Viewing Cynthia Lahti’s show at PDX gallery in Portland Oregon was a surreal and extraordinary experience. She combines ceramics with found images on paper to create figurative work that have various temperaments. The sculptures are in consumes with uncertain narratives and range between beautiful and the grotesque.
Ever since Lahti’s residency in Germany in 2012, her work has shifted to the fusion of clay and photography. Since then she has refined her use of these materials and creates combinations unlike anything I have seen.
This mash up creates a sort of material dissonance where it feels cohesive yet uncomfortable. This discomfort is what makes these pieces so powerful. They directly relate to the realities of life, full of uneasiness and pain, yet we try to accept its misshapenness and carry on.