New American Paintings/Blog

Materializing Mementos: Kristen Miller at PDX Contemporary by New American Paintings
September 23, 2011, 9:00 am
Filed under: Portland, Review | Tags: , , , , ,

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

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Hit the Pacific Northwest: Victoria Haven at Greg Kucera & PDX Contemporary by openstudiospress

ABOVE: Victoria Haven, NORTH X NORTHWEST MYSTIC (Gore-Tex® version), 2010 | Gore-Tex®, silver marking film, thread, 24 x 27.5 inches. Courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle. BELOW: North x Northwest Sampler, 2010 | Ink and pen on paper, 14 x 14.75 inches. Courtesy PDX Contemporary Art, Portland.

Seattle-based artist Victoria Haven’s two current exhibitions, Hit the North (47° 60’N) at Greg Kucera Gallery and Hit the North (45° 52’N) at PDX Contemporary Art, dramatically defy expectations. In contrast to the grids and geometric forms characteristic of the artist’s work in recent years, the art in both Hit the North shows enters new territory by merging figures and abstracted forms with text and cultural references. Ranging widely in mediums, from sumi ink and aluminum to western red cedar and Gore-tex, the exhibitions coalesce into a single body of work through references to themes widely affiliated with the Pacific Northwest: the region’s outdoor features, weather and music scene.  —Erin Langner and Kelli Rule

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