Researches, an exhibit of oil paintings by Rae Mahaffey, opens April 8 in Fairbanks Gallery. Rae Mahaffey explores color, pattern and perspective to describe elements in the world around us. She paints abstractly, expressing visual experiences and the subconscious through formal artistic means. Juxtaposing forms in unexpected ways, Mahaffey’s spatial compositions are playful and modern. The current paintings and glass works were made in studios both in Portland and at the Oregon Coast, and as a result have color ranges that respond to the settings in which they were made.
This exhibition, titled Researches, references a traditionally Surrealist technique of painting, in which oil paints or watercolors are laid down and water or turpentine is splattered, then soaked up, to reveal random splatters or dots where the media was removed. Mahaffey began exploring this technique in her studio, and was intrigued to discover it had been embraced by and identified with the Surrealists, with whom she has always had an affinity. The chance results are enticing and visually rewarding. Mahaffey’s fresh, direct approach is thought provoking, visceral and contemporary.
Mahaffey studied at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the University of Washington. Her exhibitions include shows at the Portland Art Museum, Marylhurst Art Gym, Maryhill Museum, and the Schomburg Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif. She has completed commissions through the Washington State Arts Commission for Gray Middle School, in Tacoma and Columbia Basin College in Pasco; a project for the Pacific First Center, Harsch Investment Properties, in Portland, and the Tigard Public Library in Tigard, and most recently a major installation for the El Paso Airport in Texas.
There will be a reception for the artist at 4:30–5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, April 10. The gallery and reception are free and open to the public. Fairbanks Gallery is open Monday–Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The exhibit concludes May 1.
For more information: Douglas Russell (541) 737-5009 or firstname.lastname@example.org