Five Painters

Ah, painting. For many people, visual art means oil paints applied to canvas. Forget for a moment all the babble about either the death or resurrection of painting (take your pick): Here are five painters doing great stuff. Seattle’s Jaq Chartier has several works in the show, including more of her trademark test paintings (part abstract art, part science fair experiment). Some of the subtle gradations she gets in Sun Test remind me of the luminous quiet of 20th-century painter Agnes Martin. Meanwhile, former Seattleite Patte Loper (now living in Brooklyn) paints hip modernist architectural spaces taken over by animals: Poodles, deer, and kangaroos cavort in what look to be the homes of former arts patrons (as in Interior with Fake Rocks, pictured). Kim Squaglia, from the Bay Area, does high-gloss, candy-like abstractions in a limited palette, while James Gudat’s crystalline forms grow and expand within the confines of colored fences, as if the colors were in a battle for supremacy. One of my favorites is Daniel Rushton, who lives in upstate New York. Two new paintings evoke memories of the long tradition of virtuoso painting of drapery in European art. The catch: Rushton’s fabrics, lacking any context, exist in another dimension—cut off abruptly by the dark background, they fold and ripple in odd shifts of perspective. Silly titles like Winter Happy, Winter Sad assure us that this is all terribly ironic and post-mod—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the old-fashioned pleasure of looking at a few very nice pictures. Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave. S., 206-323-2808. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Exhibit runs through July 30.