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Visual Edge: "Metal & Paint" at Moss + Mineral

New work by Jeremiah Maddock, Kyle Dillehay and Quinn Honan

Untitled drawing by Jeremiah Maddock hangs at Moss + Mineral in downtown Tacoma. Courtesy photo

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New works by some old favorites in pen and pencil, metal and dirt can be seen at Moss + Mineral through most of the next two months. I saw the announcement and was so intrigued with a drawing by Jeremiah Maddock that I had to see the show. I wasn't disappointed.

The image on the announcement was what appeared to be a drawing or print of two strange, mostly human creatures wrestling. No title, size or media were mentioned on the announcement, nor are they listed on the gallery wall. With a cursory glance I counted 19 pieces hung close together. Most are small in scale. Gallery owner Lisa Kinoshita said they were drawings in pen and pencil and other media on various papers including old book covers. Some of the papers look to be ancient, and I noticed at least one that appears to have been ripped and possibly burned on one corner.

In style and subject matter there is tremendous variety among Maddock's drawings. Many of them employ an intricate patterned drawing style, which I only recently learned is called zentangle. (I learned that from artist Pam Corwin who works in a similar style.) Some of these patterns look like quilts, some are totally abstract, and many look like buildings from Aztec or Middle Eastern cultures. He also includes figures from many cultures. Some appear to be African and some look Asian. It's a mélange of cultures and styles, a melting pot that maintains the distinctive flavors of all the individual ingredients.

You'll recognize the wrestling figures I mentioned earlier. They're wearing socks and skin-tight body suits, one is sitting on the other's back pulling on his leg, and they're both wearing monster masks. I love this drawing for its originality, its strangeness, and the smoothly flowing lines. I also love a little one of a woman with a pink body. It looks like the pink (diluted red ink or watercolor) was spilled on the paper and Maddock turned it into a comical figure with a few masterful strokes of the pen and a few white dots.

Originally from Tacoma, Maddock moved to Brooklyn in 2009 and has had solo shows in New York, San Francisco and London. Kinoshita says he lives in the woods somewhere in Oregon now and comes back home from time to time. I hope we get more chances to see his work.

Quinn Honan is known for his architectural metal work gracing buildings and homes throughout the South Sound. In this show he has a large wall piece called "Putting the Pieces Together" that's a spiral-shaped sculpture made of rusted metal sheets cut in the shape of jigsaw puzzle pieces and bent out from the wall. It's a powerful sculpture. And he has built a table with metal legs and a slatted top made from a 1963 flatbed Chevrolet truck with a metal gutter around the edge within that grow live mosses and other ground covers.

Also showing is a group of pod-like cast-metal forms by Kyle Dillehay that, like Honan's table, are filled with living mosses, salal and other native plants. They can be purchased separately or as a group to be arranged in various configurations and can be hung on the wall. Also by Dillehay is a group of black and white photographs of such things as animals and old boots arranged in heavy frames stuffed with straw. They look like rats' nests, and some of the photos are of rats or mice, one with his head caught in a trap. These are dark, ominous and fascinating works of art.

There is a lot of nice art to be seen, plus ceramics, wood carvings and other utilitarian pieces, many with living plants.

"METAL & PAINT: NEW WORK BY JEREMIAH MADDOCK, KYLE DILLEHAY AND QUINN HONAN," noon to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and by appointment through Oct. 30, some works through November, also Saturday, Oct. 11 during Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tours, Moss + Mineral, 305 S. Ninth St., Tacoma, 253.961.5220

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