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John Dempcy
at Augen Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Continuing through July 31, 2010

In \"Inner Fictions,\" Seattle-based painter John Dempcy serves up an array of virtuosic abstractions based on scientific motifs. Working in acrylic on panel, he plays inventive variations on the theme of the concentric circle, evoking the divisions and metastasizing of cells. This bioscientific modus operandi shares common ground with another Seattle artist, Jaq Chartier, while his central motif, the irregular, eyeball-like circle, is similar in visual effect, if not in process, to work by the Columbian painter Omar Chacon. In \"Witch\'s Cap\" Dempcy lines up brown and sienna-colored rows like chloroplasts awaiting photosynthesis. In the rapturously lemon-hued \"Defenders,\" irregular circles cluster together like yellow snowflakes depicted in mid-descent. The painting from which the show takes its title abounds with cellular elements that seep out of their membranes, infiltrating pools of woozy, tie-dye-like colors: turquoise, cerulean, canary yellow, orange, lime, and plum. Ranging in scale from intimate to medium, the works display an emotional range that runs from sinister to exultant. Throughout the exhibition, these chromatically and compositionally luxuriant paintings exude a kaleidoscopic intensity that verges on the psychedelic. 

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