost within each piece and uncover new scenes, images, or figures. There is always something new to be uncovered through my process. After recreating such detail-oriented images reducing recognizable imagery your mind creates its own images and stories for itself.
A second body of work focuses on the unpredictability of time. It explores our desire to try and freeze one moment and hold onto it whether it’s good or bad. Hundreds of recently discovered letters written during WWII between my grandparents inspired this work. The letters reveal their great love for each other during this dangerous time. My grandfather was sent to Europe in 1944 shortly after their marriage, and the only means of communication available was their letters. Time was volatile during the war, but the one constant was the love and dedication they had for each other.
My work strives to capture something that is in flux, the often-unrealized beauty in common objects at a certain moment in time. Capturing an image of uncontrollable forces in nature or time reveals an unknown beauty
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