Erik ReeL

Laura Vincent Gallery, Portland

FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 2, 2024

First Thursday Opening Reception
February 1, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
A Dialogue with Artist Erik Reel
February 10, 11:00 am
Laura Vincent proudly presents a carefully curated group of some of the iconic work Erik ReeL produced in the decade before COVID and his move to Portland, Oregon. This gives the Pacific Northwest a chance to observe first-hand key examples from a body of work that has never been shown in the region, let alone Portland proper, providing historical reference and background for understanding this important  artist who was born in Seattle and lived there for 32 years. The work reveals the extent ReeL has been influenced, and must be understood in the context of, earlier Pacific Northwest artists. He was not only trained by Tsutakawa, Spafford, Dailey, and Dahn at the University of Washington, he knew Kenneth Callahan, and has a clear starting point in the white writing of quintessential Northwest artist, Mark Tobey.

In general, Erik ReeL's work has followed a life-long pattern of exploring aspects of how human consciousness processes visual stimuli, or what is often called cognitive processing, especially when involving two-dimensional information. Early on, this was based on a deep study of color theory and visual ambiguities and visual constancies involved in how the human brain reads information on a two-dimensional surface. It is ReeL's contention that with the rise of graphically interfaced personal computers and the ever-increasing involvement of more and more humans with flat screens in their daily lives, that an understanding and deeper awareness of how two-dimensional cognitive processing operates and works is central to civilized human experience and should be a focus of visual art. Further, central to ReeL's work is an exploration of human marking on a surface; for ReeL, marking is a defining characteristic of the human and the primordial act of signification and meaning for human consciousness.

illustration: Erik ReeL, 1389, Writing on the Wall, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 44 x 34 inches, 2009