Andre LaPorte is the show-stealer of an exhibition with too many artists to be entirely interesting because of his ability to detect and communicate something intangible about Portland beyond the city's geometries. "Port Nights Quartet" is an interconnected group of four panels representing, in the artist's words, "the high intensity night life being enjoyed by the young of all ages in the OLD PORT'S bawdy BOITES." Feeling explodes out of his kinetic layers without any need for direct representation. This ability is further evidenced in "City #5," which features an abstract skyline with the buildings reduced to their essential forms. Bright reds and blues are endowed humanity by way of abrasions revealing the texture of the canvas. Large white compositional fields become structural as spackled, heavy daubs mixed with the earthy grime of the workshop. The shapes are groundless but the street view is implied. Composition is perfectly balanced as the tall skyscraper encompassing the vertical aspect of the work is deflected from remaining in the limelight by eye-catching circle shapes seemingly burned into the piece. The intentionality of the work has the effortless air of good design with the emotional warmth of the empathetic eye, and is the prize of the show by a long shot.
Ian Paige can be reached at email@example.com.
"4TH BIENNIAL PORTLAND SHOW" through January 3, 2009 | at Greenhut Galleries, 146 Middle St, Portland | 207.772.2693
: Museum And Gallery
, Portland, Painting, Visual Arts, More