Greg Kucera Gallery
June 05, 2015, 8:45am
The hedge maze is one of the most memorable images of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In the Northwest, most of us know this labyrinth isn’t real (it was part of a constructed set) because we are familiar with Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, whose building served as the hotel’s exterior in the film and has no maze. Seattle artist Victoria Haven’s (NAP #6, #49) show at Greg Kucera Gallery, They all stopped walking, references a scene that takes place inside The Shining’s maze. At first, it was hard to see a connection between this new work and the artist’s earlier paintings and sculptures of abstracted, geometric forms that I knew so well. The older forms even make a few appearances, as does an entire wall of words extracted from text messages that had been turned into woodblock prints and separated into pairs that only make sense together sometimes. I found myself intrigued but unsure of how everything came together. I was on the brink of lost.
But, when Haven spoke of her desire to question abstraction in the new pieces, the pathway became clearer. The disjointedness that had felt so rigid and real—between words, between mediums, between what I had seen before and what I was seeing now—dissolved, as if it had been in my imagination all along. In its place, I found a show that continues an artist’s longstanding pursuit by starting from a new, unexpected place.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
December 02, 2014, 9:06am
Quilts and monsters would seem to have little to do with one another. Were it not for Seattle artist Whiting Tennis’s show of that title at Greg Kucera Gallery, I doubt the two would have ever come together in my mind. Inside the gallery, the quilt-inspired works stand across the space from the monsters, the two sets of paintings occupying opposing walls, making it seem as though they should be considered separate entities. Spending time among their equally weathered palettes, their rigid, fragmented subjects and their unlikely overlaps, however, I only became more convinced that quilts and monsters do, in fact, belong together.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
December 08, 2013, 10:17am
Miles Cleveland Goodwin paints images of a rustic, evasive place few might guess to be his home. Flocks of crows, a floating black ray, wiry snakeskins, lonely doves and other unsentimental creatures inhabit the dusty roads and muddy skies seen earlier this year in his series A Long Road Home, at Froelick Gallery, in Portland, OR and now continue in Montebella Road, at Greg Kucera Gallery, in Seattle, WA. Eschewing the signs of routine we expect to find in the place someone resides, Goodwin’s desolate scenes, referencing a road that he lives on in Mississippi, have the air of true remoteness—the kind that inspires countless questions among onlookers and outsiders, despite the underlying sense that they never will get any real answers.
August 29, 2013, 9:24am
A knockoff usually refers to a copy of a more expensive original, bringing to mind tables of faux designer handbags and leather jackets on street corners. When painter Roger Shimomura creates a knockoff, his is a human version—specifically, a person, or a punch to the face, literally knocking you off. The artist mashes up imagery from American pop icons, Kabuki actors, Korean and Japanese manga characters, Hello Kitty, Lichtenstein-style faces and Chinese propaganda, into in-your-face, self-portrait battles between himself and the stereotypes that portray Asian American people as less valuable citizens, or “American knockoffs,” the title of his new show. These works from 2009-2012 on view at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA, continue the battles Shimomura has fought for over four decades, a testament to the persistence of both the artist’s pursuit and the forces he is up against. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor