Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I Know Is

Erin Mallea, Particularly Adapted, 2015, vinyl.
Nine artists participated in Prequel and "What I Know Is" served as the culminating exhibition for their six-month artist incubator program. Prequel is structured to provide a space for local emerging artists to critique and create new work. During the six-month program each artists was set with the task to define and revise what it is that they know. The exhibition was up for one week at S1, an artist run project space and gallery. Visiting this exhibition was my first introduction to Prequel as well as the S1 art space. I enjoyed the diversity in art practices among the participating artists included in the exhibition. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for these artists work and seeing how it develops throughout their career.  I also look forward to seeing the artists involved in the Prequel's programming in the years to come.

The exhibition included new work from: Travis Beardsley, Brittney Connelly, Dakota Gearhart, Kello Goeller, Genevieve Goffman, Lara Kim, Erin Mallea, John Whitten, and Emily Wobb.

Travis Beardsley/TravB./yahtrav, SunnyD2k15, 2015, performance and textiles.

Travis Beardsley's piece for the exhibition included a performance/fashion show that took place during the exhibition opening. Beardsley's fashion show took on the persona of the amateur fashion designer and model. The garments he designed were displayed on a garment rack as evidence of the performance throughout the exhibition. Beardsley's work examines of the duality between the digital and the real experience. He combines elements of textile, craft, and digital technology in his practice.

Erin Mallea, Mise en Scène, 2015.
Erin Mallea's practice involves a personalized research and field study regarding the absurdity of invasive species. This piece in particular examines the unexpected presence of the palm tree amongst the expected evergreen landscape of Portland, OR. From Mallea's perspective, the palm tree embodies an element of desire and escapism. Her installation creates a tropical environment complete with an Airwick air freshener, plastic coconuts, and Hawaiian print shirts. I was sure to take a postcard that she printed to remember my visit.

Lara Kim, Untitled (Body), 2015, memory foam, human hair, chili pepper flakes, dust. 

Lara Kim ‘s sculpture was an attempt to make an identity by filling a void with materials including memory foam, her flesh, hair, and blood (red chili flakes). Her work analyzes themes including gender, mixed identities, race, and binaries. Kim sculpts from everyday objects and often uses materials purchased with food stamps from local Asian markets. I especially enjoyed the delicate mounds of red chili flakes that curved through the memory foam and hair. Kim recently completed her BFA in sculpture at the University of Oregon.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Polina Tereshina at Soltesz Fine Art Gallery

Polina Tereshina, Safety orange with white and pink,
Acrylic on paper and vellum, 2015, courtesy of Soltesz Fine Art Gallery

This post is mostly a recommendation of Soltesz Fine Art Gallery in general as I look forward to each of their upcoming exhibitions. Melissa Soltesz is always inviting and conversational which is refreshing in comparison to most gallerists. Melissa is also very passionate about offering accessible prices for the art on view. If you’re an introductory art collector, I highly recommend stopping by Soltesz. This gallery opened in the past year and focuses on contemporary art from emerging artists. They usually specialize in paintings and works on paper, but their warehouse like space has provided opportunities for large installations in past exhibitions. Soltesz Fine Art Gallery is slightly off the beaten path of Pearl District gallery hopping, but is definitely worth checking out.

At their most recent opening I had the opportunity to meet the artists included in the exhibition who were eager to talk to viewers and answer questions. Polina Tereshina is a Seattle based artist and one of the most recent additions to Soltesz Fine Art Gallery. I was instantly drawn to the saturated colors and heavy paint application in Tereshina’s paintings. Tereshina is inspired by passing feelings and fleeting moments of human interactions. She attempts to preserve moments of obscure awkwardness.
Polina Tereshina, Black Out,
Acrylic on paper and vellum, 2015, courtesy of Soltesz Fine Art Gallery

Polina Tereshina, Skin Monster,
Acrylic on paper and vellum, 2015, courtesy of Soltesz Fine Art Gallery

Her figures are removed from their environment and placed within a gray shallow void to confine the brief moment. The figures are painted on paper and covered with a layer of vellum. This material brings a hazy and mysterious quality to the paintings. Tereshina further obscures the figure by spreading thick and tactile layers of paint over the vellum. Tereshina admits that she will still paint faces on her characters even though layers of paint will eventually obscure their faces. She states that for specific interactions that she recreates, the character’s faces are equally important. When I saw her paintings I was initially mesmerized by the physicality of her heavy paint application, but Tereshina’s humorous characters and stories have left a lasting impact. I look forward to her eventual solo-exhibition at Soltesz Fine Art Gallery.

My Pick:
Polina Tereshina, Shit Show,
Acrylic on paper and vellum, 2015, courtesy of Soltesz Fine Art Gallery

Related Posts: Danielle Wyckoff: Emerging Dissolving

Monday, November 2, 2015

In a Rhythmic Fashion- Carla Arocha and Stéphane Schraenen

Images: Carla Arocha and Stéphane Schraenen, P11, 2015, Plexiglas and stainless steel, Courtesy of Hap Gallery, photography by Mario Gallucci.

Upon stepping into Hap Gallery, the viewer’s perception is immediately distorted by a reflective curtain of Plexiglas that indistinguishably blurs physical space from reflections. After allowing a moment for one’s eyes to adjust, the viewer can observe the optical reflective installation, P11, by artist duo Carla Arocha and Stéphane Schraenen.

“In a Rhythmic Fashion” is the artists’ first solo exhibition at Hap Gallery in Portland, OR. The exhibition features the eleventh evolution of their P-series installation. The reflective Plexiglas curtain diagonally bisects the gallery space. Paintings hang on the gallery walls to create a fragmentary pastiche of wall, light, viewer, color, and reflection.

The installation itself is activated by the viewer’s presence. One becomes the creator by building a new visual experience with each step and turn of the head. The immersive installation distorts positive and negative space and reflects the environment as well as its viewer. Colors mix from the paintings along the walls, but even more interesting are the reflections cast from the street environment visible through the gallery windows.

I was also deeply interested in the mystery of a disposable camera placed on a pedestal and tucked behind a corner of the gallery. Upon closer investigation, I was informed that the camera, Hap edition 20, In a Rhythmic Fashion 1-24, was a series of cameras. Each of the 24 cameras has one image taken on the roll of film. Arocha and Schraenen took photographs of architecture and the city of Portland with the disposable cameras. The image each camera holds remains unknown until the camera is purchased and developed. Once again the viewer or owner (in this case) holds the potential to activate the piece through their choice to develop the image or leave the camera intact. The disposable camera also has a whimsical and nostalgic quality, being a product that has been rendered obsolete during a time of the standard issue camera/smart phone. Each camera is accessibly priced for the introductory art collector. The artists also ask that a copy of the image be sent to them for their archive.

The exhibition will only be up for another few weeks so make sure to see it quickly. I highly recommend that you experience one of the most captivating installations I’ve seen in Portland so far.

Hap Gallery
"In a Rhythmic Fashion"
October 8-November 14
916 NW Flanders Street, Portland, Oregon
Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6pm

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Confessions


Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Untitled, 2011, couch, glazed ceramic, plaster on wood, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins creates sculptures that combine elements of the domestic and the colossal. Domestic spaces are traditionally associated with delicateness, but for Hutchins, furniture pieces are vigorously manipulated and grow sculptural appendages. 

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Two Hearts, 2013, acrylic paint, armchair, shirts, glazed ceramic, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Rope Stanza, 2013, Ladder, canvas, acrylic paint, glazed ceramic, macrame hanger, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, installation image, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.

The exhibition “Confessions” is presented by The lumber room and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College as the first Northwest comprehensive exhibition of Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ work. The lumber room exhibition features work from the Sarah Miller Meigs’ collection of Hutchins’ work from 1999-present. In conjunction with the exhibition, the lumber room and the Cooley Gallery are publishing an experimental book by the artist.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Untitled (Piano Print, M), 2010, oil based ink, ceramic, textile, and found object, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.

Hutchins’ raw sculptures are constructed out of household items, furniture, textiles, and everyday materials. The domestic pieces of furniture take on an imposing presence once Hutchins manipulates them with mounds of plaster, clay, clothing, and paint. For example, in Sweater Arms, a globular ceramic vase sits upon a dining room chair in a state of disrepair and the arms of a frayed knit sweater fall from the seat.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Sweater Arms, 2010, glazed ceramic, sweater, chair, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.

Hutchins’ stated that she wanted to, “say something about how we can know ourselves through the objects that we live among.” Through her work, Hutchins’ monumentalizes elements of craft such as homemaking and textiles. The exhibition discusses themes of autonomy, motherhood, experimentation, and community.

My pick:

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Sister's Rock, 2015, glazed ceramic with rocks, hammock hand woven by Sarah Moen, Courtesy of the Miller Meigs Collection, photography by Worksighted.
 Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Confessions
September 2-November 8, 2015 
The lumber room, 419 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Friday and Saturday, 12-5pm

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College,  3203 SE Woodstock BLVD, Portland, OR 97202
Tuesday-Sunday, 12-5pm

 Artist Book publication party, November 7th, 2015, Container Corps, 4-6pm

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility- a project by ERNEST

Coyote Portraits, 2014, digital archival print, 8 x 12 inches, photos by Gwendolyn Courtney, a project by ERNEST made in residence at c3:initiative, 2015.
An eerie silence flows into a low hum, the whir of a tattoo needle gun, the rumble of footsteps, and a chorus singing, “this land was made for you and me.” The Wapato Correctional Facility is a jail located fifteen minutes outside St. Johns, Portland, and has remained vacant since it was built in 2004. The exhibition, “Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility”, is the culmination of a two year investigation by ERNEST hosted by c3:initiative (c3). The result of ERNEST’s investigation of the Wapato facility includes a video, a publication, a special print edition, Wapato Roundtable and panel discussion, and a series of public events.

ERNEST, Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, video still, 2015, made​ in residence at c3:initiative.

ERNEST, Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, publication created in collaboration with Container Corps, made in residence at c3:initiative, 2015. Photo by Worksighted.

ERNEST, Coyote Hole, Lithograph, Edition of 35, 16 x 21.75 inches, Watershed Press, made in residence at c3:initiative, 2015. Photo by Worksighted.
 ERNEST is an art collective composed of a flexible group of participants including members from the St. Johns community. The collective provided a democratic structure for the artists and participants to make work that “challenges dominant ideas about site, body, and power” in this exhibition. For ERNEST, “Demos” refers to, “local participatory engagement, keeping methods experimental and provisional, while harnessing the power of generative de(con)struction.”

ERNEST, Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, video still, 2015, made​ in residence at c3:initiative​.

The video, Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, sets the scene with footage of the desolate correctional facility. A space that is traditionally filled with people seems uncanny with clips of empty halls and beds. The correctional facility is not completely empty, as the main character of the video appears. An unexpected participant in the Demos exhibition, ERNEST discovered that coyotes have been roaming the correctional facility and they embraced the coyote in their investigation. The correctional facility has become a habitat for the coyote’s mischief as nature reclaims the vacant site. ERNEST members and participants donned coyote masks and stampeded through the halls of Wapato. Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility and ERNEST brings new life and introspection to the empty site looming over the St. Johns landscape.

ERNEST, Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, video still, 2015, made​ in residence at c3:initiative​.

 C3 Community Dialogue Series
Reading Group: The New Jim Crow | Wednesdays, October 7, 14, 21, 7–8:30pm
Stories in Movement | Saturday, November 7, 5pm
No Thank You Democracy, The politics of non-participation | Sunday, November 22, 4:30pm

  "Demos Wapato Correctional Facility"
A project by ERNEST
September 18-November 22, 2015
c3:initiative 7326 N. Chicago Ave, Portland, OR
Hours: Friday-Sunday, Noon-Five

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ellen Lesperance: We Were Singing

[Image: Ellen Lesperance, Prop for a Turkish Bath, 2014, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

“We Were Singing” is a solo-exhibition at Adams and Ollman featuring the work of Ellen Lesperance. The exhibition highlights Lesperance’s new body of work based on the feminist painter Sylvia Sleigh. Pieces in the exhibition include new paintings on paper, sculptural textiles, graphite drawings, and photographs. The centerpiece of the exhibition, Prop for a Turkish Bath, is an assemblage of textiles and Polaroid photographs that references Sleigh’s painting, The Turkish Bath. “We Were Singing” is a personal investigation into Lesperance’s experiences as they correlate with Sleigh and the history of art and feminism.

[Image: Ellen Lesperance, Joseph McVetty with Easter Lily, 2014, unique color Polaroid mounted on Sintra, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

Sleigh was a feminist painter who created paintings of nude males. She was radical in her reversal of traditional sexual roles. Her work recalls the female subjects of classic paintings such as those by Titian or Ingres. While placing males in provocative nude poses traditionally reserved for female figures, Sleigh created intimate portrayals without objectifying her subjects. She stated, "I wanted to give my perspective, portraying both sexes with dignity and humanism."  

 [Image: Ellen Lesperance, Prop for a Turkish Bath, 2014, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

 [Image: Ellen Lesperance, At the Turkish Bath (Joe as John Perreault, 2015, unique color Polaroid mounted on Sintra, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

In Prop for a Turkish Bath, Lesperance recreates an object from one of Sleigh’s most iconic paintings, The Turkish Bath. The textile sculpture provides a backdrop to a series of Polaroid portraits of Lesperance’s husband. The photographs reinterpret Sleighs paintings by placing Lesperance’s husband in the role of the subject. Lesperance provides evidence for the intimate exchanges between husband and wife. The photographs also create an interesting juxtaposition between the classicized nude poses and the geometric textile patterned backdrop.

 [Image: Ellen Lesperance, Joseph McVetty Reclining (Pink Quilt), 2015, unique color Polaroid mounted on Sintra, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

To see the comparison between Lesperance's Polaroids and Sleigh's paintings, here's a link to Sylvia Sleigh's Paul Rosana Reclining.

My pick from the exhibition:

  [Image: Ellen Lesperance, Members of the A.I.R Gallery Cooperative Meet on a Saturday Morning in 1977 SOHO to Redress History, 2015, gouache and graphite on tea stained paper, courtesy of the artist and Adams and Ollman.]

 “We Were Singing” is on view at Adams and Ollman Gallery until October 10, 2015. Hurry and see it before it closes.

 Adams and Ollman: 209 SW 9th Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm and by appointment

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Emerging Curator: Part 1

I would like to take some time to reflect on this period of my life that I entitle: The Emerging Curator. Sounds glamorous right? Sometimes I wonder... At this point I am trying to network and find work as a curator in a city where I have no professional connections and I have a lot of work to do. This post and my blog, Rose City Art Review, are my way of sharing the journey and exploration with you.

Recently, I earned a Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Connecticut, where I was able to gain a tremendous amount of work experience as a curatorial assistant as well as insight into the type of art historian I would like to become. After graduating, I moved back to my hometown, Portland Oregon, a city that thankfully has a thriving art culture. Moving across the country has made for a rocky and exciting transition. For example, finding an apartment, job hunting, and familiarizing myself with Portland’s ever evolving art world. Not to mention, continuing to develop myself professionally, volunteering, and developing this blog. Needless to say, I rarely have a day that I am not working.

I’ll be up front with you; I do not have a fancy job at a prominent art museum. Right now, I work full time at a café and my days off are spent volunteering at art galleries and gallery hopping for blog content.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes I have moments of self-doubt. However, I spend a majority of my time dedicated to something that I love and that I am passionate about. It doesn’t ever feel like work to get to see incredible art, meet people who have the same interests, and write on my days off. In some ways I feel that my quality of life is so much more fulfilling than any day I had while in graduate school. While this might be one of the most challenging periods of my life, I am confident that I will be successful in my endeavors. 

I would like these posts to be a series within Rose City Art Review to share my story and hopefully pass some advice onto you. There is a considerable lack of information online on how to become a curator or an art historian. I am not here to tell you that I am an expert. In fact, I am the exact opposite. I am learning as I go, and hopefully you can learn from those experiences that I share with you.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Alien She


[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Recommended Reading. 2010. wallpaper of photocopied drawings. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

Alien She is a two-part exhibition that explores the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl on the art practice of seven visual artists and collectives. The two parts of the exhibition are presented at the 511 Gallery at PNCA and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MOCC). The exhibition at the 511 Gallery presents archival materials including zines, posters, and music listening stations to immerse the viewer into the culture and ideologies of the Riot Grrrl movement. Riot Grrrl began in the early 90s as a punk feminist movement reacting to the violent sexism, homophobia, and racism apparent in the punk music scene. The movement went on to inspire the socially and politically driven careers of the artists included in the exhibition and many more.

 [Image: Exhibition images. "Alien She". 511 Gallery at PNCA. Photos by Mario Gallucci]

One of the consistent themes throughout the exhibition is the use of craft based practices to communicate the social ideals of the artists involved in the exhibition. Upon entering the exhibition at MOCC the viewer is arrested by a bright pink, hand woven, barbed wire fence sculpture, We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out, by artist L.J. Roberts. The installation evokes the feeling of confinement and experience of discrimination faced by immigrant, queer, and transgender communities. Robert’s art practice is informed by the DIY, craftivism, and feminist spirit associated with Riot Grrrl.  

 [Image: L.J. Roberts. We Couldn't Get In. We Couldn't Get Out. Crank-Knit Yarn, Hand-Woven Wire, Steel Poles, Assorted Hardware. 2006-2007. courtesy of the artist. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

Placed behind Robert’s barbed wire fence stand Allyson Mitchell’s Ladies Sasquatch sculptures. The series of sculptures embody a, “feral sexuality outside prescriptive heteronormative notions of beauty and lust and toward a ‘queer utopian dreamworld’.”

[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Ladies Sasquatch. 2006-2010. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

 [Image: Crochet tutorial workstation. photos by Mario Gallucci]

Artists: Ginger Brooks Takahashi (Pittsburgh), Tammy RaeCarland (Oakland), Miranda July (Los Angeles), Faythe Levine (Milwaukee), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto), L.J. Roberts (Brooklyn), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco) and more.

Alien She is curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Alien She is presented in two parts:

Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis
Portland, OR 97209

511 Gallery @ PNCA
511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209

"Alien She". Curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss. Museum of Contemporary Craft and 511 Gallery at PNCA, Portland, OR. Sep 3, 2015 – Jan 9, 2016.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Danielle Wyckoff: Emerging Dissolving

[Images: Danielle Wyckoff, Emerging Dissolving, 2015, handwritten and screenprinted stories on mulberry paper, thread, courtesy of the artist and Soltesz Fine Art gallery.]

Emerging Dissolving is an installation that submerges its viewer into the love stories collected by artist Danielle Wyckoff. Love stories are lightly handwritten on mulberry paper scrolls that stream and unfurl across the length of the gallery. Viewers are encouraged to examine the individual scrolls and walk amongst the love stories. Only on view for the exhibition opening, the scrolls hung over a pool of red salt water. Evidence of the pool’s detritus remains with crystallized salt rings on the floor and the red salt that dyed the scrolls that fell into the pool. The scrolls cast shadows across the gallery walls and continue the repetitive nature and immersive quality of the installation.

Wyckoff’s text based drawings and installations explore the question, “what is it to love?” The installation Emerging Dissolving, emphasizes the process of story telling as a preservation of past loves and ways of loving. She sees the common experience of love and losing love as a connection between people. The artist also makes comparisons to the immersive experience of love and water.

The Emerging Dissolving installation uses storytelling to illustrate the dichotomies and shifting qualities of love and water, “their beauty and breathlessness, and their terror and transience.” The red salt pool further illustrates this relationship through salt’s preserving and corrosive characteristics. The color of the red salt references love and anger, blood and earth. Danielle Wyckoff’s text drawings and installation exhibition, Emerging Dissolving, is on view at Soltesz Fine Art Gallery until September 19, 2015.  
Emerging Dissolving, Danielle Wyckoff. Soltesz Fine Art, 1825 NW 23rd AVE, Portland Or.