Kate Oberreich’s “Dreams about Flying”
"I keep sketchbooks. Always,” artist Kate Oberreich said, “I recently looked back at one from one particularly trying year and found a drawing of a series of paper planes crashing downward and under it were the words “Dreams about Flying.”
Featured this month in the Harrison Gallery is HCA artist Kate Oberreich and her show “Dreams about Flying.”
As a second-generation artist, Oberreich was raised by parents who cultivated a love for art in their home. “Both of my parents were artists in ceramics, and their businesses were always run from home,” Oberreich explained. “I grew up in their studios and watched them make their decisions to be artists, work.” Art was always a part of Oberreich’s home in the Herron-Morton Place neighborhood, so much so that she spent hours, not in the “playroom,” but in the “art room” crafting and creating.
This month she brings her viewers a body of work that, in her words, “has been brewing for a while,” and features a rather endearing subject: the noble paper airplane. “I’ve been obsessed with the image of the paper airplane for sometime,” explained Oberreich, “but it really came to the forefront a few years ago during a difficult time in my life. For me, the paper plane came to symbolize communication—or lack thereof—and I wanted to explore that idea more since communication was the cause of so many issues at that time.”
But as so often happens, Oberreich’s difficulties have yielded a vast magnitude of inspiration that her viewers will be privileged to behold this month. The general intimacy of the work provides space for viewers to bring their own story to the piece, and to open themselves up. “I want people to be unafraid to get really close to the work,” Oberreich said. “As this body of work has evolved, and more people have seen it, I’ve been fascinated by their stories, and truly, how open people have been in sharing their stories with me—some of them I’d never met before we started discussing a particular painting.”
Oberreich’s work, characterized by a love for painting white on white and burying things in the paint to create texture and depth, invites a personal experience of existential ponderance. “I’ve always loved art that has content, and tells a story, even if I don’t know what the story is. My story is evolving in new paintings all the time,” explained Oberreich. “The impact of this evolution on me as an artist has been a greater comfort to be open, and to put more of myself on the canvas…”
Kate Oberreich’s show “Dreams about Flying” hangs in the Harrison Gallery throughout the month of March.