Caroline Kapp | Big Story + Evelyn Woods | Perambulations

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January 3 – February 9, 2018

Prographica is pleased to announce two joint solo exhibitions, opening January 3rd, “Big Story” by Caroline Kapp, and “Perambulations” by Evelyn Woods, marking the first solo exhibitions for both artists at the gallery.

To see additional work by both artists, visit our website

Caroline Kapp | Big Story

“Big Story” encompasses two distinct series that are thematically connected: “STAGES” from 2017, and “Big Story” from 2018. Both series align the artist’s interests in visual perception with drawing, installation, and photography. The compositions are visual analogies, as both series derive from recording responses to buzzwords and trends in popular media coverage. Disclosure, hierarchy, strength, or believability are some of the concepts explored through combinations of familiar materials such as plumbing parts, canvas, ribbon, string, and glass vessels.

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1) Who are two artist(s) inspire you?

Keiji Uematsu – Precarious, minimal, flows seamlessly between mediums and materials.
Berenice Abbott – Specifically Documenting Science/MIT projects capturing scientific phenomenon.
Euan Uglow – Textures, values, colors, and hierarchy of compositions are captivating.

2 ) What do you listen to while you work?

I generally have music on when I’m editing or exposing prints. Artists on heavy rotation lately are Zoe Keating, King Krule, Sh**kid, Kurt Vile, Ron Carter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sylvan Esso.

3) If you had to describe your process in three words, what would they be?

Paper. Idea. Viewfinder.

4) Ok, now, can you describe your process:

The starting place is always sketching and working with words, themes, and images in a sketchbook. From there, shapes and subject matter are iterated within little squares and rectangles to represent the viewfinder. This establishes the spatial relationships of subject matter to composition, which is very important to the final work and usually ends up being authentic to the final imagery. Then the physical subject matter needed to stage the photo is made or acquired based on the sketches. The objects and materials are often from thrift shops, salvage yards, or fabric stores. Next would be staging and capturing subject matter using medium-format film or a digital camera, depending on the idea and desired scale of the final prints. The physical printing and editing process also alternates depending on the idea, but I commonly work with some type of alternative process involving digital and analog techniques: hand-coated paper, UV or sunlight exposures, scanning, contact printing with digital or analog negatives, digital image editing, and working back and forth between these stages. Once I’m satisfied with an image or group of images, I’ll either run a small edition or single artist proof archival inkjet print. Then, start on new ideas from sketches.

 

Evelyn Woods | Perambulations

The autumn and winter landscapes most intrigue Evelyn Woods and are the focus of her exhibition, “Perambulations”. We walk alongside the artist through the rain and snow, as time slows and our attention is directed to the micro: light moving across and within a tangle of reeds. The stark beauty of the barren landscape in its stripped down structure and subdued color are evidenced in the paintings and drawings that comprise the exhibition.

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1. Who are two artist(s) inspire you?

There are quite a number of artists that I have admired and have been inspired by.  The two artists I have chosen to name are currently still working. Martin Puryear is a sculptor I look up to for his bold singular shapes using natural materials as his medium.  I find his mastery of material in combination of his concepts and craftsmanship humbling. Catherine Murphy, a painter, continues to hold my interest. Her compositions are based on her domestic environment.  The lens in which she sees is personal yet of the everyday “stuff” that we all have but maybe don’t always see. As with Puryear she has total command of the skills necessary to execute the conceptual idea.

2. What do you listen to while you paint?

I used to listen to music but soon grew tired of it. Picking music to match my mood became a hassle.  All changed when I discovered the world of audiobooks! I love being able to listen to a book whether fiction or nonfiction.  Listening to books takes away the self-consciousness of being in the studio while at the same time I get to “read” so much more than I ever have.

3. How, if at all, has moving from Seattle to quiet Whidbey changed your work?

I would have to say that my move from Seattle to Whidbey has essentially brought together two very different experiences which I had growing up.  Having lived in many places in the states it is my memories of living both in New York City and outside of the city which we fondly called the “country” versus the “city” gave me two diametrically different sensual environments.  Both of which I have embraced in my work with the dark industrial drawings of past work to my current work whose emphasis is the natural world.

4. What are you working on now?

In preparing for this show I ended up doing a series of five small paintings on board resulting in a different approach than painting on canvas.  Some play and experimentation in preparing the ground changed the way I made decisions as to what I wanted to use as subject material. As a result the focus of my current work feels to me a bit more intimate.  Painting in the months of fall and winter continues to be my focus. In painting it has been my experience that it is usually my last painting which informs the next painting not only in the subject material chosen but also the medium.

Ellen Garvens: Strings Attached

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Ellen Garvens: Strings Attached

January 5 – February 25, 2017, Opening reception: First Thursday, January 5, 6 – 8pm

The solo exhibition of work by Ellen Garvens features her recent archival inkjet prints and videos along with a small selection of work from her earlier “Ambivalence” series. In her statement about the work for the show Ellen Garvens writes: “My process begins with an interest in creating images that defy gravity and escape logic. The set-ups I construct are fluid, often shifting or collapsing during a shoot. Elements left from one scene often find their way into the edges and backgrounds of other photographs, embracing the incidental and what is left behind. All my work maintains a strong interest in drawing. Despite photographing set-ups that occupy small rooms, the thread, string or cords are like drawn lines, the dark cloth like swatches of ink. In my mind, these set-ups are three-dimensional drawings that I complete by photographing them.

The videos relate to drawing by recording simple forms or elements moving across a flat plane. Though they look like animations, they are done by much simpler means. The exhibition also includes photographs made in medical clinics from 2003 to 2010. I photographed devices that were created through a process of manual construction and alteration. These devices had once been useful but were set aside and no longer needed. An interest in drawing is also evident in this series as I isolated the devices against a neutral backdrop and kept the accumulated notations, marks, and gestures that came from their creation and use. It is important to me that the medical devices are re-oriented and their usefulness unexplained. I relate to the uncertainty and the undefined purpose. It is in the momentary confusion found in both these bodies of work, that a combination of anxiety, a new way of looking, and occasional humor can co-exist.”

Interview #52, part 2

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1. In your statement for the exhibition, you wrote,”The set-ups I construct are fluid, often shifting or collapsing during a shoot. Elements left from one scene often find their way into the edges and backgrounds of other photographs, embracing the incidental and what is left behind.” At what point do you consider a work finished? Is it different with the medium?
A work is finished when it becomes clear that adding more, reworking, or continuing further becomes mannered or over thought. I want to end when a discovery is still felt and stops short of a predictable resolution. To be honest, this state of completion isn’t always permanent. I often go back to set ups or reject images when looking at them later. This is similar with each of the mediums I have used, i.e., sculpture, photo, drawing or video.

2. In your work, what does it mean for a given work to succeed?
When aspects of what I was thinking, or feeling, both consciously and subconsciously, come across. It evokes, however humbly or subtly, a felt response.

3. Given that the exhibition includes work from series that span different stages of your career and also different media, how did you put the show together in your head?
It did take me time to get my head around having the different kinds of work shown together. I was especially conscious of not wanting to reduce the prosthetic work to simply an aesthetic experience. I wanted the viewer to be able to make connections to underlying themes of loss and absence, the process of building and constructing, and acknowledging the beauty of unfinished states.

4. Are there anecdotes about any of the works from the exhibition that might give a first-time viewer insight into your artist vision?
Both the Parallel Play series and the Ambivalence series have a story behind their beginning. I moved my studio from the basement of our house to an empty bedroom because my children had grown. Where the furniture had been, where their heads rested against the wall while sleeping, push pin holes, etc., were still visible in the empty room. I couldn’t bring myself to paint the wall and started working on still lives with simple objects in front of it. It was a playful reaction to the history of the room. With the Ambivalence series, I visited the Prosthetic lab at the UW to investigate ideas explored in earlier more sculptural work. I was immediately drawn to the intimacy of the process and the grace of the devices generated. In each of these series, the results were a reaction to what I saw and a desire to present that in a new way.

5. In a recent interview, you spoke about learning new video editing software. How has different software influenced your process and thus your work?
I find myself super engaged in the process and possibilities because it’s a little scary. Things never go as you plan and are quite fragile. Perhaps that experimentation and uncertainty is retained.

6. You wrote in your statement for the show, “Elements left from one scene often find their way into the edges and backgrounds of other photographs.” Looking at the different series, what is left behind appears to be important in many. Do you have any comment on this?
Aftermath is evident in most of the work. Pieces of the still lives left on the wall after a shoot can re-appear later in other shoots. In the Ambivalence work, the need for some of these devices is the result of the Vietnam and the Gulf War. What happens after we think it’s over has resonance, important consequences, and looks at things from a different perspective.

7. You wrote about the Ambivalence series, “They also created in me an awareness of disability and its relationship to all bodies” Why did you choose the title “Ambivalence”?
Thanks for asking that. I am ambivalent about showing things that represent other people’s painful experience. At the same time, I relate to the experience of loss and pain, physical and emotional, as do most of us especially as we age. This project made me aware that we are all disabled. It is culture that labels disability as different, rather than seeing it as a universal, normal, human condition.

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Eric Beltz

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This show features the work of nine Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, and Fred Stonehouse

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #61: Eric Beltz

 

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
What I have learned is that I can work almost anywhere – which I recommend: embracing a flexible attitude about your circumstances. I just need a little room because my set-up is simple: easel, taboret, clip lamp, bookshelves. My first studio was in my backyard in an old, partially-converted storeroom. My ideal location would be near where I live. But this place was far from ideal. When I turned on the lights at night, mice leapt off tables and chairs. One night a cockroach crawled out of my pocket when I sat down. I found a black widow under a rag on the floor. The final straw, what ended my ability to work there was that I developed an intense allergy to the Chinese Elms that surrounded the property which produced burning snot each Spring. So no Chinese Elms.

I also need natural light. Sky lights create the feeling closest to being outdoors because of the direction of light. I had a studio for a year with no windows at all. To make it worse it was lit with fluorescent lighting. Working for eight hours a day without natural light depressed my dogs and me too. Working in black and white didn’t help either. But this set up a vividly overwhelming color experience once I went outside at the end of the day. I never knew there were psychedelic shades of gray asphalt! Dirt glowed, chain-link was radiant, rocks and leaves pulsed with life, and of course the sky felt like an infinite, undulating blanket of blues. I have retained the ability to recall these sensations but I don’t miss that studio at all.

A little room. Natural light. And if I could I would command birds to flutter around outside a large picture window during the day. A variety of urban finches and sparrows are fine. But I would like scrub jays and mourning doves too, and somehow for turkey vultures and crows to join in as well. The double benefit of this is there would be no need for music or the radio. And at quitting time I want a Great Horned Owl to land on a large Sycamore by a creek and tell me goodnight as I leave.

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2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Routine and necessity. I work the day shift now in the studio where I once worked late into the night and early morning. Having a studio outside of the home has created a necessary separation between home and studio life. Studio life can become all-life which is unhealthy as it tends to encourage a little too much self-referential thinking. So I do not wonder when or why to go to the studio. It is a daily labor of my vocation and an integrated part of my life.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
For over ten years now I have worked only with graphite on Bristol. My drawings take months each so I work on just one at a time. Although I have a large wall covered in sheet metal where I hang with magnets a variety of sketches, written ideas, reference material, and doodles for future projects. I always keep an eye on the future while being present and fully engaged in my current drawing. I don’t know how long this graphite-only thing will last – it wasn’t really planned. I recently had to buy $500 worth of my favorite erasers because they stopped making them and I cannot draw without these specific types of erasers. So perhaps when I run out I will try something new? I have a vague plan to eventually work large and in oil pastels once my eyes can no longer focus on the small details in my drawings such as the minute reflection on the tiny eye of a half-inch tall quail.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
It has been hard for me to have interests outside of what I do in the studio because everything is inter-connected. When I read I do not read for diversion I read for learning and inspiration. Most things I do I have my studio mind still active so it disallows my attempts to relax really. The only activity that takes me fully away from the studio is cooking. There is no wishful thinking in cuisine. Especially if you are cooking for others. I take a measure of pride in my abilities and enjoy serving others with something I made that is intended to make them happy. It is a much less selfish enterprise than drawing at least in the short term because your work is immediately and perhaps more objectively judged right there in front of you. Nice wine helps too. Pretty soon I will be finishing off my last 2007 Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir which was a great year for that region as was 2012. 2014 is looking like it will be great too perhaps because of the drought and the vineyard’s ability to fully control irrigation.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I have a greatly simplified view of art history but it grounds me to a general understanding of where the kinds of techniques I use and teach have fit (or not) within the Master Narrative of the history of art. The way Jansen’s tells it, the ‘beginning’ or at least a major turning point of Western Art is obviously the Renaissance in Italy. And what is the evidence? It is the figure and it is perspective. It is fidelity to the visible world in art. Both setting and characters. Western Art History had its precursors of course but this was the trajectory hitting its zenith. Immediately after, however, is the beginning of the next phase of Western Art. Once some artists proved a kind of objective representation was possible, others began questioning whether this efficacy produced unnecessary limitations so they started tearing apart elements of the figurative tradition and perspectival space. This phase of the narrative which involved challenges to the figure and depictions of space hits its high note with Cubism and then nothing really follows a linear order and art history becomes a matter of cataloging the multiplicity. Through much of this history the illustrators and cartoonists kept their focus on depicting the figure and the space within which it could be made to share. Mid-20th Century cartoonists like Burne Hogarth helped to bring the techniques of the Renaissance back into circulation by using them in comics like Tarzan but also by teaching and writing books. The history of tearing the figure apart was shown to have a counter-narrative and a history of artists who continued to adapt and apply the old lessons rather than to simply reject or attack them without a concurrent desire to keep at least part. So in a way, to draw something as I do is to attach myself to an alternate current in art history.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
When Jesus Swims He Becomes The Ocean is one of the first and few drawings so far that I have done that have an internal picture frame. That is, the image touches a crisp edge where the drawing abruptly stops. For most of the past decade I have let the image stop near an invisible edge or blur and fade along a softer line. I never wanted my drawings to have to deal with a consistent space in all parts of the drawing but to be able to float as a patchwork of connected pieces- usually connected by a central figure. I also liked the tension of a drawing acknowledging its own limits by stopping before it got cropped. As I move deeper into what I think I am capable of, as I expand my toolbox, and as I continue the need to challenge myself further, this was one compositional device that I had not yet explored. It has significantly expanded the ways I can deal with space development and try to connect pieces that don’t really go together logically.

In When Jesus Swims there are four zones: the landscape, the foreshortened water pattern that touches the shore, the surface of water that Jesus’s head emerges from that supports the floating birds and otter and that also includes the white water pattern that surrounds the bottom of the drawing, and then the window into the underwater area of kelp and fish. These all sort of connect spatially but not really. The foreshortening zooms forward at one pace from landscape to Jesus but then slows down significantly continuing forward to the bottom of the draw. The foreshortening completely stops with the underwater part which is parallel to the viewer. There is an exciting ambiguity in representational techniques and it is fun to play with them like this. I developed a greater appreciation for this ambiguity when teaching and studying absurdly convoluted perspectival processes: like mapping out reflections for instance. You have a lot of freedom to choose how these seemingly rigid concepts get applied. You can do them correctly to fool the eye or you can make a mess and fool the eye some other way. I find it very rewarding to find places in my work where I understand the forces I am manipulating just enough to steer them with confidence while also surprising myself with the results. I had little understanding of what this drawing would look like until I finished it which I think is hard to understand looking at something that looks so well-planned and ordered. It is and it isn’t. I have a notion, I have faith, and I have patience.

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“When Jesus Swims He Becomes The Ocean”, 2015, graphite on Bristol, 46” x 33” framed

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“Andean Condor”, 2015, graphite on Bristol, 30″ x 22″ framed

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“California Condor”, 2014, graphite on Bristol, 22″ x 24″ framed

 

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Len Paschoal

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IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #60: Len Paschoal

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Len Paschoal  outside Francis Bacon’s studio

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
My ideal working environment has to be the quietest possible except when I feel like listening to music, which cannot be just background music. I take it seriously. I despise anything pop/electronic. As you can imagine by now, music to me is serious. I go from the Early Baroque through the 20th Century. Some of my very favorite composers: Wagner, Bruckner, Alban Berg, Webern, Bartok, Beethoven, Schubert and the list is very long. I do pay attention to what I listen while working since after the image is complete the work is just mechanical.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
The only motivator is to finish the work. I need discipline and I do have it.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
Oil and pencil.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
Outside the studio: my long morning walk wherever I am at, cooking, watching old films especially Antonioni, Bergman, British police series, Scandinavian and German films.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I need imagery, clean, practically clinical.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
As in life I need to have everything orderly, although within this orderly world I enjoy objects and humans trading places and space just for the fun of it, just like creepy crawling.

The works for the show are two. They consist of two homages. One, is my homage to Rene Magritte. The other, is my homage to film director Michelangelo Antonioni. Both under Icelandic light.

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“Icelandic Midday Light”, 2016, oil on linen, 27.5″ x 25.5″