City Hall Lobby Gallery &
Anne Focke Gallery

600 Fourth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104

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Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Gallery Information

(206) 684-7171


September 9 — October 31, 2014

To understand the complex motivations that drive Tatiana Garmendia, Milan Heger, and Jasmine Iona Brown is to wrestle with questions of ethics, meaning, and loss. Their works inquire into the existential nature of their vocations. Garmendia's drawings and paintings explore notions of pietà, ritualizing the act of mourning and commemoration. Veterans who made it back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan pose for those that died. Brown's meticulously painted tempera portraits are haunted by the mute lamentations of children lost to violence. Painting in a technique reserved for the portrayal of saints, martyrs, and angels by the Orthodox Church, the artist imbues her portraits of interrupted lives with a timeless quality that quietly urges meditative remembrance. For Heger, the act of drawing itself is the act of seeing through the layers of pretense and disillusion that oppress society. He turns his discerning gaze at the precarious state of our personal and communal freedoms.

Garmendia's Commemoration series is painted directly on technical fabric currently used by the US military. In Commemoration 5, a three-tour veteran in battle gear stands in for his fallen best friend. The tactical camo grounds his image, that like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, can never come off.

Brown's portrait of 8-year old Tanaja Stokes, who was gunned down by another youth while jumping rope in front of her house in August 2010, is a haunting symbol the continued marginalization of the urban underclass in the US. This reverential memorial to the murdered child serves as an antidote to her dehumanized portrayal by the mainstream media, and a society that often treats such tragic loss as a crime statistic.

Heger's mixed media drawings quiver with anxious questions. In I Can Still See the World the urgency of his gestures, the incising effect of smudges, lines, and shapes make broad statements about freedoms of the mind, of the spirit, and of the body's ability to move out of its own volition.

Tatiana Garmendia's work synthesizes formal concerns and a humanist engagement with history and culture. Born in Cuba after the Bay of Pigs, the artist remembers playing in abandoned missile trenches as a girl. A child of revolution and political asylum, she's always looked to art for hope and realization. Educated in Paris and the US, Garmendia's moved by narratives embedded in cultural legacies. Her work is a meditation on national and private histories and explore the eternal struggle between love and hate, for these are the stories we tell others and whisper to ourselves. For the past five years, Garmendia has collaborated with veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to create a series of meditations on the effects of war. Her models are all survivors of extreme experiences—They have survived war; have killed, or sustained attempts on their own lives. For the works exhibited in Queror, the artist directed seasoned soldiers to assume postures of human exaltation or despair mapped out by Michelangelo's masterpiece, The Last Judgment.