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Transformation Chase

Sylvania North View Gallery


Pat Boas, Brenden Clenaghen, Michelle Ross, David Schell

  • Dates: January 21 through February 14, 2015
  • Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 8am-4pm, Saturday: 11am-4pm
  • Artist reception: Wednesday, January 21, 4-7pm
  • Closing gallery talk: Saturday, February 14, 2pm

According to the ancient lore of shape shifting, a transformation chase is a hunt

“…That occurs where the pursued repeatedly takes on new forms in an effort to shake off the pursuer, and the pursuer answers with other shape-shifting, as a dove is answered with a hawk and a hare with a greyhound.”

This exhibition will include works by four artists who pursue image production as a type of transformation chase, hunting down forms of visual language where slippage between systems and chance coexist with erasure and evidence. Shape shifting is an apt analogy for exorcising the detritus of modernist aesthetics while embracing the leverage of its formal vocabularies. Within this scenario the pursuer and pursued endlessly trade places as each artist works to re-animate familiar languages towards subjective vision, and in the process engage viewers with the freedom of abstraction.

Transformation Chase will manifest dialogue between these four artists and their studio practices. Boas makes drawings and paintings that explore language as a field where sense and non-sense co-exist. Clenaghen works individual paintings without regard for continuity and in the process finds connection out of states of limbo, voids, flat space and tuning out. Ross manipulates sourced imagery from print magazine pages, recuperating images of fake power and seduction through idiosyncratic geometry. Schell’s paintings acknowledge deviation as production, out of necessity, convenience, boredom, accident, or creative whim.

Pat Boas

Pat Boas makes drawings, paintings, prints and digital projects about the activity of reading. Her work has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, the Art Gym, PDX Contemporary and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, in Portland, OR; the Center on Contemporary Art and Consolidated Works in Seattle; the Boise Art Museum; the Salt Lake Art Center; the Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, Wyoming; the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the recipient of the 2012 Bonnie Bronson Fellowship, as well as fellowships and grants from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation and Oregon’s Regional Arts and Culture Council. Reviews of Boas’ visual work have appeared in Art in America and Art Papers. She is a member of the Art Practice faculty at Portland State University’s School of Art + Design.

Brenden Clenaghen

Brenden Clenaghen has had solo exhibitions at Pulliam Gallery in Portland and Zolla/ Liberman Gallery in Chicago. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, Memphis College of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, RocksBox (Portland), and Artspace Annex (San Francisco). Clenaghen’s work has been written about in Art In America, ArtWeek, Art Papers, The Oregonian, the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune. Additionally, he has co-curated exhibitions for Disjecta Center for the Arts (Portland) Fourteen30 Contemporary (Portland) and Portland State University’s MK Gallery. He received his BFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA in Painting from Portland State University.

Michelle Ross

Michelle Ross uses methods of abstraction as a means to disable and transform imagery sourced from various print media sources into material based pictures. She has exhibited her work and lectured widely including at the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland), the Art Gym at Marylhurst (Portland), and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene). She is the recipient of numerous grants, awards and fellowships including a Hallie Ford Fellowship, Portland Art Museum Contemporary Northwest Art Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, short list for the Betty Bowen Award, an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grants, Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grants; and a Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, Juror’s Award. She is a professor at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland. Ross is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon.

David Schell

David Schell is a painter working in Portland, Oregon. He received an MFA from American University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is interested in how we design, build, and organize in an attempt to create order. He is also interested in how structure, order, and best intentions eventually give way to something else. His work is often about allowing those two realities to coexist. Recent exhibitions include the Bowery Gallery in New York (juror: David Cohen of and Gallery 114 in Portland, OR. He has also shown work at Gallery 214 on the Pacific Northwest College of Art campus (Portland, OR) and at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR). His paintings were published in Studio Visit magazine (volume 24, 2013).