The current work of Caitlin Teal Price, who is trained and educated as a photographer, is more about drawing. Caitlin is an accomplished artist whose work is included in numerous collections including the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Robert V Fullerton Museum. She received her MFA in Photography from Yale University in 2009 and currently is included in an exhibition titled The World is Smarter Than You Are, honoring the late Yale photography professor and aritst Richard Benson.
I went to visit her studio this past October 2022 to pick out work for the show I curated titled “Holy Inventions”, that is currently on view at Addison Ripley Fine Art Gallery in Georgetown, D.C. until March 4, Saturday, 2023.
After driving across town to the Old Soldiers home in northwest D.C., I was welcomed to a beautiful stately duplex home where she and her family currently live and work. She explained to me the fortuitous opportunity for her family to move to this neighborhood after living in the Glover Park community for a number of years. Quiet and serene, it felt like I was entering into a place from the past. Large trees line the drive around the gated historic site, and there was a distinct absence of police and ambulance sirens. The Old Soldier’s home is definitely a haven from the vibrant cacophony of the Petworth neighborhood it is situated within.
Upstairs in her 3rd floor studio hung framed completed works as well as works in progress. I noticed right away the debris and residue left underneath the works in progress from the scratching and etching she has been doing on the digital prints. While the space is clean and tidy, the little piles of photographic residue alludes to her process of repetitive scratching and etching of tiny little shapes.
Caitlin demonstrated how she takes pieces of high gloss colored paper and shapes them on the floor to be photographed under lighting she carefully curates. From these images of these shaped papers, she prints them out on her large digital printer where she begins the process of composing her etched shapes. After many studies that include lots of drawings, she chooses what works for each digital print.
As a mother of two school age children, Caitlin talks about the incredible power the process of making repetitive marks has on the ability to be able to quietly sink into solitude. She also explains how this labor intensive process is also indicative of the mundanity of the passing of time as a parent where life is often in full drive running from one activity to the next that is often unpredictable and chaotic.
The drawings embrace a process of intention and control that is both stunning and humble. There is a simple grace to the mark making that I personally adore and find great comfort as it brings to mind the marks of contemporary Aboriginal artists Yukultji Napangati and Regina Pilawuk Wilson. The importance of mark making can also be seen in the awesome engravings and etchings of Albrecht Durer, and the expressive marks of Vincent Gogh’s landscape drawings.
While a lot of western modernists embraced sweeping pours of color — and DC seems to have an unfortunate plethora of artists working derivatively within the tradition of the Washington Color School — it is absolutely refreshing to see the works of Caitlin Teal Price whose process is about the integrity of each individual mark. Carefully composed within the geometry of layered shapes of light, color and texture melding both the arrested image as well as the formidable rigor of drawing.
One cannot think about this aesthetic without thinking of the work of Linn Meyers, an established artist based in D.C. and now in Los Angeles, whose work is about the illusion of space and light using millions of controlled dots and lines.
Visiting Caitlin’s studio was truly inspiring. To see her work in person is even more compelling. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to include these current scratch drawings with artists Cheryl Edwards, Tom Bunnell, Leo Bersamina and Ian Jehle in “Holy Inventions”.
To see more of her work, you can visit www.addisonripleyfineart.com through March 4, Saturday. You can also learn more about her and her work from her website at www.caitlintealprice.com. Her works are also available on Artsy.net