Katherine Kadish: “Patterns”

Katherine Kadish was a very interesting woman. I think perhaps the most interesting thing about Katherine was her life story. It was filled of ups and downs, but mostly it sounded lonely and strange. She did not have children because they would interfere with her work, she was divorced, and she mentioned that she did not get along with her family at times. It was evident in her pieces she presented at “Patterns”. The dark and lonely nature of her work created an outlet for that which she tried to mask in her long stories and cool demeanor. She could not hide the pain that I sensed in her.

Kadish’s paintings were all very dark. She surrounded her simple shapes made from patterns with chocolate tones that seemed to melt deeply around her focal point. As she talked, I stared at her piece entitled “Self Portrait” where a body form and arm hung in a sea of darkness. It suddenly made sense. Kadish was lost in her words and stories as I became lost in her art. She knew her body, her figure and her form, but the world was dark and strange outside of the known. It was as if she was grasping to maintain the form while a darkness of insecurity and pain grew around her. She was trapped in the dark frame that was slowly becoming her life. Kadish spoke of her passion and her success and the people she’s met, but it was the darkness in her voice, the darkness of the background, that unveiled the sadness. Nothing more exemplified this sadness than “Torso” made from random sheets of paper. She stared at it for a long period of time, remembering the pain, and then told the story of her friend that battled with breast cancer. The figure was bright and very noticeable, but the background again lingered deep and unforgiving of the lines she drew. It was a memory that shouted out against the confusion and pain in the world that seemed to haunt her. Her voice trembled when she spoke of the battle, trying to uphold her majestic artist attitude, but you could not hide the emotion. Kadish explained that her work was a yearning to break out of the confines of one’s world and mind. She seemed almost lost standing there fumbling over her words, her work showing her personal confinement within the path she had chosen. It was different to see the artist standing there, among the children of her soul. It was as if she could not hide behind her stories or even the personal touches the audience may interject. Her pieces grabbed her and revealed something that she could not hide, her pain. It was in the darkness that her disguise was lost. Few could see it, but the paintings could not lie.

Katherine Kadish presented “Patterns” to the class with vivid and random stories of her life. Linking her voyage through pain, suffering and loneliness to her framed works of glued paper. Looking deep into her pieces one could discover her own pain and anguish that seemed to follow her despite her words of self discovery and mastery. Kadish came across as a self-centered artist, but her works revealed what hid underneath the well-rehearsed timelines of her life. Her paintings were so dark and so confined, that they showed the real side of Katherine Kadish: a lonely, confused, woman.

by Kathleen Feldhusen

Major: Criminal Justice
Expected Graduation Date: December 2004
Hometown: Spokane, WA

This particular piece was really inspired by the artist herself. Her sadness seemed to be oozing from every pore in her body, and I couldn't help but pick up her attitude. I don't normally write very much other than papers for classes, but this particular assignment inspired me to look a little deeper into the artwork and the artist herself.

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