Ryan Molenkamp, Ilana Zweschi

This event is in the past
Tue - Sat, through May 30
Linda Hodges Gallery Pioneer Square
"Seattle artist Ryan Molenkamp continues his series of stunning graphic representations of mountainous regions and volcanoes as he explores the natural phenomena of the Pacific Northwest. The mixture of flat bold color and directional lines leads the viewer through a landscape fraught with potential danger. The 1980 Mt. St. Helen’s eruption referred to in Molenkamp’s exhibition title is more than apt given Mt. Rainier’s looming presence on the horizon from many vantage points in Seattle. 

Molenkamp entered college bent on studying geology but ended up re-creating natural forms through his art. Using layers of intense color and mind-bending perspective to suggest scenes that evoke place, his paintings also function as enigmatic abstractions. In this innovative approach to landscape, colorful forms are strewn across the various landscapes in ways that reference topographical data. The cool, detached look of modern digital technology informs Molenkamp's use of 'hard edges, sharp lines [that] remind one of computer-generated topographical data' (Seattle Times, July 11, 2014).

A graduate of Western Washington University (BFA), Molenkamp's has shown regionally for many years and is collected widely. His paintings have been included in group shows in New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. His dynamic and colorful work graced the cover of a Bumbershoot poster in 2016.

Seattle painter Ilana Zweschi’s work is about empowering individual lives by dissecting modern manifestations of this psychology until it is unrecognizable. Zweschi starts with written text: documents that have the power to outline ways in which some lives are made more important than others; words that have repercussions on a mass scale; pronouncements and propaganda that strip living beings of their inherent value, and turn them into anonymous things. She then takes the numbers, letters, and punctuation that comprise these texts and alphabetically reorders them. The result is total nonsense. All of the same elements are there, but they no longer have the power to do harm. They have been disarmed. Like taking a gun and switching around its parts so the mechanism can no longer fire.

Finally, Zweschi uses both forms of the text to write an algorithm that drives the decisions of each brush stroke of paint. She inputs the raw data of the text into the algorithm, runs it through a series of “if/then” rules assigned based on the structure and grammar of the written words, and receives an output of painterly actions. The painting could not exist without either the original or altered text." (Promo Copy)