Personifying flowers and the shadows they cast, Justin L’Amie renders still life flower arrangements, oftentimes with moths, birds, and caterpillars, that embrace the mysticism found in the natural world. The flowers are recognizable, yet show up in L’Amie’s drawings with marbled and shimmering surfaces, abstracted and flattened shapes, and at times, with reference to the cosmos. Irregular, yet seemingly perfect shadows are painted in pooling ink below the vessels.
Shadow, Hold Your Breath, makes reference to the Emily Dickinson poem, There’s a Certain Slant of Light. The Artist continues ruminating on the line, “Shadows — hold their breath–.” Both a personification of the works’ distinctive shadows and indicative of our collective moment, L’Amie explains its resonance, “I thought about how these paintings came from a dark place. I wondered how they came out so peaceful and optimistic. I realized they were healing me. They were sadness sublimated into a definite love. Flowers grown from moonless night and days where the sun was nowhere to be seen. Blooms so assured to grow from darkness and loss. What a path they give toward the light. Finding trust in the fragrance and hope in the generosity of nature. Loving flowers.”
Inspired by the Northwest Mystics– namely Morris Graves and Mark Tobey– L’Amie distills his work through the canon of art history, bringing forth an optimistic, hopeful, and tender approach. In Flower Arrangement with Bird Vessel, the Artist lovingly renders a bird vase by the inimitable Martin Brothers. His sensitivity, curiosity, and love for the work of other artists is seen through moments like this, but also through his use of handmade pigments and handmade paper.
JUSTIN L’AMIE: Shadow, Hold Your Breath
Exhibition Dates: November 04 – 28, 2020
PDX CONTEMPORARY ART
925 NW Flanders Street
Portland, OR 97209
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm or By Appointment