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Adam Satushek and Kevin O’Connell In Between Days  
December 6 to December 29, 2007

While the photographs that make up In Between Days are by two artists with very different experiences and perspectives, the “landscapes” observed by these artists go far in telling us about what happens around us when we aren't necessarily looking—in the in between moments.

Kevin O'Connell has been exhibiting his photographic images since the early 1990s. The work in In Between Days is taken from a body of photographs called Nocturn, made in the spring of 2007 while he was undergoing steroid treatments to counter complications from a bone marrow transplant. Insomnia, a side effect of the treatment, challenged Kevin to deal with the long, unoccupied hours of sleepless nights, pushing him out into the night into his sleeping yard to photograph, in ambient light, the mysteries that occur in between the daylight hours. Kevin's work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Biblioteque Nationale de France, Paris, as well as numerous corporate collections. He lives in Denver and this is his first exhibition in Seattle.

Adam Satushek pays close attention to the ways that human beings influence their surroundings through the traces that are left behind and the impact on the landscape from behaviors, movements, and alterations. His work captures the odd and unintended intersections of common, forgotten objects with the natural environment; an environment which then must bear the mark of that uninvited partnership and struggle mightily to maintain its dignity. Adam graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA in Photography in 2006 and has exhibited at Rake Gallery in Portland and SOIL Gallery and Gallery 4Culture in Seattle.

a spectral glimpse    October 20 to December 1, 2007

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In his poem, A Suite of Appearances, Mark Strand posits that, instead of trying to recreate an accurate and detailed account of scenes or moments past, which, he believes, “only darkens our sense of what happened”, it is “better to hope for the merest reminder, a spectral glimpse”. A glimpse is inviting, alluring, suggestive of something greater. A glimpse empowers a viewer with an agency to observe, communicate, conjecture, question -- to become mentally and emotionally engaged.  A glimpse is also fleeting – concealing as quickly as it reveals – leaving a viewer to struggle between the real and the imagined or, as Strand puts it, between what is “there but not there”.

The drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures and installations in a spectral glimpse offer viewers entrée into imaginative, psychological, ethereal worlds within works. Through the use of spectral devices, such as auras, aberrations, and shadows, the artists are able to draw viewers into the works; however, each stops short of creating any recognizable or exacting representation of a scene or even of providing any true guidance. Viewers are left with more questions than answers. And while each work is unique to the mind and imaginings of each individual artist – they all act as triggers for personal perceptual, cognitive or emotional responses on the part of viewers. The artists included in the exhibition were David Dupuis, Brad Biancardi, Adam Ekberg, Lucy Pullen, Bari Ziperstein, Leyla Cárdenas, and Ariana Page Russell.

About the curator: in 2004–05, Jim O'Donnell served as a curator at Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Seattle. During this time he curated group exhibitions, including Wish (with Miranda Lichtenstein, Kelly Mark, Rashid Johnson, and Jillian Mcdonald) and co-curated Domicile: A Sense of Place (with Zeng Hao, Margarita Cabrera, Rhonda Weppler, Harrell Fletcher, Marc Dombrosky, and Isidro Blasco).  He also organized solo projects in the space, such as Tivon Rice (Philo’s Cave) and Chad Wentzel (I Believe I Can Fly) and invited and worked with guest curators, such as artists Ken Lum and Ernesto Pujol and curator Maura Reilly (Brooklyn Museum of Art).

Scott Fife True Grit    September 6 to October 13, 2007

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Scott Fife extends his exploration and presentation of cultural personalities in the form of sculptural portraiture with True Grit, a collection of unabashedly mythic figures masterfully rendered in cardboard, glue, and screws. The artist's interest in the nature of aggression and possession led him to the rich constellation of stories, histories and influences surrounding the unique, often volatile characters of Billy the Kid, Jane Russell, Bruce Lee, John Wayne, and even a werewolf. Presented along with ink-wash drawings and studies, the larger-than-life busts in True Grit bristle with vibrancy and rawness.

Ross Sawyers Divided Spaces    June 28 to August 4, 2007

Ross Sawyers’ art is influenced by the experience of living in increasingly smaller spaces which are in ever-closer proximity to others in neighborhoods and housing developments that grow steadily denser. The mediated situations in his photographs challenge our inherent understanding of contemporary buildings and residential neighborhoods.

Constructing models, then viewing them through the camera, allows Sawyers to exaggerate and over-state the observations of his surroundings. The environments depicted in the works are close to the actual world, but the artist deliberately refuses to make accurate copies of reality in order to surprise us with environments of the unexpected.

Ross Sawyers's work has been included in various exhibits including in the 2006 CoCA Annual and in galleries in Kansas City and Portland. His photographs were exhibited at SOIL Art Gallery and Gallery 4Culture in Seattle in 2008. He holds an MFA from the University of Washington.

Stephen Andrews A Deer in the Headlights    May 17 to June 23, 2007

Stephen Andrews’ work tracks an idea from conception to realization. He has assembled drawings based on images culled from Google searches as the artist was looking to piece together a narrative using images from completely different sources for a new animation titled Cartoon. The animation is an adaptation of a car commercial and is a companion piece to the animation shown at Platform in 2005, The Quick and the Dead, which was based on footage of American soldiers in Iraq. These works, when shown with their component animation drawings, reveal time telescoped into the frames that constitute the manufacture of the minute in time. Andrews’ interest lies in unpacking the meanings of what has become the apex of popular visual culture. More time and money is invested in a 30-second advertising spot than in almost anything else. The commercial format is also the locus of all of our contradictions vis a vis the environment, class, unsustainable urban development, the fight for oil, and our unconditional love of the automobile. Ironically it has become the new landscape painting. 

Stephen Andrews was born in 1956 in Sarnia, Ontario Canada. He has exhibited his work in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Scotland, France, India and Japan. He is represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as many private collections.

Jesse Burke Intertidal    April 5 to May 12, 2007

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“As young boys growing up on the shores of New England, my friends and I would spend many days exploring and sifting through the rocks and shells of the intertidal zone—the area of land that exists between the high and the low tide marks. This is the space of the convergence of air, land, and sea; a place of constant change and uncertainty with aggressive highs and quiet, mellow lows. 

“I feel the intertidal zone is analogous to the complexity of masculine identity. I view the world and the men I photograph in a sweet and romantic way. Yet I embrace the heroic idea of masculinity in all its dominance and beer-guzzling glory. I chose to look deeper into the reality of who we truly are as men. We are complicated; we are fragile. 

“I am most drawn to the moments that are representative of vulnerability or emasculation; where there is a presence of a rupture or wound, be it physical, emotional, or metaphorical. I pinpoint those moments in our lives. Sometimes it is a fleeting moment between events. Sometimes it is a concrete object. Regardless, I see a world where blood and sweat mix with sunsets and snowdrifts. A world where we can run through the woods like young boys, without fear of consequence, only to fall and scape our knees, and bask in the utter satisfaction of pain.

We still wander into the ambiguity of the intertidal zone.”

Jesse Burke’s photographic installations evoke a deep lushness with images of velvet, black darkness, blankets of pine needles, blood, love, and sadness. He photographs the natural world around him as well as the men who are a part of his life, whether family members or friends, to explore the vulnerability of masculinity. His work has been exhibited as a part of the Art + Commerce Festival of Emerging Photographers in New York and Tokyo and in groups shows in Boston and Ottawa. His work was shown in Seattle as a part of Platform’s “Dark States” exhibit in 2005. Jesse lives in Rhode Island.

Intercourse    February 15 to March 31, 2007

In the dead of winter Platform Gallery presented Intercourse, a hot group show of work that took the physical sexual contact between individuals as its central theme. Each of the artists in the show approached the subject from different mediums, intensities, and points of view.

Ken Weaver draws dense large scale gothic scenes of orgiastic decadence, meticulously rendered in pastel on paper. Ken received his MFA from Long Island University and has had solo shows in New York, Paris, and Toulouse. Raven Schlossberg culls images from fashion, lifestyle, and porn magazines and seductively collages them into dense layers combined with calligraphic ink or paint drawings. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute and she has had solo shows in Germany, Switzerland, Brussels, Paris, and New York. Carl James Ferrero's bright watercolors bring private sexual proclivities and fetishes into public view. He received his MFA from Brooklyn College/CUNY. His work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, and Italy. Tracy Nakayama makes bold and tender paintings inspired by the romanticized filter of carefree porn of the 1960s and 70s. She received her MFA from the School of the Visual Arts in New York and has shown her work in Los Angeles, Chicago, Frankfurt, and at P.S. 1 in New York. Ray Beldner found himself looking past the sex in porn internet sites to the art on the walls. His ink jet prints of enlarged low-rez jpgs crop out the intimacy in order to reveal the banality of the settings for anonymous sex. He received his MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California and his work is in the permanent collections of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., the San Jose Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Carlee Fernandez MAN    January 4–February 10, 2007

REVIEW Seattle P.I. (January 19, 2007–not available online)

Carlee Fernadez’s work, first seen at Platform Gallery’s inaugural exhibition in 2004, consistently involved the transformation and synthesis of two natural objects. Her sculptures, which integrated taxidermic materials with other “natural” objects, transformed the two individual forms into something entirely new and supernatural. In her newest work entitled Man, Fernandez probes the power, aggressiveness, and macho beauty of the men who have been influential in her life and her art-making through contemporary self-portraiture. By juxtaposing her body next to or entwined with images of masculinity through photographs, video, and sculpture, the work is her dark reconciliation with her envy of “man.”