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Originally published Friday, October 31, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Visual arts

Painter Jeffrey Bishop goes organic

Former Seattle artist Jeffrey Bishop leaves behind the spare geometrics of his early work for visceral forms in a show at Catherine Person Gallery of recent work from New York.

Seattle Times art critic

Exhibition preview

Jeffrey Bishop: Recent Paintings

Through Nov. 8 at Catherine Person Gallery, 319 Third Ave. S. Seattle (206-763-5565 or www.catherineperson.com).

Jeffrey Bishop was part of the early Linda Farris Gallery stable, a 1977 University of Washington Master of Fine Arts grad who based his abstractions in spare geometries that suited the times. Now times have changed, and so has Bishop. Since he moved to New York 16 years ago, his compositions have gotten freer and the forms more organic. A one-person show of his recent work at Catherine Person Gallery is his first in Seattle since 1997.

Sometimes the imagery is visceral — and I mean that literally. In one series, Bishop scanned illustrations of internal organs from an anatomy text and used them as starting points for his bright-hued abstractions. Here the complexity and playfulness of his surfaces carry the paintings. There are matte areas of layered acrylic against squirmy high-gloss shapes of ink and oil paint, with outlines in high-powered orange, pink, yellow. Bishop's palette is generally a happy one.

The most recent paintings mix hard edges and loopy forms. The 2008 "Grand Turk" reminds me of the 1960s, with its wild fuschia-tinted ground setting off a marriage of lightning bolts and daisy petals. "Grand Turk (Silver)" repeats the motif with a Warhol-esque variation in silver and black.

Sheila Farr: sfarr@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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