Also in March, the gallery will be exhibiting the work by artist Betty Merken in Persuasive Geometry. In this new body of work, Merken continues to explore her signature minimalist vision, presenting paintings with unexpected color combinations and geometric shapes. Merken is an experienced architectural colorist and her architectural skills are evident in her artwork. Gradients are interrupted with parallel lines, triangles, and rectangles, exposing the angles of parallelograms with obtuse and acute triangles. In an article with Pacific NW Magazine for The Seattle Times, Merken shares her relationship to color and architecture, “I’ve always felt as a painter that color is material. What painters and architects share are color, form, space, shape. Throughout history, architects and artists have worked together. As a painter, color theory comes out of painting, so it’s applicable to architecture and design.”
Much of Betty Merken’s artwork is rooted in thinking about painting and printmaking from multiple perspectives, often influenced by her involvement with architecture. In this exhibition three related geometric sculptures are presented, in which collaged colors and forms of monotype printed papers interact with the reflective surfaces of anodized aluminum cubes, initially teasing the eye as to which surfaces are aluminum and which are paper.
Betty Merken lives and works in Seattle, Washington. She is a painter and printmaker whose abstract geometric monotypes and paintings recall the early Modernist works of Piet Mondrian and the work of American artists such as Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko, often echoing freedoms of painterly gesture pioneered by the Abstract Expressionists. Her work can be found in several galleries and in numerous private and public collections in the United States, Asia, and Europe, and in the permanent collections of several major museums, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. Merken has been honored with fellowships from the BAU Institute and the Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy, and in 2017 was selected for the Pinea-Linea de Costa Artist In Residence program in Cadiz, Spain.