Cascadia Weekly: The language of pattern


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The language of pattern


What: WHAT: “The Language of Pattern”

Where: i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court, Edison


WHEN: Through January


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

In Edison, i.e. gallery presents yet another cutting-edge exhibit with “The Language of Pattern.” Works by five distinguished artists seduce the viewer with patterns from folk art and nature.

Once again we find Allen Moe patiently exploring the “margin between order and chaos, searching for pattern that holds it all together.” His small works create surprising effects as he painstakingly drips minute amounts of paint onto a surface. Each new drop pushes the still-wet, previous color aside. The intriguing “Infection” boasts a cluster of opalescent oysters on a blood-red field.

“Rather than impose a rigid form or design,” Robin Green prefers “unpredictable responses…to see things that hold mystery.” Her works in silk, “Orderly Disorder” and “Forceful,” result from painting, folding, twisting, layering and stitching fabric into three-dimensional grids that record the “movement and tension” of the process.

Cathy Shoenberg has always been attracted to patterns—Gaudi’s mosaics, Islamic tiles, Japanese fabrics, Guatemalan weaving. Her Gauguin-like portraits of tropical beauties are widely enjoyed. Now she exhibits 33 small rectangles (mixed media on wood), abstract, “doodled” and playful, each a fresh composition. Black-on-white patterns of “The Crown” suggest a snail, Maya glyphs and long, wrapped cylinders sprouting plumes and tassels. In “Bird Pecking Cat Tail,” a cat morphs into snake-like scales and feathers on a field suggesting Aztec serapes and Javanese batik.

James Brems paints in pastel and egg tempera. Here he draws with indigo ink on paper “Bird Blankets,” intricately drawn miniatures patterned like quilts. His #9 shows five rows of birds spaced by abstract diamonds and eyes, forming a kind of mandala. And #1 features 28 dark spots or eyes in a rectangle closely hatched with diagonal lines.

Belying his modest demeanor, Lanny Bergner is one of the more widely known artists of the Skagit Valley. His sculptures decorate museums, airports and corporate offices on three continents. Bergner finds beautiful forms in geology, biology, cosmology—even in the magnified images of deadly viruses. Here each of the flamed stainless steel mesh, wire and silicone “Meshells” suggests a colorful conch shell one might encounter in a dream. Curator Margy Lavelle has displayed them to cast intricate, puzzling shadows.  

Also worth a visit this month is Perry and Carlson Gallery on First Street in Mount Vernon, where Christian Carlson’s “Skagit Winter” landscapes in several medias powerfully evoke the “beautiful but not natural [but] altered landscape” of the Skagit Valley.

“Still Waters III,” encaustic on board, is a restful vision of a track receding toward a smoky horizon above the bay. Quite different is the approach of a very satisfying graphite on paper abstraction, “Skagit Study #29.” It might symbolize a tent or archway, lifting up our spirits. And very strong is the large diptych, acrylic and oil on paper, “Valley Floor” with gray strokes of sky above a simple geometry of field and river.

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