I really enjoyed this month's show at 23 Sandy Gallery.
I really enjoyed this month's show at 23 Sandy Gallery.
I went to see Raina Imig and Dan Bronson's show at Talisman Gallery. Both of them are friends of mine, so it was a show I couldn’t miss. Neither should you!
Raina is from India, and she draws on her native country’s folk art for inspiration. She recently returned from India where she studied rangoli, a beautiful and fascinating ephemeral art form practiced by the women of India.
This exhibit, perfectly timed for Portland’s June Glass Month, showcases her work in fused glass. Raina has worked in many mediums while exploring the Mandala. I think that the round glass plate or bowl is a wonderful vehicle to showcase the circular form.
I wish I had imagery, but you can take a peek here. I love the spiral galaxy plate, and the cracked earth looking plate in the third row. Raina always does wonderful things with blue.
Raina seeks “to show the organic processes of nature and spirit in moments of time. There is a sense of movement and dynamism in all my art, as if the process has been captured in transition.”
This show is holds many delights, because photography by Dan Bronson is also on display. I am a flat out fan of Dan's work.
Dan’s primary subject is the female form. This show features new work based on the feminine in myth in which Dan revisits what I think is his favorite subject celebrating Woman as Goddess.
Buy a Goddess for your Dad for a Father’s Day. He will be thanking you for it! This lovely is Blodeuwedd.
You can see more of Dan's work at his website. Be sure to check out the gallery of dancers, these are some of my favorite photos ever.
This show runs through June 22nd at Talisman Gallery in the Alberta Arts district.
Well, Computer Hell continues for me. I hate it that I can't post any doodles for you! Here are some things that have caught my attention recently to tide you over. Lots of links:
I love Megan Bogonovich's witty ceramics (via Artstream). This one is called Recconoitering. They just make me smile. I like the way her little characters are exploring wonderful organic forms, and the casual way she presents the man made as part of the natural world, like in her piece Colonial Subdivision
Yesterday, I went downtown. I was supposedly on a mission, but I couldn't resist detouring to a gallery and Powell's. I saw some lovely work by Catherine Foster at Bella Perla Gallery. Foster works in paint, polymers and resin on metal which she might weave or collage different metals together. Because she works on metal, the surface she works on can be curved away from the wall, which alters the way light hits the surface.
I have been embroidering (which I will show you as soon as I can) a version of one of the rectangular doodles. I am experimenting a bit here, but I think it is successful. I think the doodles translate to stitchery very well.
Naturally, I have been looking at embroidery, both historical and modern. The Museum of Arts and Design had an exhibit called Extreme Embroidery. The show has closed, so, unfortunately,they have taken it off their website. Here are links to the websites of some of my favorites from the show.
Kate Krentz works with human hair. This is an old tradition, but her imagery is all modern. While you are at her site, be sure to click through the Art World Truths embroidered on overalls. So true!
Benji Whalen has embroidered tatoos on stuffed arms. The image of a guy sitting and sewing all this manly man stuff is quite amusing. Embroidery has such a girly connotations in the modern world.
Ke-Sook Lee makes work of such delicate and quiet beauty, I want to be in the place these works take me to.
(Image lifted from Megan Bogonovich )
Gallery hopping again, this month in Southwest.
I was taken with his portraits of the people he met, especially this one, Emmanuel’s Favorite Aunt. The strength of the show was the way the portaits were hung, juxtaposing the patient sadness of the elders, with the weight of all that they and their country had been through in their eyes, with the sheer joy and optomisim of the young people.
There were also a few shots of memorials documenting/commemorating the horrors of the Rwanda genocide. The picture that painted a thousand words for me was Nyamata Church Mass Grave.
I was terribly moved by this photo, not that it was the most wonderful photograph ever taken. It was a rather pedestrian shot. Bacher’s work in black and white doesn’t have the clarity of compostion that his work in color possesses. This is more than made up for by the subject matter, racks of shelves, with the skulls separated from the bones. I can still see this picture so clearly if I close my eyes.
From there we went to what turned out to the perfect antidote, David Emmite’s show Notbotty and Dark Conscience at Augen Gallery. I wanted not to like the Notbotty part of the show. (What is it with pictures of robots? They are everywhere!) I was surprised that it turned out to be witty and fun in a way I could not resist.
In addition, to the photographs, there were a few of the robots and props present as well. Of the robot photos, I especially liked Flea Market and Tobar 2008, they actually made me laugh in the gallery. My favorite non-robot shot was Disremembered, of a scrapbook with blank images. This is how you do black and white! Moody and full of mystery.
I also want to mention something on the walls upstairs at Augen, some abstracts by John Dempcy that caught my eye. I will be watching for this guy. I love the way he uses paint.
(Photos by Adam Bacher and David Emmite lifted from Gottlieb and Augen galleries websites.)
I love my camera phone. Actually, I don't care much for the phone part, but I love having a camera in my pocket. Yesterday, I downloaded all the pictures I randomly snap as I wander around on my walks.
All of these things interest me enough to take a picture. As a group they say something about what strikes my fancy and inspires my art.
I love this fence, with it's interlocking circles. Isn't it gorgeous?
I would love to see a structure built of these circle in a square blocks. Plus, there is a lovely bit of an old wire fence (Oh yeah, you can click on any of these pictures to see a bigger, better picture.) behind it. It is made of narrow loops. That is so much better than your basic chain link fence.
I have never seen another fence with these curlique, or wave pattern, which is right out of Patterns People Have Made Since Antiquity 101.
I wish I could have gotten further away so you could see the entire thing, but this fence is on a narrow alley, and I was as backed up against the fence behind it as I could get. There is a lot of patterning going on in one small fence.
Friday, I went to the Museum of Contemporary Craft. My friends hadn't been there yet and wanted to see the jewelry show, Framed.
We were talking about how much better the museum's new digs were compared with the old one. It seems much more "museum-ey" than the old one. Now there is room for the curators to create an exhibition, to build an idea, and space to arrange things in isolation so one can truly focus on both the individual pieces and the exhibition as a whole.
The old place was less a Museum of Contemporary Craft than it was Lots of Stuff in A Room.
I am not a big jewelry fan. I rarely wear any and I don't harbor any lust for it. I was going more to hang out with my friends more than to see the show. So I was rather surprised to find myself sucked into the exhibit.
This is a piece called Wreath for Maeve and Liam (Bracelet) by Sharon Portelance. I think this is my favorite piece in the show. The image of a bracelet, and a wreath being the somehow the same thing captured me. It is a tangible memory. I liked the metal being organic and the way it visually recalled evergreen boughs, but it is prickly and hard, not giving or feathery like an evergreen. If it was worn, it would have to held well away from the body. It is memento of a beautiful, but painful memory.
I thought that Angela Gleason's Clean Girl (Rosary for the Virgin Mary) with plastic beads filled with detergent, and Dirty Girl (Rosary for Mary Magdalen) plastic beads filled with dirt and makeup were a witty, but a bit heavy handed, comment on the old Madonna/Whore complex.
Kiff Slemmons (I couldn't find a website or pix for her) contributed pieces made with rulers, pencils and erasers, along with silver, brass and ebony, called 'Metabox'. I wonder if it was meant to be a comment about measuring yourself against others or if it was a comment about working.
Donna D'Aquino's pieces (Wire Bracelets #91 and #93) could hang on your wall more easily than they could on your arm, but they were beautiful in their use of wire as line and in the negative spaces that the wire defined. She has a lot of lovely work on her website.
In many cases, the term 'jewelry' was used rather loosely. Maybe I am being cranky, but jewelry is by definition personal adornment, and made to be worn.I think it is more accurate to call most of the work in this show 'sculpture scaled to the body' or 'sculpture based on jewelry' since most of the pieces in the show were never meant to be worn by anybody, or would have been really uncomfortable to wear, like a ceremonial piece.
Not that it matters one little bit, because there was a lot to like in the show.
I did a bit of gallery hopping last week. I try to go often, but I forget to tell you about it.
I saw Al Souza at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. He works in cut paper and puzzle pieces. Found objects, essentially.
Yes, puzzle pieces. He had large works made out of pieces of jigsaw puzzles collaged on panel. I thought those pieces were very intriguing, colorful and busy.
I like his cut paper work even more, like this one, Movie Posters. This man has the patience of a saint, that's all I can say. He sat an cut a zillion ovals out with an Exacto knife. By varying the angles of the ovals on different sheets, and stacking the sheets, he forms incredible collages of broken images.
James Boulton's work was on display at Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery . His work is brightly colored and abstract, things that usually win me over. I always feel like I should like his work, but I really don't. His work is inspired by heavily painted walls and grafitti. Even though I know the sloppiness is deliberate, and part of his style, I find it off putting. This one is called Boulean Shark Logic.
The work I liked best was Susan Harlan at Beppu Wiarda Gallery. She makes paintings that draw on archeology and the way we live on earth. I like her lovely abstracts rendered in encaustic oils. These paintings are based on the Chinese Garden.
I had an appointment downtown this morning. It was just a couple of blocks from Powell's City of Books. I was unable to resist it's siren song. While I am very proud of myself for getting out of there without spending a dime, I am now consumed with book lust.
I am pining away for Russian Textiles: Printed Cloths for the Bazaars of Central Asia by Susan Meller. I have lots of textile books because I love patterns, and I find there is lots of overlap between books. This book is full of designs I have never seen before. Plus, there is a nice essay by Robert Kushner, describing how these textiles have inspired and informed his work.
Here is a lovely book, Vintage Textured Barkcloth by Margaret Meier. I love barkcloth! There lots of images in the book, and the author has a nice chatty style. The book also tells you how to tell vintage from reproduction barkcloth and how to care for your vintage pieces. I can't think of a single reason why I need to know any of this, but I like these sort of details.
Saving the best for last: Tribal & Village Rugs: The Definitive Guide to Design, Pattern, and Motif by Peter F. Stone. I absolutely must have this book! The only reason I didn't buy it on the spot was because I didn't have my Powell's store credit with me. I am not even going to give you a description, just click the link.
While we are on the subject of embroidery, check out the modern embroidered artwork of Takashi Iwasaki. I find this work incredibly inspiring. I am going to be working on some all embroidery pieces of my own in the near future.
With the holidays and travel, I have not been not painting or even doodling much, even though I should be panicking over my show which opens in a few weeks. I have been looking and absorbing lots of eye candy which I thought I would share because it is too cool to keep to myself.
I found this image on my desktop. It is of fabric samples, but I have no idea where I picked it up. I have done a lot of bookmarking of textile sites because of my dovetailing interests in pattern and love of fabric and needlework.
This is an embroidered beauty from Yorke Antique Textiles. It is an Italian Embroidered Panel from the 17th Century. They have a very nice website with lots of detail images in the galleries.
Have a napkin ready to drool in when you look at Thomas Cole for antique rugs and textiles, beautifully shot and well worth spending time with. This shawl from Turkmenistan is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
My favorite new artist is Laura Splan. She started out to study biology, before turning to art. Her work combines scientific and medical imagery with familiar materials, like needlework. The result is an exploration of dicotomy: comfort and discomfort, beauty and horror. I found her in Discover Magazine, of all places. Take a look and wonder at the work. It is breathtaking.
Finally, just because I love how graphic these cows are, take a look at this amazing beast. It is a breed called Dutch Belted, moooooo-ve over Holsteins, this breed has you beat by a mile. I have had this pic floating around my desktop for a while and I may even have posted it before.
Don't they look like a prank done by a bored farmer? Love it.