Judith Rinehart likes the aesthetics of work. On October 1, her J. Rinehart Gallery opened at 319 Third Avenue South in Pioneer Square. On display at its first show, Introductions, is work from 15 local (or formerly local) artists. At first glance, little seems to join the pieces beyond that. They range from digitally manipulated photography to abstract paintings to towers of beer cans made from cardboard. “I was also looking at all these other galleries going, There's all of these artists that don't have a home, and you couldn't go, Oh, she belongs here. He belongs there,” she says.
So she gave them a home—complete with chairs, a table, and an exceedingly green velvet couch. The living-room vibe is one way, she thinks, to invite people into a gallery when she knows the whole “mausoleum of art” reputation can intimidate. (She worked at Foster/White Gallery and Winston Wächter for 12 years.)
But walking through the gallery, as she talks about each piece in the opening group show, another theme emerges: Nearly everything in the room is the product of a laborious process.
Maybe those are Kim Van Someren’s “sugar lift etchings”—prints, made with etched copper plates, that form exquisitely detailed structures. They look woven from tiny dots. Or maybe those are Meggan Joy’s photo collages—for which she grows a garden, photographs its parts, picks out the individual leaves and flowers and bees, and reassembles them to form new images of hands or figures. Or Joseph Steininger, who, with spray paint, using twenty different stencils to layer the image, achieves an almost photographic level of detail. Even abstract paintings—from Melana Bontrager, Jazz Brown, Tara Flores, Lakshmi Muirhead—involve the slow layering of coats to achieve depth and gravity.
The show also includes work from Jennifer Zwick, Shaun Kardinal, and Clyde Petersen. Don’t miss (you can’t—it’s huge) Daisy Patton’s Untitled (Floyd + Dania Isley), which is a goddamn showstopper—odd, beautiful, and emphatic. “She is kind of on that cusp of exploding.”
The gallery will be open during Pioneer Square Art Walk tomorrow, from 5 to 8, but it holds its grand opening on October 12 from 1 to 5. There will be, Rinehart says, “big scissors to cut a big ribbon, which I never thought I wanted, but now I do.”