“Prey” and “Projects” Two Shows at Winston Wachter Gallery

Predator/prey, a shift of balance, one moment the predator, the next the prey, so it goes for both lower animals and humans. Explore that relationship with the photographs, mixed media constructions, works in glass and encaustic currently on view at Winston Wachter.

One piece not to miss is Casey Curran’s “Modus Vivendi” (49 X 114 X 15 inches). This large mixed media piece consists of individual wood duck feathers, each within a wood frame, and, in the middle of them, the reconstructed bird, made of hand scored, hand cut brass feathers. Curran bought the dead duck on eBay. His piece speaks to death but also to everlasting existence. The duck is gone; its feathers may disintegrate over time; the brass construction will live on.

Deborah Horell’s painted or enameled birds on glass play on the shifts of balance between prey and predator. The photographs by Juniper Shuey and Zoe Scofield offer Freudian glimpses into unconscious realities. “Straight Line” shows an unending line of white-painted, puff-headed, faceless nude women deep in the woods. But wait, aren’t they all the same woman? “Prey” is filled with works that demand your attention and play with your brain as well as your eyes.

Complementing “Prey” is “Projects,” solo installations by Chris McMullen and Chris Pfister who share an interest in industrialization and the economic expansion that resulted. McMullen creates structures that move. The enormous “Crank” overwhelms the visitor who can turn its wheel and initiate slow rhythmical movement. It looks like a machine but like so much in our society, what does it do?

Pfister is represented by a stunning grouping of oil paintings that look like old snapshots capturing Western United States in the late 19th C. The sepia and grey coloring and the way in which the individual paintings relate to each another draw one in. They demand reflection on what was and what is now.

Through Nov. 3, Winston Wachter Gallery, 203 Dexter Ave., Seattle, (206 652-5855 or gallery@winstonwachter.com).

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