Koak (b. 1981, Lansing, USA) lives and works in San Francisco. Koak’s compositions bridge figuration and abstraction, with a distinctive and recognisable technique which draws on the visual vocabulary of comics whilst stretching beyond it thematically. Figures are often depicted with amorphous bodies or limbs exaggerated by illustrative marks. The artist’s portraits depict emotionally charged female figures, exploring hierarchies of gender throughout art history and the female gaze. The artist also works in sculpture, expanding upon symbols or subjects which appear in her paintings.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Letter to Myself (when the world is on fire), Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2023), The Driver, Perrotin, Hong Kong (2022), Return to Feeling, Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2020) and Holding Breath, Union Pacific, London (2019). Selected group exhibitions include: I’ve got a feeling, Musées d’Angers, Angers (2023), I’m Stepping High, I’m Drifting, and There I Go Leaping, XIAO Museum, Rizhao (2022), Familiars, Et. Al Gallery, San Francisco (2022) and New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley (2021), amongst others.