Challenging herself by engaging in and performing physically demanding actions, Kate Gilmore exaggerates the absurdity of these actions by frequently dressing in overtly feminine attire such as floral-print skirts and colorful high heels. Described as messy and chaotic, Gilmore's work gives a contemporary revision on feminine and hardcore performances that started in the 1960's and 70's with artists like Marina Abramović and Chris Burden. Gilmore's work explores female identity, struggle, and displacement; being the protagonist in her video work, Gilmore "attempts to conquer self-constructed obstacles." Gilmore works with making video pieces and live performances that often showcase herself but she also has pieces in which other women perform the acts like her piece Walk The Walk which is also Gilmore's first public performance piece. Starting in 2004, Gilmore's video piece entitled My Love is an Anchor showcases the artist herself beating on a cement filled bucket with her leg stuck inside; hearing her grunts and groans and she attempts to escape, the video ends with no real footage of the artist escaping. Due to her unrelenting nature with her work, Gilmore's pieces make the viewer feel as though she's accepted a ridiculous dare
The overarching themes in Gilmore's work are the traditional social constructs of the feminine and modes - literal and metaphorical - of liberation from those constructs. She engages with these themes through motifs that include physical pain (often apparently futile and demoralizing), sound (exasperated vocalizations and music), and props (including ramshackle wood constructions, hammers, axes, etc.).
Kate Gilmore (born 1975) is a fine artist working in and synthesizing multiple mediums, including video, sculpture, photography, and performance. Born in Washington, DC, Gilmore attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, graduating in 1997. Gilmore received her masters of fine arts in 2002 from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Gilmore's work engages with ideas of femininity through her own physicality and critiques of gender and sex. Gilmore currently lives and works in New York City, NY. Gilmore has exhibited at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the Brooklyn Museum, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, White Columns, Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati), Artpace, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Rose Art Museum, and PS1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center.
Some of Gilmore's residencies and awards include the Artist Space Independent Project Grant (NY), an artist fellowship at the New York Foundation for the Arts, residency and award at Farpath (Dijon, France), an award winner for the Louis Confort Tiffany Foundation (NY), award for artist in excellence for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (NY), and recipiant of the Art Matters Grant (NY), among many others.
Gilmore is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Purchase College, SUNY, Purchase, NY and part of the MFA Faculty at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. She has been a visiting artist and/or lecturer extensively at universities, museums and galleries since 2002 throughout the United States and internationally at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, Tokyo, Japan and the American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy.