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Joy Garnett Being There    
October 23 to November 29, 2014

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Joy Garnett’s work deals with the theme of “the unquiet image in the media” as her general subject, within which there are more specific subcategories: machine vision; images of conflicts in and around the Middle East; images from screen grabs of leaked US classified military videos, for example. She has been “circumnavigating the same subjects and mediating them or filtering them through painting over the years.”

Regarding this exhibition Joy writes, “Media images of natural and man-made disasters function not to bring us closer to these events, but to give us the illusion of 'being there.' Moving along a different trajectory than reportage, painting walks the line between metaphysical engagement and story-telling without giving us clear guidelines for interpretation. By not offering contexts for the events depicted, painting sidesteps the journalistic urge to explore other possibilities.

“The paintings in Being There merge fact with fantasy as they draw upon found news images for subject matter. By absorbing media images and ‘re-making them,’ they exploit our expectation and desire to witness events we can’t experience firsthand. Purposefully ambiguous, the paintings in Being There stir unexpected associations, partial recognitions, unlikely comparisons, and far-flung projections. There is no one correct way to read them since they reflect the varied viewpoints and expectations of the viewers themselves.”

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 lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Lauren Grossman Ghost Variations    
September 5 to October 11, 2014

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The work in Ghost Variations explores the materiality of glass in combination with other media. Exploiting the transparency and visual lightness of the material, Lauren Grossman considers ideas surrounding ‘giving up the ghost’—including the last breath, final words, the problems of the insubstantiality of the ‘spirit’, the ever-elusive Holy Ghost, as well as the literal breath required to inflate a hot glass bubble.

Lauren Grossman has been exhibiting her work for over thirty years in diverse venues as the Wright Exhibition Space, the Kirkland Art Center, the John Michael Koehler Art Center, Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cornish College of the Arts, University of Puget Sound, as well as galleries in the Northwest and nationally. Her work can be found in the collections of Microsoft, the John Michael Kohler Art Center, the City of Seattle, Special Collections at the University of Washington, the Matthews Collection at the Arizona State University, as well as several private collections.


Marc Dombrosky Who throws their sister to the wolves under the bus?    
June 12 to July 26, 2014

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“This project explores the construction of fragmentary narratives and the simultaneous erosion of memory through encounters with gathered objects and embroidered works on found papers.

“Related through their shared dislocation, repurposing, and multiple histories, these things will align for a brief time together in this exhibition space then depart, sometimes over and over again. Pieces utilized in previous works reappear here—transformed, modified. The embroidery on found scraps that has been the focus of the work for the past decade is still active, channeling then dispersing meaning through the groups. It may be the valet key to the Camry. I hope we can still be friends when all this is over. 

“Taken on their own, many of the objects included in the exhibition are the familiar things that I live with daily in our house now—a broken fireplace insert, an old cassette tape, a reproduction side table (a reproduction of both Eileen Gray’s original design as well as the table on my porch), fur-lined gloves, Michigan black walnuts, sticks.

“But some of these things came from somewhere else, somewhere hidden: the sunglasses found on the beach in Florida already covered with barnacles; the railroad spikes and nails buried near old track line in the Tacoma Tide Flats; the plastic bags from the empty lot outside of the detention center in downtown Las Vegas, already emptied, their contents not even suggested. They hold together—briefly—with frailty, doubt, loss, and faith.

“Most of these things I’ve picked up without ever considering what will happen to them, or how they’ll fit together—even temporarily—with anything else. Some I’ve held onto for years now, waiting to see a connection. Like the severed ear in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, perhaps these objects are all portals to this other, hidden world. One of the found embroidered notes says it best: ‘Hi, It’s been such a long time since I ordered these items, I kind of forgot how—is this right?’ ”

Marc Dombrosky lives in Eau Claire, MI. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, and Clark County Government Center, Las Vegas, NV. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO; Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA; Gregg Museum of Art and Design, Raleigh, NC; and Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA. He is currently Chair of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, MI.


William Powhida Unretrospective    
May 1 to June 7, 2014

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New American Paintings

In the six years since William Powhida's last solo show at Platform he has continued his critique and dissection of both the art world and the financial world through text-based drawings and works on canvas including lists, charts, diagrams, instructions for the fabrication of “sculptures” and “paintings,” both as the persona “Powhida” as well as the actual artist William Powhida. His most recent exhibitions in New York (Derivatives and Overculture) and Los Angeles (Bill by Bill) have focused on the causes and effects of the financial crisis; the idea of artistic originality and outsourced fabrication of artworks in contemporary art; and the current frenzied art market flooded with oligarchs’ abundance of money.

Along with new drawings for the exhibition, Powhida is making republications of his past work available as original oil paintings made in a painting village in Shenzhen, China, to be painted in oil on canvas. Nods toward globalization, reproducibility, and the fabrication of artworks of an artist by other (anonymous) artists point to the discussion that at least one of the two Powhidas want the viewer (and collector) to consider. From his piece titled Dear Seattle: “After discussing a show where nothing would be for sale . . . we were informed that would be pretty . . . stupid. I'm all for some self sabotage but running a gallery isn't FREE because RENT, LABOR, TIME, etc. Then my dealer Stephen told me about his trip to China and the painting village. We decided it would be great to do a kind of “Greatest Hits” show or a unRetrospective (the museums aren't exactly lining up offers). Through the MAGIC of exploitive globalization we are able to offer “original” POWHIDA republications at PRICES you might be able to afford for a limited time (OR our inventory runs out in decades (or days)). For your viewing pleasure and instant gratification, we've pre-ordered several BRILLIANT LISTS reflecting the trajectory of my artistic . . . GROWTH. You can also order ANYTHING off my website while the show is open following simple instructions. Please, just BUY something.”

William Powhida earned his MFA from Hunter College in New York in 2002. He has recently exhibited at Postmasters (New York, NY), Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Galerie Poulsen (Copenhagen, Denmark), the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (Dallas, TX), and Marlborough Chelsea (New York, NY).


Debra Baxter ALL I EVER WANTED    
March 27 to April 25, 2014

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Debra Baxter’s new body of work continues her investigation into power plays, vulnerability, and the body. Her work wrestles with the physical and emotional power of longing and attraction. She often pairs her carved rock elements with glass, metal, crystals and minerals, setting up a formal contrast that results in a mash-up of beauty and repulsion. In her work, Baxter creates a kind of otherworldliness that transcends physical reality making her sculptures talismanic. Her unique materials and processes give tangible form to experiences that are often inexplicable.

A key component of this show is the piece Soft Landing (or crashing and burning). This work is a three-dimensional version of Albrecht Dürer’s drawing Six Studies of Pillows (dated 1493; collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Baxter has been obsessed with this drawing ever since she first carved a pillow in 2009. The pillows in Dürer’s drawing seem to wrestle with their own physicality. Contorting and stretching in impossible ways, they anthropomorphize a human struggle, longing to relate to a body.

Debra Baxter received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Her work has been exhibited in London, Paris, New York, Minneapolis, Vancouver, BC, Sun Valley, and Seattle. Her work has been discussed in Zoo Magazine (Germany), Edelweiss Magazine (Switzerland), Zink, Art Ltd., Design Bureau, and Sculpture Magazine. Some of her pieces were included in the traveling show and catalog titled On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets by Suzanne Ramljak.

Stephen Hilyard Mountain    
February 6 to March 22, 2014

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This series of five digital images of generic mountains was generated from photographs of lava cone formations in Iceland. The images have been manipulated to render the mountain forms perfectly symmetrical for part of their height. These are not images of particular mountains, but diagrams of the concept “Mountain” realized as iconic conical forms. Work from this series was included in the 2013 Wisconsin Triennial at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

In recent years Stephen has received fellowships from the Huntington Library and the American Scandinavian Foundation and was a member of the Arctic Circle expeditionary residency in 2012. He was the recipient of a Finalist prize from the prestigious international 2012 Lumen Prize. He lives, works, and teaches in Madison, Wisconsin.


Robert Yoder and Michelle Kloehn Dark Entries    
January 2 to February 1, 2014

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Dark Entries featured the work of Robert Yoder and Michelle Kloehn. Robert has recently begun drawing both directly with paint from the tube onto canvas, and on paper, directly and indirectly with simple transfer processes. The work is graphic, hard, and unapologetic in subject matter and intention as an exploration of the painterliness of paint. In contrast, Michelle’s interests lie in questioning the limits of photography and its processes. She shoots both studio-made objects and light using the wet plate collodion method, a 19th century photographic technique which produces an instant image. The works in the exhibition are abstract tintype photos—results of a process primitive, physical, and open to chance.

Michelle received her MFA from Bard College. Her work has been exhibited in galleries on both coasts as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum. She was featured in BLIND SPOT Issue 36, Fall Portfolio, and has been written about in The New Yorker, ARTnews, and New York Arts Magazine. Her photographs are in the collection of the National Media Museum in Bradford, England and in various private collections. This was her first exhibition at Platform.

Robert has been exhibiting for over 25 years. He holds an MFA from the University of Washington and his work is in over 30 public and corporate collections including Amgen Corporation, Boeing Corporation, The City of Seattle Public Art Collection, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Hallmark Corporation, Henry Art Gallery, Hewlett Packard Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Swedish Health Services, Tacoma Art Museum, and Vulcan Incorporated. This was his second exhibition at Platform.