Kelly Mark !@#$%^&* October 14 to November 27, 2010
For this exhibition of over 20 works on paper, Kelly Mark utilized the now-outdated graphic design tool of dry transferable lettering and patterns known as “Letraset” named after its manufacturer. Popular with designers in the 1970s and 80s, Letraset transfer sheets were available in a large range of typefaces, symbols, graphic elements, and patterns. These graphic elements were transferred to paper by hand-rubbing the vinyl forms down in order to simulate typeset headlines or to add patterns to illustrations. Although still available, this tool has largely been replaced by digital design and the computer.
Kelly takes on the tedious task of rubbing down forms, shapes, patterns, and lettering from scores of Letraset sheets to create complex “drawings” which are rigorous and boldly graphic. Kelly says, “I have always had an intense preoccupation with the differing shades of pathos and humour found in the repetitive mundane tasks, routines and rituals of everyday life. Hidden within these spans of time can be found startling moments of poetic individuation, and an imprint of the individual within the commonplace rituals of society….”
Kelly lives and works in Toronto. She has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally (including the United States, Australia, and Europe). Exhibition venues include: The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), The Power Plant (Toronto, ON), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC), Saidye Bronfman Art Center (Montreal, QC), ZieherSmith Gallery (New York, NY), Museum of New Art (Detroit, MI), University of Houston (Houston, TX), Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK), Lisson Gallery (London, UK), and the Physics Room (Christchurch, NZ). She represented Canada in both the 1998 Sydney Biennale and the 2006 Liverpool Biennial. In Seattle, her work has be exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery.
Eric Eley Look out September 2 to October 9, 2010
"A number of years ago I was given a few black and white photographs by my grandfather, who was a bomber pilot in the Second World War. Many of the images are taken from the perspective of the belly of a low flying plane. Several of them are wonderfully abstract as it is difficult to immediately discern what one is seeing. The bird’s eye view in the photographs and my great distance from their content in both time and experience allow them a beauty. In one of the images, un-tethered geometric shapes seem to fall away toward a barren earth. There one can see what appear to be figures standing along a dirt road. This particular photograph dulled the beauty thereby changing my perspective on the images. It is the impetus for the work in the exhibition.”
Eric Eley’s sculptures and drawings in Look out consider the sky’s ability to be both a source of wonder as well as vulnerability. There are structured human-scale explosions depicting forces as they just begin to expand; porous geometric shelters based on historical camouflage techniques used in the field; and drawings of the sky in flux.”
Eric’s work has been included in group shows in the Kunsthaus Hamburg and the Outdoor Sculpture Projects at Volta03 in Basel, Switzerland. He has also had solo shows at Gallery4Culture, the Hedreen Gallery at the Lee Center for the Arts, both in Seattle, and the Kolva/Sullivan Gallery in Spokane. His work was included in the group show Unnatural Presence at Platform in 2006 and he mounted a solo show at Art Agents Gallery in Hamburg, Germany in 2008 andHis last solo exhibition at Platform, Prospect Fields, was also in 2008. He received his MFA in 2005 from the University of Washington.
Magicality July 1 to August 5, 2010
Curated by William Powhida and Eric Trosko featuring work by Man Bartlett, Nick Fortunato, Johannah Herr, Baptiste Ibar, Kristen Jensen, Meghan LeBorious, Steve Pauley, William Powhida, Sarada Rauch, Garric Simonsen, Jacqueline Skaggs, Jade Townsend, Eric Trosko, and Letha Wilson
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"With this show, we desire to illuminate and challenge the parallels between the disciplines of art and magic(k). Both disciplines share belief systems that rely on a priori knowledge and metaphysics. In order to explore the parallels, we have sought out artifacts of practices rather than traditional art works. The difference between an artifact and an art work is dependent on our perception of an illusion or delusion. The distinction occurs through the acceptance of an idea, a value system that elevates common materials into works of art. In the art market, art achieves phenomenal values akin to precious metals and stones; the artist, the collector, the dealer, critics, and the auction houses transform ordinary materials with little intrinsic value into desirous objects. Creating the commonly agreed upon preciousness of art describes another form of magik, turning earth into gold, and in the art market, it is made possible. In the broader art world, artists can work in futility to achieve the desired transformation of their ideas, intentions into something of value, but that transformation is impossible without the belief of others.
“This show, and it is indeed a show, not an exhibition, presents a range of operators seeking tangible results; materially, socially, or spiritually. The operators include skeptics and believers whose work acknowledges the gap between what is and what could be.
“Through the use of associative thinking, non-scientific causal reasoning, symbolic expression, metaphor, metonym, and synchronicity the goal of artist and magician are the same seeking to affect change in the world. With this show we seek a synchronicity that will dissolve distinctions and help us to shed light on the dark and dark on the light. By looking at the production of art through much older means, we may discover new ways of experiencing and understanding its role.”
Ariana Page Russell Save Face May 13 to June 29, 2010
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“Living in a city with millions of people, I'm used to seeing a lot of faces in a day. They all blur together, but a few stand out. Some subtle interaction, a glance or expression, catches my attention and there’s eye contact. These fleeting moments reveal something deeper than the persona.
“In Chinese language there are 98 different concepts of “face”. They believe the face is a mask with incarnate spirit—a totem—and we are saving or losing it to stay members of society. In some American Indian cultures people use face paint to describe an emotion, augment one’s appearance and power, or prepare for battle.
“To some degree we have control over how we portray ourselves and what’s revealed, but we still leak emotions and aspects of our being. This makes us human. Using temporary tattoos made from photographs of my flushing skin, I wear this vulnerability as war paint, playing with the idea of face.”
Ariana graduated from the University of Washington with a MFA in Photography in 2005 She has exhibited at Some Space Gallery, SOIL Gallery, and 4Culture Gallery in Seattle and has had solo exhibitions with Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY, and Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ.
Adam Satushek annex April 1 to May 8, 2010
Humans are autonomous beings that both act on the world and create within it: we construct and have influence on our surroundings. But at the same time who we are, how we move through space, even the structures we build are all shaped in part by the environment of which we are a part. Adam Satushek looks at that dependent relationship through photography.
“My work investigates the interactions and integration into the world by humans. As I explore the space between what I assume about the world and the realities of how the world exists, I reconsider the relationships between these objects and their environment. I am attempting to understand my own place in the world.”
This work deals with our corporeal, precarious, and often hilarious relationship to our environment as it invites us to imagine the how, when, and why these particular interactions occurred. We wonder: how will these things change in the future?
Adam graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA in Photography in 2006 and has exhibited at Rake Gallery in Portland, OR, SAM Gallery, Gallery4Culture, and SOIL Gallery in Seattle. His work was part of a two-person show at Platform titled In Between Days in 2007.
Michael Schall firefall February 25 to March 27, 2010
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The Firefall was a nightly summer-time ritual that began in 1872 and lasted nearly a century in which burning embers from bonfires of red fir bark were pushed over the cliff of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park into the valley 1,700 feet below. From a distance this produced the spectacular effect of a glowing waterfall. Eventually park rangers decided to stop the practice, not only because of the overwhelming number of visitors the display attracted, but also because it was “not a natural event.” Many of the issues that Michael Schall has been dealing with in his work have to do with our awkward relationship with the natural world and our inability often times to deal with it. The tension between the nature of nature and humans’ need to control or manipulate nature, as in the case of the firefall, inspire him to depict in his drawings “worlds where both futility and potential are celebrated. . . . I want to create images of alternate worlds that resemble our own, but at the same time, are slightly off as well.” In other words, not natural events. Large container ships battle ocean liners in ice floe-filled waters. Glowing orbs illuminate a nocturnal industrial tangle of pipelines and girders. A dense forest swallows up unlucky skiers in its branches. Close inspection of these beautiful and mysterious landscapes reveal drawings that are meticulously executed with hundreds of thousands of graphite marks rife with detail and draftsmanship. “My preference is for rigor, care and substance and that’s what I strive for, right down to the smallest details of my drawings.” This body of work demonstrates a shift for Schall, from airy light drawings to dark heavy ones; from using the white of the paper as space, or an object, to using it as light source itself. The results “shed light on our collective social fears and desires.”
Michael has had a solo exhibitions in 2007 and 2009 at Pierogi New York (New York, NY). His work has been included in groups shows at Urbis Art Center (Manchester, United Kingdom, 2009), Neuberger Museum, (Purchase, NY, 2008), Breda’s Museum (The Netherlands, 2007), Galerie Adler (Frankfurt, Germany, 2006), and the 2005 Center on Contemporary Art Annual (Seattle, WA, 2005), among others. His work was last seen at Platform in the group show Eden’s on Fire in 2008 and was included in McSweeney’s #32 and the Better of McSweeney’s, Volume 2. He received his MFA from Pratt Institute in New York and is the recipient of a 2007–2008 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.
Marc Dombrosky Neverland January 7 to February 20, 2009
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With this exhibition Marc Dombrosky attempted to make sense of his new life in Las Vegas through the collection and rehabilitation of objects and memories found scattered in the desert:
“Michael Jackson died on the day that I both started and lost my job in Las Vegas. My fellow workers and I drove around that afternoon picking up boxes to move everything out of the closing showroom, crying. Crying because of the death, our own fears, our losses, and crying because, at that moment, we were totally screwed in middle of the desert. ‘Neverland’—as a fictional world, an isolated California compound—has always been about our hopes and failures but as is typical in Las Vegas today, usually not in that order. My exhibition, also titled Neverland, unites some of the objects that have mystified, disappointed, thrilled, saddened, and possessed me over the last several months in our new home. These include an embroidered cardboard sign that reads ‘FOR SALE’, with thread covering scrawled, faded black marker written onto an open, torn-apart box of medical supplies; a black t-shirt depicting Michael Jackson, with the King of Pop now also hand-embroidered over in thick black thread, simultaneously erasing and fixing his image; a shipping blanket patched together and repaired with repurposed pillowcases, tablecloths, and fabric scraps; and a series of found drawings and writings where every handmade mark has been meticulously re-written in matching thread.
“The blanket was given to me a few days after we moved to Las Vegas. It was the beginning of the summer and the blanket was wrapped around pieces of a bed frame. When we took the unit out of storage and assembled it, we started using the blanket to protect our bikes from the relentless Vegas sun. Placed over the bikes, on our patio, the blanket—over the course of only two months—decayed visibly. The blue surface turned to blue dust and with the slightest touch, drifted away. I tried to take a sample to match the color and it turned to powder in my hand, in my pocket. This is what Vegas often feels like now for us; slowly destructive, invisibly weakening, turning to dust in front of our eyes. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
“With my embroidery-on-paper pieces, I’m always trying to use sewing as a way to recover, to sustain, however briefly, the passing notions, drawings, thoughts, and words that are captured on the sheets. With the blanket (and t-shirt, and cardboard box), I want to do this same thing, explore this same process. I want to preserve this object that protected my bike. I bought fabric that seemed to be (in my memory) the same color of the blanket with the intention of covering, renewing, preserving the surface. As I was sewing it on, sometimes by hand, sometimes by machine, the blanket would frequently give way, disintegrating, evaporating, dissolving; leaving. The very process of trying to restore this object, this artifact, seems rooted in failure. It’s going to leave this world. But I’m going to try and keep it here, salvage what I can, darning and grafting from recycled tablecloths, pillowcases, and other blankets. This blanket will be a cyborg; bionically superior to the original, reinforced, but also somewhat weaker, more fragile. Like the hero of Haarlem plugging the dyke to save his town, I like to think I’m helping too, a little.”