[Featured Artist] Kate Casanova: Gut Feeling at Yi Gallery

Art Spiel, June 8, 2022

Kate Casanova, photo courtesy of Yi Gallery

Gut Feeling is a solo exhibition of hyper-tactile sculptures by sculptor, Kate Casanova, at Yi Gallery in Brooklyn. This is Casanova’s first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view May 14 through July 9.


What would you like to share about the idea and process behind the body of work in this show?

The sculptures in this exhibition explore the paradoxical experience of being a body. One can know their own body intimately and yet the inner workings remain utterly mysterious. Organs carry out tasks beneath flesh and microbes flourish in guts without direction from the human in which they inhabit. Even though science provides brilliant explanations of how we function, to occupy a body is to be both at home and amidst an alien landscape.

I use a wide range of materials including paper clay, polymer gypsum, vintage fur, fabric and acrylic paint. I always start with material. What does it feel like, what can it do, how does it make me feel? For example, fabric is a material that we are intimately familiar with. We wear it on our bodies as a second skin. For this exhibition, I experimented with quilting and embroidery to create skins that are porous and drape off the walls in response to gravity. I think of my sculptures as bodies that are in process and lack a distinct outside and inside.

Installation view of Gut Feeling at Yi Gallery, photo courtesy of Yi Gallery

Some of the biomorphic forms in this exhibition, like an unruly intestine or spleen, bulge and coil in defiance of gravity. I wanted these objects to convey a sense of bodily autonomy as if they operate independently from a governing brain. These objects resist the mind-over-body hierarchy and embrace the body as a system of shared governance.


Installation view of Gut Feeling at Yi Gallery, photo courtesy of Yi Gallery, Kate Casanova, Porous Membrane; Inside Out, 2022, Hand-dyed fabric, faux fur, vintage fur, synthetic hair, thread, 64” x 34” x 7”, photo courtesy of the artist

I have been fascinated by bodies, both human and nonhuman, for as long as I can remember. I was raised in the woods of Northern Minnesota with a menagerie of animal companions who have informed my conceptual, material and formal language. In addition, I am an extremely tactile person and I feel the world in my body when I look at it. I create hyper-tactile objects as an invitation to engage the knowledge that resides in the senses. Gut Feeling occupies the space between what can be sensed about one’s own body and what can only be imagined.


Photos courtesy of the artist

Kate Casanova is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the posthuman body through sculpture and video. Casanova has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as Yi Gallery (New York), reference: contemporary (Toronto), and the Black Cube Nomadic Museum (Denver). She received an MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2013 and a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 2008. She is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Denver.

Kate Casanova: Gut Feeling at Yi Gallery from May 14 to July 9, 2022 ,254 36th Street, Suite B634Brooklyn, NY 11232

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