San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 25th, 2010
Reception and book signing scheduled for Breakey exhibit


Photographer Kate Breakey’s latest book and exhibition will be celebrated with a reception at the Wittliff Galleries at Texas State on Nov. 6.


The Witliff Collections at Texas State will sponsor an exhibition reception for photographer and and artist Kate Breakey on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the collection on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library on campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Attendees are requested to RSVP to

The event will feature noted art critic A.D. Coleman, who will introduce Breakey. She will speak about her work and later sign books.

Breakey’s current exhibition, “Painted Light,” at the Witliff Collections is the first career retrospective of her images. Texas State is home to the major archive of Breakey’s work. She is world famous for her large-scale hand-colored photographs.

The exhibition celebrates Breakey’s second monograph, published this month, in the Witliff’s Southwestern and Mexican Photography Book Series. The book, also entitled Painted Light, features 130 selections from nine suites of photographs including “Cactus,” “Flowers,” “Laws of Physics,” “Loose Ends,” “Memories and Dreams,” Principles of Mathematics,” “Remains,” and “Still Life.” Her first book, Small Deaths, features elegantly colored photos of dead birds and skeletons that are surprising in their gentle delicacy.

The exhibition was arranged by the Witliff Collections photography curator, Carla Ellard.

“I begin with a silver photographic image, a kind of evidence,” writes Breakey in the autobiographical text of The Painted Light. “Then I paint on this in many transparent layers of oil paint and pencil.

“If I am lucky, the media combine and become enmeshed, a curious union of what was real with my own exaggerations and embellishments, so I can show how beautiful it all is—the light, the form, the texture, and color—because I am a sensualist, and this is my deepest pleasure, my lovely addiction.”

Breakey is a native of South Australia who moved to Austin in 1988. She received her master of fine arts degree at the University of Texas . She now lives in the Sonora Desert outside Tucson, AZ. The recipient of many awards, she was, most recently given the 2004 Photographer of the Year Award from the Houston Center for Photography. Her images have appeared in more than 70 one-person shows and more than 50 group exhibitions around the world.

Both of Breakey’s books, Painted Life and Small Deaths will be available for purchase, by credit card or check, for $65 plus tax, at the reception.

For more information on the event visit, www.witliffcollections.txstate.educ/about/visit.html. The Painted Light exhibition will run through Feb. 4, 2011.

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