Antler Gallery in Portland has an upcoming group show featuring three distinct talents: Heiko Müller (HF Vol. 33), Lisa Ericson, and John Casey. Opening March 26, “Habitats” allows the three artists to demonstrate new directions in their personal styles. In his new paintings, Müller invites nature imagery to mingle with mythological elements and abstract designs. Casey presents a new series of bold, colorful sculptures and paintings, which greatly contrast with the tightly executed graphite work for which he was formerly known. Ericson’s paintings of mouse-butterfly hybrids are humorous, endearing, and technically skilled. One might be surprised to learn that “Habitat” is Ericson’s first gallery show, but her work matches that of the other two more experienced artists in caliber.
As the name might suggest, Portland’s Antler Gallery showcases many artists whose work deals with the natural world. Their appreciation of animal-inspired art precipitated the annual exhibition, “Brink,” which is now in its third year. Opening on January 29, the group show features artists such as Chie Yoshii, Jon MacNair, Caitlin McCormack, Brin Levinson, Kevin Earl Taylor, and Antler owners Susannah Kelly and Neil Perry, among others. Part of the show’s proceeds will benefit the Audubon Society of Portland, which does work to protect the region’s birds and their habitats.
Erika Sanada’s canine sculptures are both endearing and unnerving. There’s something sweet about her ceramic puppies (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31) despite their zombie eyes and pale, hairless skin. The dogs play, wrestle, and cuddle, but the ambiguous details in each sculpture make it possible to interpret their gestures as either tender or malicious, or perhaps a bit of both. Sanada began creating these creatures as a way of coping with anxiety. She says they represent dark elements of her mind she’s had to tame. The latest installment of her ongoing, autobiographical body of work will debut in her upcoming solo show, “Odd Things: Daydreaming,” which opens November 28 at Antler Gallery in Portland and runs through December 31.
Allison Sommers, Jeremy Hush and Susannah Kelly share an interest in creating poetic imagery out of macabre subject matter. The three artists are presenting new bodies of work for their collaborative show, “Irresistible Atrophies,” opening at Portland’s Antler Gallery on October 30.
Studying mythology allows one to examine how the values of contemporary culture are transmitted through history. Tying a thread between past and present, Portland’s Antler Gallery invited a group of artists to create portraits inspired by mythical creatures for their third annual “Unnatural Histories” group show. Each piece is accompanied by a short story written by each artist relating their specific character’s tale. According to curators Neil M. Perry and Susannah Kelly, some artists reinterpreted existing myths while others took the opportunity for more inventive storytelling. Participating artists include Josh Keyes, Craww, Vanessa Foley, Michael Page, Hi-Fructose co-editor-in-chief Annie Owens, Siolo Thompson, Brin Levinson, Syd Bee, Jackie Avery, Crystal Morey, Susannah Kelly, Ben Kehoe, Neil M. Perry, Jennifer Parks, Jon MacNair, and Ryan Berkley. Take a look at our preview of the exhibition before it opens this evening.
Jon MacNair opens windows into cryptic worlds with his monochromatic pen-and-ink drawings. His work has a decidedly vintage, if not medieval, feel. The artist renders elaborate depictions of self-created myths and legends, but rather than being grandiose, the tone of his work is self-aware and humorous. Demons and shamans mug for the viewer while performing rituals and spells. Some of his drawings show gratuitous, cartoon violence akin to that of heavy metal album art and skateboard graphics. MacNair has a solo show opening at Portland’s Antler Gallery this Thursday, August 28, titled “Age of Enigmas.” In addition to his own work, the exhibition will feature MacNair’s collaborations with five other artists he admires: Jennifer Parks, Trudy Creen, Mark Burt, Ian Anderson, and Michael Hsiung.