Katharine Umsted

Wish You Were Here & Ghost Boats

November 13 – December 19, 2021

Installation shot of Ghost Boats (2020-21) by Katharine Umsted

Press Release

Katharine Umsted

Saturday, November 13th - Sunday, December 19th, 2021

Opening Reception: 5 - 8 PM, Saturday, November 13th, 2021


Princess Beatrix House

21 Prospect Avenue

Hudson, NY 12534



Tanja Grunert is excited to present, a one-person exhibition of the artist Katharine Umsted. The exhibition consists of two distinct bodies of work: Wish You Were Here and Ghost Boats.

The series of small paintings Wish You Were Here is Umsted’s response to Covid-19.  Throughout the 20th century, travel postcards have offered a way to represent a novel, exciting experience while connecting with friends and family at home.  During the Covid lockdown, general restrictions prohibited most travel and personal interaction. These 7½ x 12 inch paintings on wood are responses to the frustrations resulting from those restrictions. Preserving their original poignancy and beauty, Umsted reconstructs postcards now sent to the artist herself. They are from people through history and throughout the Western hemisphere telling Umsted about their travels and good times while the artist is stuck home alone. The text of each card ends with the ultimate traveler cliche: “Wish you were here.” A catalogue of the postcards, Wish You Were Here, will accompany the exhibition.

Umsted’s exhibition also includes sculptures from her Ghost Boat series. Stretching from two to eight feet long, these black floor works represent ruins and burnt landscapes. They embody the transitory within life and time. From burnt-out European cities to California fires, these ghost boats capture the human trial to preserver through turmoil.

Born in Newport, RI, Katharine Umsted grew up in small towns in South Carolina and Illinois. After graduating from the College of Charleston, she moved to New York for an MFA at the School of Visual Arts. Identifying as a sculptor, Umsted makes work which reflects her personal experience of the world. Her body of work includes helmets, breast plates, shields and chain mail dresses. Umsted also makes paintings and small books with time and landscape as their subject. She has shown widely.  Recent exhibitions include: Tanja Grunert Salon (Hudson) Gallery Tanja Grunert  (NYC), Art Kiosk (Redwood City, CA), Collar Works (Troy, NY), LAB Space (Hillsdale, NY) and Kleinert James Gallery/Byrdcliffe (Woodstock, NY). She lives and works in New York City and Hudson, NY. In 2018, Katharine received a Pollock-Krasner Grant.