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Guest Writer

Everett Station Lofts: Jeff Jahn's Proprioceptive
Art Scene
by Tania Rain

Gallery 101
between Everett and Davis on NW 6th
near the Pearl District; (503) 224-4557
Thursday, March 1-Friday, March 30
Opening reception: First Thursday, March 1

Proprioceptive by Jeff Jahn
Artist Jeff Jahn received his masters in history from Utah State University, Logan, Utah. He is a critic and freelance writer for Modern Painters, London, and The Mark Wooley Gallery, Portland. Jahn lectures in art history at Concordia University in Northeast Portland.

Jahn's largest painting on display is 8 feet by 4 feet -- his second-largest. He paints with his hands in non-toxic oil and without brushes or tools.

Jahn is organizing a biannual Oregon exhibit for visual artists, which will allow 30-40 artists to display works. The display area, larger than that of the Portland Art Museum's biannual exhibit, allows more space per artist instead of cramming as many artists as possible into the exhibit. For more information contact Jahn at (503) 998-0422.

The current exhibit
pro·pri·o·cep·tor: n. A sensory receptor, found chiefly in muscles, tendons, joints and the inner ear, that detects the motion or position of the body or a limb by responding to stimuli arising within the organism. [Latin proprius, one's own; see per1 in Indo-European Roots + (re)ceptor.] propri·o·ceptive adj.

Jahn's latest work continues his fascination with paintings that have their own body language and an unpretentious childlike sense of discovery or play that is the root of everything adult humans do. (How you play as a child will define how you live; Jeff tended to invent his own games.)

To take this atavistic approach a step further, the works are finger-painted. The wild biomorphic shapes (which will be set far off the walls to throw shadows) can remind us of everything from plants to volcanic eruptions to highly organized improvisations of jazz.

The paintings emphasize the way that art, or indeed any object, is defined by its interaction with its environment. These finger-paintings nod to Dada and children's art, while the shapes ensure that each painting will be different than any other you have seen. (Square and rectangular art forces the artist to use compositional ideas that have been done to death.)

The overall effect is improvisational and airy, like Matisse cutouts, but with the physicality in a Jackson Pollock.

Jahn, a multi-instrumentalist, will also be playing some of his funky bartok'nMilesDavisperuvian music at the opening. Enjoy!

See more from Tania in our archives.

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