Pansies, 2019
Nationale Gallery, Portland, OR

Pansies, 2019
acrylic ink and paint on Satin

30.5 x 27''

Tree of Knowledge, 2019
27 1/4'' x 31'',  acrylic ink and paint on Satin

Installation  images

Springtime Devotional, 2019
Acrylic ink and paint on Satin,
27.5 32''

Cocoon Dance, 2019
29 x 27'', acrylic ink and paint on Satin

Women Picking Fruit,  2019
Acrylic ink and paint on Satin,
41'' x 26.5''

Moon Twin, 2019
Acrylic ink and paint on Satin,

27'' x 42.5''

May 3–June 4, 2019

Nationale is pleased to present Pansy, painter and installation artist Michelle Blade’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery. The six paintings on view in the main space are all on satin, a new format of expression for Blade. Sheer in nature these etherial works depict vibrant, large-scale garden scenes in dreamlike shades of pink, blue, and yellow. Female forms move through charged landscapes, their auras bleeding outward and their surroundings bleeding inward, showing a oneness with their surroundings. The application of the paint is loose and unpredictable, breaking into dreamy areas of abstraction which Blade believes to be physical placeholders for the unknown, a literal manifestation of the mysteries of the universe. Presented in the backroom gallery, Blade's playful rainbow pencil drawings are also overt in their symbolism. These pieces, along side the paintings, explore a mythologized feminine relationship with nature, to knowledge, and community.

Pansies, the exhibition’s eponymous painting, serves as a playful double entendre, implying that the biblical character of Eve—portrayed here—is both a flower and a weakling. Instead, Blade presents Eve gazing invitingly into the eyes of the serpent, both bodies mirroring the other, locked in a confrontational and curious stance. They are inextricably linked in their quest for knowledge and the unknown. Through this work and others, Blade steers our attention to the particular synchronicity humans share in their thirst for the creation of meaning in our immediate and tangible realities.

Centering, 2019
9x11’’, Rainbow pencil on paper

Touching Balance, 2019
9x11’’, Rainbow pencil on paper

Of Paradise, 2019
9x11’’, Rainbow pencil on paper