Politically aware wit and a long sociocultural viewfinder have always distinguished the work of Northern Ireland-born artist Clifford Rainey. That’s still very much the case, as is clear from the trenchant works in his current show at Bullseye. You can infer a lot about the artist simply from the titles he gives his works. A wood, glass and resin sculpture of a pistol case is entitled Amend the Second Amendment
, while two oversized sculptures of Coca-Cola bottles are called War and Peace
. But Rainey does something in this show that he doesn’t do that often: He lets down his guard and shows his humanity. Rainey has lost several friends and family members over the past couple years, and a palpable sense of loss pervades this exhibition. It’s most potent in the haunting sculpture Mourner
, a fearsome, 2-foot-high stylization of the Grim Reaper. Rather than limit himself to specific sociopolitical themes, Rainey is beginning to tackle more universal issues, such as the fear of death. His work, stronger than ever, benefits. This is one of the sad truisms of art: The more harrowing the artist’s life, the richer the work. Through Nov. 2.
300 NW 13th Ave.Website: bullseyegallery.com