Henk Pander: 'Blasted Allegories'

 

The Dutch-born painter Henk Pander is drawn to scenes of decay, both human and industrial. In the oil on linen "Arizona Landscape," a picturesque desert is the setting for an airplane graveyard, while in "Leaving Home," a man pulls an elderly woman out of another kind of landscape: the mountain of books and boxes that has overwhelmed her living space. Since much of Pander's work is set in the U.S. (he lives in Portland, Ore.), it's hard not to read these paintings as "blasted allegories" about the state of the union. There are glimmers of hope here and there, particularly in the paintings involving EMS responders. There's more irony than hope in "Good News," however, where a smiling boy proffers forth a tract to you. In the background, behind this boy, are the broken-down skeletal reconstructions of behemoths typical of what you might see in a defunct natural history museum. If there is any hope for us - Pander seems to be saying - it has more to do with our biological imperatives than with any particular spiritual belief. Through Feb. 13; 317-788-3253, http://arts.uindy.edu.

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Dan Grossman is NUVO's arts editor.

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