Visual

Body and Soul

Similarities to reality

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WHAT: Trish Maharam’s “One Continuous Body”
WHEN: Through September
WHERE:Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St., Mount Vernon
For more info: http://www.perryandcarlson.com

WHAT: Drie Chapek’s “Soul Juice”
WHEN: Through Sept. 29; attend an Artist Talk at 4pm Sat., Sept. 21
WHERE: i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court, Edison
INFO: http://www.ieedison.com

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Abstract art evokes emotions by teasing our minds to look for similarities to reality.

Two accomplished artists offer fine abstract works at Skagit Valley galleries this month; Trish Maharam at Perry and Carlson in Mount Vernon and Drie Chapek at i.e. gallery in Edison. They represent opposite approaches to materials, color and composition.

Maharam descends from a family of fabric entrepreneurs. In her art, so natural to her that she compares it to breathing, she knits, felts and hand-stitches on silk and linen. The finished work is spare and attenuated, her use of color restrained. She observes, “the pieces which most compel me are the ones which take me by surprise.”    

She headlines her work with a poem, “One Continuous Body.” The exhibit is an amalgam of stitchery and text; her own, plus quotations from her favorites, including Rilke and Proust. 

“We make a home,” she writes. “In mine are many rocks, shells, mounds of glass. Fabric, books.” Her choice favors unbleached white linen or silk, sometimes bound up with tiny treasures. “Like a Child” features glass fragments burnished from years of churning in surf, bound with silk thread. The analogous “torsos found” incorporates eroded fragments of shell. 

Many of her works are fragile, especially the intensely personal “hair beads.” She rolled up the 360 “beads” from strands found in the shower. Initial panic for hair lost “gave way to wonder” as the hairs compacted and felted, clinging to each other ”like a small head.” 

Maharam offers many versions of circles of thread on linen or silk.  Breasts come to mind. A series entitled “Gradations of Grey” employs dark knots rising to a point. “Circle of Words” suggests lines of type.  Staring at her spirals of “Spring Green” evoked a feeling of falling into desert ziggurats.             

Chapek has previously shown her paintings at i.e. With “Soul Juice,” she’s at the peak of her game. She paints big, in oil, and surprises by leaving thin washed canvas in pale hues next to thick impasto. She pushes somber blues against pink and faint marigold, orange against green.

Each of her substantial compositions is a rich visual experience. She creates depth not only by impasto, but also by juxtaposing light and dark. “Pleasure” features an irregular, rosy field streaked with red, framed by black on all sides. “Aloft” suggests a mountain peak backed with indigo, sun-washed glaciers tumbling down the front.

Chapek’s “Grounded” mesmerized me. Shrouds in white, yellow, crimson whisper power and majesty—an uncanny congruence to Velasquez’s 1650 portrait of Pope Innocent X.

She is at her most ambitious with “These Times.” There’s no pictorial hook for the imagination here. Sinews stretch across the canvas, framed by viridian to one side and blood red, the other. Was this what another reviewer described as “fully alive and beautifully decomposing?”

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Events
Today
Fall Lynden Craft and Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

My Fair Lady

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Spokes

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Mixtape

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6:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Anacortes Vintage Market's Evergreens and Icicles

6:00pm|Port Transit Event Center

Scream Fair's Camp Fear

7:00pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Matilda the Musical

7:30pm| Lincoln Theatre

Hellingham

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Squawktober

8:00pm|Old Main Theater

Community Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Blaine Senior Center

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Orca Recovery Day Work Party

9:00am|Nooksack River

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Yoga and Detox

9:00am|Community Food Co-op

Blanchard Beast Trail Race

9:00am|Blanchard Forest Lower Trailhead

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am|North Fork Library

98221 Studio Tour

10:00am|Fidalgo Island

Bellingham Comicon

10:00am|Ferndale Event Center

Steam Expo

10:00am|Lynden Middle School

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Your Life is a Story Writer's Group

10:30am|South Whatcom Library

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Fall Festival

11:00am|Camp Korey

Kraut-chi Ferment Class

11:00am|Chuckanut Center

Winter Warmth Drive and Pickup

11:00am|Assumption Church Gym

Art Therapy Workshop

1:30pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Telling Tough Stories

2:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fables and Tales Upcycle Runway Challenge

6:00pm|Settlemeyer Hall

Concrete Ghost Walk

6:00pm|Concrete Theatre

Brew on the Slough

6:00pm|Maple Hall

Bellingham Hoptoberfest

6:00pm|Civic Way Sportsplex

How I Learned I'm Old

7:00pm|Village Books

Take Me to the River Live

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Skagit Symphony presents Highland Heritage

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tomorrow
My Fair Lady

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Spokes

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Whatcomics Call for Art

10:00am|Whatcom County

Wishes and Dreams Call for Art

10:00am|Gallery Syre

Matilda the Musical

7:30pm| Lincoln Theatre

98221 Studio Tour

10:00am|Fidalgo Island

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Trails to Taps Relay

9:00am|Depot Market Square

Birchwood Farmers Market

10:00am|Park Manor Shopping Center

Bellingham Handmade Market

11:00am|Goods Nursery and Produce

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Wild Mushroom Show

12:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Building

Harvest Festival

1:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk

Skagit Topic

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

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7:00pm|Alternative Library

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

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