Feb 8 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Ralph Pugay paints scenarios that are perplexingly surreal and often border on political incorrectness. Humorous at first glance, one discovers on closer view a darker undercurrent that questions established notions of morality. Pugay thinks of his works as allegorical puzzles for our contemporary times and describes the tableaux as “absurd situational narratives, constructed through the melding of incongruous symbols and ideas, where the mundane and fantastic converge.” Motivated in part by anxiety in a world of uncertainty and absurdity and informed by the culture of video games, his mind-bending scenarios provide a brief moment of comic relief.
Ralph Pugay holds an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University and is a residency graduate of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Pugay’s honors include the 2014 Betty Bowen Award, an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, and a Portland Pioneer Square Houseguest Residency with Ariana Jacob. Notable solo exhibitions were held at the Seattle Art Museum, Upfor, Vox Populi and FAB Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University, among others. Group exhibitions featuring Pugay’s work include the 2015 Untitled. Miami Beach art fair; the Portland2014 Biennial, produced by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center; and Paraprosdokians and Rubber Chickens at the Art Gym. Formerly a visiting faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Conceptual Oregon Performance School, he was recently appointed the James DePriest Visiting Professor of Art at Portland State University. He is represented by Upfor in Portland OR.