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Surface / Interrupted: Opening Feb. 1 in OCAC's Hoffman Gallery
Surface / Interrupted: OCAC's Hoffman Gallery
February 1–March 1, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, February 1 | 4–6 pm
Through the mediums of Drawing, Painting, and Photography, Surface / Interrupted is an exhibition full of poetic optics. The visual disruption, surface tension, and optical illusions present in the artists’ compositions pose the question if what we are viewing is analog or digital. Buck, Whitten and Wolf all use experimental methods of making to produce visual enigmas that challenge the eye’s ability to clearly comprehend what is being seen.
Morgan Buck, an OCAC MFA in Craft alumni uses photography and painting to produce blurry large scale works that invite the viewer to play a guessing game of what the subject matter actually is within the canvas. Using a special IPhone lens, Buck distorts imagery from the internet, rendering an image of spatial discombobulation. Using an airbrushing process, Buck removes the digital elements of these found images; the pixels, glitches, and hard lines to create soft, out of focus versions of the original.
John Whitten’s laborious drawings navigate the sound and noise of the everyday by employing methods of intuition and chance as a means to disengage from pictorial realism. Moving away from the representational, he translates the chaos of the everyday into static abstraction. Whitten presents his own system of personal mapping, translating emotional experiences into lines and waves. The result is reminiscent of a digital print or Magic Eye stereogram, but is in its essence the artist’s therapeutic process in documenting the unknown.
Rachel Wolf is a photographer working without a camera whose experimental processes with chemicals and light make her a practicing alchemist. By removing the camera, a tool for representational documentation, Wolf’s elemental approach lets her create images of the unseen, unexplainable, other. While her process is analog, Wolf uses a digital printing process to realize her compositions as large scale prints and aluminium transfers. According to Wolf, “taking the camera away from photography doesn’t remove the possibility for an image, instead it provides space for proposing images for an un-lensed, visual world.”
A panel discussion with the artists regarding their work and practice will be held in the Hoffman Gallery as a Lunchtime talk on Monday, February 25, at 12:45pm. OCAC’s Drawing and Painting Department Head Michelle Ross and Curator Sam Hopple will be guiding the discussion.
About the Artists
Morgan Buck is a visual artist living and working in Portland, OR. He earned an MFA in Craft from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2015, and a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2010. Buck’s work has exhibited throughout the Portland area and internationally in Leipzig, Germany.
Rachel Wolf is an educator and speaker in the field of photography based in Portland, OR. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR, Camerawork Gallery, Portland, OR, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH and National Video Center, New York, NY. Wolf is a founding member of FO(u)RT Collective, a multi-disciplinary arts collective that creates/curates exhibitions and events. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Rachel earned her BA from Hampshire College and her MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.
John Whitten earned his MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR and his BFA from Watkins College of Art in Nashville, TN. He recently had solo exhibitions at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art and Eastern Oregon University’s Nightingale Gallery, and his work has been included in group exhibitions at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art Museum in Korea, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Tropical Contemporary, Linn-Benton Community College, S1, and Melanie Flood Projects in Portland, OR. Recent awards include a Project Grant from the Regional Art and Culture Council, a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission, and a Faculty Research Award from Oregon State University. Whitten, who lives in Portland, OR, is a co-founding member of Carnation Contemporary, and is currently a Full-time Instructor of Digital Art and Time-Based Media at Oregon State University.
About the Curator
Sam Hopple is an independent curator and arts writer currently based in Portland, OR. Hopple received her B.A. in Art, Design and Media from Richmond University in London in 2012. She is interested in contemporary visual culture and investigating the relationship between space and object. Hopple currently serves as the Gallery Manager at Oregon College of Art and Craft and Senior Editor at 60 Inch Center.