Drawn to Scale

August 2015
Brian Cypher, Sue Danileson, Warren Dykeman, Emily Gherard, and Robert Hardgrave
Five Elements: Drawn to Scale at studio e gallery, Seattle
Though abstraction and size (extra large and small) might seem to be the underlying theme of this collective exhibition, each represented artist — Emily Gherard, Robert Hardgrave, Brian Cypher, Warren Dykeman, and Sue Danielson — employs a different medium. Besides the impressive, shaded black-and-white columns drawn in lines on paper with pencil and charcoal in Untitled by Gherard, there is Hardgrave’s Reliquary, a massive, colorful outburst of organic and industrial guts spilt out of our daily urban experience, brightly rendered in acrylic on canvas. In Sprawl, Cypher ventures in yet another direction, sewing barely recognizable pieces of clothing onto a large canvas. The blue-gray shapes communicate with each other, and — perhaps unintentionally — with the abstract oils of the vorticist painter, Jessica Dismorr. Meanwhile, Cypher’s Hull on a small-size wooden panel showcases a simple yet oddly fascinating basket-like object, drawn in blue oil stick. The schematized geometry of black human figure silhouettes, letters of alphabet, plants and undefinable objects choreographs a vivid landscape in Slabba Wah Wah, Dykeman’s large acrylic on paper that comes alive through occasional fields of primary colors. While flatness and graphic design underpin Dykeman’s work, Danielson’s When the World Wasn’t Round, a large-scale, mixed media image rounds up the show in what feels like a three-dimensional, delightful scrummage of overlying patterns on Tyvek paper. Weaving blots and lines of various quality, size and color, Danielson creates an eerily intricate, ethereal piece. The painting is paired up with Mishmash, a small panel presenting a somewhat more rational and airier, yet equally intriguing work.

-Elena Deem