Katie Maratta: horizonscapes

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 10:00 AM - Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:00 PM
The Grace Museum
102 Cypress Street Abilene, TX 79601

ho r i  z   o   n    s    c     a      p      e      s

Katie Maratta, The Long Horizon (detail), graphite and ink on archival fiberboard, courtesy of the artist.

The small scale of Katie Maratta’s vast miniature vistas demands closer examination. Only then are you rewarded with the impeccable detail of her horizontal narratives of the vast Texas landscape.

Katie Maratta’s “horizonscapes” present an opportunity to experience long stretches of the Texas landscape in a totally new way. Close examination of Maratta’s long horizontal panels, composed of tiny graphite and ink sketches, reveals the often over-looked rhythm and pulse of landmarks on the outstretched horizon. Trees, swirling dust devils, highway signs, horses, hay bales, pump jacks, barns, farm houses, silos and endless stretches of roads and fences roll by in cinematic fashion reminiscent of a long road trip through West Texas.

Katie Maratta, 2 Horses Running, 2015, graphite, ink, pastel, and watercolor on archival fiberboard, courtesy of the artist.

Part of the fascination of Maratta’s work is that she presents an endlessly vast space on an incredibly small literal picture plane much like the inherent contradiction between by what the eye can see and what the brain perceives as reality. Maratta’s understated, monochromatic technique appears deceptively simple, but like the scenes she chooses to depict, there is much more to see than first meets the eye. 


My typical landscapes are four feet long and one inch high. This format allows me to mirror reality as opposed to presenting only one point of view. Because the pieces cannot be seen all at once, the viewer must travel the length of the horizon and look closely to see the details and experience the rhythm of the rural landscape. The work can also be viewed as a Basic Geometry lesson with the verticality of the viewer complementing the line, squares, and basic shapes of the horizon and the pictorial elements strung along it.