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 Back  Vignettes | Oregon | November 2012 – January 2013

By Allyn Cantor

FAY JONES Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, Dec 6-22 Seattle veteran artist Fay Jones is well known for her allegorical paintings of figures and animals in dreamlike settings. Her style of simplified and outlined forms amongst flat spaces suggest psychological states, where meanings are metaphorical rather than literal, and the visual vocabulary becomes a symbolic narrative. While her vividly coloured arrangements point to a deeper subject matter, Jones’s warm, approachable compositions are light in feeling and recall the humanity of the handmade, a quality present in many folk art styles.

NANCY LORENZ: FROM ASH AND PEARL PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oct 30-Dec 1 Nancy Lorenz uses an array of natural and cherished materials to conceive her expressive works: abalone and pearl scraps, ash from a peat fire in Ireland, bits of mirror, silver and gold are among the materials used in her abstract paintings. The New York artist worked as a lacquer restorer and has a high regard for Asian craft. Her material-based approach creates rich shimmering surfaces that balance broad brushwork with a reverence for Japanese aestheticism. In her lustrous paintings, Lorenz evokes glistening constellations, night skies and luminous seas.

MARK R. SMITH: PORTALS AND VESTIBULES, LAMINATES AND VENEERS Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Nov 1-Dec 29 Smith uses both paintings and prop-like constructions to explore domesticity within the framework of collective memory. His mixed-media pieces combine silhouetted imagery drawn from sources like antique books, encyclopedias and travel photos with tactile combinations of printed fabrics, paint and plywood. The pieces read like contemporary folk symbols that speak about our cultural environment; the imagery and recognizable fabrics feel unusually intimate, capturing social subtleties.

MK GUTH: WHEN NOTHING ELSE SUBSISTS, SMELL AND TASTE REMAIN The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oct 7-Dec 9 For her new exhibition, MK Guth investigates the communal aspect of food through installation works that propose potential dinner parties inspired by art, music, places and milestones. Guth is known for her engaging works that reach out to the audience, and she often refers to archetypal characters, stories or settings to examine contemporary issues. Her new work uses handmade books, sculpted serving pieces and utensils to form witty associations about the role of sharing meals.

HAYLEY BARKER: THE PRISMATIC SUN Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, Portland, Oct 31-Dec 1 Hayley Barker’s new series of paintings celebrate the therapeutic properties of light and the universal quality of the sun. Her highly textural canvases are built up with vibrating impasto surfaces and brilliant colour plays that have an Impressionistic quality. Her emotional works are a captivating meditation on illness and healing, and capture “the way the sun’s energy pulses above, beyond, and through us: how light fractures form as it cascades over all life, the land, water, and sky."

Fay Jones
Fay Jones

Nancy Lorenz
Nancy Lorenz

Mark R. Smith
Mark R. Smith

MK Guth
MK Guth

Hayley Barker
Hayley Barker

 Sat, Nov 3, 2012