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Look into the ‘Magic Mirror’ at Perimeter

May 23, 2019
"Cottage Painting Owls" by Breehan James.

BELFAST — Perimeter Gallery presents “Magic Mirror,” a new exhibition featuring the work of Breehan James and Alexae Levin, curated by Hilary Irons, co-director of Able Baker Contemporary in Portland. These two intensely focused painters present visions of a world filtered through the desire to find mystery, organization and transcendence in one's experience of nature and daily life.

The exhibition opens Wednesday, June 5, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., and continues through July 28.

James paints minutely-observed landscapes, natural forms and built structures, which fluctuate between intense observation and the distortions of superimposed pattern and disconnected imagery. Levin paints intricate, quasi-symmetrical geometrical abstractions — sometimes seeming to stem from architecture, sometimes anchored in the body — which are warped by the ever-present influence of the artist's hand and the process involved in making the work. Both artists walk a hypnotic line between precision and expression, using the language of Modernist painting as a starting point and extending that language into the territory of dreams.

“Magic Mirror” is presented in conjunction with “O Horizon” at Waterfall Arts, organized concurrently by Hilary Irons, and running from May 24 through July 19). The four painters represented in these two shows (James, Levin, Irons and Jarid del Deo) are all searching for a new route — sometimes moving in the direction of the visionary — into our visual responses to natural phenomena. As in a warped mirror, images are refracted by the light of the artists' belief in a truth beyond the visible.

James, a graduate of the Yale School of Art, is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Boston University and lives in Scarborough. Levin, who is entering Hunter College's MFA program in New York, currently lives on Martha's Vineyard and holds a BFA in painting from the Maine College of Art.

Irons is a graduate of the Yale School of Art, and in addition to co-directing Able Baker Contemporary, teaches at the Maine College of Art and Southern Maine Community College.

Perimeter Gallery is located at Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St. Gallery hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 338-0555 or email

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