Inscribing the Skin - Katy Martin and Diana Quinby

Alexander/Heath Contemporary
“Inscribing the Skin”
an exhibition
of NYC Artist & Parisian Artist

Katy Martin & Diana Quinby

June 7 through July 26, 2019

Art-by-Night Friday, June 7th, 5 to 10 pm
Artists Talk at 7:30 pm

Gallery open Tuesday-Thursday 1 to 3:30
Fridays, 7-8:30 pm or by appointment:
contact via Email: hettig@alexander-heath.com
Cell: Edward Hettig, 607.226.2473

Images from the Opening Exhibition with Katy Martin and Diana Quinby


I paint directly on my skin, which I then photograph and print out digitally. The final images exist as digital prints on cotton rag paper.

For years, I’ve been investigating gesture in painting and this implicates my whole body. The imagery plays on illusions of control, about our bodies and also about art. I started working this way, in the mid-1990s, as a way to find myself, literally, within the language of abstraction and reshape it based on my own experience.

In the latest work – since 2017 – I first make a big painting on paper or canvas. Then I set up the camera, stand in front of that painting, and paint on myself as if I’m just another compositional element.

What I’m doing is, I’m both appearing and disappearing into marks.


For several years I have been drawing the body, cropping and enlarging, reinventing how I see and experience human form through a dense accumulation of graphite on paper. Working mostly from my own body and that of the people closest to me, I attempt to bring forth emotional readings of femininity, masculinity, sexuality and aging. The densely overlaid lines suggest both sculptural volume as well as body hair, or a “pelt of flesh” as one art critic has written. The drawing process is slow and meditative; the layering of graphite lines may well have more to do with marking the passage of time than with actually marking the paper’s surface. My penchant for incised line is perhaps rooted in my experience as an intaglio printer, but also in my experience as a writer. Wielding my pencil across the paper’s surface, I describe and invent intimate epidermal happenings, inscribing the skin with its own story.


Katy Martin is visual artist whose work combines painting, photography and performance. She also makes film and video.

Her work has been exhibited – nationally and internationally – at Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre (Paris); Anthology Film Archives, Saint Peter’s Church, The Museum of Modern Art, PPOW Gallery, The Clemente, The Painting Center and Tribeca Film Festival (New York); The Sackler/Harvard Art Museums (Boston); Alexander/Heath (Virginia): Light Cone Scratch Projections (Paris); GalerieForum Am Meer (Berlin); Green Dog Arts (Belfast, N. Ireland); and The Shanghai Duolun Museum and the Art Museum of Shanghai University. In addition, her work has been featured in Katalog, a Danish journal, and Bomb Magazine.

She is represented by Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre, Paris. Awards include a film preservation by Anthology Film Archives and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Katy is also part of the Meeting Point Project, a collaboration with three Paris artists (since 2012); and she has a weekly photo exchange with a Berlin artist/filmmaker (since 2011).


Katy has an in-depth interest in Chinese painting. For her, it’s been a way to open up gestural abstraction.

She first traveled to China, in 2005, to show her films at the Shanghai Duolun Museum. Between 2005-2010, working in collaboration with a Shanghai film curator, she programmed American film/video in China (at MoCA Shanghai), was a regular contributor to a top Chinese art magazine (Yishu Shijie), and curated Chinese media art in the US (at Thomas Erben Gallery and Anthology Film Archives).

In 2016, Katy was an artist-in-residence in the Chinese painting department at the College of Fine Art, Shanghai University. In 2008, through Artists Exchange International, she was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a new work based on an object in their collection. She chose “Fish and Rocks” by the Chinese painter, Bada Shanren, and she’s been influenced by his art ever since.
Also, between 1978-1981, she made two films about Jasper Johns and the silkscreen print process. The films have shown widely and Katy’s interview with Johns, featured on the soundtrack, has been published several times.

Martin CV   /  katymartin.net


Born and raised in New York, Diana Quinby is a graphic media artist and art historian who’s been living and working outside of Paris, France for the past twenty-five years. She exhibits regularly in France and in Europe, most recently at the Arnaud Lefebvre Gallery in Paris and at Jordan/Seydoux – Drawings & Prints in Berlin. Having completed a Doctoral thesis in Art History at the University of Paris-1 in 2003, she also writes press releases and catalog essays for other artists. Her thesis, The Women/Art Collective in Paris in the 1970’s, studies the relationship between women, art and feminism in the wake of the French Women’s Liberation Movement.

Quinby CV  /  dianaquinby.com