Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Form/Space Atelier Program For May 2012 Exhibit Title: Character And Me Exhibit Duration: May 11-June 2, 2012 Vernissage: May 11, 6PM. Coordinated By Character And Me is paintings and archival prints by Yuriko Miyamoto. Characters, which populate the imagery of Japanese culture, are the foundation for this second solo exhibit of Yuriko Miyamoto at Form/Space Atelier. Crossing Boundaries, Yuriko Miyamoto's first solo exhibit at Form/Space Atelier was on view October 23 through November 9, 2008. Yuriko Miyamoto was born in Tsuchiura-shi, Ibaraki, Japan, but has spent most of her adult life on the West Coast of North America, including several years in Seattle and was an employee of the Frye Art Museum while based in Seattle. Yuriko Miyamoto is now based in Portland, Oregon. Yuriko Miyamoto's Artist Statement Narrates Character and Me
Growing up in character-centric Japan, I've became accustomed to connecting myself with characters, as a reflection of myself. Into my characters, I will express some reflection of myself, and some moments I find inspiring to me and possibly to others. By using simple characters, people might find it easier to connect with themselves, regardless of their nationality, age or gender. In a way it makes me feel those boundaries will disappear. Because of the simplicity of the characters, I hope they will connect many people to my images and bring them happy, warm feelings, and a little break in their life with a little giggle and, perhaps, a little wisdom. Art Writer Erika Hobart Reviewed Yuriko Miyamoto's Crossing Boundaries, Which Exhibited At Form/Space Atelier October 23 through November 9, 2008 Japanese artist Yuriko Miyamoto (now based in Seattle) grew up accosted by images of Hello Kitty and Godzilla, so it’s no surprise her acrylic paintings convey that kawaii aesthetic so prevalent in J-pop culture. Miyamoto’s newest series, “Crossing Boundaries” (through November 9), features sassy cats riding in UFOs and friendly fish viewing sunsets. (How they manage to survive out of water is beyond me.) The artist employs simple geometric shapes to impart a playful, childlike innocence to her paintings. Her nonsensically cute scenarios—“Catworm”?—will sometimes have you scratching your head. But consider Miyamoto’s inspirations: Hello Kitty doesn’t even have a mouth.

Monday, April 23, 2012

All Kinds Of Blackness

I first met Robert Storr in the winter of 2008, when he lectured on Kim Jones at the University Of Washington, as the concluding program for the University Art Institute. Met, perhaps is an overstatement, but more about that later. Mr. Storr, a renown curator, artist and, distinctly, something more in the consciousness of art, spoke in reference to Kim Jones and the VietNam war. The lecture was memorable for me, being the first time I had shared a room with the esteemed polymath Mr. Storr, though the particulars of his discourse did not register significantly in my memory. On the whole, Mr. Storr was well prepared, engaging, professorial and insightful, his intellect and acumen finding their way to the afternoon’s oratory. While Mr. Storr encouraged the assembled to see and understand Kim Jones work anew, bestowing in the process Storr’s considerable curatorial prowess, I began to create a story of my own around this lecture and lecturer. I was possessed, as I sometimes am, with a measure of audacity, sometimes illustrative of marginalia in textbooks, other times the basis for a more fully conceptual project such as a performative or objective work of art of my making. This particular instance, Mr. Storr’s unquestionable supremacy as categoric authority and definitive vaunted source of understanding of art struck me as allegorical to a public personage of great fame, such as befits a movie star or sports legend. In summation, someone whom was autograph-worthy. This particular instance, my reverie of story-making manifested itself with a staunch desire to obtain from Mr. Storr his very autograph. Once decided, I must confess I was less attentive to the details of Mr. Storr’s address, thinking how best to approach the podium and what I would say. My apprehension was silly, Mr. Storr graciously demurred to my caprice, and, further, found the presence of mind to perform his autograph with a fountain pen, flourished from a breast pocket of his smartly tailored suit jacket. I discovered at that moment, new to autograph requests, the exchange that takes place in the autograph process is thrilling, and gratifying. Since that time, I have gathered the signatures of other figures in the art world, topping the list; the autograph of Jasper Johns, who penned a short reply on the back of a Thomas Eakins postcard to a request I had written to Mr. Johns for a speaking engagement. Sometime later, I organized an exhibit at Form/Space Atelier featuring Robert Storr's Autograph, plus the work of dozens of other artists in the last group show exhibited at Form/Space Atelier.

The exhibit, customarily left untitled, of Robert Storr and Denzil Hurley, at Francine Seders April 6-May 6,2012, is composed of paintings by Mr. Storr and paintings plus assemblage by Mr. Hurley.

Robert Storr has been making art objects for more than thirty years, though his paintings haven’t been publicly exhibited for more than twenty years. The exhibit at Francine Seders comprised a grouping of four paintings, titled SP #’s 1,2,3 and 4, and give hints to the artist’s encyclopedic knowledge of hard-edged modernist themes, and homage to Robert Ryman, specifically. Mr. Storr published in 1993 critical review of Ryman. The pleasing scale of the four panels, executed in a horizontally bifurcated study of the extremes of value, make order of the space they intervene into. If there is a prayer evident in the construction of these two-dimensional surfaces, it is one of an oblation to return the chaotic contemporary world to peace and understanding. Other apparent shapes in the composition of SP 1-4 are those of dialogue balloons like those that appear above the cartoon characters in the paintings of Roy Lichtenstein. Eight red dots, two per panel, nod to gallery procedures of marking sold paintings with one red dot. Could commerce figure prominently in the narrative of this artwork? Cherries on top of an eskimo bar? The thought readily produces saliva. One feels persuaded Mr. Storr could produce a multivalent thread of descriptive information regarding his own artmaking simultaneously compelling, enlightening and gratifying. The appearance of the great white stag, the elusively exhibited artist Mr. Robert Storr, is a rare intrigue, and bodes auspicious for other individuals aspiring to multiple perspectives in the practice, curation and literary documentation of art. Whomsoever might fit that particular description.

The other half of the exhibit is a similarly rare showing of Denzil Hurley, faculty at The University of Washington School Of Art. Hurley has marshaled numerous rectilinear panels covered with black paint, and to which the artist has added various woody assemblage. The protuberances appear like signposts or icicles, dangling below the regimented grids of black-painted canvases. Conceivably, these woody attachments are one stick torn from a beaver lodge of sticks referencing the assemblage of Kim Jones. Viewing the groupings of Mr. Hurley's black paintings recalls a personal experience with parallel themes; in 2004, when I was invited by 4culture to provide a sample of my performative artwork, I was asked to document the performative sample at the recording studio of a well-respected Seattle artist. Black paintings adorned one wall of the artist's recording studio, at the same moment I was painting a series of black paintings in my own studio. The other artist commented with instantaneously-enunciated wisdom; “There are all kinds of blackness...” Applying this succinct philosophy in reverse, modern times have proliferated a “blackness” that encourages the culturally-aware to examine Mr. Hurley's salient suggestion, and perhaps reconsider our own identities, past, present and future.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thrift Is The New Luxury

Materiality, in this case, that of wisteria vines and rhododendron branches combined with fluourescent bulbs, begins a reading of the work of Iole Alessandrini temporarily at the Storefronts Seattle/Soil Satellite space at 601 South King Street in Chinatown.

Ms. Alessandrini, a much-awarded locally-based artist (Betty Bowen 2000), is plumbing the below-grade temporary exhibit space with nests of organic material literally illuminated by a manufactured aesthetic, that of Donald Judd-esque fluourescent lamps. The eerie, chalky, blue-white vibrations of fluourescent light seem to make the most of the dessicated branches, revive them, animate them. The branches, for their part, imbue an organic pacification, lit or dim. The two aspects of manufactured light and organic mass seem to bring out the best of the other. Judd's lamps are clunky boxes compared to the trim, petite lamps Ms. Alessandrini chose, if that is the right word. Repurposed perhaps would be more accurate to describe the organizing process: she previously had used the lamps for another of her many creative expressions.

Organizing principles of rapid-deployment and low cost informed this exhibit. Power cords and a multiple outlet strip are left where they were hastily added to the exhibit; and add a nest-of-wires feeling to the nest of branches. Ms. Alessandrini explained she made no effort to improve the finish of the exhibit as other SOIL members might add content to the space at any time. The global premise of frugality is thoroughly a value-added component of this exhibit.

And, lest we try to oversimplify Ms. Alessandrini's seriality, she has brought along a tangle (following the theme) of christmas lights that piqued her interest, while gathering the raw materials for this artwork. Sequestered in a separate vestibule for discrete display, the chriss-mess lights are the period on the end of Ms. Alessandrini's sonnet, irreverent, playful, disobedient. Only a mature artist can pull off such a gesture of simplicity with conviction, Ms. Alessandrini has a long and distinguished career as an artist with which to make sense of her light touches seen here.

The upshot from below the sidewalk is an artist's studio sensibility, narrating the residency Ms. Alessandrini is undertaking at 601 South King for SOIL Gallery. Ultimately, one is persuaded to feel Ms. Alessandrini can effortlessly whip up a brilliant work of art at the drop of a hat, should the mood or inspiration move her, with the simplest materials that might be at hand, or found growing between the paving stones of Hing Hay Park, located just across the street from this exhibit/residency.