The adroitly drawn, fancifully imagined, sometimes darkly undertoned works on paper by Gala Bent entice viewers into another world. Suggestive of fairytales or mysterious dream worlds, Bent places figures with extraordinary amounts of hair in contraptions that might be lifeboats or small scale cityscapes, with geometrically shaped, brilliantly colored facades. Without clear narratives, these surreal vignettes will take you wherever your imagination is inclined to travel.
Marcus Gannuscio paints people and the things that make them distinctive, whether their pose, their setting, or their particularly intent gaze. Often as large as or larger than life, Gannuscio’s oil paintings are meticulously made, with each detail of expression, posture, clothing or environment prompting speculation on the lives behind the painted surface.
Grant Hottle’s dramatic paintings are a meeting place of the drama of contemporary life and a rich vein of art history. Medium and large scale oil paintings utilize bold, sometimes garish colors to present images of domestic life gone awry, while simultaneously echoing grand art historical themes. One example, the adrift living room scene of “Home Wrecker” quotes the painted structure of Gericault’s 19th century “Raft of the Medusa.”
Rachel Peddersen’s Continuum series is a spare and elegant exploration of the visual power of color, line and shape in two-dimensional space. Painting, cutting, then carefully arranging and adhering thin paper strips in subtle yet wide-ranging forms, Peddersen hints at the possibility of three dimensions with the slightest bend of a line, or shift of color. Her work echoes the minimalists of the 1960s, refocusing the frenetic energy of the 21st century into quiet but complex spaces.
The abstract paintings and prints of Megan Scheminske are grounded in a sense of place. Intrigued by internet mapping sites as a contemporary mode of navigating the world, Scheminske started exploring them in a more abstract context. Using ‘zoomed in’ Google maps as a starting point, Scheminske has produced a series of paintings and artist prints that ‘illustrate’ places like an aerial view of Mt. Hood with increasing degrees of proximity. These paintings encourage close looking as well as reflection on current understandings of ‘place.’
Currently based in Seattle, but a native Oregonian, Liz Tran’s work is both inspired by her Northwest home, and a pushback against its darker and more dreary tones. The series of paintings we feature start with simple, abstracted tree and branch forms that are ‘dressed up’ up with warm and whimsical color and light. Using a mixed media of ink, acrylic and graphite on Japanese papers, Tran combines a deft draftsmanship with vibrating color to welcome viewers into a warm, fanciful landscape.