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Liz Tran
Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Liz Tran, "Elation Station 2," 2018, mixed media on panel, 30 x 30"

Continuing through March 31, 2018

With its high-keyed chromaticism and semi-abstract imagery, Liz Tran’s “Elation Station” is a Fellini-esque carnivàle. A riot of bubblegum hues, pearlescent paints, glitter, and circus-tent iconography, the Seattle-based artist’s suite of new paintings closes out a highly successful series, “The Office,” in the eponymous office of the gallery’s late owner, Laura Russo. In reproduction, Tran’s compositions read as graphical when reproduced, but in person they betray conspicuous nuance. The dots of paint, strung together in draping curves, smear, bleed and drip with a confectionary decorativeness reminiscent of Portland painter Eugenia Pardue’s topographical fantasia.  

Most pieces are small-scaled, with the exception of the expansively horizontal painting (36 by 72 inches) from which the show takes its name. The built-up, layered surfaces have a pellucid quality, seizing the light and diffusing it in a pastel glow. This is unabashed eye candy, calculated to elicit maximum retinal pleasure with a minimum of referential distraction. Linework is imprecise, but line isn’t the point. Sensory overload is — an experience that is not fastidious, but spills over in messy gloops and glops. There is no need for napkins at the saturnalia.

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