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VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

Margaret Coe "Wild Spaces" One-Woman Show Opens at the Karin Clarke Gallery

By permission of the gallery

    This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. Summer 2021 ends with a glorious explosion of color, emotion, and light at the Karin Clarke Gallery in downtown Eugene where preeminent Oregon painter Margaret Coe has opened a one-woman show called “Wild Spaces.”

I hope you will understand when you enter the gallery that you are standing inside the visual soul of a great artist.

Painting of a tree.
Credit By permission of the gallery.
Margaret Coe. Wonderment. Oil 18 x 20.

You will be suffused in the golden light that is the spiritual signature of this very cohesive show. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of your first painting. It will not lead you astray. Fall into the painting that called to you and make it your own. As your eyes follow the broad, confident sweeps of gold or black or green, you will be inevitably led to the light. These paintings are each an emotional room, self-contained yet relating to all the others--an artistic tour-de-force in and of itself.

But for example, I am first drawn powerfully to a painting called “Wild LIfe.” It is the abstracted impression of a tree on the right, and a blazing yet diffused sun or light source on the left, and many evocative shapes that could be faces or trees in between. What I love most is the way the top of the tree is lit up with an ecstatic light in motion. It is dancing for or reaching for that veiled sun. All the illuminated shapes like upturned faces seem to be entranced by that dancing exchange. Somehow, I feel personally identified with the tree in a sparkling relationship with my mother, who just passed away this summer. That is HER light just on the other side of the veil of life and death, and all the beings in her ecosystem of 95 years are joining in the exchange of light and energy that seems only to have changed, not ceased with her death.

Credit By permission of the gallery
Margaret Coe. The Mystery.

But ALL of Coe’s paintings have that spacious emotional and spiritual action moving in them. You can meet the artist at this coming First Friday Art Walk, 5:30-7:30.

This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.


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