The exhibit will run from November 14 through January 21
SALEM – Astoria artist Darren Orange will exhibit “Those Who Step Into The Same Rivers” in the Governor’s Office of the Capitol Building in Salem from Nov. 14 to Jan. 21.
In this new body of work Orange’s compositions stretch further from literal reference and deeper into abstraction. The artist continues to explore automatism, a practice of intuitive mark making that engages both play and meditative focus. The resulting built-up paint layers present suggestive imagery that reveal the history of the painting process in line, smudge and replacement. The exhibited works were created in Orange’s studio on the Columbia River.
The exhibition title refers to a quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus. In response to the ancient philosophical paradox known as The Ship of Theseus, Heraclitus stated that though a river changes as the water is replenished by other water, the river continues to be the same river. Likewise, a person who steps into the same river twice may also have changed, but still maintains the same identity.
After studying art at Western Washington University, Orange moved to the remote area of the Lower Columbia in 2000, setting up a studio with friends in a defunct schoolhouse. He has resided in Astoria since then, minus a two-year sojourn to Santa Fe in the mid-2000s. The sublime and grandeur experience of nature, in the place where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, continues to inspire him.
Orange’s work is recognized throughout the Northwest and abroad. His work has been selected for exhibitions by Dominic Iocono of the Syracuse University Art Galleries, Michael Klein of the Microsoft Collection, Nat Trottman of the Guggenheim, Bonnie Laing Malcolmson of the Portland Art Museum, Margarette Bullock of the Tacoma Art Museum, and many others. Academic institutions such as Portland State University, Mt. Hood Community College, Peninsula College, Lower Columbia College, Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, and Clatsop College have awarded him with solo exhibitions. Orange’s paintings are in private and public collections including Western Oregon University, Trimet, and the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation. He is represented by Imogen Gallery in Astoria.
The Art in the Governor’s Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor’s Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor’s office is regarded as a “once in a lifetime” honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor’s office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.