Filed under: Interview, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Roq la Rue Gallery, Stacey Rozich
Stacey Rozich’s Within Without Me opened May 2 at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle. The 22 watercolor and gouache paintings on display cast the artist’s trademark colorful, convivial monsters in a new light—or new darkness, rather. The series is about “the light and the shadows of faith, devotion and the power of lies” and illustrates the misadventures of drunkards wielding shotguns, decapitated monsters with demonic masks and spiritual elders hoarding piles of blood money. Blackbirds lurk in many of the images, waiting to devour the dead. For the week leading up to the show, Rozich painted a huge mural on the virgin walls of the gallery’s new space in Pioneer Square (Roq la Rue recently moved from its decade-old location in Belltown). Curious about the origin of this series, I asked Rozich a few questions about the work. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Stacey Rozich | Collection Day At The Shrine, 2013, watercolor and gouache on paper, 11 x 7.5 inches. Image courtesy of Roq la Rue Gallery.
Filed under: In the Studio, Interview, Q&A | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Eric Elliott, James Harris Gallery, Pairings
Eric Elliott’s fourth solo exhibit at James Harris Gallery, called Pairings, shows a body of work getting much muckier. And the muck is getting more colorful. Paint, slowly and painstakingly built up in daubs, nearly curls off the canvas like calcified petals, resembling the flora with which he is obsessed. (His botanical illustrations fill notebooks scattered around his studio; dried bouquets languish in vases.) Elliott’s fascination with rendering the representational abstract is consistently apparent in his work: the subject of his paintings is sometimes legible, sometimes it spastically dissolves. Pairings takes this study of abstraction to a dialogic place. As per the title, Pairings displays paintings side-by-side as diptychs and triptychs, situating identical or related subjects next to one another. Yet each is executed with different approaches to material and mark making that evolve as part of the ongoing painting process. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Artists on Artists | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Conversation, Isaac Quigley, Margie Livingston, Seattle, SODO
Margie Livingston (NAP #61) has spent the last couple of years pouring, compacting and carving paint. Her experimentation with the limit of paint’s sculptural malleability has culminated in a (still-evolving) process by which she manufactures sheets of marbled, plastic acrylic that are later rolled, folded and cut into a number of forms, often posts or logs. Isaac Quigley indulges the materiality of paint in a different way, often pushing his canvases toward the brink of assemblage or bricolage. His paintings, which take up to a year to complete, are splashed with landslides of color, overlaid with delicate drawing, and embedded with paper, plastic and textiles.
We convened at Livingston’s studio in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle to discuss some of the shared characteristics of their work. Quite the host, Livingston has laid out a spread of Coconut Bliss, homemade peach tarts and tea for us. It’s the first time the two artists have met, and they start talking right away about paper towels and Rauschenberg. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: In the Studio | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Chris Buening, Greg Kucera, Joey Veltkamp, Pole Drift
Chris Buening’s (NAP #85) three large pieces at Prole Drift weave in and out of themselves, mesmerizing snarls of color and line and coiling worms. Illustration of Events Happening is the title of the show, as well as the name of a diagrammatic installation on one wall that consists of 29 resin and plaster discs connected by a network of brushstrokes. Embedded in each disc, like fossils trapped in translucent bands of sedimentary strata, are layers of correction fluid drawings, rainbow foil, glitter and Sharpie. To either side of the installation are two large paintings on paper. One of the paintings has been meticulously cut out to form a hydra-like lacework of earthworms (as colorful as Gummi Worms). Facing it is a prismatic, molecular abstraction pulsing with bright spots and worms. Worms are everywhere.
Chris Buening and Illustration of Events Happening (wall installation), 2012, wood, powder pigment, foil, epoxy resin, correction fluid, and watercolor, size varies.
As the title suggests, Illustration of Events Happening sheds light on some recent events in Buening’s life. I met him at his studio to discuss it. – Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Artists on Artists, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Bette Burgoyne, Conversation, Cornish College of the Arts, Jed Dunkerley, Joe Bar, Seattle, Where Things Go
I sit down at a bar at the north end of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood with two artists whose work is the definition of obsessive, both in technique and content. Neither of them identify as OCD or autistic.
The venue is called Joe Bar. Located next to Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts and owned, staffed, and curated by a handful of Cornish grads since 1997, Joe Bar is the most likely of unlikely places you’ll find excellent art tucked away in the city. Unlikely because it serves crepes and beer, has garish green walls, and is super cozy, none of which are particularly helpful settings for displaying artwork. But none of that stops some of Seattle’s most interesting artists from hanging their work there. -Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Review, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Blindfold Gallery, Leanne Grimes, Seattle
Two newcomers to the Seattle scene are worth checking out this month: Blindfold Gallery, now mounting its fourth exhibit since opening in April, and Leanne Grimes, who graduated last year from the University of Washington’s MFA painting program.
Grimes’ paintings often depict landscapes built out of heaps of rich, chunky paint and loud color. But for the paintings in The Journey to Radiant Earth, a show that lightheartedly glosses over the fetishization and elusiveness of memory, she punched the color up even more with day-glo oranges, yellows and pink. They’re the colors of plastic toys and melting popsicles. These paintings depict apocalyptic black night skies spattered with emerald stars, candy-raver mountains and surreal beaches. They range in size from petite to a huge, unstretched canvas pinned across an entire wall of the gallery. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Interview | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Conversation, Gretchen Bennett, Matthew Offenbacher
The following is a conversation conducted between Seattle artists Gretchen Bennett and Matthew Offenbacher on July 11, 2012 in Offenbacher’s studio. Bennett and Offenbacher are both prolific artists in their own right and have been collaborating on a variety of projects, including exhibits, publications and business, since 2009. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: In the Studio, Q&A | Tags: Amanda Manitach, In the Studio, Pole Drift, Q&A, Seattle, susanna bluhm
This month in the back gallery at Prole Drift, Susanna Bluhm is showing her latest installment in an ongoing series of works based on passages from The Bible’s nightmare-and-sex-heavy Song of Solomon. You may remember her lush paintings of islands (not part of the biblical series) reviewed alongside work by Cable Griffith at SOIL Gallery last September. This new work at Prole Drift cites the darker passages of the Song of Solomon and comprises fifteen prints pulled from a single plate that’s been etched with images of an infant’s incubator, breathing tubes, little foxes, twigs, creeping ivy and bottles of milk. The prints themselves are wildly different, having been inked or wiped with varying degrees of thickness, then collaged or painted over.
On a work table in Bluhm’s studio is a small children’s Bible bound in red leather that she says she picked up at a local Goodwill. It’s spread open to a chapter in The Song of Solomon and has been heavily annotated with red ink and underlined in pencil, outlining plans for paintings. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Seattle, The Conversation | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Ian Toms, Platform Gallery, Robert Yoder, Season, The Conversation
This is the first in a series of discussions conducted between professionals – gallerists, collectors, curators, artists – who have some kind of connection or partnership that elicits conversation about practice, collaboration, or the business of art. Robert Yoder (NAP #7, #85) is a Seattle-based artist who has shown work internationally and is no stranger to New American Paintings. He runs a gallery called SEASON out of his mid-century home in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Ian Toms is a young painter and sculptor who has developed a close working relationship with Yoder. Both of their work flirts with provocative obfuscation and dabbles in a vernacular of glamorous filth. Perhaps flirts and dabbles are too weak of terms.
The following interview took place in Toms’ studio. It’s sparse, gritty. There are a lot of spray paint cans and sharpies scattered around, canvases stacked up, ripped magazine images and sketches taped to the walls. One of the sharpie drawings on the wall shows an S-shape repeated randomly on the page. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Interview, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Buddy Bunting, Pole Drift, Seattle
The centerpiece of Buddy Bunting’s Flat Time Blue at Prole Drift (on view through May 27th) is a panoramic watercolor and flashe painting that stretches twelve feet across the wall. The painting depicts a prison washed out and warmed up with scalding bright yellow sun, its structural starkness rendered sheer and almost weightless. It’s the tenth in a series Bunting has been developing since 2004. In this piece, as well as in the smaller sketches hung in Prole Drift’s back room, Bunting transforms the sterile architecture of correctional facilities and American industrial sprawl into visionary landscapes where the political and social narratives nested within the physicality of buildings meld with a sense of the imaginary. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor