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Kate Costello: The Tip of the Tongue

About the Exhibition


Jan 16 – Apr 4, 2020



The Tip of the Tongue highlights Kate Costello’s (BFA ’98) ongoing interest in the shared abstraction of visual and spoken languages. If speech begins with and at the body—at the tip of the tongue—then Costello’s work lingers at this exact border, using figuration to explore the myriad ways in which communication flows and breaks down, on both the personal and societal levels. In her work, bold, simplified shapes engage with archetypes, ideas, and images that circulate through culture in narratives of gender and power. With a practice rooted in drawing and encompassing sculpture and photography, Costello orchestrates a poetic narrative that is deeply legible yet completely allusive—much like a phrase at the tip of one’s tongue.

The Tip of the Tongue features work from the past 15 years and a new, site-specific wall drawing for the SMFA at Tufts’ Anderson Gallery conceived as a companion to Costello’s Hermits’ Strand, a two-year commission for the Henricks Art Wall located in the Science and Engineering Complex in Medford. Organized by Dina Deitsch.