Filed under: New York, Portland, Review | Tags: Brian Fee, Fragment, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Josh Keyes, Migration, New York, Portland
I was pleasantly taken aback by Portland-based artist Josh Keyes’ (NAP #49 & #67) vividly photo-realistic renderings of fauna in cleaved terrain in Fragment, his debut solo exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Gallery last winter. In one fell swoop, Keyes juxtaposed Audobon-precise animals interacting with textbook-style bisected and angled landscapes overrun with premonitions of global warming, a mix of heady surrealism and acute future reality. To say I anticipated his return to the gallery, in Migration — which auspiciously coincided with my long weekend back in town — would be a grave understatement. What I discovered in Keyes’ new series of dissected environments was an even greater sense of realism, between the animals themselves and their depictions, plus the underlying warning signs of a planet headed towards environmental uncertainty. Read more from Austin Contributor, Brian Fee, after the jump!
Josh Keyes | Tangled IV, 2011, acrylic on panel, 30″ x 40″, Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York.
Filed under: Portland, Review | Tags: Erin Langner, Kristen Miller, Memento, PDX, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland
Before experiencing Kristen Miller’s (NAP #67) exhibition Memento at PDX Contemporary in Portland, it is difficult to avoid thinking of Christopher Nolan’s indelible film of the same title. However, where Nolan’s treatise on memory employed tension and dramatic manipulation, Miller’s works small works on paper and textiles rely on delicate constructions, meditative techniques and minimal materials. Rarely straying from a spectrum of white and beige, Miller carefully sews tiny seed beads and paints comparably scaled dots of gouache into delicate, vulnerable forms suspended in space. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Beginning and Ending 1, 2011, paper and gouache,16.375″ x 18,” image courtesy of PDX Contemporary. Click Image To View Larger
Filed under: Art World, Portland | Tags: CANADA, Elena Pankova, Kelli Rule, Portland
Elena Pankova, All Untitled, 2010, Acrylic on canvas, dimensions variable. Courtesy CANADA, New York.
“Between my head and my hand there is always the face of death” is a quote from dadaist Francis Picabia. In the group show of the same name at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), guest curator Kristan Kennedy interprets this quote with seven contemporary painters whose works explore the psychology and mortality of the human form through the physicality of paint.
Among the more curious of works on display are Elena Pankova’s untitled installation of paintings flanked by a hanging houseplant. Crude, abstracted facial features are stenciled in layers on warm black backgrounds. From a distance, the works are vibratory dashes of pure color. Up close, you can see the artist’s hand. Some brushstrokes are transparent, painted deftly, and delicately, and the effect almost resembles cut and layered tissue paper. Others are opaque — creamy whites, powdery blues, and come off powerful, like warrior masks.
According to the Kennedy, Pankova’s faces are “fractured family portraits.” The plant is meant to reinforce the idea that the faces (though we’re psychologically predisposed to identify with them) are not really what’s alive. By deflecting our identification, it puts the focus on the medium. Pankova’s paint and pattern—not subject matter—is what’s most visceral. More pics 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