In School Suspension
Through August 27
Gaa Projects Cologne
Gaa Gallery is pleased to present In School Suspension, a solo exhibition of new embroidered work on felt by Kaylie Kaitschuck. This will be Kaitschuck's first solo exhibition with the gallery and the first time she is showing in Europe.
Every day that I wake up, I tally the number of days I have been alive. As of May 19, 2022 I am 9,677 days old. Each day becomes a new address for my homes I embroider. The number fits well as an address, but more importantly becomes a placeholder for time and memory. These homes live in landscapes of fantastical and dreamy energy. But also exist in a space of subtle lostness and chaos. I collect icons from my every day, past experiences, and false memory. I’m shifting between the real and fake realities that intertwine in my mind. These works become my own versions of maps, or postcards. They hold no real navigational route or reference of specific place but my own. These are an archive of thought, routine, and familiarity.
I grew up going to school in White Lake, Michigan. Things to do included hanging out at the local Walmart, climbing the trash ski hill off the highway, and making up mischievous games to hold the boredom off. Waking up late, getting detention, and passing by with a solid 2.8 gpa. I was nothing more than an average student- if that. Day dreaming through scribbles on my homework was my favorite way to pass the time. Just waiting for class to end.
This exhibition is a collage of special stories and dreams throughout that time of my life.
- Kaylie Kaitschuck, May 2022
The scenes in the work of Kaylie Kaitschuck are boldly drawn. They are reminiscent of the marginalia of unfinished homework assignments, marks intuitively made while half-listening, daydreaming, thinking about something else. They are images adorned and from a place where teenagers are smoking cigarettes in the bathroom, scrawling their names on the stall. They are the chaotic five-minute intervals between classes. The marks carved into the tops of desks during detention, graffiti on a locker, a sharpie drawing of a someday tattoo on a friend's arm, song lyrics etched on a backpack. The work is stitched in layers- Girl Scout vests garnered with badges, a jean jacket thickly patched, safety-pinned, and embroidered, a skateboard deck plastered in stickers.
They are images derived from hanging out at a Walmart parking lot. Trying to do anything to not get bored- skating, spray-painting, playing games, hitting trashcans with rocks, paint-balling street signs, sneaking out, egging their own house. The route from school to home and back, the work depicts landscapes from the outskirts of farmland and the suburbs- the doldrums, the middle. From childhood to adolescence, the work evokes a period of life where the future feels simultaneously eons away and also debilitatingly close. The works are conversations held in secret hideouts, car rides, glances, and silences. There's a lot of sadness, joy, nostalgia, and talk of getting out as fast and as far as possible or never being able to leave. They are from a place that is also a process. A place of getting there, trying it out, trying out everything, giving up, failing, passing, barely passing, picking something, anything.
Kaylie Kaitschuck (b. 1995, Dearborn, MI) received her BFA from The College for Creative Studies in 2018 and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2021. With a background in fiber and textile design, Kaitschuck's vivid and imaginative work embraces a tension between highly stylized drawing, "low-brow" aesthetics, and meticulous construction.
Using a long arm quilting machine in a process typically used as a finishing technique for quilts and materials she sources from Craigslist and local material exchanges, Kaitschuck repurposes the techniques and materials of craft. Working in an intuitive manner, Kaitschuck begins with a simple drawing on felt, which is made in one sitting. The immediacy and directness of this process motivate Kaitschuck while providing a medium for a stream of conscious mark-making. On the embroidery machine, the drawing is wound up into a roll that feeds around another tube. Only eighteen inches at a time, the working area of the image, are exposed. As she stitches, the finished work disappears and pulls forward the next part of the drawing. This process becomes one of recollection.
In both process and image-making, Kaitschuck creates an archive of thought, routine, and memory. For Kaitschuck, the manifestation of each work is a form of casting off and making anew. Moving through abandoned personas that no longer serve her, Kaitschuck mines familiar symbols and popular icons. In this cultivation of image and narrative, she examines her personal history and American sub-cultures of the early Aughts with humor, nostalgia, and romanticism.
For In School Suspension, Kaitschuck is particularly interested in exploring the school years, a period marked by the struggle to understand one's self and the world in all its social, spiritual, and psychological dimensions. This exhibition builds off Kaitschuck's previous work which has recently been exhibited at NADA New York (Gaa Gallery), Hiromart Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Baby Blue Gallery, Chicago, IL; Playground Detroit, Detroit, MI; Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA; Parsons The New School, New York, NY; among others. Kaitschuck is a recipient of The Red Bull House of Arts Microgrant, The Robert C. Larson Art, Design, and Architecture Venture Award, and is published in New American Paintings MFA Edition. She lives and works in Detroit, Michigan.