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Avery Wheless


Katikía is pleased to announce our inaugural residency exhibition of LA based artist Avery Wheless opening Monday, July 3rd. The exhibition Precipice was completed during the artist’s time in Monemvasia, Greece. The residency kicked off in Athens where Wheless explored ancient Greek art history and uncovered the emerging contemporary art scene within the capital's numerous galleries and artist studios. While creating her own body of work, Wheless produced an art curriculum that she taught at the town's local public elementary school. She worked with students and introduced them to a new approach to painting. The exhibition will be displayed in a historical seaside ruin built into the cliffs along the Castro -a medieval town- for the residents and visitors of Monemvasia to view.  

The movement of bodies in Wheless’s energetic and tender paintings originate from Wheless’s history with dance, particularly ballet. Delicate movements command power and space while exploring the complexities of personal and social impacts of the female form.

“My works are often a reflection on how I relate to others. They explore how I see myself and take up space, finding comfortability while often feeling exposed and vulnerable. In this residency, I have experienced what it means to be removed, but also present in an unfamiliar environment. While observing people, I interact and engage, but also have an extra level of outsiderness as a viewer. It's been interesting to be seen by new people in a new place, while taking in new information, colors, landscapes and attitudes. There is also an obvious part of me which feels removed from those at home. I have been extremely aware of the precipice of transition that I feel myself in. Unsure of what is next while experiencing what I am unaccustomed to. I am grateful for a fresh space and place of unknown to explore. I have been processing a mix of reverence and grief of letting go and acknowledging the beauty of reconnecting with myself. 


Precipice celebrates being vulnerable within a new environment. Many of the paintings are from scenes I have experienced here. Whether food, people, colors or landscape, I have pulled from my surroundings as an observer. Some works I have painted myself into. In these pieces I am involved, yet removed. The resulting images celebrate and mourn the capacity to hold and be held. They are a processing of what it means to exist within my body while acknowledging there is a falling apart while simultaneously being held together--thinking about how this relates to water and its capacity to suppress, but also buoy. How water allows us to float and be supported while touching everything and nothing at once. These works allow an openness to magic and spiritual awareness that is easy to find when things are fresh and new.”


Translucent but fully covered,

How vulnerable can you be without showing too much?

—too much or not enough?

The constant back and forth as the waves push and pull.

Hear the water massage in and out against the rocks moving and knocking against each other —minuscule movements you may miss, but the change is constant.

Even if you don’t decipher there is a ripple effect.

I feel myself shifting. 

Teetering on the rocks. 

Hurry up so you don’t falter.

Look down or behind and you for sure could slip—

This awareness keeps me going.

The edge leads to the abyss, calm yet deep. 

You could sink or glide across, panic may make you choke.

The edge exhilarates and terrifies.

Remembering the water will encompass, yet support if you fall. 

Submerging my body and extending my feet to the bottom, the rocks look so close, but they are further than anticipated, I still can't quite reach them. 

Floating still. 

Wanting to only remember this ocean of blue in front of me and the holiness of awe when breathless.

Remember you’ve been this way before.

-Avery Wheless

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Avery Wheless

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1993, Avery Wheless received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Her energetic and tender paintings are crafted with an Impressionist sensibility, portraying the female form in play, leisure, solitude, agony; and ecstasy. “It’s gory to have a body,” says Wheless about her works. Working also as a video artist, the movement of bodies across her paintings has origins in Wheless’s history with dance, particularly ballet. Delicate movements command power and space, both on film and on the canvas.

Her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, “So does everybody else” debuted at Rusha & Co. in 2022. Her work has also been exhibited at The Pit, Los Angeles; Ochi Gallery, Sun Valley; Superzoom, Paris; Suggested Followers curated by Jerry Gogosian at Sotheby’s, New York; and Junior High, Los Angeles.

Throughout her own career, Avery also is passionate about inspiring others to explore and feel empowered through creativity. In 2013, while still earning her undergraduate degree, Avery taught within an outreach program and led art to elementary school students in Guatemala where the arts education program had been cut. While in Los Angeles, she has also taken on private clients in jr. high and highschool to develop artist portfolios for university admissions such as LASCHA and RISD.

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