April 3 - May 10
Opening: First Thursday, April 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Artists talk: Saturday, April 5th, at noon

Acrylic on canvas over wood

24 x 30 inches

The Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce our fifth one-person exhibition by Northwest painter, Jeffrey Simmons. Simmons' most recent paintings on canvas continue his pursuit of the illusion of illumination. In Simmons' last show with the gallery, depending on the composition and colors used, paintings evoked LED's, characters glowing on a dark computer screen, sparks, flickering flames, or city lights viewed from above. The imagery in this exhibition, while not about astronomy or science in any literal sense, is inspired by photographs of astronomical phenomena . Certain shapes can also suggest single-cell organisms or fireworks and in some cases revisits the stylized concentric circles and spyrographs of previous work.

Simmons has for the past several years been exploring and experimenting with labor intensive painting techniques that involve multiple layers of acrylic paint that are subsequently sanded smooth. Highly controlled and painstakingly painted, the resulting work gives the appearance of including photo emulsion or perhaps being lit from behind the canvas.

Acrylic on canvas over wood

30 x 24 inches

Jeffrey Simmons was born in 1968 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently lives in Seattle, WA. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Simmons has been exhibiting in the Northwest since 1995 including a recent one-person exhibition at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA (2000-01); as well as several group exhibitions including : 4-malism, Bellevue Art Museum, WA (2000); Hands on Color, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA (1999); Betty Bowen Award 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle WA (1998); Seattle/Portland/Black/White (1997); and Northwest Annual, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA (1996). In 2000 he was honored with an Artist in Residency Program at the Bellevue Art Museum. Simmons was awarded the Betty Bowen Committee Special Recognition Award by the Seattle Art Museum in 1996. His work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum as well as numerous corporate and private collections.

See more: Jeffrey Simmons' Paintings

April 3 - May 10

Acrylic on canvas

36 x 36 inches

Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce the second Seattle solo exhibition of Portland, OR painter, Michael Knutson. At first glance, Knutson's intensely colored paintings appear to be computer generated or at least based on complex mathematics. In reality the structures are quite simple. Built on an armature of overlapping spirals and warped hexagonal lattices, the resulting tangle of contrasting hues pulse and undulate, radiating out from the center of the canvas. Just as the logical construction of a kaleidoscopic image can result in a complex design of color and shape, the artist' intelligent and ordered approach to his paintings creates a mosaic seemingly out of control. Each shape, thickly painted with small brushstrokes, expands and contracts with unpredictably varied rhythms.

Oil on canvas

48 x 48 inches

One series of paintings, the Prismatic Fields (SPRUNG COIL QUARTET #1-4), involves an irregular spiral that is rotated in four orientations in the four paintings. This rotation creates a different center of gravity and pictorial balance in each. Knutson oriented the same 12 colors within their hexagonal color wheels in the same way, which resulted in a surprising illusion of a shell-like form illuminated from the upper left corner.

In another series of paintings, the Astral Fields (CROSSING OVAL COILS VII-X), blue and white six-point stars are arrayed across an irregular, concentric cloverleaf pattern that is created by the crossing of two diagonal spirals. The concentric cloverleaves are used to create an illusion of a sequence of transparent filters. In three of them the blue stars are dark in the centermost cloverleaf and appear a step lighter through each of the larger cloverleaves. In a fourth, the lightest stars are at the center and grow darker as they move outwards.

In a single small painting, DOUBLE SPRUNG COILS, one curving wedge contains blue stars on white and the other, white stars on blue. The two wedges lock together in an irregular yin-yang motif.

"I should say something about the painterliness of the paintings, which people express surprise over when they see them  in the flesh  for the first time. (I think most people expect geometric abstraction to be flat and graphic.) The undiluted, impasto, conspicuously brushed paint becomes almost mosaic-like where I nudge it into the tiniest shapes. I want every shape (large or small, positive or negative) to have equal physicality, equal presence on the surface. I don't like holes (or unmapped spaces) or things hiding behind other things. James Turrell said in a talk in Portland last month that he wanted, in Roden Crater and in his oculus chambers, to frame the sky and to bring it within touching distance. I'm aiming for a similar presence, and while that might not seem to be a particularly ambitious (or difficult) goal in painting, since they are inherently framed and flat, I've actually experienced that intense sensation of complete fullness and physicality in few paintings I've seen over the years."
- Michael Knutson

Michael Knutson's Paintings