Kelly Kievit - 23 1/2 Degrees From Vertical
Lli Wilburn - Surrounded by Water

August 30 - October 1, 2011

First Thursday reception
September 1st, 2011
open until 8:00pm

Exhibit tour and artist discussion
with Lli Wilburn

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Kelly Kievit - _i_23 1_2  Degrees From Vertical__i
Kelly Kievit returns to Froelick Gallery with a new body of work, 23 ½ Degrees From Vertical. Kievit paints with a mixture of oil pigments and marble dust, which lends the paint a greater thickness and a shimmering, jewel-like quality. The title of this exhibit refers to the Earth’s tilt on its axis. In Kievit’s words, “We stand upright, but there is never a perfect vertical in the human psyche. We are slightly tilting and always adjusting course.”
These works see the artist emerging from a hiatus with a fresh perception of her own creative process; her canvases incorporate references to hibernation and awakening, freeze and thaw. Vivid pinks, yellows and greens- the colors of new life- stand out. As if stretching familiar muscles, Kievit paints elementary circular and cubic forms over complex abstract compositions. Viewed together, these pieces give an impression of walls in a many-roomed house, each containing complex histories below the surface, the wear and dignity of years, of having been damaged and lovingly repaired countless times.

Lli Wilburn'sexhibition, Surrounded by Water is a collection of exquisitely executed mixed media drawings that incorporate ink, graphite and brush-applied fabric dye on small clayboard panels. This material allows the artist to cut away, patch and rebuild surface layers which she then overlays with delicate swaths of luminous color and crisp, fine line work, making each piece the result of an incredibly intricate process. Surrounded by Water documents the changing of seasons, urban industrial decay, and the artist’s own reacclimation to Portland after an eight-year stint in Pittsburgh. Wilburn is drawn to the beauty of the neglected view- rust-streaked bridge abutments, cracking concrete paths overgrown with brambles, disused factory structures and rain-swollen riverbanks- her works evoke the lure of crossing broken barriers and gaps in fences to reach the inaccessible vantage point. A number of the works are studies of a railroad bridge and flooded turnaround on Hayden Island Drive which she produced over the course of several months. The setting contains a subtle combination of urban and rural elements- in one piece, the dark outline of bare winter trees and the bridge’s struts stand out against a purple night sky. Distant city lights glow warmly in a narrow gap between bridge and ground. The scene is reflected in a large pool of water below. Wilburn’s interest in these settings and her concern for their impermanence compel her in the creation of these unique visual records.