Kate Howe (she/they) is an American artist living and working in London. Howe holds a BA (summa cum laude) in Art History from Arizona State University and an AA in Technical Theatre (highest honors) from Foothill College. She is the founder of RuptureXIBIT (+Studio), a free residency and experimental exhibition space for artists, and she will graduate from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Painting in June 2022.
Howe’s work resists complicity with historical precedent. In her work, which spans painting, drawing, tattooing, textile work, sculpture, writing, performing, sound, social and experiential practices, and draws heavily on her ancestry in theatre, film making, quilting, writing, and art, she responds to the canonical record by viewing existing historic works through forensic anthropology's lens, engaging with these works as evidence, recontextualizing paintings, and resurrecting their ghosts. Howe’s research-based practice is unflinching, unapologetic, excoriating, excavator-esque, surgical, and relentless.
“My research reveals the mechanisms by which we have always taught the subjugation of people and the acceptance of that subjugation as implicit. If we can reveal the mechanism, we can reveal it as mechanized, that is, inorganic, unnecessary: unpickable.”
The work is the detritus of the research, totems for the future or portals to the past.
Howe’s current body of work responds to Artemisia Gentileschi’s 1610 painting Susannah and the Elders and Eiko Matsuda’s 1976 performance and post-performance career in the Japanese erotic film Into the Realm of the Senses.
Howe states: “Running through all my work are the seams of things being healed from rupture, the scar of having been brought back together, pregnant and uneven, forever imprinted with what came before, continuously repositioned in potentiality and future-facing."