Kati Gegenheimer

Return to Artist

When I learned to paint, I learned to feel. Painting was not an analytical practice, it was not a conceptual practice, and it was not even a particularly skilled practice. When I was a young undergraduate really learning how to paint, I was lucky enough to have professors that were less concerned with technique, and more concerned with emotion. Was this a crying on the phone painting? Was it a jumping through puddles painting? Typically my paintings were EUPHORIC. I had never experienced joy in the way that I experienced it in painting, because painting allow(ed)(s) me to capture feeling as an image, something a photo was never able to do for me. Something writing words on paper was never able to do for me. Something reality never let me hold on to.

When I learned to paint, I learned to feel. The fleeting moment right before the thunder clap, right before the fireworks, right before diving into a wave. I could see my brush strokes, where my rag dragged across the canvas, where my thumb tickled the edge of the canvas, leaving a bunny trail of fading paint behind. A recorded history of feeling, learning how to translate the ephemeral into language by way of color, mark making and balance. Walls were built with opacity, doorways emerged through transparency. Gardens bloomed sans water or dirty knees, suns set and rose from the clouds in a single second. Painting is a window into the space where freedom resides, where our own realities can take shape, where our psyche rushes like a river.

When I learned to paint, I learned to feel. As a solitary painter, I was taught that I never had to feel alone. My ancestors were right there with me, if I chose to let them in. I can look to Henri Matisse, to Odilon Redon, to Marc Chagall, to Elizabeth Murray, to Florine Stettheimer, to Arthur Dove, to Horace Pippin…they all continue to be so generous with their feelings, with their love, with their hearts through what they put down on a simple substrate.  They show me tricks, mistakes, color that works, color that doesn’t. They show me what materials can do, through their lifetime of dedication to The Search. My comrades, my community, they are there too, nearly right next to me if I let them in. We are all alone in our studios together, trying to find the truth, the freedom, and the answer to the question that is posed in our everyday reality.  How can we cultivate the world that we want to live in? Painting gives us the key.

When I learned to paint, I learned to feel. I was taught to feel the pull of painting; it became natural to search for the questions that could not be answered with common sense. A question in painting is a far greater challenge than the mundane everyday questions:

“What should I have for breakfast?”
“Which train should I take to get there?”
“Is this outfit work appropriate?”

A painting question can distort space and time, it can create an illusion, it can summon a memory that leads to a smell and a breeze that passed through hair ten years ago. A painting question, answered through a formalist lens, can lead to feeling.

“What does orange with a little bit of hot pink mixed in make you taste?”
“If I paint this top right corner right, will the shape of the canvas change to the eye? If it works, will the rest of the room fall out of balance?”
“If I carve into the surface but it reads like the relief of white paint will you want to touch it?”

When I learned to paint, I learned to feel. I suspend those feelings on a two dimensional surface. I paint with love, I repeat love to create love. If you build it they will come. I paint it like I mean it. I draw it like I mean it. I depict tributes and gestures in painting directly to subjects that I admire, adore, respect. I create records in painting and adorn them in grandeur because they feel pure and sincere and embarrassing and human. This is true faith. I see no reason not to feel with purpose. I see no reason to paint without purpose.


Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT
MFA, Painting & Printmaking

Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Elkins Park, PA
BFA, Printmaking with a minor in Art History, Summa Cum Laude


It’s A Dinner Party, Curated by Mark Thomas Gibson, Stockholm, Sweden
Dog Show, Curated by Austin Lee, Brooklyn, NY
Sick Painters
, Curated by Dustin Metz, Ms Barbers, Los Angeles, CA
Sunday Painter, Curated by Alex Nunez, Laundromat Gallery, Miami, FL

Bomb Pop-Up #1, Curated by Drea Cofield, Brooklyn, NY
Pleasure Quest, Curated by Josh Poehlein, SAD Gallery, Seattle, WA
Post-Apologetic, Curated by Morgan Hobbes & Rebecca Sedehi, AUTOMAT Collective, Philadelphia, PA

The Midnight Sun, Curated by Dustin Metz, Ms Barbers, Los Angeles, CA
YSA NYC x Kati Gegenheimer, YSA NYC Featured Artist Ltd. Edition Sik Scarf, Premiere Classe Cambon, Paris, France
Sixty Minutes: Sixty Artists & Sixty Seconds of Video, Curated by Courtney Childress, Vanity Projects, Miami, FL
Oracle, Curated by Will Hutnick & Polly Shindler, Trestle Projects, Brooklyn, NY

Brucennial 2014, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
Shrink It, Pink It, Curated by Irena Jurek & Diana Buckley, Cathouse FUNeral, Brooklyn, NY
PAINTINGWALL (Janus at 8:16), Curated by Ala Dehghan, Touch Gallery, Cambridge, MA

Splendor in the Grass with Olympia Lad & Lass, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Yale MFA Thesis Exhibition, Pt. 1, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

We Don’t Have All Night, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

I Know What You Did Last Summer, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA


smART Ventures Grant, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle, WA

Elizabeth Canfield Hicks Award, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

Gamblin Paint Prize, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Gloucester Prize Nominee, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

Faculty Printmaking Award, Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA


Project Portal & Residency, Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs, PA


Maake Magazine Featured Artist, June 2015


SUPERFOG, (Featuring works by Beverly Acha, Michael Ambron, Romina Meric, Dustin Metz, & Alan Prazniak).
9 Great Jones Street, New York, NY


Assistant Director & Painting Faculty, Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art, Norfolk, CT
P/T Lecturer, Painting Basics, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Visiting Artist, Hartford Art School, Hartford CT

P/T Lecturer, Painting Basics, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Assistant to the Director, Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art, Norfolk, CT

Visiting Artist, The Cooper Union, NY, NY

Teaching Artist Residency, StudioLab High School of Art & Design with the Abrons Art Center, New York, NY
Visting Artist, Mason Gross at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Guest Teaching Artist – Bija Kids Summer Program, Bija Kids, Brooklyn, NY
Teaching Assistant – Painting Studio II with Clint Jukkala, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Visiting Artist Coordinator Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT

Visiting Artist, Mason Gross at Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ

Oracles, Artist’s Calling Cards. “Emilie Flöge.” Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich, CH.

Dustin Metz: Night Spots and a Dirty Sun Clock. Chicken Coop Contemporary, Portland, OR
The Possibility of Freedom, Beverly Acha’s Paintings, Roswell Museum & Art Center, Roswell, NM

Interview with Austin Lee, Spheres, Basel, Switzerland.