June 05, 2015, 8:45am
The hedge maze is one of the most memorable images of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In the Northwest, most of us know this labyrinth isn’t real (it was part of a constructed set) because we are familiar with Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, whose building served as the hotel’s exterior in the film and has no maze. Seattle artist Victoria Haven’s (NAP #6, #49) show at Greg Kucera Gallery, They all stopped walking, references a scene that takes place inside The Shining’s maze. At first, it was hard to see a connection between this new work and the artist’s earlier paintings and sculptures of abstracted, geometric forms that I knew so well. The older forms even make a few appearances, as does an entire wall of words extracted from text messages that had been turned into woodblock prints and separated into pairs that only make sense together sometimes. I found myself intrigued but unsure of how everything came together. I was on the brink of lost.
But, when Haven spoke of her desire to question abstraction in the new pieces, the pathway became clearer. The disjointedness that had felt so rigid and real—between words, between mediums, between what I had seen before and what I was seeing now—dissolved, as if it had been in my imagination all along. In its place, I found a show that continues an artist’s longstanding pursuit by starting from a new, unexpected place.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor