The Art Department Gallery: Always a Good Show
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Shipyard Roses, 2008, by Kathryn Kain

The January-February show at the Santa Clara University Art Department’s Gallery featuring prints by Kathryn Kain, Micheal Oehsli and Erik Madsen is diverse and illuminating, especially for the growing audience for prints in the South Bay.

Kathryn Kain’s Healthy, 2008

Kathryn Kain, master printer at Paula Anglim’s Smith Anderson Editions, offers a seamless interplay of pastel washes, monoprint and monotype imagery and an occasional collage element. The scale of her prints is impressive. There is a beautiful a quality of light that emanates from her fields of largely transparent color. Most of her imagery springs from elements of nature and random detritus she discovers amid the abandoned buildings surrounding her Hunter’s Point Shipyard studio: a fragment of a calendar, an anatomical diagram of the human body, etc. One consistent element that binds most of her works together is the representation wild roses, beautifully rendered in many colors that are only occasionally faithful to the real color of roses.

Untitled Monotype by Michael Oechsli

Michael Oechsli’s abstractions are small monotypes that allude to large fields of dark and light. There are hints of geometric form, perhaps architecture, behind his bold horizontal and vertical strokes. He uses richly saturated dark shapes in contrast to areas flooded with light, creating mysterious places where the viewer would like to enter to find out more about what is going on.

Monotype with Chine Colle by Erik Madsen, 2008, from the Extension Series

Also working in abstractions, but with a hotter palette of colors, Erik Madsen shows monotypes with chine colle. Madsen seems to deliberately lead us into his maze of verticals and horizontals with the promise of finding find a figure here and there within industrial structures and jumbled urban references. His frenetic small gestures, transparent layers of textures and broken up shapes seem to exist within such an organized matrix, that we are certain we will find specific details as we approach closer and closer. But these illusions break up into complete abstractions and the actuality of his process when we arrive at close range viewing.

A rewarding show, done with professional acumen‚Ķ don’t miss it!

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