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V I G N E T T E S
quick takes on
current shows

November 2017 - January 2018 Oregon Vignettes

By Allyn Cantor


JINIE PARK: LITTLE HOUSE
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Nov 2-Dec 23

Park’s elusive paintings offer a beautifully balanced conundrum - her soft approach to color and paint application is contrasted by the intentionally offbeat tactility of her painting surfaces. She uses luminous thin washes of pastels cascading into the physicality of imperfectly angled canvas structures that are hand-stitched with linen and Korean muslin. Park’s liminal works seem to be infused with a Rothko-like mid-century aesthetic, while also being evocative of bojagi or traditional Korean wrapping cloths, commonly made from hand-sewn pieced together fabrics, much like patchwork quilt forms.


Jinie Park, Lemon Hill, 2017

ADAM SORENSEN: PLACES
PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Nov 1-Dec 23
Sorensen’s paintings draw inspiration from many sources, his signature reinvention of a graphic landscape world references television and pop-culture, traditional Japanese woodblock prints, the Hudson River School and animation aesthetics that inform the cartoon-like sensibility of his rounded forms and dreamy colors. His stylized compositions are richly rendered and have utopian leanings rooted in landscape, often using grounding elements of land, water, and mountains reminiscent of pristine natural environments. His paintings carry both a sense of artificial reality and majestic fantasy.

Corlienne Pennell
Adam Sorensen, Catagonia, 2017

TOM CRAMER: UNDER THE SUN
Augen Gallery, Portland, Nov 2-Dec 2

In his labor-intensive wood-carved reliefs, well-known Portland artist Tom Cramer demonstrates a close reverence for nature - his hyper-organic forms pay homage not only to the natural world, but also to the cosmic domain. In this new body of work Cramer moves away from industrialized forms and gestures, rather the intricacy presented though his meticulous carvings of fractal-like patterning with gilded surfaces point to a spiritual realm that recalls the intangible and infinite nature of reality.

Rachel de Conde
Tom Cramer, Full Moon, 2016

ROLL HARDY: RECENT WORK
Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, Nov 2-Dec 2
Hardy has etched a career derived from seeing the beauty of discarded places and urban decay indicative of a post-industrial city. His realistic renderings are almost a documentation of Portland’s old infrastructure, bringing to light his place as a witness to the Portland that once was as the city rapidly changes. Gray melancholic scenes feel quintessentially Northwest as Hardy continually showcases a poetic ability to depict the quietude of weathered street scenes while evoking beauty within the desolate moments that reside in his industrial landscape subjects.

Parker Thiessen
Roll Hardy, Ghost Walk, 2017
SUE TOWER: STRETCH & KENTREE SPEIRS: SMALL WORKS
Blackfish Gallery, Portland, to Dec 2
In November, Blackfish Gallery features two distinct artists who utilize textural abstraction in very different ways. Tower turned to a spontaneous approach five years ago, after a long painting career focused on rendering realistic imagery. Her current non-objective work is created with rapid impasto textures and mark-making to produce primitive abstractions. Speirs uses multiple layers of color and form in his landscape-based paintings that strongly reflect the Purcell, Bugaboo and Valhalla Mountains of British Columbia where he resides.
Miriam Rudolph
Kentree Speirs, Direct, 2015