Subarna Talukder Bose's paintings contemplate the microcosm in the macrocosm––human circumstances within the cosmic cycle. While the cosmos embraces diversity, we humans react to diversity with discrimination. She explores the constant interplay of these opposing stances. She tries to capture the concepts of race, color, and identity as created by humans and consider where they belong in relation to the vast universe around us. The instinct to paint the subjects also reflects her attempt to find her own place and deconstruct her own being.
The patterns in her paintings depict the diversity that we all are part of; the patterns fuse to express something larger, a system. Humans are part of this system, taking a certain shape and form, but fundamentally representing a force or energy. For the patterns, she draws inspiration from Mughal and Hindu architecture and Indian miniature paintings, which she has grown up seeing and admiring.
The Office is an exhibition space started in 2017 by Eva Lake, inside the office at Russo Lee Gallery. This program showcasing unrepresented artists is an important moment at one of Portland’s longest running and most respected contemporary art venues, providing increased opportunities to regional artists and more artistic voices for viewers. Blake Shell, Executive Director of Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, has been asked to curate The Office for the 2018-19 season.
Focusing on presenting work by people of color and women, this season of The Office continues the work of increasing equity and inclusion that has begun at Russo Lee Gallery, lead by owner Martha Lee, as well as at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center under Shell’s direction. Shell has selected a group of artists who are unrepresented by larger commercial galleries, some who are well known regionally and some who are new to exhibiting in Portland. Artists have been selected for the high quality of their work that relates to themes of artmaking in the Pacific Northwest found at Russo Lee Gallery, such as materiality, patterned abstraction, relationships to the environment, and personal/social identities.