Catherine Callahan studied at the State University of New York at New Paltz and Cornell University. She has completed artist residencies at Hewn Oaks in Lovell Maine and the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, NY. Her work has been shown in galleries and non-profit venues and she is the founder of the bi-annual Byrdcliffe Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. She works in Biddeford, Maine, while listening to Greek music, surrounded by ghosts in an old textile mill.
“These paintings were created in late 2021/early 2022, deep into a pandemic winter, during which I was also devoted to studying modern Greek. I have traveled back and forth to Greece in my mind, in space as well as time. The titles of the paintings are taken from a single paragraph in Homer’s Odyssey that describes the cave of the Goddess Calypso. Meanwhile, Mazi (meaning “together”) – the title of the show – is lifted from the an album of Greek duets by George Dalaras and Marinella, a quirky album which I listened to obsessively while painting these pieces and which should probably be played while viewing them for the full effect. The word “mazi” denotes a culture that values togetherness, community and spending time with one another.
The process of painting, for me, is joyful as well as intuitive and unwieldy. Many, many layers of “resolved’ but uninteresting paintings lie beneath the finished piece. The painting is successful when it opposes refinement and tastefulness in the expression of something more meaningful. It is the human touch that interests me. The wobble and the imperfection.”