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Lauren Mantecón – Crossing
Lauren Mantecón, Crossing (2004), mixed media on wood [Mark Woolley Gallery, Portland, OR, through Oct 2]

Lauren Mantecón: Touring the Void

Mark Woolley Gallery, Portland, OR through Oct 2

Lauren Mantecón's new series Touring the Void is an extension of the artists ongoing exploration of the symbolic boundaries between our emotional and tangible realities. Mantecón's paintings bridge the artists inward, invisible world with the physical temporal world.

The void Mantecon speaks of in her work references a still and unknown space. She finds herself on the threshold of it in her creative process, yet it is not a space without beginning or end. It is manifested in her paintings with loosely formulated, multi-layered surfaces in a subtle colour palette.

Shapes are generated slowly and, to a great extent, reference each other. Using horizontal lines in compositions such as Above & Below or Crossing, Mantecón's paintings create metaphors with a universal message. This dialogue in her canvases serves as a connection between a fluid, intuitive consciousness and that which is logical, rigid or concrete.

Regardless of the artist's intent to simultaneously evoke a sense of presence and absence, the feminine imagery is clear and unavoidable. Mantecón's work has its roots in feminist culture and she seeks to redefine eroticism. In a celebration of female sexuality, Mantecón's previous work had a strong conceptual base directed at the power of women and their changing role in society. Although these latest pieces seem lighter in attitude, they suggest a seriousness of the personal spirit, perhaps in its relationship to the earth.

Allyn Cantor

 Mon, Sep 13, 2004