Holtens work, whether it takes the form of drawings, books, or public art installations, is a form of environmental activism.Drawing is a primary medium and research tool which she uses as a device for organising, cataloguing and presenting ideas and information from diverse fields such as science, literature, and history, as well as a mechanism to locate herself in the world in terms of place and time.
Today in the Anthropocene, Humans are confronted with crises on a global scale affecting interconnected systems such as water, food, energy, and ecosystems. Holten believes there is a vital need for pioneering work to visualise, dramatise, and problematise these challenges and facilitate a discourse about the shared future we face. Seeking to elucidate the paradoxes of the Anthropocene and express how humans are part of Nature, she often works in series to explore the repetition of organic patterns found in natural and man-made systems.
Katie Holten is a visual artist based in New York City. She grew up in Ireland and studied Fine Art and History of Art at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin, Cornell University in New York and she studied Complexity at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico.
In 2003, Holten represented Ireland at the 50th Venice Biennale with a solo pavilion presentation entitled Laboratorio della Vigna. Other important solo museum exhibitions include the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans (2012), Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane in Dublin (2010), The Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York (2009); Villa Merkel in Esslingen (2008), Nevada Museum of Art in Reno (2008) and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2007). She has conceived major public commissions including TREE MUSEUM for New York City (2009-10) commissioned by the NYC Parks Department, the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill.
She has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholarship, Pollock Krasner Award, MacDowell Fellowship and Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland. She was recently awarded the Arts and Humanities Residency by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the US Forest Service.