Ruby City is pleased to announce the acquisition of San Antonio-based artist Katie Pell’s sculpture, Bitchen Stove (2006). Pell works in a variety of media with a pop sensibility that references contemporary culture, suburbia and gender roles. The addition of her artwork to the Linda Pace Foundation permanent collection deepens the collection’s feminist perspective, which was fostered by Pace in her lifetime, as well as its commitment to Texas-based artists.
Embellished with the exhibition’s title, Bitchen Stove was activated by the artist to shoot flames through the burners fueled by a matching pink propane tank. Other works in the exhibition included kinetic elements such as hydraulic suspensions that made the household appliance hop and jump much like a lowrider car. In her Bitchen series, Pell customizes kitchen and other home appliances such as a vacuum cleaner, toaster, washing machine and stove to invert the feminine, functional space of the home into the indulgent, male realm of custom car culture. In Pell’s original Bitchen installation, created during her 2006 residency at Artpace, many of the repurposed appliances contained a performative element and were tricked out with painted racing stripes. Today, the artist considers these artworks “relics” from her original performance. Out of the kitchen and in the gallery, the object recalls geometric sculpture or pop objects.
“I looked a lot at car culture and the different sub-genres within that culture. I made things as if I was pretending to be someone who was really into each of those genres, for example Malibu style, glittery lowriders, etc.”–Katie Pell
Bitchen Stove will complement works in the permanent collection by artists such as Mona Hatoum, Ana Fernandez, Andrea Bowers and Alex De León, whose practice also empowers domestic objects and environments. By welcoming this work into the collection, the Foundation continues to manifest Pace’s vision to present the local community with contemporary art that aims to inform and illuminate the world we live in today.
The artist Katie Pell was born and raised in Wilmington, DE., received a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. Later in life Pell received an MFA from University of Texas at San Antonio. She has lived and worked in San Antonio since 1995.
Her artwork is in the permanent collections of the New Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, and Linda Pace Foundation. Pell has held residencies at Anderson Ranch, Artpace and Pilchuck Glass School, as well as public art commissions throughout San Antonio. In 2018, she exhibited her work at Columbia Museum of Art, SC in an exhibition titled, “Something’s Happening; The Big Art of Katie Pell.”