MICHAEL T. HENSLEY
October 2nd -
November 10th, 2013
Opening Reception: SAT. OCT. 19
Preview Reception: WED. OCT. 2
Unless you've been living under a cabbage leaf, if you call Portland home, you know MICHAEL T. HENSLEY'S work. Where: the 2 story exterior mural (and interior mural) at Outside In's flagship facility in downtown, facades of Virginia Woof doggie day care centers and a mural on a mobile clinic van (both also through Outside In), etched glass designs on Tri-Met's bus shelters, a youth mural project along Interstate's light rail line, installations in the Portland Building & Portland International Airport, and numerous private and public collections, including OHSU, City of Portland Portable Works Collection (administered through RACC), Modera Hotel and in Washington state at Microsoft headquarters and the City of Seattle Public Places Collection. Plus six solo gallery exhibitions at Mark Woolley Gallery and prior to that Blackfish Gallery as well as a host of community based art auctions, including Cascade AIDS Project & Quest Center. Hensley attended PNCA (1994-95) and PSU (1995-98).HENSLEY ON HENSLEY (Current Artist Statement): "The winter of 2011-2012 marked the birth of my daughter Beckett July Hensley. It was also what would become a yearlong hiatus from painting. Sleepless nights, daddy day care, and working consumed all of my time during that first year. I had also grown weary of my studio practice, feeling as if I had reached the end of a thread with no clear path or way to proceed. In November of 2012 my mother-in-law came for a month long visit It allowed me to get back into the studio for a solid month to see if I could find my way again. I began to experiment and the first thing that became clear to me is that I had forgotten how to play and also to not think too much about the final outcome. This body of work represents the progression of my experiments and play during that seven month period. Not to mention the overwhelming joy of sharing my life with my daughter and wife, which had given me a new perspective and inspiration to fuel my artistic pursuits."LIBBY (Brian) on HENSLEY:"For all the painting, drawing, scratching and marking that went into their creation, to Hensley's credit the works seem more like they've been unearthed thanunveiled." ("The Oregonian")SPEER (Richard) on HENSLEY:"Overall the works are feverish mediations on the relationship between high technical accomplishment and lowbrow iconography."(published in a lengthy review of a Mark Woolley Gallery show in ARTnews, a national and international art world staple for over a century)GALLIVAN (Joseph) on HENSLEY:"What could be a mess of detail succeeds because of Hensley's fine sense of balance in making his compositions, and restraint in the use of color." ("Portland Tribune")WOOLLEY (Mark) on HENSLEY:"Joseph Gallivan's comments were apt for Michael's 'Lead Free' show at my downtown gallery next to AUGEN, where he used rust on white enameled steel panels and in other works one color (red and blue for that show). In the new body of work for this show, Michael continues the amazing balance and composition of the disparate subject matter, forms, objects and text but with the added feature of BURSTS of color and passion. I believe this springs from the vitality and fun of currently having a young, inquisitive daughter (who spends time in his studio discovering paint herself) and a colorful, smart, and artistic wife with whom to share the magic of playing with paint, ideas and the other joys of making art for its own sake. His paintings are fun,interesting and hold one's attention for weeks and years and most probably lifetimes. That's why collectors, designers, public and private curators and everyday folks are always genuinely excited to see what he's got up his sleeve. That's why I regard it a major privilege to see the new works in the studio before pretty much anyone but his family and to hear what Michael has to say about them, which is always interesting but brief, as the works really do speak for themselves."