Grant Barnhart at OKOK in Seattle

“Exact Change: Paintings by Grant Barnhart,” OKOK Gallery, Seattle, WA. Through Jan. 3.

Although this article is mostly a profile of OKOK owner/director Charlie Kitchings, Regina Hackett includes a bit about Grant Barnhart’s exhibition, which opens tomorrow. “Painting in oils with his hand and drawing in graphite powers and solvents with a brush, Barnhart is an everything-all-at-once artist. His cacophonies cohere without narrative or central structure. In their exuberant sweep, they ransack art history to engage the present moment. The artist most ransacked is Robert Rauschenberg, whom Barnhart notes anticipated and welcomed this kind of recycling when he said, ‘I always have searched for a point of view that a participant could change.’ In studying reproductions of the original everything-all-at-once artist, Barnhart found a structure for his own loose-limbed, painterly adventures. Each painting in ‘Exact Change’ is a specific tribute to one of Rauschenberg’s, although with the exception of ‘Happy Ending,’ none immediately evokes the source.” OKOK is dedicated to showing work by painters who are committed to and understand painting, not multimedia artists who might use paint at some point.

At art blog Dangerous Chunky, Carolyn Zick previewed the exhibition. “I found the work lively. His strength is revealed via a deft hand at illustration, counter balancing the ‘post’ expressionist use of materials.” Check out Barnhart’s website to see more of his work.

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