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″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Michelle Muldrow

Featured

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 #59: Michelle Muldrow

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
My ideal environment has light. Space is nice, but having good light is what I treasure most and is most difficult to find when landing an ideal studio. I always have music playing, it helps me zone out and just focus on painting. My most favorite studios have trains nearby, seeing and hearing the trains puts me in a wonderful creative headspace.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Deadlines and coffee

3. What is your preferred medium?  Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I change my medium according to series. I pay attention to how the materials best convey and translate the conceptual and emotional content of the work. I usually swing between casein paint on clay panel and gouache on paper, but I have some bodies of work in acrylic. I rarely work in oil, since I prefer to layer and scrape and layer again, oil doesn’t really allow for the rapid way I work.

I always work on 4-6 pieces at once. I have found if I work on only one piece at a time,vI get too precious, I overthink. I like to feel like I am in the middle of a conversation, so working on many paintings all at once allows me to feel free and just paint.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
I am a singer/songwriter, so when I am not painting, I am recording, writing songs, singing and overall challenging the patience of my long suffering family.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
Coming from the perspective of a landscape painter, I like to play with the tradition and history of landscape painting and push what defines landscape painting. Depending on the series, I factor in how it  is sourced (mapping? photos? interiors? exteriors? plein air?) the method of painting (architectural drawings? acrylic/plastic? casein/kaolin/object? classical painting styles/gouache?) how we perceive place and how we experience our identity in relation to environment  (interiors, exteriors, mapping imagery) then I explore how the images are displayed, (traditional mounted on the wall? organizing images using taxonomic schemata?) I suppose that is the best, albeit, broad answer to this question-I use the traditions of landscape painting as a departure point to explore what the experience of landscape and environment can be.

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?
In my last body of work, “In Defense of Home” series, my paintings ventured into personal narrative and landscape, exploring the homes and locations that I lived as a child. Because these locations were on military bases, not everything was accessible via Google Maps, due to military security and classified areas and I became interested in Google Maps as a portal into how we view landscapes, our own nostalgia of places, and  our own memories.

Soon after this exhibition, I knew I was planning to relocate to a new city/state, but I was not exactly sure which one (California? Seattle? Oregon?). In my practical research, I spent a lot of time checking out real estate listings and then investigating the neighborhoods on Google Maps. This modern experience is so different from how I  navigated new neighborhoods when I was a child. Back then, I had to learn my neighborhood through walking, biking, cars, but now I have this resource where I can “walk” down foreign streets and  become familiar with a place. And yet, the virtual experience is not the lived experience, things get truncated, places are incomplete, the perimeters around knowing and not knowing are still a layered experience of what is actually understood.I began painting these “mapped” environments as my experience with landscape was becoming more of a virtual experience and yet my knowledge felt as limited as these partial “maps”, I like that in addition to maps, I “felt” the presence of satellites, space. The technology that brings us these landscapes is also a layered process, from satellite views, to maps, to overhead street views and code…These paintings grew organically from my search for my “new home” and  my relationships with landscape and my computer. I did eventually land  in Portland.

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“Blueprint/Imprint”, 2016, casein, graphite on kaolin clay panel, 16″ x 20″

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“Search, Markers”, 2016, casein, graphite on kaolin clay panel, 40″ x 30″

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“Terrain, Possible and Remembered”, 2016, casein, graphite on kaolin clay panel, 12″ x 12″

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“Locater/Location”, 2016, casein, graphite on kaolin clay panel, 40″ x 30″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- David Bailin

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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 #58: David Bailin

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
I can work in most environments as long as they have long unencumbered walls and no windows. The caveat is that whatever the environment, it has an impact on my work. It determines in not so subtle ways my approach to my work every time I enter it.

I had a theater in NYC and my method of writing and directing my plays has remained with me. When I am developing a series, I inhabit the character(s) I draw. I become them. Paranoiac, or senile, or anti-heroic – I build my drawings as both director and actor, controlling the handling of the charcoal to reveal the actions of the characters or the mood of the environment. So the studio is both an antagonist and protagonist within my technique.

The best studio I had was a basement studio that covered a half city block. I was able to work on complete series at once. I grew accustomed to the artificial light and serious lack of ventilation. Subterranean and bolt-locked, it was a physical construction of the themes I dealt with at the time.

Currently, my garage studio is a crowded space, open to intrusion and attached to house distractions- filled with boxes, old rolled up drawings and paintings, webs of extension cords, miscellaneous piles of materials encroaching on my working space. It is a perfect studio for the late series dealing with cubicles, work routines, hoarding, dreams and dementia.

My ideal studio, though, the one I have dreamed of since middle-school, is a barn studio. My mentor, who was a liturgical artist, had set up his studio in a barn outside of town. It was wonderful – huge open spaces, unencumbered wall surfaces, massive storage areas, and isolated. Someday I will find one just like it.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
I don’t have any specific motivation for going into the studio. I arrive there by habit. The start is always the problem. I spend a lot of my time thinking through ideas and working on translating those ideas into images. I am not an artist who starts by playing with the materials or with some kind of ritual. Every drawing is a deep hole I’ve dug, climbed into and then attempted to get out of.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I work almost exclusively with Grumbacher #16 medium Vine Charcoal on paper prepared with a taupe (Bailin Gray) eggshell acrylic paint and enhanced with coffee staining, kneaded erasers, rags for wiping off images, and occasionally pastel, oil or acrylics. Though I prefer my drawings to be clean of special effects, and dislike multi-media as a technical copout, I use it when necessary – specifically to create contrast between forms, to move the narrative, and to play with visual weight. I work large because I like drawing from the shoulder rather than the wrist. I concentrate on one series at a time and work on several pieces when space allows.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
I have an anemic life outside of the studio. My interests are limited to my family, running, reading and listening to audiobooks, watching movies, teaching drawing and theory, and collecting images torn from newspapers.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
What could be more traditional than drawing? But while I like the idea of finished drawings, the best drawings I have seen, the ones that move me, remain in the traditional meaning of drawing – a study for something else, a practice in description, or impression of something, a suggestion. Most drawings, whose surfaces show no fractures, seem self-conscious to me, or overworked and tired looking. I prefer the unfinished to the finished, the underdrawing to the final, the raw to the cooked. Because drawing is so raw, so close to pure idea, so sincere, so linked to both thought and mechanics, it lays bare all kinds of correspondences and emotions. I find it a shame to cover all that up with technical polish.

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?
I have been watching my father succumb to Alzheimer’s. These drawings use my father’s and my common memories as a starting point to translate dementia into a drawing method. The frustration of drawing in and erasing out images to fit my narratives mimics what I see happening to my father in his effort to recognize in the moment his own personal narrative and memories.

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“Raking Leaves”, 2016, charcoal, pastel and coffee on prepared paper, 72 x 79″

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“New House”, 2016, charcoal, pastel and coffee on prepared paper, 72″ x 80″

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“Lake”, 2016, charcoal, pastel and coffee on prepared paper, 79″ x 85″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Yuriko Yamaguchi

Featured

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 #56: Yuriko Yamaguchi

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Yuriko Yamaguchi photograph by Carol Harrison

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
Good space and good lighting is the most important environment for my work.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
Usually I start my day with a 45 minutes walk in the back yard park, Wolf Trap National Park.  After having breakfast, I start working in my studio.  This is my daily routine.

3. What is your preferred medium?  Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I use stainless steel wire, resin, gampi paper pulp, synthetic fabric, cotton cord, etc.

Most of the time I work on one project; however, occasionally two pieces.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio?
While walking in the morning I observe the natural world- growing mushrooms, changing color on leaves, living trees and dead trees, stream, pond, rock, weed and wild flowers, light and shadow etc.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of method”?
I am interested in discovering in general.  I am interested in discovering my own way to make things instead of the traditional way of making things.

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?
I focused the interconnectedness between blood vein and cabbage vein when I was working on “Coming #2”.   I striped off a piece of leaf from a cabbage only to retain the part of vein for some. I sometimes used it the way it was.  After making a rubber mold of pieces of cabbage leaf, I hand cast in pigmented resin.  In order to emphasize the vein texture, I discovered the effectiveness of use of red LED light behind resin pieces.  Instead of having an image of certain things in my head, I connect pieces of hand cast resin pieces until I feel right.  The work came to me.

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Tim Lowly

Featured

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 #57: Tim Lowly

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Tim Lowly, photograph by Ben Scott-Brandt (2016)

1. What is your ideal working environment?
I like to work in a meditative space. Ironically, that space might be a public space: as artist-in-residence at North Park University I have on occasion worked in public contexts such as the gallery or the library. I love to listen to music while I’m working: usually of the contemplative sort (a favorite being Arvo Pärt’s “Alina). Light from over the left shoulder.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
An upcoming exhibition. Nothing is more motivating.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I primarily work with Golden’s matte acrylics. After many years of working with egg-oil emulsion tempera I moved to matte acrylic as a medium I could handle more aggressively and adventurously.
I often have multiple projects en route conceptually, but usually focus on making them one at time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
Teaching and curating (primarily as a professor at North Park University) are more than my primary sources of income: they are a great joy. Writing and performing music is a serious secondary pursuit.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I’m very interested in art as a way of deeply engaging the great community of artists, both present and past. Most of my works are in conversation with another artist’s work.

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?
“Study for Shore” is a study for a large work (imagine it being ten feet tall). In preparing this work I invited Chicago artist Maya Durham into a conversation about what the work might be. Her contribution–the upper portions of the piece, depicting fossilized shells–could be a shore or the sky. In the lower half my daughter Temma is seen from above, partially in shadow, looking off to the right. The overwhelming tactility of her hair suggests our intimate presence, but the shadow and her gaze elsewhere questions that relationship. The fossilized shells unmoor the idea of time and scale within the work.
(In developing this work I found particular inspiration in Antonio Lopez Garcia’s, “Woman on the Beach”.)

“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale” – This painting appears to depict a painting or photograph leaning against the wall of a room. The size of the work within a work is unclear. The picture within depicts a woman leaning over an unseen figure on a couch. In the foreground is a wheelchair.

The woman is my wife Sherrie and she is assessing how to pick up our daughter Temma (which is not a light matter!). The reflection on this action / event and it’s depiction as a picture (of indeterminate size) in a picture is intended to function as a metaphor for the task of assessing the scale of a life.

(Art I was thinking about in conversation with this work: Robert Gober’s leaning door in his 1988 installation at the ICA in Boston and the image construction strategies of Michaël Borremans.)

“Tilt / Iron” (currently in progress) is another study for a large painting. The subtle trapezoidal shape of the work alludes to a rectangular work leaning against a wall (as in “Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”). As the title suggests the color / texture of the work intentionally references rusty iron plate, pointing specifically to the large-scale iron works of Richard Serra. Again the subject of the work is my daughter Temma who in reality exists in utter contrast to the grand scaled machismo of Serra’s works. In the painting Temma lies in bed, with her back to the viewer as she faces a window. The possibility of a portal within the painting is complicated by the window’s overwhelming light: suggesting, perhaps, that this woman has access to something beyond our comprehension or power.

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“Study for Shore”, Tim Lowly with Maya Durham, 2016, mixed process drawing, 37″ x 29″

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“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”, 2012, acrylic on panel, 21″ x 18″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Josh Dorman

Featured

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 #55: Josh Dorman

josh-old-studio

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
As a NYC-based artist, I can’t say that I have the ideal environment, but in many ways I’m fortunate. In the city, I have a basement studio with one small window. I’m not eager to work very large these days, so the cave-like space is good for me. I use incandescent clip lights to create pools of warm light on my paintings. Because I use a lot of collage, the panels move from table to wall to floor. I sometimes work lying down on top of the panel. Last year, we bought a little home in the Catskills and I’ve set up a small studio there as well. Looking out the glass doors to see wandering geese and flowers and green is heavenly. But it can also be a distraction. It’s easy to get drawn away from the ineffable world of a painting to the tangible act of picking a flower or a cucumber. I often listen to music or podcasts while working. The more my left brain can be occupied, the less it gets in the way of the creative process. And the less it can bother me with doubts and questions.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Coffee helps. As a part-time teacher and father of twins, I take every moment I can to get to the studio. Summers are sacred time. It also helps to have a looming show as a motivator. And seeing an old friend at the Met or MOMA can inspire me. A wall of Klees or Turners can send me sprinting home to work.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several? Though I’ve experimented with animation in the last several years, the mixture of paint and collage is still inexhaustible for me. I use only antique paper sources—maps, charts, textbook engravings, player piano scrolls. I usually have 5-6 panels of varying size going in the studio simultaneously.

4. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I consider my work to be connected to the painting tradition in a deep way. I believe all great art is conceptual and spiritual. And what is termed “Conceptual Art” holds very little interest for me. I seek to create work that feels current but also outside of time and place. For inspiration, I look to ancient and Modernist sources. From Sienese paintings to Persian Miniatures to Breughel, Redon and Ryder. I try to use collage (appropriated images) in a way that honors the original creator and transforms the meaning. I hope to build worlds that invite the viewer in to figure out what is painted and what is collaged. I hope to generate images that are utterly specific and completely open-ended.

5. 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?
I could discuss “Shipwreck” briefly. It began, as do most of my paintings with a small compositional sketch. I knew I wanted an enclosed body of water. I knew I wanted it to be seen from above, underneath and sideways simultaneously (like Cubism, yet visually not at all). I glued down a base layer of old player piano scroll paper. The dots and perforations generate a rhythm, create a horizontal pattern, akin to waves on a sea, and also remind one of DNA charts and other modern technologies. I then created a nest like border by laying down pine needles and grass, pouring watery inks and letting the liquid evaporate. Similarly, gears and embroidery wheels created ghosty stencils in the pink sky. Once this enclosure and pool was built, the sea creatures, bathers, and detritus of humankind began to fill the pool, while fossils and bones embedded themselves in the border earth. This is all improvisational, based on the piles of old books I surround myself with and on the forms that call to each other, jumping scale and substance. After several weeks of layering collage and paint washes, the actual ship was one of the final additions, giving a central anchor to the piece. What it all means I leave to the viewer. I have ideas and suspicions, but if I were to know the exact narrative beforehand or afterward, I would lose all interest in making art.

have-you-seen-the-red-village_web

“Have You Seen the Red Village?”, 2012, ink, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

shipwreck_web

“Shipwreck”, 2014, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″