Reading Palms marks Kelly Ording’s fourth solo exhibition at pt. 2 Gallery, delving deeper into the emotive qualities of color, shape, and composition. Serving as both a meditation on and a celebration of minimalism, beauty, patience, and perseverance, Ording confidently navigates structure and space. Employing a slow, intuitive process of hand-dying and careful painting, she creates geometric patterns that revel in satisfying repetition and color theory. Much like interpreting the lines of a palm, the strokes in Ording’s paintings unveil stories and deeper layers of meaning.

The exhibition showcases Ording's mastery of craft, presenting complex works that encourage slow making and slow looking through the subtle complexities of line, shape, and color. Ording’s process embodies a delicate balance between chaos and order - the background is shaped by a spontaneous and organic process, while the foreground is built by the controlled human hand. Themes of representation and personal growth permeate her work, such as the piece Me Knot marking Ording's first venture into self-portraiture. With a practice spanning over 24 years, Ording’s work has evolved from gestural to controlled, reflecting the transformative journey of motherhood and a quest for equilibrium. 

Ording’s paintings build upon a visual language that has been developing throughout her career. Close observation reveals references within the meticulous line work and distinctive shapes, such as topography and typography (specifically letters b, c, z, u), landscapes and horizons, and most recently knots. A significant progression in Ording’s technique is the intricate overlapping of lines, which weave over and under each other and diverge—the outcome resembles braiding or knotting, resulting in complex patterns and the illusion of depth. Engaging with these pieces offers a visual challenge and an opportunity to admire the meticulous precision of the artist's hand.

Reading Palms stands as a testament to Ording's ongoing journey of self-discovery and creative expression. Through her unique visual language, the work offers both a reflection of the viewer and a portal into the artist’s psyche. We are invited to find meaning in the subtlety, reminding us that art possesses the power to transcend the boundaries of our everyday lives. —Christine Koppes