Critical Reviews

"Katy Nail's remarkable portrait paintings are veiled exercises in abstract composition with a context of near-surrealism.

There is a pleasingly peculiar emotional quality to her work that compels repeated viewing — perhaps her obsession with qualities of form and painterly effects drains the passion from her figures. The resulting dispassionate effect is fascinating, like an emotional Frigidaire."

Mel McCombie, Art Critic
Austin American-Statesman


"In Katy Nail's "Carmen's Painting", symbols that recall Native American, Mexican, and European iconography conspire to render what appears to be a rite of passage, symbolized by a young woman's crossing of a river.....The notion of self, which has been a concern for artists throughout Western history and an ongoing issue over much of the century, has in the last decade or two taken on a particular urgency. This exhibition is a testament of its time."

Lynn Zelevansky, Curatorial Assistant,
Department of Painting and Sculpture
Museum of Modern Art, New York


"....Her paintings are neither illustrations of actual scenes, nor narratives that tell us what is happening: they are moments of mystery in which the artist focuses our gaze upon line, shape and color, upon the formal elements of painting. Nail succeeds in holding us in an uneasy balance between the real and the abstract in her work."

Monica F. Kindraka, Curator
Austin Museum of Art (Laguna Gloria Art Museum),
Austin, Texas