Kayla Mattes – Cat-astrophe

november, 2019

09nov(nov 9)1:00 pm21dec(dec 21)5:00 pmKayla Mattes - Cat-astrophe(november 9) 1:00 pm - (december 21) 5:00 pm

Event Details

is proud to present


Kayla Mattes



Exhibition Dates

November 9 – December 21, 2019

Artist’s Opening Reception

November 9

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

2525 Michigan Avenue, B-5A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tuesday – Saturday (and by appointment)



October 14, 2019 | Santa Monica, CA – Richard Heller Gallery is proud to present Kayla Mattes, Cat-astrophe.

In her first solo exhibition with Richard Heller Gallery, Kayla Mattes’ work explores chaos and crisis in the digital age by slowing it down through a tactile process that is structurally tied to the screen. Rather than adding pigmented material to a woven canvas or a secondary hidden surface, her tapestries embrace the narrative and technological history embedded in the act of materializing thread into the woven grid.

In Cat-astrophe, the handwoven tapestries portray cats as unexpected spectators of ecological change. As mascots of the internet, cats have a powerful voice. Their disconcerting judgement can be felt through a glare, and their effortless virality has influence. Throughout the show, vibrant landscapes become crowded with symbols of urgency, distressed caution figures, and digital mess, while worried felines gather in packs, wailing for humanity’s attention. The cats’ position as social onlookers becomes multi-layered when analyzed through their cultural attachment to femininity, and humans’ persistent dismissal of their fiery disposition.

Instilled with jokes and visual fodder, the work uses humor as a tool to navigate environmental havoc. By continuing the tradition of archiving culture through the coded medium of tapestry weaving, Mattes uses labored cloth as a form of communication.

The trees are burning, the tuna population is dwindling, and the cats are judging us for it.


Kayla Mattes
wut will they fed us when all teh fishes r gone?, 2019
Handwoven wool and cotton
46 x 35 inches


About the artist

Kayla Mattes is a visual artist, born in 1989, working across disciplines including weaving, sculpture and installation. She archives the ephemeral vernacular of digital culture through the interconnected threads of tapestry. Recent exhibitions include San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Museum Rijswijk (Netherlands), Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA) and FISK Gallery (Portland, OR). Her work has been featured in i-D, Rhizome, Creators Project, and Sculpture Magazine, and is included in the book, Weavers: Contemporary Makers on the Loom, written by Katie Tregidden and published by Ludion. She received a BFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and an MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


November 9 (Saturday) 1:00 pm - December 21 (Saturday) 5:00 pm


Richard Heller Gallery

2525 Michigan Avenue, B-5A