When We MetOPENING RECEPTION
MAY 26TH, 2023
When We Met opens at One Grand Gallery on May 26th, welcoming painter and sculptor Benjamin Ewing for his first exhibition with the gallery. This new body of work marries Ewing’s sculptural practice to his polished oil paintings for an oeuvre that contemplates origin, relativity, and interconnectedness.
In consideration of how the artist ultimately comes to be removed from their final work, so does When We Met invite viewers to extend their own language to these pieces and contextualize them within a familiar understanding. Abstract, hand-chiseled figures and soft planar undulations rendered in oil morph into recognizable figures such as two hands coming together, or a breathtaking horizon at the sun’s moment of departure. The suite of works freezes time with the desire to encourage kinship, both internal and external.
Work such as Virtue commands the space by way of stature and strong use of red, a dominant color evocative of power. The amorphous form gives viewers pause, questioning this shape’s existence and intention, and serves as foil to Antare which instead makes abundant use of its negative space. In focusing our attention to the red orb glowing in the canvases’ center, the sharp cutouts that frame the lower quadrants of this work leave much to free imagination.
Ewing’s capacity to create this interwoven symbiosis similarly extends to his series of hand-formed sculptures done in autoclaved aerated concrete. The completed works retain a memory of the rigorous carving process by way of their porous material—the hewn chunks and sanded edges celebrate each executed gesture and ground these sculptures in their physicality. Both methods of expression root their origin story within a space of learning, begun by the artist and to be sustained by the viewer. In conversation with one another, the works on display seek to provide avenues for intimate reflection and response in communion with their audience.
Please join us for the opening reception for When We Met, May 26th from 6-10pm. External programming hosted in tandem with this exhibition will be announced via social channels.
May 26th, 2023
One Grand Gallery
1000 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
May 26th - June 30th