Katherine Steichen Rosing

September 14th - November 4th, 2018

Opening reception, Friday September 14th, 5-9p.m.


Visitors to the Cooler at Abel Contemporary Gallery in Paoli will explore a quiet cool forest inhabited by pale translucent 3D spirit trees, ten foot tall delicate graphite drawings of tree trunks filled with leaves, reading like DNA rising in the sap, and small photographs of trail markers (tree bark painted with Ultramarine blue) documented from the Van Vliet Hemlock Forest Preserve in northeastern Wisconsin. At the end of the path and filling the wall with color, is a large deep blue painting of a night forest titled Vigil.  Shimmering spots across the forest floor allude to the communal relationship within a forest where mother trees nurture saplings, share carbon and nitrogen, and communicate with other species via a vast network of mycorrhizal fungi. Visitors are invited to contribute a note, poem, or sketch of a favorite tree on a translucent paper leaf on the Memory Tree.

Vigil, an immersive installation, is a new step for artist Katherine Steichen Rosing who is known for her contemporary paintings of forests and trees. Surface texture and color are important in Rosing’s paintings where relief surfaces enhance the play of light and color like nature’s textures. Color is minimal in much of this installation which contemplates the loss of so many old growth forests, but pattern and visual texture in the leaf drawings invite slow contemplation while the burst of color on the end wall brings the forest to life. 

Katherine Steichen Rosing’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad, including Tokyo, Beijing, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C. Her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections internationally including Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee, and the State of Wisconsin Collection. Rosing teaches College Transfer Art courses at Madison College (MATC), in Madison, Wisconsin. She earned an MFA from Northern Illinois University and has an undergraduate degree from UW-Madison. 

A lifetime spent hiking, camping, fishing, and kayaking in northern Wisconsin and Canada instilled a passion for nature that inspires her contemplative contemporary abstract landscape drawings, paintings, and installations that explore, celebrate and venerate trees and forests in urban and wild areas.

This project is funded in part by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.