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Joe Rudko
PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Joe Rudko, “Prism,” 2018, found photograph and spotting pen on paper, 15” x 11”

Continuing through April 28, 2018

In “Intermediate Techniques of Photography,” Seattle-based Joe Rudko advances his unique synthesis of collage and geometric abstraction. In works on paper, he integrates found photographs, drawing and mixed media in intricate mélanges of interwoven imagery. Rudko has a seemingly inexhaustible visual imagination, transmuting quotidian source materials into inspired and counterintuitive compositions.

Tapestry-like grids such as “Blue Machine” and “San Juans” slice and dice archival pictures into an optical average; at a distance, the eye reads the photos as contiguous, although in reality they are mathematically deconstructed. “Scribble” takes disparate lines and jumbles them into a gestural continuum, creating a sinuous whole. In some cases Rudko departs from witty visual conceits to imply more literal referents, as in “Welcome,” which spells out the eponymous greeting, and “Vase,” in which a mosaic of photographs reconstitutes into a figurative image. Rudko conjures complexity out of mundanity, always scanning the horizon for media used in these sumptuous visual non sequiturs.

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