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Mary Josephson, A Beacon of Who We Are

Mary Josephson, A Beacon of Who We Are (2016), oil on canvas [Russo Lee Gallery, Portland OR, Nov 3-26] Photo: Rebekah Johnson

Variations: 30 Years / Mary Josephson:
Why I Kept a Light Burning

Russo Lee Gallery
Portland OR – Nov 3-26, 2016

Mary Josephson, Trying to Get Her Children to Fly

Mary Josephson, Trying to Get Her Children to Fly (2014-16), embroidery on felt in found frame [Russo Lee Gallery, Portland OR, Nov 3-26] Photo: Rebekah Johnson

The Russo Lee Gallery celebrates an important milestone this year: as they mark 30 years of representing some of the finest Northwest artists, the gallery updated its name in October to Russo Lee Gallery, reflecting the current directorship of Martha Lee since the passing of Laura Russo in 2010. During the month of November, the gallery continues its anniversary programming with a cross-section of new work by gallery artists in Variations: 30 Years as well as featuring a solo show by long-time Portland artist Mary Josephson. The group exhibition serves as a lively dialogue for the broad spectrum of artists and media that has made this one of Portland’s foremost galleries, bridging its strong roots to the past with a discerning vision of today’s contemporary generation.

Veteran artist Mary Josephson also takes a contemporary approach in her new exhibition of paintings, glass mosaics and embroideries. Josephson is well known for her portrait-based compositions with folk art leanings. In this new body of work, she turns her focus to 21st-century culture and all that it embodies from teenage girls obsessed with taking selfies to blurred cultural, racial and gender identities. Josephson’s rich, colourful style conveys fundamental human emotions in her adept paintings. Her crafted, embroidered and mosaic works with found framing elements distill the subjects into more of an informal mythic realm that suggests a symbolic human narrative over the stylization of reality found in her oil paintings. In both approaches, Josephson’s skillful execution reveals layers of intrigue and personal sentiment that is captivating.

Allyn Cantor


Russo Lee 30 Year Gallery Installation

30 Year Gallery Installation [Russo Lee Gallery, Portland OR, Nov 3-26] Photo: Rebekah Johnson


 Sun, Nov 6, 2016