"Mary Katz...has brought to her work a layered sensibility. The work itself works with...patterns layered over each other, the paint visceral and almost inviting touch. And it's layered with a deep sense of art history, from the various modernist schools of the early 20th century to the more iconoclastic totemic works of more recent years. It's strong work, balancing eclecticism...and the historic." —Paul Smart, Woodstock Times, May 9, 2013
Working with oil and a limited palette, I usually begin with only a notion about color or form. I experiment with the interplay of color and line, light and dark, in an effort to find the personal in the process. I use a layered technique in which lines and shapes emerge and recede, as the work becomes increasingly idiosyncratic. This layering reveals a relation of surface to depth, of rendering to erasure, of certainty to conjecture. As it progresses the painting evokes associations with ideas, experience or place that become part of the interplay of chance, intention and necessity.
Exploring the relationships between perception and making, and making and permanence, is the subtext of my work. In all of the paintings I try to create a spatial representation of the passage of time—successive moments never disappear completely, nor do they remain themselves. Passing moments are never entirely past, they continue to exert, via memory, some kinds of influence. Every time something is added, something is taken away, though not everything. The painting, like any life, becomes its own subtext in moving forward, a simple surface with a complex undertone.