The Sum of Its Parts - Part 2

Portland, OR. – On Wednesday, March 25, Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art will open the second and concluding installation with the exhibition “The Sum of Its Parts – Part 2”, in his new space on NW 22nd and Raleigh in Slabtown.   This group show continues to champion 14 important contemporary artists who explore Aristotle’s concept that a much greater “whole” can emerge from the mere sum total of its individual parts.

“The Sum of Its Parts” is curated around the concept of individual works of art that champion the concept of holism: that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, an empirical observation recorded by Aristotle in his Metaphysica from the 4th century B.C.

As part of that philosophical concept, “Part 2” will feature the same artists as in “Part 1”, but this time they will represented by a different work sited in a different location in the gallery, the visual equivalent of the same choir singing a different song.

These new works in “Part 2” provide` the viewing audience with an evolving visual experience built around a sense of familiarity from “Part 1”.   Return visits will complete the visual experience, a reward that is also greater than the sum of the individual parts.

“The Sum of Its Parts – Part 2”, features artwork created and assembled out of various components to make a stronger visual statement:  narrative, context, scale and media.  The installation carefully presents each artist’s unique approach to using “parts” in building a whole or complete visual experience as a central component of their artistic practice.  Each one of these artists has created a signature visual vocabulary which together address recent trends in contemporary art.

The work on display ranges in scale from small paintings to a large installation, composed of many different but repeating elements.  Layered surface washes that create interwoven “narratives” on wood panel play off vitrified ceramic towers squatting on the floor.   The sum of this visual experience is more than the number of simple entities operating in one environment: together the art gathers more complex behaviors as a collective of contemporary culture.

“The Sum of Its Parts”  – Participating artists:

  1. Jeff Carpenter – Philadelphia

  2. Brad Mildrexler – Portland

  3. Sean Healy (c/o Elizabeth Leach Gallery) – Portland

  4. Ben Buswell (c/o Upfor Gallery) – Portland

  5. Brad Johnson – Portland

  6. Fernanda D’Agostino - (c/o Elizabeth Leach Gallery) - Portland

  7. Eugenia Pardue - Portland

  8. Heather Hutchison – New York

  9. Mary Henry - Seattle

  10. Cyrilla Mozenter – New York

  11. Laura Fritz – Portland

  12. Junko Iijima – Portland

  13. Brian Borrello – Portland/New Orleans

  14. Stuart Buehler – Death Valley

A few of the artists in this exhibition incorporate extensive “hands-on” methods into their established aesthetic trajectories while others take a simpler approach.  Heather Hutchison from New York works with the available daylight to activate her minimalist wall pieces, while Laura Fritz presents a tall table that upon further investigation seems to contain all the components of an eerie sort of biological experiment.  Cyrilla Mozenter has hand sewn an installation of little pouches, representing multiple violent acts in her delicate piece “Hurt”.

Brad Johnson incorporates expressive painterly methods onto the objective data sets from photographs of volcanic terrain.  Brad Mildrexler goes one step further and fires his huge segmented ceramic towers at volcanic temperatures, melting chunks of basalt and broken shards of glass into wild untamed glazes of geologic surfaces.

An artist such as the late great Mary Henry seeks a unity between formal geometry and painterly abstraction in her sequence of painted panels, an intermingling of form and rhythm that can be seen best in her small triptych “Between” from 1992.  Sean Healy painstakingly attaches 1000’s of cigarette filters together to create a surface to layer his candy-coated paint on.  Sean has been successfully represented by the Elizabeth Leach Gallery for years, and the inclusion of his work in this show is an example of how Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art will combine new emerging artists with those “borrowed” from established galleries.