There is a lot to see in the galleries in Pioneer Square and only one week left to see most of it. Here are some highlights from works currently on display.
Davidson Galleries The current exhibition of Barbara Robertson and Evelyn Woods’ work juxtaposes naturalism from Woods and synthetic abstraction from Robertson. Evelyn Woods’ show Dwellers presents the tree as the central subject matter, encouraging the viewer to closely examine the highly detailed works as portraits. The cropping of the portraits gives each subject further intrigue. Woods’ aesthetic is painterly—realistic but not photo-realistic—subtly immortalizing each unique organism in their idealized form.
Barbara Robertson’s pieces take on a much more abstract subject. The show, entitled Snap, is intended to capture a sense of rhythm, inspired by the unattainable form of sound waves. Robertson layers her work using digital and mixed media. The small but captivating piece “Slide” is a fine example that succeeds in evoking sound and is indicative of her multidisciplinary approach.
Greg Kucera Gallery The show of Mark Calderon’s work seems to revolve around a theme of hollowness—both physical and emotional. The shows title, Nothing is as Eloquent as Nothing, speaks beautifully to this concept of emptiness. While in some respects the show feels quite disparate, Calderon’s strongest works are those that deal with the recessive and reflective qualities of space. Reflect, Greaves and his Lacuna works strongly represent this theme of hollowness and fragility. Reflect lays across the floor of the gallery space—a water filled sculpture mimicking the crevices of Lake Washington. In this respect, Reflect is a dichotomy of hollow and full. The pieces by Calderon that recede into the wall are figural absences and thus the visual representation of hollowness.
SOIL Gallery Allyce Wood’s current show is described as “new work exploring the use of organic material in a post-industrial context.” Her delicate watercolors, though, go far beyond a trendy exploration of humans in the context of the natural environment. The organic leaves and flowers, often arranged in garland-like composition, reflect a certain softness and sensitivity, as well as a dexterous approach to detail. The works have a mysterious, storybook quality to them—an inexplicable sense of narrative and transformation for otherwise stagnant forms.
G. Gibson Gallery Julie Blackmon’s show Undertow takes the term “still-life” to a whole new level. Her remarkably composed photographs invent worlds that evoke Jan Steen’s classic Dutch genre scenes. Blackmon states, “These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today….but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real.” The aesthetic of the pieces is a stark realism that reflects both a sense of the everyday but also the uncanny. Stock Tank mixes an idyllic scene of summertime leisure while Hair is far more eerie. The collection of images at G. Gibson reflect Julie Blackmon’s exploration of composed time and experience, in which any viewer can insert him or herself.
Core Gallery Aaliyah Gupta’s show features acrylic works painted on duralar. The acrylic designs are rendered in the rhetoric of the Japanese aesthetic—flowing across the material effortlessly like The Great Wave of Kanagawa. The seascape-inspired designs against the transparent ground create pieces that transcend the traditional space of the artwork. While some pieces are cylindrical, others hang from the ceiling. These hanging pieces create distinct visual spaces through which the viewer can look, while the cylindrical pieces act as “vortexes.” Gupta’s works in SeaSky at Core Gallery are an exploration of “the storms that rage around us, and her use of transparency allows the viewer to become fully engulfed in them. Bryan Ohno Gallery This First Thursday, Bryan Ohno Gallery exhibited its inaugural show in the new space on Main Street. The work by Akiko Masker, Floating Clouds (or Ukigumo), reference Japanese Ukiyo-e, translated as “scenes from the floating world.” Masker captures of the sense of “floating” in her mixed media pieces, using an opaque material before colored plastic ribbon. Pressed against the opaque, glass-like paper, the ribbon’s materiality remains evident while being perceived as a flattened, linear design—a two-dimensional impression that opens into three-dimensions when one looks beyond.