Kelley Donahue 

Cosmic Cosmetologist

January 8- February 20, 2016

Curator: Ting Liu

T+H Gallery is pleased to announce Cosmic Cosmetologist, a solo exhibition of recent and new work by Kelley Donahue, comprised of hand-painted ceramic sculptures.  This is her first show in Boston, on view at 460 Harrison Ave, C19 & C20.

Cosmic Cosmetology is an assemblage of sculptures that work together to form an alternate cohesive place. Donahue invites the viewer to explore and potentially inhabit this dream-like realm. It is through the physical creation of these pieces that she is able to give life to the tiny universe living inside her head. And it is only through the act of love that this world can be created, she states that is when “a light will spiral out of from tiny voids decorating their walls with a new spectrum of color.  It will glow out past the boundaries of our houses, adorning the plains and edges with inventions of pattern.”  

Donahue’s sculptures function like 3D canvases; they are meticulously painted, layered with colorful quilted patterns.  Her works sculpturally depict magnificent phantasmagorical figures that harken to ancient mythology.  This representation contrasts effectively with the contemporary imagery painted on the skin of these ethereal creatures. Ranging from miniature to human-scale, the works are multi-sided, completely transforming the image depending on the angle.  Each piece functions as a world of its own. 

Donahue refers to the phrase “trans-utopian celestial dream pop” to help her understand the foundation of her artistic vision. She explains, “the original Greek etymology of utopia meant "no place", and later converged with the English homophone "eutopia" meaning "good place" thus resulting historically as a linguistic joke: The good place is no place…Adding the prefix trans, (beyond or across from) protects the utopian concept from philosophical biases set in place by our perceptual limitations. Celestial, originally meaning heaven, or domain of the gods, was eventually adopted by scientists exploring the space beyond our planet…Dream takes us as far as we are willing to go. Pop as a contemporary folk art reconstructs traditional methodology and implies cultural belongingness as well as sensational immediacy.”

Born in 1983 in Ketchikan, Alaska, Donahue received a BA from Humboldt State University in 2010 and a MFA in ceramics from Alfred University in 2014. She is a visual and sound artist, both of which have taken her all over the world. Donahue was awarded the Barbara Rittenberg Fellowship and NCECA sponsorship in 2014. She currently resides in New York, where she teaches ceramics.  Donahue’s work is shown nationally and internationally.  

For further information about Cosmic Cosmetologist, please contact Ting Liu at or 401-390-1033.

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