Kate Teale, Atlantic 2, 2017

Kate Teale, Bay, Atlantic 2, 2017, acrylic on canvas and mulberry paper over board, 24 x 36 in.

Kate Teale’s paintings of windows viewed from below reproduce the experience of walking around at night and offhandedly imagining the life lived on the other side of this or that illuminated window. Dependent on transparent shades, untended blinds, and our luxury to wander and brood in the evening, this pastime stops shy of interloping, as it is only conjecture, based on scarce clues that often register unconsciously, crowded among the viewer’s other preoccupations. Teale captures her subjectivity, which presumes the class, taste, and emotional well-being or unhappiness of the observed. Then she dismisses these phantoms.

Teale’s view from outside looking in is rendered in a pointillistic style, in the manner of Georges Seurat. She paints in acrylic on soft mulberry paper affixed to canvas stretched on a board. Velvety darkness frames brilliant, diffuse light, as translucent colors are stippled on the smooth surface, leaving bare bright spots alone. Teale’s paintings extend the shelf life of subjective musing: they sustain imagination, curiosity, and the longing to be someone else and the relief that one is not.

Part of Passing Bittersweet, a 2020 exhibition at the Williams Center Gallery. Find more of Kate Teale’s work on her website.