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.