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Over forty years and across a variety of media, artist Rick Bartow created a powerful body of work. His representations of humans, animals, hybrid creatures, and shadowy figures display such exquisite beauty or grotesque absurdity—sometimes both at once—that a viewer cannot help being pulled into the artist's world. The experience can be whimsical and troubling by turns but is always undeniably transformative. Born in Oregon, Bartow (1946-2016) was a member of the Wiyot tribe of the Humboldt Bay region, and his art carries influences from his heritage as well as his fine-art training, travels, and life events.
This exhibition catalog accompanied the show Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain, which originated at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (University of Oregon, Eugene) and was on view at 11 additional venues into early 2020.