January 2011 Newsletter

Jeffrey Simmons
Paintings, Watercolors, and Etchings
January 6 - February 19, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, January 6, 6:00 - 8:00
Artist talk on Saturday, January 8, at noon



Please join us for an opening reception with the artists Thursday, January 6, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., as well as an informal “Saturday After” walk through of the exhibition with the artists Saturday, January 8 at noon.

The Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce our sixth one-person exhibition by Northwest painter Jeffrey Simmons. Simmons’ most recent paintings on canvas continue his pursuit of the illusion of illumination. 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. We will also show several new etchings of related imagery.


The acrylic paintings presented here are mostly derived from a group of small studies executed in 2009. Each painting begins with a simple mark– a brush stroke, a paint spatter, a hand print– which is then overdrawn with a grid and “pixelated” using a series of dimensional white dots of paint. The result is a less-specific translation of the original image, defocused and colorized. Several paintings begin with either found photographs or photographs of previous paintings by Simmons as source material for these blurred mysterious paintings.


Also on view will be watercolors that look very different but share certain technical similarities with Simmons’ acrylic paintings– primarily the use of multiple layers of transparent pigment to build color. Candy-colored planes are stacked in space or rotate around a point. Pale soft-focus rings, painted on a turntable, float across a grid of paper. As the watercolors have become paler and quieter than in previous exhibitions, the paintings have become darker and more obscure. The images become barely visible on either end of the dynamic range creating a thematic thread of uncertainty throughout the exhibition.





During the past two years I have moved my studio three times. This series of consecutive breaks from my studio practice, each one placing me in an environment very different from the one before, brought changes to my work as I adapted to my new surroundings and revisited paintings that had been set aside weeks before. The present body of work reflects these changes. - Jeffrey Simmons

BIOGRAPHY
Jeffrey Simmons was born in 1968 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently lives and works 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 one-person exhibition at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA (2000-01); as well as several group exhibitions including: Sparkle Then Fade, Tacoma Art Museum (2007); Unexpected Watercolors II, Hedreen Gallery (2007); Unexpected Watercolors, The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR (2005); and Paintings That Paint Themselves, or so it seems, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (2004). 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, Seattle Art Museum and the University of Washington.

See more Jeffrey Simmon's artwork




Victoria Haven
Paintings, Watercolors, and Etchings
January 6 - February 19, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, January 6, 6:00 - 8:00
Artist talk on Saturday, January 8, at noon


Please join us for an opening reception with the artists Thursday, January 6, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., as well as an informal "Saturday After" walk through of the exhibition with the artists Saturday, January 8 at noon.

The Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce our second one-person exhibition of work by Seattle artist Victoria Haven. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with PDX Gallery in Portland where the artist will simultaneously show additional related work. An original book by Victoria Haven with an essay by Claire Dederer, published by Publication Studio, will be launched at the exhibition opening. We will offer a plain edition and an artist's edition, signed and numbered by Haven. Incorporating a variety of materials from the traditional ink and acrylic paint on paper to sewn Gore-Tex® and carved cedar, Haven’s recent work maps the artist’s relationship to abstraction, rock music and the great outdoors.

A series of drawings titled NORTHWEST FIELD RECORDING mimic the shape and grooves of a vinyl record. The words used are a collection of place names which are specific to the Northwest but which also evoke a universal sense of place. The A side references the idyllic with names like Paradise Falls, Point Success and Wonderland Loop. The flip side contains the more menacing Deception Creek, Devil’s Gulch and Cutthroat Pass.

Minimal works titled EXPERTS ONLY mark Haven’s return to the discipline of painting. Saluting the risk takers whose optimism and belief overrides fear, these paintings use the symbol of the double black diamond, an alpine skiing sign indicating the trail ahead should be braved by only the most skilled. Even the experts, though, experience the danger and the thrill of confronting a challenge and proceeding in a difficult direction despite the cautionary signs.






BIOGRAPHY
Victoria Haven received her BFA from the University of Washington and her MFA from Goldsmiths College/University of London. She was the 2004 recipient of The Stranger “Genius Award”, the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum as well as the Pollock-Krasner Award in 1996 and 2000. Her work is in the permanent collections of Washington State University, Henry Art Gallery and the City of Seattle. The artist lives and works in Seattle.

See more Victoria Haven's work