Natural Selection::Joseph Spangler

Natural Selection: Constructions and Paintings

Joe Spangler::Feb 28-March 14

galleryHOMELAND in the Ford Building

Opening Reception March 7, 6-9 p.m.

galleryHOMELAND is host to art in transition with the work of Joe Spangler, spanning the photorealistic oil on canvas squares, farm house and farmland scenes inspired by a cross-country drive and a visit to the home of the artist’s maternal ancestors, and the bold, developing medium of sculptures he calls “constructions,” assemblages of recycled materials and oil paintings.

The show describes the artist as he explores the changing life and inspiration. Beginning in 2000, where he graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Spangler grounded his early art with plenair cityscape works. Moving to Portland with his wife and young daughter in 2006 meant a shift in inspiration as well as a new schedule and new weather. Color, light, subject and general techniques all changed.

Natural Selection begins in 2011, when Spangler’s trip to his mother’s family farm during a Chicago-to-Portland drive shifted his focus to the themes of fatherhood and the passage of time. “The farmland works are about the loss of the dreams of handing down agricultural heritage due to the corporate influences over small farmers,” Spangler said. During his roadtrip, he took a great number of photographs documenting the farm equipment left to waste because of its obsolescence.

This work dovetailed with his carpentry work, and he began looking at the materials he had been collecting from job sites with new interest. He had long made use of reclaimed wood and other hardware for his contracting clients, and was working on a PRIDE self-portrait, a painting of a carpenter. The natural outcome was the assemblages, which mark the metamorphosis of meaning from the corporate irresponsibility as it affects consumers to the wasteful practices of the consumers themselves.

“Our culture has become very much a throwaway society,” Spangler said. “I wanted to make a series which was devoted to using things we toss out, as well as pictures from abandoned homes.”

The exhibit will run from February 28 to March 14, with an artist’s reception Saturday March 7, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in galleryHOMELAND in the Ford Building, 2505 SE 11th Ave. #136, Portland, Oregon.