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Negative Capability: The Artist As Healer
January 5 @ 12:00 pm - January 28 @ 5:00 pmFree
Curated by Seattle artist Saundra Fleming and featuring South Carolina artist Cliffton Peacock, Aleksandar Dordjevic (Serbia) and Andrea Harborth (Germany), and NW artists Liz Kennedy, Alexis Ortiz, Kate Harkins, Jeffrey Heiman, George Brandt, Carol Adelman Kennedy, Ingrid Sojit, Lynette Charters, Courtney Hudak, Nahom Ghirmay and K. Taka, the show explores the diverse range of postmodern portraiture.
The portraits in Negative Capability demonstrate the particular power artists have to challenge our perceptions, represent psychological challenges, and pursue their interpretation of beauty.
The poet John Keats coined the term negative capability to describe the capacity of the greatest writers to pursue a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads them into intellectual confusion and uncertainty.
Artists who have the courage to endure psychological stress and confusion in their process, don’t stop the development of their work because it’s too destabilizing or painful. The finished works offer the viewers a healing experience. Portraits truly “see” their subjects beyond the surface. They are healers of psychological crises, reaching for a self-healing psyche and a higher state of consciousness.
Fleming’s focus on negative capability comes from her view of the common thread within the shaman and the artist. Working through destabilizing darkness is similar to a shaman’s state of mind when going into a trance in order to heal or predict for their community. This is akin to the visionary searching of poets, mystics, or artists who heal or predict for their community.
From the inspiration she has found through portraits, Fleming’s existential reality is lifted up. She mentions, “I almost feel as if I am being held”.
Gallery 110 will be hosting a panel discussion featuring Carol Adelman Kennedy, Liz Kennedy, Alexis Ortiz, Jeffrey Heiman and Paul E. Nelson (moderator) to discuss the concept of negative capability and the artistic process on January 8, 2023 from 1-3pm.