PACKER SCHOPF GALLERY
NW COAST INVASION

January 12 - February 17
NW COAST INVASION
Rich Lehl
Demi Raven
Rebecca Raven
Eric Stotik
Ed Wicklander
NW Coast Invasion (Main Gallery)

                 

           
Demi Raven



                       

     
Rebecca Raven

                       


                             
Erik Stotik

                             
Ed Wicklander

                 

                       

           
Rich Lehl

           

     

           

Rich Lehl, whose artistic practice is centered in Seattle, combines the surreal with the humorous in smooth, glossy, vibrantly colored oil paintings influenced by illustration and comic book aesthetics. A central theme is gravity suspended: people and objects float, fly, and fall through space, evoking freedom and transcendence in some cases, and impending doom in others. Most scenarios include a grain of the familiar, such as eating or walking the dog, which allows the viewer to relate to these works in terms of both fantasy and fear.

Demi Raven, fellow Seattleite and husband of Rebecca, creates photo-realistic, extreme close-up portraits in the manner of Chuck Close. Raven says of his most recent body of work, Monsters: "This series, which is comprised of 12 portraits of different people, comes from time spent thinking about a number of contradictions: adolescence and maturity, repression and expression, ugliness and beauty. I have been thinking frequently about the human propensity for violence in contrast to the fragility and malleability of the human body."

Rebecca Raven, who lives and works in Seattle, Washington, explores the communicative power of gesture and expression in delicately rendered oil paintings on copper and aluminum. Her paintings function like films in which the skillful and stylized manipulation of bodies and faces are necessary towards developing mood and narrative - her Transfiguration series from 2004 directly references stills from the silent, silver screen. Her most recent series, Drift, portrays various characters in supine positions in homes, on basketball courts, and near railway tracks. The panoramic format and aerial view also recall the gaze of the camera, emphasizing the choreographed nature of the scene that demands each pose to be read as a language.

Erik Stotik, hailing from Portland, Oregon, juxtaposes disfigured human faces, floating body parts, scientific specimens of flora and fauna, and eccentric machines to create miniature, intricate, tarot-card like paintings. Mystical, surreal, and grotesque, these works recall Victorian instructional illustrations, medieval torture devices, and monster movie villains. Stotik's jewel-like palette, including deep crimsons, emerald greens, and yellow ochre, alongside his miniscule, shimmering brushwork, encourages the viewer to peer into this beautiful, haunting world and make sense of its cryptic symbols.

Seattle artist Ed Wicklander thrusts process and materials to the forefront in his sculptural pieces, fashioned by such methods as wood carving, blown glass, metal-smithing, welding, and bronze casting. Human and animal bodies are a central interest, as his works evoke intestine, skin, and skull-like forms and often include stitched rawhide and rubber as a soft, living complement to the other hard, inanimate materials. Sometimes enclosed within glass specimen jars or test-tubes, these body-like parts refer both to obsolete scientific practices and to religious reliquaries. Blurring the boundaries between art, science, and religion, Wicklander's sculptures are at once visually striking, instructive, and numinous.





942 W. Lake St.
p 312.226.8984, c 773.458.3150
f 312.226.8985
packer@packergallery.com