Katie Stout responds to the world’s chaos with absurdity

At Nina Johnson in Miami, Brooklyn-based Katie Stout presents a new body of work, titled Sour Tasting Liquid, that melds worlds of design, art and craft

Katie Stout with pieces from her new collection Sour Tasting Liquid including Slab Vase (with Wings)
Katie Stout with pieces from her new collection Sour Tasting Liquid including Slab Vase (with Wings), pictured left
(Image credit: Press)

Miami gallerist Nina Johnson presents a new body of work by Brooklyn-based designer Katie Stout. Titled Sour Tasting Liquid, the collection is an in-depth exploration of themes recurring throughout Stout’s career.

One of the most exciting voices of contemporary American design, Stout has always eschewed a label for her work, operating somewhere at the meeting point of design, art and craft. This new show demonstrates her eclectic eccentricity, with over 20 pieces including anthropomorphic and abstract sculptures as well as functional design objects such as lamps, stools and mirrors.

The pieces, Stout explains, start from an exploration of her relationship to clay, a material recurring throughout her work. Experimenting with craftsmanship, she looked at traditions from Japan to America, combining clay with mosaic, porcelain and wicker. The show has two distinct directions: on one side, mundane everyday furniture and objects with rigid construction, rational forms and a hint of symmetry; on the other, free-formed abstractions, whimsical human figures and playful sculptural shapes. Stout unifies the two with her unmistakable style – a playful approach to color and forms, the result of extensive experimentation and careful consideration of context and influences.

Studio shot

(Image credit: Press)

Ceramic works

(Image credit: Press)

‘American craft is a synthesis of various cultures and their distinct traditions and influences,’ says Stout. ‘This particular body of work is a reaction to the tendency toward reacting against the chaos of our world with absurdity.’ An example, her Giuseppe Arcimboldo-esque ‘fruit ladies’, a new type of work for Stout, exemplifying ‘the human attachment to crafted objects and a certain sentimentality with trinkets and souvenirs.

‘These pieces are a way for me to reclaim my sanity and my role as an artist based in [the USA]’, she continues, ‘by connecting back to historic forms of creation and being proud of their multi-cultural references. All of the works in the exhibition are fragmented, fractured and re-composed: going through that process is a sort of catharsis.’

Installation view of exhibition

Sour Tasting Liquid on view at Nina Johnson in Miami

(Image credit: Press)


‘Katie Stout: Sour Tasting Liquid’ on view at Nina Johnson 14 February - 28 March



Nina Johnson
6315 NW 2nd Ave
Florida 33150


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.