Iowa Artists 2009: Phillip Chen, Larassa Kabel, and Timothy Wehrle

Publications / Press >> Iowa Artists 2009: Phillip Chen, Larassa Kabel, and Timothy Wehrle

Des Moines Art Center Downtown
February 20 – May 22, 2009

Iowa Artists 2009 takes the form of three concurrent one-person exhibitions, featuring the prints of Phillip Chen of Des Moines, the paintings of Larassa Kabel of Des Moines, and the drawings of Timothy Wehrle of Burlington.

Phillip Chen photographs the unusual artifacts he collects and complicates their meaning by overlaying or surrounding them with schematic drawings of other objects in his prints. Through the juxtapositions, elements of his personal biography and family history combine with cultural issues and political events in ghostly narratives.

Larassa Kabel recreates photographs, often snapshots, of family and friends, in meticulously rendered paintings. Kabel's use of personal iconography projects a sense of casual intimacy, featuring smiling family members posing for the camera and oddly cropped scenes seemingly taken by accident. While retaining a photographic look, the paintings appear slightly out of focus, questioning the nature of the original source photo and the “reality” of the painted image.

Timothy Wehrle creates complex drawings that captivate the viewer with their visual density and emotional intensity. Wehrle, who is essentially self-taught, uses an obsessive and laborious image-making process to reveal multifaceted and powerful visions. Wehrle's critique of society through poetry and emotion is a fitting dialogue for our challenging times.

Funding for this exhibition was provided by the Peter H. & E. Lucille Gaas Kuyper Foundation and is supported, in part, by the Des Moines Arts Festival.

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by Ruud van Empel. All rights reserved.