“Intense Focus” May 6 — 29, 2004
Reception Thursday, May 6, 5:30-8:00 PM
417 NW 9th Avenue, Portland, OR.

Intense Focus, a group exhibition featuring work by Max Cole, Russell Crotty, Jacob El Hanani, Lee Etheredge IV, Yayoi Kusama, Lisa Liedgren, Mark Lombardi, Stefana McClure, James Nelson, Melody Owen, Ken Solomon, Yuken Teruya, and Amanda Wojick

The work chosen for Intense Focus exemplifies the artists’ predilections toward obsession – both as an artistic style and a psychological phenomenon – be it through patterning, accumulation, explorations of infinity, a nearly machinated attention to detail, or a compulsion to create order from chaos. Internationally renowned artist Yayoi Kusama – featured through May in the 2004 Whitney Biennial – evokes repetition inherent in the natural world with her characteristically patterned, colorfully charged, paintings. Jacob El Hanani’s fingertip drawings – which could be mistaken for images derived by machine – are inspired by the micro elements of life in light of burgeoning world population and expansion. Mark Lombardi condenses vast amounts of information gleaned from syndicated news and creates elaborate maps – sometimes childlike in the immediacy of their rendering – to simplify complex, detailed relationships. Intense Focus also advances the gallery’s goal of contextualizing regional artists within the larger contemporary art dialogue, featuring new work by Lisa Liedgren, Melody Owen and Amanda Wojick.

The show includes Lisa Liedgren’s Reaction, a new large-scale painting where the artist demonstrates a disciplined approach to composition by exploring the interaction among monochromatic flat-colored squares, each containing a shape of the moon. In this piece, time is viewed as a series of deconstructed moments absent of a narrative.

Reaction (Moon series), 2004
Oil on canvas, 61 x 52.5 inches
(155 cm x 133.5 cm).