The moment that we're in can be strange, frightening and full of uncertainty. One bright spot, however, has been communicating with past Semi-Finalists and finding out that they are all doing reasonably well...
My introduction to Tia Factor's artwork was Private Places, her show at Oranj Studio that was curated by Pamela Morris in 2018. At the time I was reading about Nicolas Poussin, the 17th century French Baroque painter known for elegantly balanced landscapes as well as biblical and historical scenes.
When I visited Ralph Pugay’s studio last month, I was immediately drawn to a small painting of a partially dressed man in a desert at night. He is sitting on the ground near the top of the picture, casually reclining under the light of the moon. Three figures -presumably in graves- are buried deep beneath him, exposed by a cutaway composition that lets us peer into the earth.
My first encounter with Iván Carmona’s work was seeing Imprint of Place, the two-person show that he was in last year at PDX CONTEMPORARY ART with Liz Rob. I went during the first Thursday opening and the gallery was filled with supporters, collectors, and casual onlookers, but I remember immediately feeling like I was the only person in the room.
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to visit the studio of Cara Tomlinson for a Semi-Finalist interview. I've followed Cara's work since the early 1990's and have always been drawn to her subtle use of color and the scale of her forms. She somehow makes her compositions appear both intimate and monumental at the same time, a combination that has kept me coming back to look at her work again and again.
I first met Amy Bay about a year ago when I attended one of her ART HOUR discussions at Private Places, an exhibition space in northeast Portland. The show, Teeth and Consequences, was both thoughtfully curated and rough around the edges in all the right ways.
I recently had the chance to visit with Doug Davidovich at his studio in Portland, Oregon. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Doug, the first thing you'll notice when you do is that he's a big, angular guy. And in my opinion, his artwork invariably resembles him. Even when he's working small, Davidovich's prints and paintings seem larger than the surface that they're on.
The Semi-Finalist is proud to announce that Benjamin Terrell will be joining the team and contributing a regular column titled Notes of Persistent Awe. He recently wrote about the poetic, understated paintings of Lois Dodd that were shown last month at Adams and Ollman in Portland, Oregon.
Artist and writer Benjamin Terrell recently wrote about the enigmatic work of Kevin Mcnamee-Tweed. He describes his piece as "...a COVID column written without a gallery visit, inspired by a new book and Instagram."