This month at the Pioneer Square Art Walk—one day after the massive victory parade—Seattle’s 12th Man pride was still showing through the awfully chilly night. The streets weren’t quite as crowded as they were the morning before, but the art lovers still came out in force to see a broad range of works.
Mark Rediske at Foster/White
Mark Rediske’s encaustic works are eerily atmospheric—completely abstracted or with remnants of identifiable forms. This sense of recognition is part of Rediske’s “desire to look at fairly familiar settings in altered states.” Rediske considers his show Panorama to be a series of landscapes, as he has drawn upon the natural environment and abstracted it in near monochrome. The earthy, organic quality of encaustic wax and pigments feels solid, but its diffuse translucence and blurred forms are ethereal. “Caligo,” consisting of sixteen square panels (all available individually), bears resemblance to silver gelatin photography—with developer that drips down the panel. Rediske layered materials and colors, emphasized by the textured surfaces, create a “milky moody affinity” one can only appreciate in person.
Bill Finger at PUNCH Gallery
Icarus by Bill Finger is an exploration—pun intended—of the natural human desire to investigate and discover. The frontier of space is Finger’s primary means of representing this theme. Finger constructs and photographs dioramas, which carry as much childlike wonder and fascination as they do philosophical depth. The chosen titles add a few layers of meaning in a few cases. In Gemini, two astronauts confront one another at the threshold of a home—one inside, the other outside. The title recalls the constellation while placing the space-suited figures in a familiar, cozy, terrestrial space. The absurdity of it is humorous in its own way, but the duality and liminality of the scene acquires new resonance in the context of the myth and esoteric meanings of Gemini, which shows a the balance of mortal and immortal, the meeting of two aspects of self, and the possibility that as one waxes the other wanes.
The constructed “sets” in Finger’s exhibition take the dangerous and daring edge off of exploration, makes it seem commonplace and constant, but something that must be earnestly pursued. “In Icarus, our protagonist looks to Space and longs to break free. Obsessively building what cannot be done, to live an explorer’s life.”
Wendy Orville at Davidson Galleries
Sightlines consists of monotypes that celebrate the “emotional complexity of the Pacific Northwest” landscape and the beauty that surrounds us. Wendy Orville’s black and white scenes capture transient moments, simply composed, but filled with gradients and light. Nisqually Flood is reminiscent of Japanese woodcut prints or prints by Eva Pietzcker of Cullom Gallery. Orville’s Rockaway Beach Diptych captures one landscape—but in two distinct, and intense, versions. In the left piece, a unique rock edifice breaks the horizon. Dominating the right image are contrasted, voluminous cloud formations. The environments depicted in the monotypes of Sightlines are simple scenes that belie complexity of the natural environment.
Group Show at Roq La Rue
Unpredictable Gravity, shown last month as well, combines a variety of works that, as T.s. Flock describes, “is impossible to summarize.” Not only are the works beautiful and unique, half of the profits from the show, curated by Robbie Lowery, go to three cancer research charities. AJ Fosik’s Bite the Grass is eye-catching—its bright colors and radiating design explodes into the viewer’s space. Jeremy Geddes’ haunting piece, The Call, is so vivid and realistic that the oil paint resembles photography. The young figure lies solitary within the black expanse of space that surrounds her—illuminating the form in a daring composition. Thomas Doyle’s Strike Anywhere is a beautiful miniature mixed media sculpture housed within a dome. This glass enclosure creates the sense of a scientific sculpture—but the subject is otherworldly and fantastical as a figure rests on a floating bed. With a range of styles and mediums, Unpredictable Gravity is sure to capture anyone’s fancy.