Hildur Bjarnadottir – Overlap
Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery, 923 N.W. Flanders St.
Through Jan. 28.
Hildur Bjarnadottir creates lush structured embroideries that question the blurring lines between art and craft. And while this question has remained perpetually (and markedly frustratingly) unanswered for the last century or so, Bjarnadottir’s work is able to transcend its role in the debate. Her work, traditional in practice, is strikingly contemporary in scope. Beautiful embroideries reveal a dialogue about tradition, ancestry and resolving one’s responsibility to both while remaining a part of the modern world. From dainty ceramics to crocheted skulls, Bjarnadottir creates a language almost too personal in its iconography, but thematically universal enough to create a dialogue with each viewer individually.
Chas Bowie – Horizon
Chambers Gallery, 207 S.W. Pine St.
Through Feb. 28.
I have to admit it. I like Chas Bowie’s arts writing, for the Mercury and Bear Deluxe among others, better than his photos. And while it seems unreasonable to compare two disparate forms of communication, when someone writes about art it seems impossible for the two to exist independently. His photos aren’t bad by any stretch, the textures are rich, the subjects unique, but in the grand scheme of things his work feels dry, overtly framed and just too practiced. They lack a sense of participation or experimentation, seemingly happy enough with their subject to push the boundaries.
Harry Windman – Myth and Reality
Blackfish Gallery, 420 N.W. Ninth Ave.
Harry Windman creates figurative paintings with literal titles that seem to explore the esoteric results of movement. Forms become fluid and gel all over the canvas in simple, layered colors leaving behind textures and traces that manifest practices and movements that have infected “Painting” and “Art” for the past 80 years. Meaningful perhaps, but only to the artist.
Jilf – Pish Posh
Moshi Moshi, 811 E. Burnside St.
Moshi Moshi continues to embrace the illustrative and disobedient arts with a show by Jilf. His work is a combination of mid-century inspired illustration and rock ‘n’ roll themes, complete with monsters, cupcakes, booze and a palette that could advertise Crest. And while the ability to reduce everything from bunnies to vomit into cute yet undermining forms may not be especially distinctive, it is especially awesome. And Lord knows there’s nothing wrong with a little awesome.