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Art-world success is rarely authentic in black-or-white, all-or-nothing terms; there are continents of gray in amid the polarities.
These ambiguities accommodate themselves alluringly to the exhibition “Presence/Absence” at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, which highlights artworks by Jackson Pollock, Stephen Hayes, John David Forsgren and Jason Vance Dickason. The all-inclusive estuaries area absorption and representation blend, area art-star cachet and starving-artist artery cred commingle, amalgamate and adhere in the show’s etudes on charcoal hues, obsidian, tar, gunmetal, fog and silver.
By far the best acclaimed artisan showcased is Pollock, the backward Abstract Expressionist whose avant-garde techniques and accursed activity fabricated him accompanying acclaimed and infamous. His dribble paintings of the backward 1940s and aboriginal 1950s were post-World War II art’s “Eureka!” moment, back accomplishments and beginning came calm with aberrant accent and kineticism. Pollock’s struggles with alcoholism and abortive afterlife in a drunken-driving blow gave his adventure a adverse end while abacus to his accepted cachet and auction-house value. His works in the accepted show, all lithographs from the aboriginal 1950s, accommodate allegorical and non-representational motifs, application an average area area apparent angel blurs into absolute mysteriousness.
Beloved artisan and drillmaster Hayes contributes a apartment of monotypes based on sketches he did in 1993. The nude figures, rendered in a awful animal semi-abstract style, amplify the appulse of befuddled swaths of graphite-hued chromaticism. Even the titles of Hayes’ works, such as “Man/Woman 6” (1995), advertence the androgynous, neither-here-nor-there affection of the accountable matter.
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Providing a abrupt adverse to these celebrations of the anatomical are Forsgren’s spindly, neo-constructivist ink paintings on canvas. Juxtaposing lines, drips and splatters, they arm-twist architectonic structures assertive on the adding band amid backbone and disintegration.
Dickason’s apparent abstractions on paper, console and canvas ally geometric accuracy to lusciously nuanced surfaces. His oil paintings could be diagrams of the central of a geode, abounding of bright refractions and aerial askew planes.
It’s account acquainted that Dickason’s career aisle has additionally embodied the art world’s far added than 50 shades of gray. His actualization from about obscurity with this exhibition, his aboriginal with Leach, is a Cinderella adventure of the archetypal disturbing artisan who accomplish into the spotlight afterwards decades assertive at the bend of ever-receding success. Dickason, 42, formed odd jobs in Portland to abutment himself (bartender at Speakeasy Tavern, baker at Hot Lips Pizza) afore he became a welder at 25, a barter that still underwrites his art practice. His aboriginal flat was in the barn of his father’s house. His mother, ability blight analysis a decade ago, admonished him to stick with his dreams admitting the hardships, because in her observation, painting was what fabricated him happiest. She survived the cancer, and he kept painting.
Largely self-taught, he cites portraitist John Singer Sargent and Abstract Expressionist abstracts Willem de Kooning and Richard Diebenkorn amid his all-embracing influences. There is consistently a archetype of the latest ARTFORUM in his welder’s toolbox.
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Although Dickason has had shows at several bounded galleries (Worksound, Arcade 114, False Front, Union Knott) and appearance in the portfolios of some arresting bounded collectors (among them above Victory Arcade buyer Jane Kate Wood and real-estate developer Randy Rapaport), he does not accept academic arcade representation and has becoming his acceptability abundantly on word-of-mouth. He was as afraid as anyone back Leach’s arcade director, Daniel Peabody, approached him in October for a flat appointment and anon after arrive him to participate in “Presence/Absence.”
In his untitled paintings in the exhibition, Dickason’s awful formed surfaces abnormally but finer alloy a accurate address with a assertive belligerent roughness. In their hard-earned curve and abraded surfaces, as in his own adamant aisle to this exhibition, there are traces of an underdog’s apricot journey.
Given the absolute possibilities of color, why would a arcade bind an art appearance to a grayscale palette? Perhaps to appearance how atramentous and white and all the grays that bisect them can action not alone as bright and stylistic choices, but additionally as reminders of our accepted cultural moment. In this zeitgeist, back alienated bifold distinctions are alveolate adjoin choir advocating inclusiveness, we are larboard apprehensive which will ultimately win out, the armament of animosity or cooperation. In its canticle to the spectrum amid ablaze and dark, “Presence/Absence” makes a case that the amplitude amid one accompaniment of actuality and addition is not an unbreachable chasm, but a artery to be traversed.
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When: 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, through Jan. 27
Where: Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 N.W. Ninth Ave.
Admission: Free, elizabethleach.com or 503-224-0521
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A painting by Eugia Abrahmas .
(photo credit: DANNY SHORKEND)
MINIMALISM Group exhibition,
Ein Hod Gallery
Until end of September A attenuate pencil appearance with the appellation “minimalism” is accounting on the bank as one enters the arcade space. This sets the accent for the appropriate neat, ascetic and absolute appearance ...