Kaitlin Zorah McDonough



A solo exhibition of recent paintings

Curated by Megan Nolde at Citizen in Richmond, Viriginia

July 29th through September 29th, 2019

Opening Reception Thursday, August 1st 

5:30pm to 7:30pm

1203 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219


Dole-chet-zah is a phonetic spelling of the Italian word dolcezza, which means sweetness. A sweetness beyond taste—dole-chet-zah is a tenderness, a softness, a gentleness, an openness...

These paintings are containers for all sorts of sweetnesses that occurred during my recent journey to Italy—where I lived for most of my twenties—and where (to my great surprise and joy) many softer, sweeter parts of myself still reside.

These experiences are not rectangular. They expand and contract like the palpable, energetic space between people who love one another—romantic and elusive and etheric and charged, like the tidings of the sea and skin-temperature breezes in summer-pink light—a commingling of airwaves and substance.

Kaitlin McDonough, June 2019




16 APRIL 2019 / 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 


CIMA opens its unique and intimate setting to artists, students, and others interested in trying their hand at studying works from the Metaphysical Masterpieces exhibition through drawing — interacting with, analyzing, and drawing inspiration from Morandi, Sironi, and Carrà’s art.

Expanding upon the premise that drawing is the most optimal way to apprehend a work of art, this Drawing Night, led by artist Kaitlin McDonough (New York Studio School), will present close-looking and transcription techniques as methods for understanding, empathizing and seeing.

All skill levels welcome! Limited to 30 participants.


Event Schedule:

6pm – Registration and exhibition viewing

6:10pm – Introduction by Kaitlin McDonough

6:30-7:30pm – Drawing in CIMA’s galleries

7:30pm – Discussion

8pm – Evening concludes

About the artist:

Kaitlin McDonough paints exuberant abstractions, often incorporating objects and nontraditional supports. Equally fascinated by imagery and materiality, her content originates from the sensual inextricability of both. The resulting paintings highlight her interests in performative language, strategy, and energy technology. McDonough received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and her BFA from Boston University, Summa cum laude. Prior to being based in New York, Kaitlin lived and worked in Venice, Italy and Rome, Italy where she developed a close relationship with Italian art of the past and present. Her work has been exhibited throughout Italy–in Venice, Rome, Vicenza, Bologna, Verona–and in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Serbia. She is the recipient of the Temple University Project Completion Grant and has participated in a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Kaitlin McDonough is currently the Program Director and member of the Faculty at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture where her courses focus on drawing strategies, Color, and Painting on Paper.

*Please note that guests are allowed to bring their own supplies but only sketching materials are permitted. No water media, ink, or solvents are allowed in the galleries.




Advent: Mindful Waiting, curated by Elisa Jensen at the Green Door Gallery

My work will be installed for the reception on Wednesday, December 19th from 5pm-6pm

A Gathering with all of the artists will take place on Sunday, January 6th from 3pm-5pm

Green Door Gallery is located on the corner of Skillman Avenue and Humboldt Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn




Ginger Issue #13

Co-founded by Jacqueline Cantu & Markee Speyer

Featuring Catherine Azimi, Craig Calderwood, ms. niko darling, Devin Dougherty, Marie Hinson, Courtney Kessel + Danielle Wyckoff, Katy McCarthy, Kaitlin McDonough, Annelie McKenzie, Meredith Sellers, Caitlin Rose Sweet, and Misian Taylor.


Saturday, June 16th at 4:30pm
Discussion with the artists and Curator Paul D'Agostino
250 Moore Street, #108
Brooklyn, NY

Does a Moon Move
curated by Bannerette
Opening Reception: Sunday Sept 17, 7-8 PM
Image result for arthur dove
Joe DeNardo
Haley Josephs
Kristina Lee
Kaitlin McDonough
RJ Messineo
Jenna Ransom
Craig Rempfer
Sam Strand
Does a Moon Move ?
-Yes, but if you are claiming that you actually saw the moon moving, then I guess it is probably the vision caused by surrounding moving clouds.
There are works in this show which allude, obliquely, to windows and landscapes; some of the visions resemble a planetary schematic or a cliff-face adorned with ancient petroglyphs. Surfaces are carved into and cut-out, accumulated over time; light and shadow is harnessed in appropriate measure to yield material re-workings of memory and place. These artists suggest narrative through faded Kodachrome, and anchor their stories with text, symbol, and objects. We are pleased to bring these yearners and romantics together.
Emily Davidson & Stuart Lorimer




COLOR Marathon

at the New York Studio School

Wednesday, July 5th through Wednesday, July 19th

9am-6pm, daily


"The aim of such study is to develop--through experience--by trial and error--an eye for color. This means, specifically, seeing color action as well as feeling color relatedness."

-Josef Albers, Interaction of Color

This Marathon will elevate and expand one's ​sensitivity to all aspects of color. We will place practice before theory to explore the wild richness of color functionality and mutability. Exercises will expand our understanding of hue, tone, saturation, deception, intervals, boundaries and color relatedness. We will prioritize conclusions ​based on​ firsthand ​observations ​and will trust our sense of sight above any preconceived notions of how a color might behave. Using colored papers and the teachings of Josef Albers, we will sharpen our awareness of the many ways that colors shift, bend, vibrate, radiate and co-create on the page. We will internalize a deep awareness of color and ways to work with color confidently.

All levels welcome! email: kmcdonough@nyss.org for more information.



From the New York Studio School blog:

JANUARY 5, 2017 · 3:32 PM

Everything Is Sacred: Reactions to the Work of Merrill Wagner

By Kaitlin McDonough, January 2017


“Everything was sacred.”

These words, affirmed simply after a glowing pause, were Merrill Wagner’s response to my recent question, “What was it like to study with the painter Edwin Dickinson?” …To learn a way of thinking, seeing, making in which everything is regarded as profound.

Beyond speaking to Wagner’s formation, her recollection confirms a hunch and seems to offer a lens through which to understand Wagner’s process and the resonance of her work. Painting in a way that honors her found materials (slate, rocks, wooden fences, brick walls), Wagner establishes a humming vibration between these materials and the profound.


She orders with paint, subjecting the organic to the geometry of lines or the code-switching of landscape. Moving fluidly between opposing organization systems, her work is evidence of many co-existing pathways towards meaning.

For me, this is where a certain femininity enters. A femininity in which her works function as both discrete objects and as members of an ecosystem of artworks whose meanings shift and grow in constellation with one another and in constellation with their surroundings (man-made or natural). A femininity that collaborates with time, with weather, with other bodies, with context, with gravity. A femininity that does not depend on rectangles. A femininity of connections that many artists, both male (think Sigmar Polke or Andy Warhol) and female, have intuited and with which they have infused their work.

It is not an aesthetic or a gender, but rather an orientation to the world–and to the stuff of the world–as mutable and as part of an ongoing dance of co-creation.


Her works on paper generate a rhythmic delight while simultaneously and unabashedly revealing the strategy of their making. This equality of image and process is deeply satisfying, deeply affirmative of a wisdom as down-to-earth as it is great.


Merrill’s work is marvelously sensual. It arouses satisfaction of the senses. It is impossible to relate to her paintings as singularly image or primarily as image. Looking at her work cannot be separated from measuring one’s body in relation, cannot be separated from a sense of the smooth heaviness of slate or the bumpy firmness of rock–how one may be within a circle of rocks, far from them, or beside them.

Deeply sensual and deeply intelligent, Merrill’s work proves the arbitrariness of names through the juxtaposition of colors. “Cadmium yellow” as language is rendered meaningless when embodied by many distinct squares of yellow packaged under the same name. The name takes a backseat to the overwhelming reality of the color itself. It is one thing to understand this concept with our rational minds and another to have it become a self-evident verity through the experience of the work itself.


The tender resourcefulness and generous strength of Merrill’s work leaves me with an overwhelming feeling of hopefulness. Her work is a testament to the true liveliness that results from a practice grounded in respect and curiosity, interconnection and integrity, painterly joy and material presence.

It is has been an honor and a thrill to host these works at the New York Studio School.

Thank you, Merrill Wagner!


Kaitlin McDonough is Program Coordinator and a member of the Drawing Faculty at the New York Studio School.

Merrill Wagner at the New York Studio School Gallery, November 21, 2016- January 8, 2017





2MF with Kaitlin McDonough: The Poetics of Performatives

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Orgy Park   237 Jefferson Street 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11237


Mantra, interior monologues of long-distance runners, voiced opinions of doctors, certain creation myths, experiments with water molecules, and a three letter word that led to epic love—this meeting will open a discussion on performative language and the potency of certain words to effect extralinguistic change.  

We will look at the structure and characteristics of performative utterances to better understand the remarkable ways that saying can, at times, constitute doing.  

Emphasis will be placed on the social requirements necessary for performatives to function as we question: what is demanded of the hearer if the performative is to have effect? is intentionality of the speaker necessary for the performative to work?  

We will experiment by giving voice to a range of performative utterances so as to better muse upon how they work, when they work, and the fuzzy gray space between sound and substance.

Pre-meeting reading:
“How Performatives Work” by John R. Searle, Linguistics and Philosophy, 1989, Kluwer Academic Publishers

Touching Feeling by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Chapter 2: "Around the Performative: Periperformative Vicinities in Nineteenth-Century Narrative", Duke University Press, Durham & London, 2003

All interested participants welcome!

**Listen to the podcast recap on Clocktower Radio** 





Momenta Art Spring Benefit



Amanda Friedman, studio image, 2014. photo credit: Carmen Kende


December 16 - January 16, 2015

Opening reception: Tuesday, Dec 16, 7-9 pm
219 36th St, 4th Floor in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 11232

   Gregory Amenoff  •  Sonya Derman  • Amanda Friedman
 Nora Griffin  •  Stephanie Gonzalez-Turner •  Jon Kessler 
Jenni Knight  •  Reuben Lorch-Miller • Nicole Maloof
Robbie McDonald • Kaitlin McDonough • Sophy Naess
Kendra Sullivan • Katie Vida 
• Sam Payne
Brie Ruais • Maria Stabio • Carolyn Salas 

Organized by Brie Ruais and Maria Stabio

Is Catharsis a dirty word? Depending on your perspective, maybe. We no longer have socially formalized journeys for catharsis.  Means for transformation exist primarily on the couch of your psychiatrist’s office or in rituals employed under the pressure of trauma, tragedy, and desire.  Artists have to invent ways to transition, break from the past, release Deleuzian blockages, and transform.  

In the text Going Public by Boris Groys, he proposes that Modernism was all about purity. But it’s more religious than that. It was about purifying our souls through art-making. Or, maybe, making art of a pure aesthetic which would then in turn purify its maker.  What is catharsis if not purification? Relief. Release.

We are embarrassed of the cathartic artwork because it reveals vulnerability, a loss of control, a subject in search of bareness. We shroud it in formalism and theory. We spelled it backwards because we didn’t want to turn people off this exhibition. But, spelled backward, it becomes a place to visit: Sisrahtac.

Maria Stabio, One Ballsy Lady, 2014, graphite, embossing powder and transfer paper pigment on panel, 18 x 14 inches.
Nora Griffin, Diamonds and Rust, 2014, gouache and egg tempera on paper, 16 x 16 inches. Photo credit: Stan Narten






All the Way to Heaven, is Heaven

MFA Thesis Exhibition

April 9th to 12th, 2014

Opening Reception: April 11th, 6-8pm

Gallery Hours: 11am-6pm


Tyler School of Art 

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA  






“All the Way to Heaven, is Heaven” is a quotation from the 14th century mystic St. Catherine of Siena.  It is also reminiscent of the 1987 pop song “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle.  These two poles—a mystery-embracing religiosity and a love of cheeky dance music—coalesce into a methodology that seeks transcendent joy through the enacted living of life (rather than relegating ecstatic moments exclusively to a future ultra-worldly realm or seeking escape from the immanent through withdrawal from the everyday).  Using the material stuff of life to go beyond life’s weight marks the starting place for McDonough’s painting practice and is literally reflected in her work.  Many paintings combine discrete objects (a t-shirt, feathers, spoons) with formally directed oil painting in order to search for non-illusionistic ways of playing in the mutable space between the flat picture plane and a fully dimensional world. 


Born in New Jersey in 1984, Kaitlin McDonough earned her BFA in Painting from Boston University, Summa cum laude, in 2007.  She then relocated to Venice, Italy where she lived and worked for five years as the Program Coordinator of Boston University’s Venice Studio Arts Program and in collaboration with the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.  McDonough’s paintings have been exhibited throughout Italy (in Venice, Rome, Vicenza, Bologna, Verona) and in Boston, New York, and Serbia.  She is the recipient of the Constantin Alajalov Scholarship, the Harold C. Case Memorial Scholarship, the Temple University Project Completion Grant, and has participated in a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.  Her work has been cited in Vogue Italia and is represented in Italy by Galleria Atlantica of Vicenza. 

January 24-27, 2014
Galleria Atlantica
Pad. 25 Stand A/63
Panel Discussion | Engagement Party: Painting as Object and Experience
Panelists: Martin Blake, Anthony Campuzano, John Emison, Kaitlin McDonough, Shanna Waddell, and Misha Wyllie
moderated by Zach Rawe
November 5th, 2013
6pm Temple Contemporary
Temple Rome Gallery
Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia, 15
Rome, Italy
Opening reception: April 2, 7-9pm
Low Rumble
Gallery 102 at Crane Arts
1400 N. American Street
Philadelphia, PA
March, 2013
Featuring works by Laure-Hélène Caseau, John Emison, Raphael Fenton-Spaid, Alex Ibsen, Jebney Lewis, Tiffany Livingston, Mark Martinez, Kaitlin McDonough, Jonathan Ryan, Theresa Sterner, and Misha Wyllie
Arte Fiera Bologna 2013
Galleria Atlantica to bring new work by Kaitlin McDonough
January 25 - 28, 2013
Art Verona 2012
Galleria Atlantica
October 18th to 22nd
Saluzzo Arte 2012
Fondazione Amleto Bertoni 
April 20th to May 6th
Art First 2012 Bologna
Galleria Atlantica
(Pad. 21 Stand B/82) 
January 27-30, 2012
Kaitlin McDonough cited as an artist to watch:  Vogue Italia, June 2011
"Scouting Venezia" by Maria Lavinia Carboni
Percettivo Imperfetto
curated by the participants of the 17th Annual Curatorial and Contemporary Art Practices at Galleria A+A
opens May 17, 2011 at 6pm
Galleria A+A, Venice, Italy
Golden Arrows Wallpaper Project
on view through February 2011 at Gallery 263
263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport, MA
Art Life Presentation
at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy
Thursday, November 18th, 7pm
Monotype Workshop
at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy
Sunday, November 21st, 10am-5pm
Studi Aperti
Sabato 11 settembre, dalle 18 alle 23
Domenica 12 settembre dalle 14 alle 20
Giudecca, 710/C "Ex-Birreria"
fermata PALANCA, linea 2 e 41/42
Massimo Sansavini and Kaitlin McDonough
Galleria Modenarte, Venice, Italy
Opening July 12th, 6pm
show runs July 12th to August 7th, 2010
Two Person Exhibition curated Matteo Efrem Rossi
Six Significant Landscapes
Galleria il Sotoportego, Venice, Italy
Opening June 8th, 6pm
show runs June 8th to July 3rd, 2010
curated by Kaitlin McDonough
Catalogue essays by Bradford Manderfield and Molly Scheu

My World 2
Chiesa di Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Venice, Italy
May 8 to May 23, 2010
curated by Francesco Liggieri e Giuliana Tammaro

By Boat
Club Ponte Storto, Venice, Italy
solo show runs Oct. 12 - Jan. 10, 2010

Oaza Cacak 
Cacak, Serbia
group show curated by Petra Maitz

Kaitlin McDonough: Wickedly, Wonderfully Alive
By Christopher Atamian 
(French Translation Georges Festa)
1+ Uno, Studi Aperti + Ospite, Venice, Italy
Group Show and Open Studios, Venice Biennale Season 2009
Gallery Aferro Benefit Party/Auction
The Very First Aferro Benefit
Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 5
Studio Visit Magazine
Anchors, Giudecca 801, Ex-Birrerie Dreher, Venice, Italy
Partenze & Arrivi 2009
Some Places Where Energy Hides
Solo Show, Galleria Sotoportego, Venice, Italy
Review by Nicoletta Consentino
Feeding and Flying, Gallery 5, Boston, MA
Inaugural Two Person Show with Matt Milkowski
Review by Brittany Jasnoff