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Where drawing meets sculpture.

Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

Art tends to be either two dimensional or three - drawing and painting, on the one hand, or sculpture, on the other. Miriam Kley's work is both.

The Eugene artist, whose art will be featured at a Jacobs Gallery show that opens Friday, creates unusual combinations of bas-relief sculpture and drawing, exploiting the tension between form and line in a single portrait or landscape.

Her large cast panels - she works them in clay and then casts them in Hydrocal, a strong plasterlike substance - have a look that's both ancient and contemporary.

Some of her most striking pieces result from a recent collaboration with a young man she met while working out at a gym. Young, black and paraplegic - by contrast, Kley describes herself as ``an old Jewish woman from New York'' - her model sat for a number of Hydrocal portraits, which lately she's been decorating with bright pastels, giving him red lipstick and a fright wig.

"I bumped into him on the street one day," she explained. "He said he's doing a movie about a paraplegic drag queen."

Kley came to Eugene in 1990, an unlikely emigrant west. Smarting from the breakup of a 30-year marriage, she had applied, almost on a whim, to come to the University of Oregon as a visiting artist. She was accepted and, to her great surprise, has never left Eugene.

`If someone had told me I would be living in a little college town in Oregon, I would have said, `How bleak!,' ' she said. `` `How depressing!' And I love it here.''

Kley grew up a consummate Manhattanite in Greenwich Village, looking down on even the outer boroughs as provincial hinterlands.

"I refused to live in Queens. I always had to live in Manhattan. Of course Queens is chic now," she said, laughing. "So is Brooklyn. No one can afford to live in Manhattan anymore."

She was struck, on her arrival in Oregon, with the state's greenery and gentle, wet climate. Unlike some newcomers - and some natives - she doesn't dislike the rain.

"It's soft," she says. "It reminds me of Paris."

Kley studied art at Brooklyn College and later worked in Paris with cubist sculptor Ossip Zadkine. She has long been fascinated by the interplay of two- and three-dimensional art, which she often refers to as "illusionistic" and "literal," respectively.

Though she worked for years as a commercial artist - clients included Playboy magazine and The New York Times - her fine art has centered on bas-relief. She continues to show her work at the Amos Eno gallery in New York even while living in Oregon.

As a visiting artist at the UO, and later a teacher in the continuing education program, she often assigns her students to draw with unusual materials. The students have made landscapes out of kitchen spices, portraits out of feathers, and nudes out of breakfast cereal, extending the notion of "drawing" from two dimensions to three and from simple lines on a page to actual objects.

"I am very interested," she said, "in the pressure of material on form."

Also showing at the Jacobs will be Portland artist David Reager, who also makes wall-mounted assmeblages from Hydrocal and other materials.

EXHIBIT PREVIEW

Illusion & Rhythm: Miriam Kley and David Reager

What: Bas-relief sculpture by Eugene artist Miriam Kley and assemblages by Portland artist David Reager

Where: Jacobs Gallery, in the Hult Center's lower level, Seventh Avenue and Willamette Street

When: Through Aug. 25

Opening: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday

Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is also open one hour before and during Hult Center performances.ill be on display at the Jacobs Gallery.

CAPTION(S):

Miriam Kley's bas-relief artwork often involves tedious mixing and weighing of chemicals in her Eugene studio. Miriam Kley's work combines bas-relief sculpture and drawn images. It wEXHIBIT PREVIEW Illusion & Rhythm: Miriam Kley and David Reager What: Bas-relief sculpture by Eugene artist Miriam Kley and assemblages by Portland artist David Reager Where: Jacobs Gallery, in the Hult Center's lower level, Seventh Avenue and Willamette Street When: Through Aug. 25 Opening: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is also open one hour before and during Hult Center performances.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Arts & Literature
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 17, 2005
Words:736
Previous Article:Man's mark on the land.
Next Article:ARTS NOTES.


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