Filed under: Review, Seattle | Tags: Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Erin Langner, Julia Mangold
The three largest sculptures of Julia Mangold’s Drawings and Sculpture stare, despite being compilations of black, geometric fragments that do not readily read as anthropomorphic. These sculptures made of wood covered in a thick sheen of wax stare not only because they stand at eye level, but their physical masses also emit the weight and form of a standard human when standing beside them. The block forms that comprise their structures protrude and retract strategically, shifting the overall sculptural shapes without giving any sense of being precarious; these staring stacks do not back down. Rather, they hold their own in a room full of people and objects meandering through the same space. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Art World, Portland | Tags: Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Kelli Rule
John Sansini, Francisco and Louie, oil on canvas, 72″ x 60″, 2008
I’ll admit, with all the hubbub over Portland’s annual Trek In The Park (trust me, it’s huge), I was lured into Elizabeth Leach Gallery by Luke Butler’s stunning little trio of Trek characters (which we spotted earlier this year while shooting video at Art Los Angeles Contemporary), which show Bones, Kirk, and Spock, in that order, frozen in anguish on seas of gray. Butler is attracted to Trek and more specifically, Kirk, calling the Captain “a model of vulnerability,” and of Shatner, the man, “His vulnerabilities are on the surface for all to see.” What’s great, too, is that Butler’s fallen heroes – though Trek they be – aren’t silly, and they don’t aspire to kitsch – they’re too well-painted, and too inspiring of pathos. Butler’s most well-known works are the Star Trek pieces, but his work at large too deals with masculinity and vulnerability. (Google him and check out the nude president collages.)
There are more heroes in the group show: John Sansini’s “Francisco and Louie” is a love letter to big, bold painting – the oil is rich and swirly and begs to be touched. According to the gallery, Sonsini hires day-laborers who are typically tapped for manual labor, mainly building projects or landscaping, and pays them hourly to model. The subjects, with their Thomas Hart Benton hands and head-on gaze, rule the room.
More after the jump! Kelli Rule, Portland contributor
Filed under: Art World, Portland | Tags: Anna Von Mertens, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Kelli Rule, Portland
ABOVE: Bacchus’ Aura, After Caravaggio , 2009 | Hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton, 39.75 x 33 inches. BELOW: Anna von Mertens, Kurt Cobain’s Aura (Zoe’s), After Elizabeth Peyton, 2009 | Hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton, 13.75 x 11 inches. Images courtesy Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR.
Anna Von Mertens‘ hand-dyed and stitched cotton aura portraits are both haunting and exuberant. Portraits, her solo exhibition of works at Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon are the result of the artist’s study of aura reading applied to canonical portraits from art history, ranging from depictions of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa to Warhols’s Marilyn. Her works reveal Rothko’s proof that color is spiritual, and their spiritual power resonates as a chromatic relationship between warm and cool tones. Through a multi-layered dyeing process, finished by meticulous hand-stitching, von Mertens keeps the silhouette of each original portrait, adding the locations of each subject’s chakras. More after the jump. —Kelli Rule, Portland contributor