Debra Baxter Colliding with the Very Air She Breathes
November 1 to November 30
Former Seattle resident Debra Baxter transforms rocks, minerals, and metals into mixed media sculpture. Since her move to Santa Fe a year ago, Debra’s been working with a foundry to experiment with different techniques in bronze casting and fabric casting.
She is interested showing the integrity of materials by exploring the parameters of a material's inherent nature, mining the plain truth of materiality. Her sculptures use material to speak of the body, power plays and questions of vulnerability, which remain themes in Debra’s work.
Debra Baxter is a sculptor and jewelry designer who combines carved alabaster with crystals, minerals, metals, and found objects. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College in 2008 and her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1996. She also studied at Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. Baxter has received an Artist Trust Individual Artist Grant, three 4Culture Individual Project Grants in Seattle, Washington, and was recently nominated for a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award.
Joy Garnett unmonumental
October 1 to October 31
Joy Garnett is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who works with archives. Her projects use painting, online repositories, and social media performance to explore the crossroads of our digital and material worlds. Her work has been shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Newcastle), aeroplastics (Brussels), Boston University Art Gallery, MoMA PS1, CUNY Graduate Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and is included in the permanent collections of the National Academy of Sciences, Philip Morris, and The West Collection. She has received grants from Anonymous Was a Woman, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Wellcome Trust, and The Chipstone Foundation. Garnett writes the column ‘Copy That!’ for Art21 Magazine and has served as Arts Editor of Cultural Politics, a refereed journal published by Duke University Press, since 2005. Her writings have appeared in a few anthologies as well as in Harper’s, Journal of Visual Culture, and Ibraaz, the leading critical forum on visual culture in North Africa and the Middle East. She continues to edit her blog NEWSgrist, which she launched in the spring of 2000. Garnett is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice (DIAP) MFA program at The City College of New York. She hopes to further realize projects drawn from her family archive. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Joy had a solo exhibition at Platform in 2014
Ray Beldner New Collaged Portraits
September 1 to September 30
“Like many artists, I make art from the stuff of everyday life: clothing, cash, stolen items, porn. My work takes the form of sculpture, installation, print, digital media, text-based work, and applied arts. It is frequently derived from conceptual ideas that deconstruct hierarchical systems ‘high art’ versus ‘low art,’ ‘intrinsic value’ versus ‘commercial value,’ and so on with ironic humor.”
Ray Beldner is a sculptor and new media artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California, the San Jose Museum of Art, the diRosa Preserve in Napa, California, among others.
Scott Fife Esto Perpetua
June 30 to August 7, 2016
Platform presented new sculptural works and drawings by Scott Fife.
“Some thoughts …
… on apparitions of a novelist and a poet, literary giants long gone, resting in sleeping bags, void of their bodies. These sculptures are not a memorial. In sleeping bags the figures are playful, reflective, intimate, transitory, sharing thoughts, rafting through the ebb and flow of re-evaluation, and disappearing into the many, nightly, in sleeping bags ... in forgotten dreams. Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound met in Paris, part of the Lost Generation, and remained good friends throughout their lives.
“Ernest Hemingway: hero; Ezra Pound: anti-hero.
“Ezra: fascist, convicted of treason, generous supporter of writers careers, T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, brilliant translator of others’ voices, and a teacher. Ernest: pugilist, voracious, handsome, vindictive, big game hunter, bullfight aficionado, and six-toed-cat lover.
“Ernst Hemingway, sixty-one years of age, committed suicide at his home in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1961. Seventy-six years earlier Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, the mining town down the road from Sun Valley. While living in Italy he referred to himself as the ‘Idaho Kid.’
Scott Fife has been exhibiting his sculptures and drawings since 1976 in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver, BC, including at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Frye Museum, Seattle, WA; Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, WA; Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT; and the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC. This is Scott’s fifth exhibition with Platform.
Patte Loper From There to Here
May 5 to June 18, 2016
A selection of paintings and drawings by Patte Loper from exhibitions she mounted at the Gallery over ten years. The work came from the following shows: Let Our Beauty Ease Your Grief (2006); A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky (2008); Still Point in a Returning World (2011); How to Stay Alive in the Woods (2013); as well as work featured in group shows and art fairs. An accompanying catalog featured an essay by Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA). This exhibition was in conjunction with Patte’s installation at Suyama Space (Seattle, WA) which is on view through August 19, titled Seeking Higher Ground.
Patte is a painter who experiments with sculpture and video. She was born in Colorado and grew up in Tallahassee, FL, a subtropical college town where she first developed an appreciation for the ways nature and culture can overlap. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, and Boston, MA, where she is on the faculty of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. She has shown her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including the Drawing Center, New York, NY; The Licini Museum, Ascoli Piceno Italy; LMCC’s Art Center on Governor’s Island, NY; the Palaentological Museum, Cortina, Italy; The Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; the Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY; the ISE Foundation, New York, NY; and the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA.
Adam Ekberg Theatre of Lost Years
April 2 to April 30, 2016
REVIEW Humble Arts Foundation blog
Over the last decade Adam Ekberg’s photographic work has consisted of a series of investigations into the actions, disruptions, displacements and misuses of commonplace objects in empty spaces and landscapes. These minor performances are created by Ekberg with the sole purpose of capturing an event at its zenith.
At face value these fleeting gestures and actions are about nothing so much, simply an index of unremarkable moments: a paper airplane flying across a blue sky with puffy clouds or a goldfish in a plastic bag of water in the planes of the Midwest. Collectively these images make up a world, just slightly off from our own, in which objects misbehave. The simple becomes strange, as though we are on a planet exactly like our own with an ever-so-slightly different gravitational pull.
Ekberg’s working methodology for the past ten years originates from wanting to photograph the presence of absence. His process begins with a sketch of what he wishes to actualize in the world and he works backwards from theses drawings to make the event occur in the world so that it can be photographed. This willful circuit of creation for his images means that Ekberg is always, from outside of the photographic frame, generating something that will register as a photographic subject within the frame.
These small things become surrogates to a life outside the frame, but they also take on a life of their own within the photographic frame. Arguably these images are easy to deconstruct. The pictures do not put on airs or claim to be anything they are not and in so doing can become whatever the viewer wishes them to be.
Ekberg received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has recently had solo exhibitions at ClampArt, New York; DeSoto Gallery, Los Angeles; Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago; Platform Gallery, Seattle; and Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden. His work has been included in recent group exhibitions at venues such as Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angles CA; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco; and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork Ireland. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, among others. He is the recipient of the Society for Photographic Education’s Imagemaker Award and a Tanne Foundation Award. Ekberg has also received grants from Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation. His first monograph titled The Life of Small Things was published by Waltz Books in November, 2015.
Ross Sawyers The Jungle
February 18 to March 26, 2016
REVIEW The Seattle Times
The shed was crowded. They lolled on boxes, and broken chairs, and in the sand, which was boarded up like loose grain in one-half of the place. A large, round stove was splashed cherry red with the heat. The warmth in the room melted the snow on the roof, and the water dropped through a small space above and fell with a monotonous clatter on a piece of tar-paper in a corner of the sand bin. Coffee boiled in a granite vessel on top of the stove. Some battered cooking utensils were in a store-box which also contained many varieties of food. There were some small lunches wrapped in paper, which the hoboes called “lumps” and “handouts.” These lunches had been given to them by kind-hearted people at houses where they had begged. . . . Just then the door opened wide and a policeman stood framed in it. His flash-light shone clearly above the blurred light that glimmered through the smudgy globe of the kerosene lantern. The hoboes in the shed were momentarily alarmed, while I was badly scared, as it was my first contact with the law. The officer looked about the room, as if in search of a certain individual. “He ain’t here, I guess,” he said, half aloud to himself, as he held the light in the faces of the group. “That’s all right, men,” he continued. “Flop here till mornin’—she’s colder’n Billy-be-damned outside.”
—Jim Tully, excerpt from Beggars of Life, 1924 (New York: Albert & Charles Boni)
For more than a decade, Ross Sawyers has produced photographs that focus on subtle and important aspects of urban architecture. His last exhibition at Platform, titled This is the Place, referenced interior spaces with walls marked with drawn or scratched symbols acting as a kind of stage in which frustrations and anxieties of their inhabitants have been recorded. This latest body of work focuses on exteriors, some seemingly constructed with materials at hand, some perhaps existing structures that have been altered; more symbols of habitats than anything inhabitable. “My intention with these photographs and the work I have done in the recent past is to make connections between the Present and periods in the Past that have perhaps seen similar circumstances with similar consequences.”
Ross earned his MFA from the University of Washington. He has had solo exhibitions in Chicago, IL, Spokane, WA, and Kansas City, MO. His work has been exhibited at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam and in the exhibition The Ghosts of Architecture at the Henry Art Gallery (University of Washington, Seattle, WA). His photographs are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO) and the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA).
Matt Sellars Energie
January 7 to February 13, 2016
The rider paused at the ridge overlooking the valley through which he had just traveled. He was overcome by a feeling that he couldn’t quite place: a sense of belonging, of joy, of melancholy.
Though he had no reason to believe it true, he sensed the presence of those he knew, having passed onward up this very trail. The light was fading and shadows pushed out spaces of definition, filling them with deep greens and purples. The distant songs of mourning doves and poorwills added to his suspicion that this place was a part of him, a part of those he loved.
The rider lived in this moment for a space of time, and as he turned his horse to go, he spoke out loud to no one but himself, that he would return someday.
“To define something can rob that thing of what sets it apart. At least this can be true of things we feel, knowing that they are special. When we inhabit a space, we align the objects in that space according to our needs and how that arrangement might best optimize the space itself. Through the process of a number of practical decisions, something else happens: the house becomes a home. It becomes imbued with the essence of who we are. I use this as an example, but it applies to other areas of our existence. An art object might bear a striking resemblance to a utilitarian object, but the art object stands to give off a certain energy. Fingerprints may exist on the surface, a chisel may have passed quickly over a surface leaving the impression that the artist was moving both fast yet intentionally. Or a landscape, during a certain hour, bathed in the right light might have an otherness to it. One might stand in a sacred building and sense the energy of the hands that placed every stone, adobe brick or timber.”