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January 25, 2011 at 12:53pm

Mangan on the move

Jeremy Mangan: "Western King"

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SEATTLE HERE HE COMES >>>

Jeremy Mangan is going places. He's going north to Seattle to be exact - for his first solo exhibition at the popular and prestigious Linda Hodges Gallery.

Mangan has made a name for himself in Tacoma, and now it's high time he moved on up. Apologies to those fierce T-Town supporters who don't like any indication that Seattle may in any way be superior, but for a painter trying to make it in the art world, Seattle is a step up.

Not that Mangan hasn't already gone places. According to the Hodges gallery he has shown his paintings in Germany, China and New York City. Not bad for a painter from Fife.

Mangan was Tacoma's 2009 Foundation of Art Award Winner, and he was my pick as best artist in the Weekly Volcano's "Best of Tacoma 2009." I've also favorably reviewed a couple of his shows at Fulcrum Gallery and mentioned him twice last year in my Visual Edge column in the Weekly Volcano, first in "Best South Sound Art Shows of 2010" and then in December in a column called "10 to Watch." 

The show at Linda Hodges Gallery will be called Western King. It will feature new paintings in acrylic on panel and new acrylic and oil paintings on canvas.

Here's what Linda Hodges has to say about him: "Mangan's paintings begin somewhere - nowhere - in the American West. They are set in real places that don't exist. They operate in a landscape where myth must contain fact, where promise and beauty continually grapple with melancholy and isolation. And in this landscape people have found reason to be busy, the results of which are staged for our consideration. In this work Mangan accesses a range of regional categories and clichés including vernacular architecture, Manifest Destiny, the outdoor lifestyle, legends of the Wild West, even ecological concerns - but always from the flank, and without verdict."

He paints strange, dilapidated wooden buildings (and sometimes boats and other structures that are built like old wooden buildings) with faded planks that show years of wear. Some of his structures look like old barns and silos; some defy description. Often they are perched on cliff edges or are afloat on a stormy sea. They're surrealistic, rough, brittle and visually attractive. They sometimes remind me of Andrew Wyeth if Wyeth had maybe taken a hit of acid before he started painting.

There is something ominous and foreboding about many of Mangan's paintings, but there is also a touch of sly humor. The painting included in the announcement for the show, for instance, depicts an old fishing boat in dry dock, but the dry dock in this case is really, really dry - far from any water. In fact, it seems to be in the middle of some field in the Western plains, and there's a funny picture of a cowboy painted on the boat's bridge.

The show will run February 3-26. There will be a reception for the artist Thursday, Feb. 3 from 5-8 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and, Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appointment. The gallery is located at 316 First Ave. S. For more information go to www.lindahodgesgallery.com.

Filed under: Arts, Community, Tacoma,

Comments for "Mangan on the move" (2)

Weekly Volcano is not responsible for the content of these reviews. Weekly Volcano reserves the right to remove reviews at their discretion.

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tornado said on Jan. 25, 2011 at 1:34pm

Who doesn't think it's cool for a painter from the south Sound to show in Seattle or Portland or some other bigger city with a more established art scene? It's hard to simultaneously be on a high horse while titling at windmills that were constructed by strawmen, but that's what seems to be happening here. Stop insulting your readership. And congrats to Jeremy.

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Matt Driscoll said on Jan. 25, 2011 at 2:20pm

tornado: Somewhere Daniel Blue is smiling ...

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