March 2014


Andrea Benson, Beverly Petow, and

Margaret van Patten


Hidden and Revealed

curated by Martha Pfanschmidt

March 4, 2014 – March 30, 2014


Hidden and Revealed is a show by three women artists, Andrea Benson, Beverly Petow and Margaret van Patten.
It is a show about women, about how they both reveal and hide often using the same devices.

In the encaustic mixed media work of Andrea Benson her women are partially obscured, showing torsos and dresses but usually not faces or a direct gaze.  Her figures turn their backs to you, cast their eyes downward, show themselves in only a gesture or a hand movement.  Patterned fabric in their clothing is often the most revealing thing about them and often the only part of them we see.  Her work seeks to expose or explore a state of mind or a way of being in the world.

Beverly Petow, currently living on Vancouver Island but formerly from Portland, works in metal, creating dresses made of steel that are reminiscent of armor.   The wearer is the missing element here.  The hollowness of the dresses amplifies what is hidden or missing while the dresses reveal clues to who the wearer is by their style and flourish.  These pieces are both compellingly beautiful and yet strangely disquieting.

Margaret van Patten makes prints of mysterious floating images.  Woman’s heads and naked female torsos take up residence on the page along with birds, elephants and other seemingly random objects.  The figures are vulnerable.  They live in a dream world where they are exposed and uncertain, transitory and tenuous.

In the work of all three of these women we see the complexity of being a woman in our culture.  We are exposed and we protect ourselves, we are present and yet absent, we can be passive and at the same time make choices by that very passivity.  We sometimes hide and by hiding reveal far more about ourselves than we realize.  The work in Hidden and Revealed speaks to the part in all of us that wants to be seen and also to conceal, to be noticed and yet disguise.

A special event is planned between Physical Element and Waterstone Gallery for Sunday March 16.  There will be an informal curators/artists talk at Waterstone at 11am to present “Hidden and Revealed”, and then afterwards Physical Element will host a fashion show drawing inspiration from the works of artist Beverly Petow, whose work is featured in the exhibition at Waterstone Gallery.

At 11am on March 16 curator Martha Pfanschmidt will talk about the inspiration for bringing the three artists, Andrea Benson, Beverly Petow and Margaret van Patten, together for this special show.  She will also discuss the curatorial process.  The artists will be present to answer questions about the exhibition.  Light refreshments will be served.

After the talk next door at Physical Element, where several of Petow’s life-size metal dress sculptures will be displayed, a fashion show will take place while guests enjoy mimosas. Owner Jo Carter will produce a show with live models styled and inspired by the works of artist Beverly Petow.  Afterwards, the latest Spring 2014 collections will be shown.

Waterstone Gallery, 424 NW 12th, 503-226-6196,
Physical Element, 416 NW 12th, 503-224-5425,
ImageAndrea BensonRed Cross Underwear, encaustic