Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flow gallery presents "Remix +"

Old favorites in a new gallery

The Weekly Volcano, November 30, 2011

"Winter Solstice." Collage, sumi ink and handmade papers by Andrea Erickson

You'd think a gallery that's been open only a few months would not be able to mount a show featuring favorite artists from previous shows. But Flow (formerly Mineral) has done just that with a show called Remix + featuring prints, collages and sumi painting by Mary Bottomley, Bill Colby, Fumiko Kimura, Andrea Erickson, Ellen Miffitt, Selinda Sheridan and Nola Tresslar, plus jewelry by Lisa Von Wendel.

It's a nice little show, and although I didn't pay any attention to the prices - I seldom do - I suspect a lot of these works are reasonably priced and would make for nice Christmas gifts. (I heard a rumor that Erickson is going to use her "Winter Solstice" as a Christmas card this year, so if you buy it you'll have the original of the image all your friends have on a card. Score!)

A few words about selected works from the show:

Bill Colby's "Autumn Sun" is a warm and mystical abstract landscape in a style reminiscent of Adolph Gottlieb, but softer and more delicate. The sun, concentric circles of yellow and reddish orange shrouded in a gray sky and streaked with silvery icicles, hovers over a floating oval within which is a tangle of tree limbs seen at sunset. This little print brings warmth to dreary days.

There is quiet strength and sureness of brushstroke in Erickson's "Sumi Mountain." Five soft vertical brushstrokes create craggy mountain spires on the white paper and atop these spires are evergreen trees created by very delicate strokes of the brush. Also by Erickson is "Zen Petals," a simple expression of pure energy with a single circular stroke in light gray with five red blobs of ink and black splatters, and the previously mentioned "Winter Solstice," the essence of winter captured in collage, sumi ink and handmade paper. Depending on your point of view it's a snow-covered field with a mountain range in the background and a dark sky, or a scene from high on a snowy peak looking down on a molten brown river. The coldness and brightness of the white field at the bottom is intensified because it is layered over darker and duller colors and accentuated by bright patches of red and orange. The sky or the molten river is a marbled brown color that looks like a volcanic eruption. This is a strong little painting.

Bottomley is showing works in very different styles. Her "Evening Mist" is delicate and airy, and reminds me a lot of Whistler's "Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket." A few simple strokes of ink float on a glimmering gray ground like feathers in an updraft. Bottomley's "Random Poem (Kana)" is a heavily structured collage of Japanese writing on pieces of paper with a variety of textures and colors. It is classically balanced and somber.

Similar to Bottomley's collage is Tresslar's "In the Flow." The wall labels don't list media, so I'm guessing here. It appears to be a collage of various papers with thread and little bits of glass and gold leaf. It is very dense and heavily textured with a subtle combination of red, purple and gold colors.

Finally, what may be the strongest piece in the show - actually two pieces hung together as one - is (are) Tresslar's "Know Thyself I" and "Know Thyself II." These are simple abstract painted collages on convex-curved panels with simple shapes, strong, dark colors and speckles of sparkling gold.

These are but a few of the many nice works on display. It's a small show, but with a lot to see. Stop by for the next Third Thursday Art Walk.
Remix +

Through Jan. 5, Third Thursdays and by appointment
Flow, 301 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma

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