Statement of Vindication

Rebellious collage at a rocking gallery

Punch is so my favorite gallery right now. Everything these primarily-Ellensburg-based artists show is a (wait for it) knockout! Well, there was that video a few months back of a man hurling himself repeatedly into a wall that I didn’t care to contemplate, but in the last year almost everything else has warranted a good, hard look. Joanna Thomas, who makes cheeky and thought-provoking collage, opens A Hundred Horses in a Landscape & Other Collages tonight. In a show last year, she pasted bright red lips on Benjamin Franklin’s face; now, she’s gone and inserted buttoned-up equestrians into Chinese literati paintings, frolicking over the hills and through the calligraphy. Although these disturbers of the peace are male, a feminist impulse guides Thomas’ work. Always bugged by the question “Why have there been no great women artists?” and thinking of the role of women alive at the time these paintings were made, she delights in screwing with the masterpieces. In her statement, she aims to both “embellish and deface.” All I can say is, Giddy-up!

Sun., Oct. 7, 2007

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