Basil Hallward Gallery at Powell's City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St., 228-4651

The intimacy of John Holdeman's small oil paintings somehow coalesces with the grand retail environment they exist within: Powell's City of Books. The herds of shoppers milling around are soon forgotten as one becomes immersed in Holdeman's conjuring of childhood remembrances. Alternating abstract and representational styles, he presents a series of images that form loose narratives; panels that depict persons, places, objects, and patterns. Quite adeptly, Holdeman develops intriguing moods with these works, rather than concise linear stories. In Jack Considers Being, the series includes a portrait of a young man, an image of a plane crash, a childlike drawing, a wooded scene, and two panels of simple patterns.

Individually, these paintings are rather banal. Together, they become interesting and elicit connective thoughts from the viewer: What is Jack really considering? Holdeman's work has an underlying, almost ethereal feeling of time passed, and unresolved relationships to object, place, or event.

The exhibit seems to be an appropriation of a family album, and Holdeman only provides a few snapshots...We are left wondering, is it his family or mine?