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  • Sally Vermilion

Opening In: Windows on Interiority


Ahhhh - the holiday hustle and bustle is behind us, and a new year of possibility lies ahead... it’s time for a collective out-breath, haaaa. Deepen this sense of calm with a January visit to the Magnuson Park Gallery for a new exhibit: The

Window, a collection of beguiling oil paintings by Abigail Drapkin. With a subtle, subdued palette, composed yet casual compositions, and the languid light of winter in the Pacific Northwest, Drapkin’s works allow us a visual exhalation.

Painted during the incipient days and ensuing years of the coronavirus pandemic,

Drapkin depicts and honors a long string of quiet moments that filled our domestic

lives, those times when we shed our public personas and reveled in our mundane,

tarnished selves. Her portraits pull you into the inner lives of the subjects - pushing

private spaces outward for our gaze. Personal places contrast with the public domain as newspapers containing pandemic updates coexist with figures in snail-like postures and relaxed time-outs that serve to refuel, restore, and ultimately renew.


There is a refreshing honesty and simplicity to the “Window” paintings with their unabashedly casual still lifes where a lightbulb lies in a box near a kitchen spoon perched precariously on table edge by a plant spray bottle, or where birth control pills, a can of sardines and fork live. With calm focus and steady gaze, Drapkin creates intimate spaces where the value of less lives, where we savor the unscheduled and find solace with what is in front of us. Her muted palette reinforces a pandemic-induced sense of prolonged time - indeed, weren’t we all holding our collective breaths waiting to surface?


The Window by Abigail Drapkin opens January 19 and can be viewed through February 25, with an artist reception on Saturday, January 21 from 5-8 pm at Magnuson Park Gallery.


SPACE Volunteer Terriko Sommers sits down with Abigail Drapkin to discuss her exhibition The Window. Listen below via our podcast, The Magnuson Park Gallery Exchange.



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