Who would have thought there was still something new to be made of the combination of words and images? It is one of the oldest tricks of the communications trade. It is precisely how this review, and everything else in this newspaper for that matter, conveys meaning; and it has been a basic part of modern art since at least Picasso’s cubist collages. But at Prole Drift just now, local-boy-gone-east Joe Wardwell (UW class of ’96) offers a show of word and image paintings that are as provocative as they are beautiful.
Wardwell superimposes words on landscape imagery. This is a simple enough device, but the meanings he wrests from it are profound.
Though the landscapes might suggest the Pacific Northwest or other parts of the country, they are not specific. Wardwell is less concerned with describing any particular place than he is intrigued by what landscape painting suggests about