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James Lavadour: The Properties of Paint

Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Salem OR – Feb 2-Mar 30, 2008

James Lavadour = Deep Moon

James Lavadour, Deep Moon (2004), oil on wood, 9 panels [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Feb 2-Mar 30] Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, Portland

James Lavadour is an Eastern Oregon native and a self-taught artist who grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. His grid-based paintings capture the craggy masses of the mountainous region where he has lived most of his life. This exhibition represents an eight year culmination of Lavadour's landscapes which are exhibited in combination with his lesser-known architectural structures.

His surreal articulation of the region is grounded in the potent enigmatic forces of geological occurrences. The kinetic act of painting is first and foremost in Lavadour's works, which in essence are formal abstractions where gestural delineations are balanced amongst brooding tones and rich colourations moving between contrasts of light and dark, sharp edges and soft focus. His energetic swipes of paint are layered then removed in a physical manner analogous to the sedimentary accretion and erosion that shaped the canyons and cliffs of his homeland. He seeks to embrace "the raw terror that exists in the natural world" with a heightened tension, and embody it within spontaneously painted surfaces. 

Combining small, separately painted panels in grid-like arrangements, Lavadour's pieces often present multiple views of dynamic vistas that alternate between ghostly shapes and changing panoramas. Some compositions imply atmospheric skies and voluminous forms through Lavadour's expressionistic method of applying paint. Panels shift between saturated colours that exaggerate the moody terrain, and foreboding washes with earthier tones.

www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art/

Allyn Cantor

James Lavadour - Cache

James Lavadour, Cache (2007), oil on wood [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Feb 2-Mar 30] Courtesy of the artist and PDX Contemporary Art, Portland


James Lavadour - Blanket

James Lavadour, Blanket (2005), oil on wood [Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR, Feb 2-Mar 30] Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

 Fri, Feb 8, 2008