Gregg Laananen, Wood Signs, oil on panel, 20 x 16 in, 2022
August 5th - August 28th 2022
opening reception: Saturday, August 6th, 3 - 5 pm
artist talk: Saturday, August 20th, 5:30 pm
i.e. is pleased to welcome Skagit Valley artist Gregg Laananen for his first solo exhibit with us. Laananen began painting in the plein air style with some of the great painters of the Skagit Valley. While he remains a practitioner of the plein air style he has reached far beyond that in his recent studio work. Retaining a small panel as a format and substrate he builds the oil with palette knife and other objects. From here, Laananen has developed his own personal vocabulary or motifs, steeped in primal imagery and hieroglyphics. Reminiscent of pottery or cave markings his pallette is neutral for the most part but scintillating with color at the same time. The strokes build up a mosaic effect appropriate to the primordial feel of the work. Please join us.
Gregg Laananen 2022
"It is very difficult to summarize in speech or writing what reasons or objectives I have for the making of things or paintings. I suppose that what amounts to my being, my raison d’etre, is essentially contained within the mysteries of the natural world, and that my will to be and to understand anything at all of life is realized through my interpretations of these mysteries.
By this, I mean to develop a shorthand for what is seen and experienced in the natural world. This shorthand wants to become a language of personalized gestures and symbols. It wants to become something familiar and yet not seen before. It may merely be a mark or pattern of marks, but it signifies what is there.
Over the previous several years, I have gradually turned toward what we categorize as abstraction. This is partly because with abstraction, the language for understanding is broader, and there is more freedom for expression, particularly when perspectival space is done away with. In this new abstract space, I can explore drawing and nurture tensions between form and line. I can explore texture and surface. I can freely experiment with the physical depths of each work. At times, what seems to be a metaphysical conclusion can be reached in the final design. For me, these new discoveries have been the most satisfying part of my creative journey."