By Allyn Cantor
JAMES MINDEN: NORTHWEST PRINTS
Augen Gallery, Portland, Apr 5 – 28
Minden’s geometric forms have a Spirograph quality, even though they are engraved into metal, not drawn on craft paper. The gallery’s overhead lighting makes the curves dance and swing across dark plastic surfaces. The work is equally subjective and objective, because three elements – the room, the object and the viewer – are all relative.
CAROL BENSON AND MICHAEL KNUTSON
Blackfi sh Gallery, Portland, April 3-28
Carol Benson sews together scraps of artist canvas and paints each piece with acrylic and oil paint before forming a highly textured collage. Inspired by the bright colors of the Turkish textile markets, Benson brings a feminist perspective to traditional women’s fabric and needlework.
Michael Knutson’s show Split and Rotational Fields scans images of ovals and then flips the layers, shuffl es the colors and then exports the result on a digital printer, with mesmerizing results.
ROBERT LYONS: ONE EYE CRYING
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Apr 5-Jun 2
Robert Lyons’ One Eye Crying take the techniques he honed by shooting portraits in places like Rwanda and uses them on working-class Americans in the town of Northampton, Massachusetts. A boy with a shaved head stands on a wall, staring back at the camera, as does a tattooed woman sitting on a curb. Lyons’ lens brings these somewhat non-photogenic Americans in from the cold by capturing them in their natural habitat, while allowing them to meet the gaze of an inquiring world.
PATRICK COLLIER: FIELD BURNS
Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, Portland, To May 15
Collier’s dramatic photographs, taken over the course of three years of controlled burning by Oregon farmers, capture a landscape rarely seen by artists or viewers. Collier didn’t consider landscape art until he had been a farmer for a few years, then fi re lit his imagination. From his farm near the Waldo Hills east of Salem he sees grass-seed fi elds burning in late summer. Collier explained: “As a farmer, I felt compelled to control the land, while the artist in me was moved by the beauty all around me.
JASON PARRISH (APR 27 – 29), CLIFF FRAGUA AND LEAH MATA (MAY 25 – 28)
Raven Makes Gallery, Sisters
A six-month series featuring in-person visits by First Nations artists begins with Jason Parrish, a Dine (Navajo) painter, whose watercolors look back to the Dine people of 1890 to 1945. Cliff Fragua, a Jemez Pueblo sculptor, studied in Santa Fe, San Francisco and in Italy. Leah Mata designs traditional California Indian jewelry in bone, stone and abalone. Through her work, she takes a stand against the legal and environmental degradation that often causes the destruction and loss of such art materials used by her ancestors.