EXHIBITION: Linda Jo Nazarenus Passing Through
DATES: June 2 – July 2, 2016
OPENING: Reception for the artist Thursday, June 2nd, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
LOCATION: Lisa Harris Gallery, 1922 Pike Place, Seattle, Washington
HOURS & URL: Mon.-Sat. 10:30-5:30, Sun. 11:00 - 4:00; www.lisaharrisgallery.com
Seattle. This June, Lisa Harris Gallery presents Passing Through, recent oil paintings by Seattle artist Linda Jo Nazarenus. The exhibition features evocative scenes of wildlife in cerebral landscapes inspired by vast, untouched terrain. Infusing her subject matter with a slightly surreal aura, Nazarenus suggests that the animals’ awareness carries symbolic and psychological significance. The artist will attend the opening reception First Thursday, June 2nd, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Nazarenus, drawing on techniques from the Renaissance masters of Northern European, creates images with exceptional detail. Richly rendered surfaces convey sensations of velvety fur, sun-bleached stone, and native foliage. Inspired by the drama of American Southwest, the landscapes are characterized by rolling hills and expansive skies where animal inhabitants confront viewers. In “Exposed,” two handsomely-plumed turkeys cast a curious eye at the viewer as a coyote observes the birds from across a stream. Nazarenus manipulates realistic formalism and melds it to imagined spaces. In ‘Contradicting Elements,’ a pair of ‘Skvader,’ hybrids of hare and wood grouse from Swedish folklore, occupy a surreal and prophetic landscape of swirling grasses, curious onlookers, and foreboding sky. These peculiar creatures, whose name has come to mean ‘a bad compromise’ in Swedish, examine the world beyond the painting as closely as we examine theirs. Nazarenus’ depictions of these worlds challenge our notions of wildlife by imbuing these wild creatures with marked sentience, often reserved for human subjects, and their probing gazes which acknowledge our presence in a natural world that we often feel detached from. Her treatment of the landscape infuses familiar features of the land with otherworldly qualities and a psychological weightiness, which suggest both the wonder and unknowability of the natural world.
Linda Jo Nazarenus majored in Art History and Scandinavian studies at the University of Washington. She has been exhibiting with Lisa Harris Gallery since 2005.