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Arless Day
Augen Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer


Arless Day, ''My Sister's Sweaters,'' 2012, gauche and collage multiple, 12 5/8 x 34 7/8''.

 

Continuing through June 29, 2013

 

Although dually based in South Carolina and Florida, Arless Day is well known to Portland gallery-goers, having exhibited here for the last 21 years, including twelve solo shows. There is a sumptuousness to his sprawling, hyper-detailed collage paintings that defies reductive description. Day begins each work by collaging a myriad of illustrations from book and magazine sources into the suggestion of a contiguous room. Then he meticulously paints shadows and glints of illumination on and around each object, suggesting a consistent and realistic light source: sunlight pouring through windows, candlelight, or artificial light from chandeliers, sconces, or halogens.  

 

In works such as "The Typographer’s Place" and "My Sister’s Sweaters" he incorporates floral bouquets to impart a composed sensibility, counterbalancing the hyperkineticism of the interiors, which are cluttered with books, framed photographs, globes, antique cameras, and other bric-a-brac. It is all too easy for artists who work in collage to rest upon the medium’s inherent temptation toward the hodgepodge. But in Day’s hands, collage is a method toward unified vision, not fracture. Despite the boggling multiplicity of components, the finished compositions exude an elegant, cucumber-cool serenity.

Augen Gallery (DeSoto Building)

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