The flowers are blooming! The sun is out! Dogs and babies are all over the place, making us smile whether we want to or not. SPRING IS HERE!
For the past few months our blog has been in hibernation mode, watching documentaries and brewing plans for the future like everybody else. We've been having a good time here at the gallery, though.
In February, Lilian Martinez brought her beautiful pastel portraits up from L.A. Her show Soft Shades portrayed women of color, relaxed yet powerful, in comfortable domestic settings.
From March 15 to April 23, Shohei Taksaki shared with us a collection of colorful, bold, abstracted domestic scenes in his show Where did you sleep last night? He installed an 11 ft. tall painting diagonally, leaning from the floor to the ceiling. It completely changed the shape of the gallery, and provided a comparison to think about: loved ones are kind of like huge, amazing, complex paintings that we can only see from a slanted angle. Living with a partner, even sleeping beside them each night, we can never fully understand their experience because we are limited by our own perspectives. In addition to the large painting, Shohei delighted us with a variety of smaller works, including one piece that was half sculpture, half painting.
For the last week of Takasaki's show, we reinstalled his work in a more "traditional" manner. The giant painting hung straight on the wall, and some of the smaller paintings changed positions in the gallery.
This past week, we've enjoyed a pop-up by local artist John Petrucelli: A kid from Chicago. John has been a warm presence in the Portland art scene for decades. He's worked as a teacher, explored wonders of the world, and worked in an art warehouse where he began experimenting with unusual materials. We wanted to honor his lifelong practice of experimentation, as well as his love for storytelling. For every day of the pop-up, John has come to co-host happy hour and visit with the community.
Coming up next: Michelle Blade! This artist works in painting, illustration, sculpture and installation, with a dreamy style. (If you'd like a preview of her work, click here!) We're excited to share her work with you all, May 3 through June 4. Please join us for her opening reception Sunday, May 5 (3–5pm).
If it's been awhile since you stopped in Nationale, we hope to see you soon. We've got new books, a new issue of Apartamento, and smiles infused with the finest Vitamin D.