Merry-go-round

Feb 2 - 28, 2019

Sense Gallery

3111 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC

Merry-go-round is a solo exhibition that features all new works by Katie Pumphrey, including paintings, collages, and a site-specific installation that will evolve over the course of the exhibition. Pumphrey’s work explores the tension between chaos and calm. Crisp edges and quiet shapes are at a constant tug-o-war with playful movement and vibrating color. With turbulent brushstrokes and the suggestion of imagery, her work examines themes of reflex, confrontation, territory, and instinct.

Merry-go-round explores the familiar and constant teeter-totter between control and chaos. We feel steady, level-headed, comfortable — and then something shifts, and we scramble to grab the wheel. The floor keeps spinning. We blink through blurriness, fight the dizziness, and move to find our footing. Again, the meter resets. We ping-pong between these moments, time and time again. It’s a dance we know the moves to, a game of repetition we constantly play. Again and again, we ease the tension and harness the commotion. Over and over and over again, we get on and off the carousel.


Like Funfetti and Ice Cream / 66”x74”, acrylic on canvas, 2019

The Floor is Lava / 48”x48”, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Whale Hello #1-2 / 6”x6”, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Bubble Babble (3x Fast) #1-2 / 14”x15” each, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Confection #1-2 / 22”x22” each, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Like Layer Cake #1 / 18”x24”, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Oh, Hi There #1-2 / 12”x12” each, acrylic on canvas, 2019


Punch-drunk #1-19 / 10”x10” each, acrylic and paper on panel, 2019


Merry-go-round

site specific installation, acrylic on paper, 2019

(photographs by Rachel Payne)

Merry-go-round, Again

site specific installation, acrylic on paper, 2019

(photographs by Rachel Payne)

This site specific piece is the 2nd iteration of this installation. During the Feb 9th Installation Performance event (2-6pm), the artist added to and changed the installation.  Visitors were encouraged to interact and participate. 

The installation evolved once more- this time becoming 4 objects. From the acrylic on paper cut outs used in the installation, the four 48”x48” collages on panel below were made. The large collages on panel are on view through the Closing Reception Feb 28th, 6-9pm.

Merry-go-round, Again and Again #1-4, acrylic and paper on panel, 48”x48” each, 2019 / on view at Sense Gallery through Feb 28th, 2019.