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July 5 to August 16, 2008

In Gallery 1

Several Landscapes

Dan Attoe
Kevin Cosgrove
Megan Euker
Joe Hardesty
Claire Sherman
Amanda Thomson
Aaron Van Dyke

In Gallery 2

3 Landscapes (or more) in the Modern Style

Carl Baratta
Ralph Cieslik
Benjamin Degen
Michael Velliquette


Kevin Cosgrove
"Truck", 2007
Oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm, 19.7 in x 23.6 in

Carl Baratta
The Faithful Protector (after Nick Englebert), 2008
water based media on panel
30" x 30", 76 x 76 cm

Several Landscapes brings together seven artists whose disparate approaches to depicting landscape imagery range from brushy, atmospheric painting to cool photo-and-text conceptualism.

In a recent review on Artforum.com, Ana Finel Honigman states that DAN ATTOE's oil paintings on panel have “"the emotional subtlety and narrative complexity of a haunting short story".” Attoe currently has two solo shows in Europe: at MUSAC in Leon, Spain and Peres Projects in Berlin. His upcoming group shows include Shape of Things to Come, at Saatchi Gallery in London and The Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon.

KEVIN COSGROVE's paintings relate to notions about labour, task, virtue, solidarity and a desire for adventure. These subjects are informed by experience involving upbringing and boyhood and how these translate into adulthood. There is a tentative analysis made of occupations involving craft, labour, adventure and the return to nature, these subjects appear as romantic fascinations in the context of the city, conveying outmoded ideas about proper work, effort, survival and craft. The romantic or idealised image of a task or adventure is open to take on elements of humour and pathos, absurdity and irony. Western Exhibitions first encountered Cosgrove's work at the NEXT art fair in a solo booth presented by Mother's Tankstation from Dublin, Ireland, where he had recently had a solo exhibition. Cosgrove is a recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

MEGAN EUKER's paintings often depict figures at leisure or in moments of intimacy. Her works foreground the importance of shared everyday routines and the spaces where such moments occur. Euker recently received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This summer Euker has a solo project space show at Linda Warren gallery in Chicago and a two-person exhibition at Togonon Gallery, San Francisco.

JOE HARDESTY's deceptively simple drawings use quirky hand-drawn texts to describe scenes that are at times disturbing and at times sweet, but are always visualized in the viewer's minds eye. Hardesty recently received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited at 40000 and Devening Projects in Chicago.

CLAIRE SHERMAN's lush paintings of of vast open spaces, cliffs, ravines, rapids, and other ominous topography are informed by philosophical writings on the sublime. She recently had a solo show at the Kavi Gupta Gallery and was recently included in the exhibit Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York.

AMANDA THOMSON's photo-etchings of barren landscapes in the American Southwest have names of invasive or extinct species screen printed across their surfaces. She just completed her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.

AARON VAN DYKE's pinhole landscape photographs investigate how traces of the photographic process are legible or illegible in completed photographic prints. The photos were shot with a hand-built camera that had pinholes at the right and left edges of its subtly convex front face. Due to reversals in the exposure process, the images made using this camera at first appear to be unitary but, on further inspection, revel themselves as internally split and inverted. Van Dyke had a Western Exhibitions solo show in January and won a MCAD/McKnight Visual Art Fellowship in 2006.



In Gallery 2, 3 Landscapes in the Modern Style brings together three artists making figurative and landscape images influenced, however subtly, by early American Modernist painting. Forms reminiscent of Dove, Hartley, Lawrence and others are realized in a variety of media from cut paper to watercolor.

CARL BARATTA's bizarre, fanciful paintings combine popular and unpopular cultural references, ranging from anime to English psychedelic album covers to Middle Eastern miniature paintings. All of his works depict imagined worlds and create tensions between static images and dynamic narratives. Baratta recently had a solo show at Vox Populi in Philadelphia. His two-person show at The Green Lantern in Chicago was named one of the top five gallery shows of 2007 by New City.

A review in the New Yorker of BENJAMIN DEGEN's recent show at Guild & Greyshkul in New York states that the artist “"favors the folksy and the decorative, the look of the woodcut and of computerized graphic design".” Degen has had solo shows at Kantor/Feuer Gallery in Los Angeles and Mario Diacono Gallery in Boston. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NY and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas.

MICHAEL VELLIQUETTE's cut paper collages are rich with personalized symbolic images of beasts, warriors, imbeciles, scouts, healers, goons, and gods. Velliquette recently completed a residency in Iceland. He has been included in shows at Ferragamo Gallery in NY, Lamontagne Gallery in Boston. Velliquette's most recent Chicago presentation was a solo booth with DCKT at the NEXT art fair.

Western Exhibitions organized these exhibitions with assistance from John Neff.