Tag Archives: Rachel Denny

Artsy Spot: Foster/White Gallery

19 Apr

A gallery that takes advantage of a beautiful space, displays a wide range of interesting work in a well-designed and thoughtful way AND feels comfortable and unpretentious?  These kind of galleries are my happy places.  Foster/White Gallery in Seattle definitely qualifies for a spot on that list.  Thanks to our time in Seattle being super limited and the tiny brain melt in which I somehow forgot that almost all galleries are closed on Monday, our only full day there and the day I’d planned to do lots of gallery hopping, I had to narrow down my galleries to visit to A) shows I really wanted to see and B) galleries that were close together.  So we took a few hours before leaving on Tuesday to visit Greg Kucera Gallery, Grover Thurston Gallery ( more on that show next week ) and Foster/White Gallery, which was by far our favorite overall gallery experience.

Casey McGlynn: Manchild and Rachel Denny: Works of Nature at Foster/White

Foster/White has been on my list of galleries to visit for quite a while and when I saw that they were showing Rachel Denny’s work, it quickly went to the top of the list for our time in Seattle.  But I’m one of those people that saves the best for last, so while I saw Rachel’s work out of the corner of my eye upon entering the space, there were so many other wonderful works around each corner that I made my way around the whole gallery before I spent some time with Rachel’s amazing sculptures.

Sculptures by Paul Vexler at Foster/White

Speaking of amazing sculptures, these bent wood pieces by Paul Vexler were exquisite.  The way the grain of the wood caught the light from the window drew attention to those beautiful curves.  As impressive as his work was ( and there is a large hanging piece in the F/W lobby that is to die for ), Cookie the elephant by Shay Church both delighted me and drew me in.

Cookie ( Asian Elephant ) by Shay Church

Cookie is part of Church’s Wet Clay series, site specific installations consisting of a wooden armatur covered with clay and sand.  In this series, Church focuses on elephants and whales, gentle yet imposing creatures who must survive long migrations.  With each passing year, those migrations grow more and more dangerous and daunting for these animals.  Cookie leans into the wall for support,  seeming to struggle to stand.  As the clay has dried, it has begun to crack and fall, adding to the emotional impact of the piece.  We are watching Cookie deteriorate before our eyes.

Bone Yard by Evan Blackwell at Foster/White Gallery

Bone Yard ( detail ) by Evan Blackwell

Another installation that caught our eye was Bone Yard by Evan Blackwell.  The white clay pieces, pinned to the way may appear to be fragments of bone, but upon closer inspection, we see that they are actually broken pieces of model jets.  Perhaps a commentary on our military policies?  Or our desensitization to such destruction?

Staccato Surface by David Alexander

The abstract, colorful reflection of Staccato Surface by David Alexander had unbelievably lovely gestural movement and a gorgeous palette.  Photos do not do it justice!  Finally we made our way over to Rachel Denny’s work.  I’ve been a huge fan of her work since the very first time I saw one of her Domestic Trophies online and have been looking forward to finally seeing her sculptures in person.  I was blown away by just how intricately constructed they are, their palettes & construction perfectly designed to catch and direct the viewer’s eye.  I was just as delighted by her work as I’d hoped to be.

Rachel Denny: Works of Nature

Sweet Tooth ( detail ) by Rachel Denny

To see more of each artist’s work and more of the amazing work on display, please visit the Foster/White Gallery website.  If you’re in Seattle, Rachel Denny & Casey McGlynn’s current shows will be up until April 28, 2012.  I highly recommend a visit!

Friday Faves: Yes, Deer

30 Mar

Hubby and I have been going through major winter cabin fever.  Every weekend lately, it’s been either snowing or raining.  We miss getting our hiking on and are ready to see some wildlife actually in the wild ( the diaorama at the local Cabellas doesn’t count ).  There’s just something so magical about coming across creatures in the woods.   Are you experiencing the itch to get outdoors and do some animal watching?  Maybe these will help..

Guardian Lineage by Duy Huynh, acrylic on wood, 32x32

Passage by Susan Hall, oil on panel, 43x51

Yellow Stag by Rachel Denny, wool, polyurethane foam, wood, plastic & steel, 40x19x21

Stout by Scott Belcastro, acrylic on panel, 20x20

Bauxite Rose From Her Lifeless Sleep by Deedee Cheriel

Duy Huynh | Susan Hall | Rachel Denny | Scott BelcastroDeedee Cheriel 

Happy weekend!

Featured image is by Corine Perier.  All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

These Bucks Are BUCK: Rachel Denny

28 Jul

Is the adjective buck actually used in the common vernacular?  Or do only So You Think You Can Dance geeks like myself know what it means, thanks to Lil’ C?  He uses it as slang for something that is crazy good and cool.  Which is exactly how I would describe the sculptures of Portland artist, Rachel Denny.

Red Buck, polyurethane foam, wool and wood

On my morning walk with George today, we came upon a deer munching on flowers in a neighbor’s yard ( one of the things we love about the Northwest ).  So when I came across Rachel’s work this morning, I connected with it instantly.  Her work explores that surprise of the unexpected wildness of nature in urban settings and every day life.

Young Buck, merino wool, polyurethane foam, thread and wood

Young Buck and Red Buck, both above, are part of her Domestic Trophies series, which while appearing at first to be whimsical and playful, actually seem to be making a commentary on how we try to justify our own violence or antipathy against nature.  The head of an animal that was once a living, breathing creature, killed for sport and mounted as a trophy gets “domesticated” and rendered impotent by blanketing it in a warm and colorful wrap of fuzzy wool.  It is now rendered to be merely a decorative object instead of a wild beast.

The Lion and The Lamb, polyurethane foam, wood and wool

Or perhaps the artist is comforting these poor creatures.  Covering their eyes and shielding them from a future of staring down at the same scene day after day.  Or maybe she’s just having a little fun by creating something beautiful out of something so symbolically grotesque.

Teal Doe, polyurethane foam, wood, wool, paint and thread

Whatever Rachel Denny is doing, I am on the bandwagon.  These pieces are fanciful and fun and if there is a deeper message behind them, so much the better.

Go to Rachel Denny’s website for more of her sculptural work– the ceramics are great, make sure you check them out!

All images via http://www.racheldenny.com.

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