Jean Nagai and Peter Scherrer at Arts Walk

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Jean Nagai paints with acrylic and correction fluid on paper — that’s right, correction fluid, commonly known as whiteout, the stuff used to correct typing mistakes. Nagai first showed his work in Olympia at Salon Refu in December 2014. The paintings were intricate patterns made of thousands of white dots. They were reminiscent of Australian-aboriginal dot paintings. Currently, Nagai is in Los Angeles at an artist residency at Tappan, an online gallery that helps emerging artists, but he’ll come home to exhibit his work at Salon Refu during spring Arts Walk. He says he’ll show five to seven pieces, mostly small works, but at least one that’s as large as 48 by 36 inches. “All the work will be loosely based on landscapes of the southwest desert, southwestern mountains and the Pacific Northwest,” he says.

Gallery owner Susan Christian says, “His dots are now pink and yellow, and his shapes are layered like cut-away earth layers (or) canyons.” Nagai will show alongside artist Peter Scherrer, a landscape painter based in Bellingham. Scherrer’s paintings complement Nagai’s in that both artists create intricate patterns. Scherrer’s paintings are layered and crowded and often depict the most congested areas of our northwestern forests and the animals that live in them. Snakes and tendrils of forest growth become pathways of sensual line. Both Nagai and Scherrer paint in ways that bring to mind Mark Toby’s “white writing,” meaning white, calligraphic markings on complex but abstract backgrounds.

What: Jean Nagai and Peter Scherrer

Where: Salon Refu,
114 Capitol Way N, Olympia

When: Arts Walk 5-10 p.m. Friday, April 28;
noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29;
exhibit continues 2-6 p.m., Tuesdays-Sundays through May 21

How much: free

Learn more: 360-280-3540 | Arts Walk

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