Over forty years and across a variety of media, artist Rick Bartow has created a powerful body of work. His representations of humans, animals, hybrid creatures, and shadowy figures display such exquisite beauty or grotesque absurdity--sometimes both at once--that a viewer cannot help being pulled into the artist's world. The experience can be whimsical and troubling by turns, but is always undeniably transformative. Born in Oregon, Bartow is a member of the Wiyot tribe of the Humboldt Bay region, and his art carries influences of his heritage as well as his fine-art training, travels, and life events.
This exhibition catalog accompanies the show Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain, which originated at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (University of Oregon, Eugene). Full-color images display key works from the show, supplemented by a comprehensive visual checklist of pieces. Essays by the show's co-curators and by Lawrence Fong, former curator of American and regional art at the JSMA, explore key themes in the artist's oeuvre.