Kate Conlon is a Chicago based artist whose multi-media work uses the language of scientific investigation to explore issues of truth, perception and speculation. Kate participated in the Visiting Students program at Goldsmiths College: London from 2009-2010 and received a BA with Highest Honors from Smith College in 2011. She was a primary research assistant for the textbook, Printmaking Revolution: New Advancements in Technology, Safety and Sustainability, and has given multiple demonstrations and workshops at venues including the SGCI conferences in Milwaukee and New Orleans and Penland School of Crafts. Kate is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and has participated in multiple juried exhibitions in Boston and Chicago. 

Personal Statement

The current impetus of my work is a questioning of what happens in moments when we are physically confronted with the absurdity of our scale within the universe. As space exploration expands the limits of the observable cosmos, our relative scale shrinks into nothingness. I am interested in the methods we use to search for meaning while cognizant of our own inconsequence. Through my work, I explore the human compulsion to gather or construct objective truths about the structure of the universe as a way to conquer its vast uncertainties and impose a comprehensible order. We quantify, map, and catalog the cosmos all in an effort to assert ourselves against it. I am interested in the inevitable shortcomings of this endeavor and look for the humor implicit in looking at the seriousness of life with doubt.

My ongoing project, Exploded Zodiac, is a record of my own attempts to understand the structure of what I see when I look into the sky at night. The project records the process of my research as I attempt to use modern scientific data to update my understanding of the ancient constellations. The project culminates in a series of sculptural constructions representing constellations of the zodiac exploded so that the relationships between their stars are accurate in three-dimensional space. From our perspective on earth, the vast distances between the stars are flattened and the points of light appear to exist on a single spherical surface. The Exploded Zodiac constructions reverse this flattening, revealing a discrepancy between truth and perception on an enormous scale. The sculptural work is accompanied by a series of prints that project the distortions in the recognized constellations that will occur over time as a result of the spatial relationships between the stars. My work is as much about the process of my research as it is about the resulting objects which betray the varied emotions that accompany my investigations as I approach the limits of my own comprehension. 


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.