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Adam Sorenson
at PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Continuing through October 2, 2010

Adam Sorenson
\'s \"New Westerns\" leads the viewer into exotic terrain that seems more the province of dreamscape than landscape. The dramatically composed mountains and hills evoke the fjords of Scandinavia and New Zealand, nowhere more potently than in \"Flusskeller,\" a fantastical vista worthy of J.R.R. Tolkein. The piece, at 78\"x67\", is the largest in the show, and its scale heightens the otherworldliness of its imagery: waterfalls cascading down black and gray mountains, water atomizing into mist, brightly colored geodes and boulders dotting the valley below.

In \"Dragon\'s Mouth,\" these boulders take on the appearance of oversized Easter eggs, while in other works, the artist renders strata of rock as stripes of subtly graded color, stacked one atop another, the creaminess of the paint mimicking the scenes\' rugged topography. The wildly colored rocks and geodes seem to exist in a different space than the sylvan expanses behind and above them, as if inhabiting a more magical dimension seemingly exempt from the laws of perspective and physics. While the landscapes are unapologetically extravagant, their semi-abstracted forms and playful color palette keep the work on the ironic side of the romanticism/kitsch divide.

PDX Contemporary Art 

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