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J. S. M. Willette

The Two That Are Not One

Painting and Counterpoint in the art of Ernest Velardi and Katherine Liu

Museum catalog Essay

Bakersfield Museum of Art - March 25-April 27, 1994


"Like the earlier gesture painters, Liu regards the mark, her mark, as autographic and her paintings as a journal, the record of her thoughts and feelings of the world surrounding her on the day she picks up the brush to paint. But the paintings of Katherine Liu have a component beyond expressionistic marking: they are resolutions of her Eastern heritage and Western training. 

Like the ancient literati, the artist gets into the "word", oscillating between marking and effacement without ever losing either the original impulse to write or the solidly realized word. The theme of Liu's art is the oldest theme in art: the fascination of the mark made by the human hand. " 


"Katherine Liu once remarked that she takes the environment thirty years later, collecting the aged debris of a culture. She collects carefully, paints intuitively, then, like a scientist, detaches herself from the act and looks clinically at the results. (She is) both spontaneous and intellectual, active and comtemplative, acting out these states, not as unresolved opposites, but as different stages of development in the making of a painting. In this combination and complexity, Katherine Liu reenacts, in her work, a metaphor for existence."

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