Originally from the Midwest, Katharine Kuharic relocated to St. Louis after having lived for years on the East Coast. Her works are influenced by her experience of returning to the Midwest and her personal views of middle class, Midwestern lifestyles. The World Brought Low includes paintings and drawings that are associated with St. Louis and reference suburban stereotypes. Kuharic collects and appropriates images of people and products from locally printed publications such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Ladue News, as well as flyers, circulars, and magazines received via mail. The vibrantly colored and precisely crafted imagery is fetishized and comments on consumption, societal wealth, and suburban development.
Kuharic’s process is a laborious one that begins with the meticulous and obsessive collecting of images from consumer culture. Brightly printed on slick paper, Kuharic culls her images from what most consider “junk mail” or the advertisements from the Sunday paper. She carefully cuts out images of Tide Detergent, Dawn Soap, shoes, Lays Potato Chips, bottles of Listerine, Pine Sol, etc., and arranges her specimen-like cutouts on her studio floor. Kuharic calls these “unsolicited images” because she does not seek them out. She begins by drawing each collected image onto tissue paper and arranges the paper cutouts into a collage. There are multiple layers to the drawings which are then transferred onto canvas. Four of these drawings are on view.
The Contemporary Project Series is an annual awards and exhibition program designed for both emerging and established artists working in St. Louis.