August 31, 2015, 9:59am
A few weeks ago, I was lying out with a friend, beside a massive swimming pool, in the 108-degree heat of Las Vegas. The unrelenting desert sun splayed its dense rays over our skin with more thickness than the sunscreen we had put on in vain. Sweat came without the slightest movement. Our phones had gone black and refused to function. Yet, we stayed there for hours. Sometimes we slept, sometimes we swam, but mostly we just lay there, watching the stillness of the palm trees and of the people standing in the pool, lingering in a prolonged state of thought. I thought of that heat-induced slowness and its heightened state of perception when I was back in Seattle a week later, walking through two shows by SEASON. – Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
July 30, 2014, 8:30am
“You have to touch the paintings,” Robert Yoder, owner of Seattle’s SEASON gallery suddenly insisted, as he, artist Philip Miner and I stood beside a set of five canvases included in Miner’s new show, Dark All Over Europe; the artist stopped his train of thought to emphatically agree. Titled One by Four & Four Minus One or Two, Maybe More, the acrylic and flashe paintings in question stood side by side, in a tight row, coated with a texture that looked like a literal manifestation of blood and sand—speckled, saturated, and sticky. The surface that met my fingers, however, was the precise opposite. These paintings were so uniformly slick it was hard to believe they were made by a human hand. While One by Four & Four Minus One or Two was unique in its need to be touched, each work in Dark All Over Europe had a story that started at its surface. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
July 29, 2013, 8:30am
There is something deceivingly friendly about Michael Ottersen’s paintings. The Seattle artist’s dense canvases pop with solid, inviting hues. As pointed out by Robert Yoder, artist and owner of SEASON, where Ottersen’s show The (Mentholated) Roads Around Naples is on view, most of the canvas-spanning forms can be contorted into geometric faces. But then, there are the titles, which counter the initial straightforwardness with an esoteric sense of humor that reads as equal parts inside joke and non sequitur wordplays—Stinky Pinky/Wigwamery and Mary Krishna stand out among the more confounding. This tug of war happens within each of the works, sucking you in at the first encounter and remaining stuck in your head long after. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Michael Ottersen, Mary Krishna, 2012, oil and acrylic on canvas, 64 x 48 in. Image courtesy of SEASON.