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Genius Loci

Photographs by Nathan Eldridge, John McNeil and Matthew Robbins

On view January 30 to March 1, Wed-Sat 12-6pm
First Friday Reception February 1, 5-8pm

In Roman mythology, the genius loci were snakes that protected sacred places. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the metaphysical “spirit of place” – the idea that physical places are imbued with unique qualities that exist outside of their form and function. This February Whitney Art Works features three local artists whose works explore the genius loci through photography.

John McNeil’s photos of abandoned interior spaces depict through the forces of nature and entropy. Collectively titled “American Mythology”, these images are an attempt to find the mystical in the chaos of refuse, revealing fables suggested by the discarded and decomposed.

Off-season amusement parks and monolithic oil tanks are given reverential treatment in the work of Matthew Robbins. His photos explore where the colors and textures of nature blend with the neon and gray maze of industrial eyesores while his skillful observation of light ask the viewer to reconsider the underwhelming and ugly.

Taken at late afternoon’s “gloaming hour”, the spectral group of images presented by Nathan Eldridge is the visualization of a personal catharsis. Embracing chance in both his subject and craft, Eldridge refers to these pieces as his “resurrection”.

Genius Loci will be on view at Whitney Art Works from January 30th to March 1st with an artist reception on First Friday February 1st. Gallery Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to six.

Take Off Your Shoes, But Not Your Socks, a new work by Portland artist Patrick O'Rorke, is currently on display in the Whitney Art Works-curated window space at Walker Terrace. Patrick O'Rorke uses pattern, color and text to convey ideas on music and contemporary culture. He combines disparate elements such as houndstooth, heavy metal album covers and fluorescent paint in his collaged and appliqué-constructed paintings and installations.


John McNeil,<i>American Mythology</i>, silver gelatin, 2006
John McNeil,American Mythology, silver gelatin, 2006

Matthew Robbins,<i>Old Orchard</i>, archival ink jet print, 2008
Matthew Robbins,Old Orchard, archival ink jet print, 2008

Nathan Eldridge,<i>Indifference</i>, archival pigment ink jet print, 2004
Nathan Eldridge,Indifference, archival pigment ink jet print, 2004

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