January 31, 2008

James Lavadour's geology

"James Lavadour: The Properties of Paint," curated by Rebecca J. Dobkins. Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR. Through March 30. Traveling to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton and Ashland's Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University. See images of his work at the Grover Thurston Gallery website.

"I use two elemental structures, a landscape and an architectural abstraction (a vortex and a grid). There’s the flow of landscape and then the intersection of the architectural structure, which is just like being in a room looking out a window, with floors, angles, walls, doors, ceilings, pathways. A painting is a complex event with many things going on at multiple levels. Close, far, color, layers, scrapes, and drips all swirled around by memories. I keep it all organized with structure. Structure is the bed to the river. " —James Lavadour

The Hallie Ford Museum presents James Lavadour's paintings from the past eight years. In The Oregonian, D.K. Row reports that the difference between Lavadour's pre-and post-2000 work could best be summed up as the difference between drama and melodrama. "The artist's early paintings were about his emotional responses to the land, and they appropriately produced deeply emotional effects in viewers. The newer, post-2000 works aspire to a more complex dialogue with Lavadour's readings of jazz, Abstract Expressionism, Asian philosophy and art, and more. But Lavadour's increasingly worldly dialogue would be a more direct, rigorous one if he relied less on multiple-paneled paintings, which seem dangerously close to looking like a strategy. Sure, some paintings are the equivalent of short stories; others are closer to novels. But there's greater courage in the single painting that dares the artist to put all that he has into one space. " Read more.

Read Eva Lake's 2005 interview with Lavadour.

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