Johnine Majchrowicz

VITA GALLERY, PORTLAND
May 4-30


Remember (1998)
acrylic on wood panel

This Seattle artist's intensely luminous and enigmatic acrylic paintings are rendered with a photorealist precision that make them look like pastels. Whether Majchrowicz is working with symbolic objects or the human figure, her objective is unquestionably the creation of iconic presences worthy of lasting, meditative attention. Whether abstract or figurative, the same tense balance between the sensuous and the mystical is achieved - handled in arid and luscious tones.

Majchrowicz' newest work addresses details of a shrouded white female form in an hermetic interior space, ensconced amidst crimson draperies and prehensile plants - evolved from earlier works in which the female was symbolized as a dress-maker's dummy, sometimes opened like a walnut shell, infused by vulvaform blossoms or riven by a powerful current of red.

While such symbolic expression is clearly personal and confessional, Majchrowicz possesses the means for making her statements as universally legible and identifiable as the tauntingly-ambiguous plant-forms of Georgia O'Keeffe or as objectified as the dreamlike women of Surrealist Paul Devaux; the hooded Arab-captive, Kit Moresby, of Bertolucci's The Sheltering Sky.

Although her flawless output is apparently very slow, Majchrowicz (who has also shown at Meyerson & Nowinski Gallery and Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle) musters an exhibition about once a year. This self-possessed and unhurried artist is worth following around.

© Ted Lindberg