Category Archives: Oceans

David Price – San Juan Triptych

San Juan Triptych

David Price, San Juan Triptych (2014) encaustic on panel, 12 x 36 in. On view at Butters Gallery

San Juan Triptych offers three views that evoke the San Juan Islands and their particular combination of mountain, sky, sea, coast, and weather. A strong horizon line and the layered effect of encaustic gives them an unusual sense of depth. The soft focus and moody color palette recalls Impressionist paintings, but here the intention seems opposite. Price seems to be concerned not with capturing a particular afternoon or weather effect, but rather something more timeless and generalized: the feel and look of a place as remembered, not seen. While these paintings are small they have a wonderful solidity and presence  – in part due to the exposed and extra wide edges of the canvas and in part due to the deep, transportive space of the landscapes.

 

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Sasuri Sasaki Hemann – Tidepools

 

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Sasuri Sasaki Hemann, Tidepools (2013)

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Sasuri Sasaki Hemann, Tidepools (detail) (2013)

In 2012 I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Sasuri Sasaki Hemann’s Urban Aquarium at the Portland International Airport. The large wall display of meticulously crafted, floating jellyfish and other undersea creatures was a very welcome respite and I spent a lovely half hour looking and watching others look. Now the jellyfish are back in a permanent exhibit in the international terminal. Tidepools is smaller and installed in a rectangular glass case on the floor. Hemann’s artist’s statement explains that, “Urban Aquarium explores the concept of being ‘out of context’ and ‘displaced.’” For me it was also an occasion to think about a beautiful and vulnerable undersea world that is at once close and far away. I remember seeing a young boy gaze at the jellyfish and ask his mother, “Is it real?” I wanted to say, “Yes!” – jellyfish are real and so too is the ability of art to prod us to see and think differently.

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