Nancy Modlin Katz


Artist Statement

Whether drawing or painting, my work is centered on place: the exterior space of the landscape we move through, the interior spaces we occupy day to day.
A number of years ago while painting outdoors I began to feel constrained by the limitation of paper or canvas size, and wanted to extend my field of vision. At times, this desire manifested itself in papers taped on to each other, extending drawings and paintings horizontally and vertically.
In 2009, after starting to teach ceramics at a San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts, I began to produce my own work in clay. Through my new medium, I quickly embraced rich connections between cultures, lives, and histories around the globe.
Building in clay, my drawings could move around a three-dimensional form, creating a different sense of space, one that was both expansive and close at the same time. I discovered that clay afforded me the opportunity to expand the image on a flat two dimensional plane in all directions. I realized that was it was not the size of the clay piece but the form that gave me the expansive feeling I was looking for. Working on a small scale has afforded me the opportunity to look closely with my hands as well as my eyes, creating an intimate world that can be held, touched and used as well.
Since incorporating clay into my artistic practice, I have developed a personal process that fuses several ceramic techniques. After a piece is hand built, I often begin with a carved incised line for mishima or a sgraffito drawing into the clay. I then develop images with underglaze painting. The work is direct and improvisational, freely drawn into the surface of the clay.

Whereas a painting allows the viewer to enter the world of the painting, a ceramic piece allows the viewer to interact physically with the piece in real time. Working in both connects that physical world with the imaginative. I see my mark and vision coming through of a world that offers hope toward a future, a world of colors that embrace our lives inside and outside.

Saratoga Arts

320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
p. 518.584.4132
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 11am-3pm


Saratoga Arts' programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.  

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