Visual Arts Picks

GAYLEN HANSEN

There's nothing cute or cuddly about the animals that inhabit Gaylen Hansen's oil paintings. All his creatures, great and small, heed the call of the wild. Even his ducks seem restless and spirited. Hansen, a retired WSU instructor now in his 80s, is inspired by the land and wildlife of the West, particularly Eastern Washington's Palouse, where he has lived for half a century. He conjures the essence of his characters, both man and beast, by applying paint like a force of nature. In many of his works, painted marks fly like a furious flurry of snowflakes and forms gather like waves. His animals appear possessed, their blank but blazing eyes as wide open as wheatfields spreading to the horizon. The Kernal, Hansen's Zen maverick alter ego, first entered the painter's fantastical tabeaux in the 1970s. In this show, the Kernal continues to range freely with his unflappable stoicism (see Kernal Riding through Tulips above), as fearless an explorer as the man who conjured him up. Linda Hodges Gallery, 316 First Ave. S., 206-624-3034. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat., through July 31. ELISE RICHMAN

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