Katya Tepper

September 27–December 15, 2018 East Gallery
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract, large scale wall sculptures installed on walls: I, Infected on the left and Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato 'n Grapes) on the right, which has a light cream rectangle painted behind the it. I, Infected resembles the capital letter I and is covered with layers of industrial, medical and personal items including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, toilet plungers, medication, medical gloves and plastic bags. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato 'n Grapes) resembles a clunky road sign and is more organized in color and composition. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract large scale wall sculptures on walls: Gaping Candle Tripod on the left and Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) on the right. Behind Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. Gaping Candle Tripod is composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three bases. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a more abstract sculptural work that slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with three white columns in the middle. The profile of Gaping Candle Tripod is visible on the right wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is installed on the right wall.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with two white columns in the middle. Gaping Candle Tripod is installed on the left wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. The profile of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is visible on the right wall.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), an abstract sculptural representation of a clunky road sign installed on a wall. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), focusing on the red tomato in the center of the work. The red skin of the tomato is studded with holes, some lined with strips of plastic. The center of the tomato is ripped open, revealing a light green and white interior studded with plastic and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Gaping Candle Tripod, a sculpture composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three vertical rectangles that are evenly spaced apart and their bottom edges superimposed on top of a square colored either red, blue, or green. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. The work is made of a complex mosaic of industrial, medical, and personal objects including felt, caulk, epoxy, wax, petals, bricks, eggshells, and medical gloves.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Gaping Candle Tripod, focusing on a detail of one of the rib-like structures. There is a broken brick attached with yellow epoxy to a piece of plywood that is similarly shaped. The hole of the brick is filled with wax and a wick coming out the center it.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of I, Infected, a large scale wall sculpture resembling the capital letter I. There is a small split in the top middle section of the sculpture. The sculpture is plastered with industrial, medical, and personal items including pools of latex rubber with plungers sticking out and large areas covered with blue nitrile medical gloves.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of the bottom of I, Infected, where multiple toilet plunger handles are protruding from the sculpture. The bottoms of the plungers are fixed to the sculpture in a pool of industrial epoxy. There are also toilet paper cartons and blue nitrile gloves fixed to different areas of the sculpture.) 

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) Behind the sculpture on the right is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. The abstract sculptural work slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and is full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) that shows the layering and collaging of different colors and types of fabrics and objects like plastic spools and pins.) 

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to present Katya Tepper’s first New York solo exhibition. This exhibition, entitled ‘Hysteric Signs,’ is composed of 4 large wall sculptures.

Tepper’s work is informed by the lived experience of chronic illness. The forms and processes in ‘Hysteric Signs’ reimagine the grotesque body as a site of joy and whimsy. They formally delight in the messiness of sickness, and revel in disturbing the border between the body and its environment.

Initially, the large, clunky wall sculptures resemble the oversized road signs that loom over the American landscape. Like the architectural signs of strip malls and billboards, Tepper’s sculptures claim and mark space as frontal designs, with bold colors and graphic shapes related to painting. Upon closer inspection, they reveal a dizzying and layered sculptural language full of holes. The materials interweave, exposing an infrastructure of entangled networks, processes, and objects. Toilet plungers penetrate industrial felt shapes, eggshells protrude from poured latex pools, plastic thread spools plug surfaces of caulk and cloth, while wax clogs the pores of old, dirty bricks. As if there is something violent and insistent about their being, the works in ‘Hysteric Signs’ refuse to differentiate between internal and external.

The works are a synecdoche that privilege organs, objects, letters, and roads, creating interrelated parts for the interrelated whole. Tepper scrambles language, symbols, and gestures, and the resulting abstracted forms are multiple in their associations. Deliberately heavy-handed but equally playful, the works in ‘Hysteric Signs’ celebrate the irregular, nonsensical, unruly, raw, and screaming.

Katya Tepper (b. 1987, South Florida) lives and works in Athens, GA. Tepper earned a BFA from the Cooper Union in 2010.  In 2017, Tepper received a Wynn Newhouse Award and MacDowell Fellowship, which partially supported the work in this exhibition.  Tepper also has a solo exhibition, currently on view at the Atlanta Contemporary.

For information or images contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract, large scale wall sculptures installed on walls: I, Infected on the left and Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato 'n Grapes) on the right, which has a light cream rectangle painted behind the it. I, Infected resembles the capital letter I and is covered with layers of industrial, medical and personal items including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, toilet plungers, medication, medical gloves and plastic bags. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato 'n Grapes) resembles a clunky road sign and is more organized in color and composition. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract large scale wall sculptures on walls: Gaping Candle Tripod on the left and Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) on the right. Behind Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. Gaping Candle Tripod is composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three bases. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a more abstract sculptural work that slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with three white columns in the middle. The profile of Gaping Candle Tripod is visible on the right wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is installed on the right wall.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with two white columns in the middle. Gaping Candle Tripod is installed on the left wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. The profile of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is visible on the right wall.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), an abstract sculptural representation of a clunky road sign installed on a wall. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), focusing on the red tomato in the center of the work. The red skin of the tomato is studded with holes, some lined with strips of plastic. The center of the tomato is ripped open, revealing a light green and white interior studded with plastic and various hardware.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Gaping Candle Tripod, a sculpture composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three vertical rectangles that are evenly spaced apart and their bottom edges superimposed on top of a square colored either red, blue, or green. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. The work is made of a complex mosaic of industrial, medical, and personal objects including felt, caulk, epoxy, wax, petals, bricks, eggshells, and medical gloves.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Gaping Candle Tripod, focusing on a detail of one of the rib-like structures. There is a broken brick attached with yellow epoxy to a piece of plywood that is similarly shaped. The hole of the brick is filled with wax and a wick coming out the center it.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of I, Infected, a large scale wall sculpture resembling the capital letter I. There is a small split in the top middle section of the sculpture. The sculpture is plastered with industrial, medical, and personal items including pools of latex rubber with plungers sticking out and large areas covered with blue nitrile medical gloves.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of the bottom of I, Infected, where multiple toilet plunger handles are protruding from the sculpture. The bottoms of the plungers are fixed to the sculpture in a pool of industrial epoxy. There are also toilet paper cartons and blue nitrile gloves fixed to different areas of the sculpture.) 
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) Behind the sculpture on the right is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. The abstract sculptural work slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and is full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)
Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) that shows the layering and collaging of different colors and types of fabrics and objects like plastic spools and pins.) 

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract, large scale wall sculptures installed on walls: I, Infected on the left and Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) on the right, which has a light cream rectangle painted behind the it. I, Infected resembles the capital letter I and is covered with layers of industrial, medical and personal items including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, toilet plungers, medication, medical gloves and plastic bags. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) resembles a clunky road sign and is more organized in color and composition. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (Installation view of two abstract large scale wall sculptures on walls: Gaping Candle Tripod on the left and Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) on the right. Behind Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. Gaping Candle Tripod is composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three bases. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) is a more abstract sculptural work that slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with three white columns in the middle. The profile of Gaping Candle Tripod is visible on the right wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is installed on the right wall. All the sculptures are made of found industrial, medical, and personal material.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (All four sculptures installed on walls in a gallery with two white columns in the middle. Gaping Candle Tripod is installed on the left wall. Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean), is installed on the left side of the back wall and I, Infected on the right. The profile of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes) is visible on the right wall. All the sculptures are made of found industrial, medical, and personal material.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), an abstract sculptural representation of a clunky road sign installed on a wall. The sculpture is composed of a large middle square with two vertical elements that resemble hand tools with whimsical, ribbed, light green handles. The main square is framed and horizontally bisected by thick lines plastered with caulk and bits of dark green plastic bottles. On the top half of the square is a red tomato surrounded by beige epoxy. The bottom half is divided in to sections of red, neon green, and beige and are intricately manipulated with materials such as wine corks, threading spools and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ‘n Grapes), focusing on the red tomato in the center of the work. The red skin of the tomato is studded with holes, some lined with strips of plastic. The center of the tomato is ripped open, revealing a light green and white interior studded with plastic and various hardware.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Gaping Candle Tripod, a sculpture composed of a central rib-like structure on sitting on three vertical rectangles that are evenly spaced apart and their bottom edges superimposed on top of a square colored either red, blue, or green. There is a stemlike structure rising from the center of the rib connected to a square with holes in them. The work is made of a complex mosaic of industrial, medical, and personal objects including felt, caulk, epoxy, wax, petals, bricks, eggshells, and medical gloves.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Gaping Candle Tripod, focusing on a detail of one of the rib-like structures. There is a broken brick attached with yellow epoxy to a piece of plywood that is similarly shaped. The hole of the brick is filled with wax and a wick coming out the center it.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of I, Infected, a large scale wall sculpture resembling the capital letter I. There is a small split in the top middle section of the sculpture. The sculpture is plastered with industrial, medical, and personal items including pools of latex rubber with plungers sticking out and large areas covered with blue nitrile medical gloves.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of the bottom of I, Infected, where multiple toilet plunger handles are protruding from the sculpture. The bottoms of the plungers are fixed to the sculpture in a pool of industrial epoxy. There are also toilet paper cartons and blue nitrile gloves fixed to different areas of the sculpture.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A frontal view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) Behind the sculpture on the right is a light beige rectangle with three smaller jutting rectangles at the bottom, visually resembling the edge of a zipper. The abstract sculptural work slightly resembles the form and size of a road sign with jagged edges and is full of industrial and personal material including industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, eggshells, cloth and paint.)

Katya Tepper, installation view, 2018 (A close-up view of Hysteric Sign (Distended J Bean) that shows the layering and collaging of different colors and types of fabrics and objects like plastic spools and pins.)