January 3 - January 28
Unos Sitios Escondidos Hidden Places
"Untitled" portrait of the artist, photo by Aaron Johanson
Monica Mitchell’s solo show, Unos Sitios Escondidos Hidden Places, explores the relationships between language, memory, materials, and place. Using the formal elements of line and color with mixed media, charcoal, written Spanish language, detritus and zip ties, she weaves an environment of undulating patterns, engaging the eye in an activity akin to scanning a natural landscape. The installation consists of 3-D constructions, drawings and paintings in charcoal, mixed-media, oil and acrylic on canvas.
The content of Unos Sitios Escondidos Hidden Places derives from Mitchell’s relationship to Spanish language —her mother is a native speaker, who spoke to the artist in Spanish for the first six years of her life. Wanting to reclaim Spanish as part of her heritage, Mitchell collages poetry from Nobel laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez into her drawings and paintings, incorporating them into her “landscape.” A few pieces in the installation reference Mitchell’s extended Puerto Rican family, her interests in both artifice and nature, and her music practice—Mitchell is a classical violinist. The dual practices of art-and-music-making intertwine evocatively in Mitchell’s lyrical, improvisational work.
Corey S. Pressman
The Light at the Center
New Member Show
Corey S. Pressman, Icarus, No. 8
powdered pigment, beeswax, resin on paper, 15" x 11”
Blackfish Gallery is pleased to announce that Corey S. Pressman, an artist, author, and professor at University of Portland, has joined our artist roster. This month in Gallery 2 he presents The Light at the Center, his New Member Show, featuring works on paper, incorporating powdered pigments and a custom formulation of beeswax and tree resin.
Pressman is a mystic. All his work is informed, he says, by “the essential irreality of regular consciousness and by occasional encounters with the fundamental, unitary timelessness that underlies all of experience.”
Pressman has developed a process of asemic writing, a wordless, open semantic form of writing that allows him to access his subconscious and make meaningful marks . Asemic writing has been described as “a provocation to thought—without paraphrasable meaning, but not without significance.” Well-known practitioners include Cy Twombly and Roland Barthes.
These oil paintings on paper combine my long-time love of quilts and landscape. My title refers to the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, The Land of Counterpane, in which a child imagines the colors and patterns of a counterpane (quilt) to be a land of adventures.
I constructed the interlacing shapes in a playful, random way and then I experimented with various color combinations within the drawn patterns. Parts of these works resemble maps or landscapes seen from above, with recurring linear elements suggesting movement. My process of creation involved piecing together separate shapes, and the finished paintings recall patchwork quilts (much like the one Stevenson referred to in his poem).
Carol Benson, Counterpane 2, 2022,
oil on gessoed paper, 22" x 16”
See what Blackfish Artists are involved with outside the gallery this month.