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One more kiss then we're history    
December 1 to 17, 2011

This exhibition brought together the work of artists Cobi Moules, Kelli Connell, Molly Landreth, Steven Frost, and Steve Locke who each deal with gender identity, persona, and sexual orientation as conceptual frameworks for their art-making. Each of the artists approach the subject from different mediums, intensities, and points of view. 

Patte Loper Still Point of the Returning World    
October 6 to November 19, 2011

“I have cobbled together scraps of cardboard, old cloth, sticks, string, and putty to create relatively crude, small sculptures whose design slides between still life, figure, and architecture. I use these objects as subjects for paintings, a process that renders them as dramatic characters and places them into hybrid, two-dimensional environments--environments themselves cobbled together from remnants of iconic images. The sculptures serve as actors in a painterly world that is coming apart and back together again and the work hinges on the possibility of a whole pieced together from the remnants of other things, repurposed from the old, embracing new forms and infusing them with material playfulness and lyrical strangeness. These paintings consider a moment in time when the process of becoming form is caught, stilled at a particular moment, perhaps in transition between states or at a point of realization.

 “I am flirting with a deeply intuitive sense of how the works could function and what they mean, and as such, their meaning often escapes language. The forms contain both urgency and totemic energies, with mysterious figures and apparitions rising out of the planned imagery to float along the periphery of understanding, perhaps pulling us deeper into a mysterious communion with the unknown.”

Patte has had solo shows in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Milan, and she has been in over 40 group exhibitions since 1998. Her work is included in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum as well as The Progressive Collection, Rene di Rosa Foundation, Swedish Medical Center, and the Microsoft Collection.


Ross Sawyers Dismantled Rooms    
September 1 to October 1, 2011

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“As the increasing density of neighborhoods and suburbs driven by the housing boom turned into the mass of foreclosures caused by the collapse of the housing market, my interests too, shifted from creating over-exaggerated physical spaces to creating increasingly psychological spaces that reference patterns of destruction and vandalism inflicted on these spaces by former inhabitants.

“These photographs are an attempt to question the distinction between a building and a home and at the same time draw attention the purpose of the deliberate destructive mark. Through the process of foreclosure, the homes I am referencing undergo an immediate transformation from home to empty building, striping these spaces of the weight and significance associated with the idea of home. Often, as a last act, inhabitants of these spaces destroy or vandalize them as if to mark territory or as an attempt to remind others of their presence after they are gone.

“The way I construct these spaces is a direct reference to the uniformity of design and level of craft often associated with new residential developments. The common building methods, combined with the deliberate destructive marks I inflict upon them are designed to invoke a sense of vacancy and loss in a space that appears ready to collapse at any moment while at the same time making direct reference to those who may have previously inhabited them.

“The spaces depicted in these photographs are close the actual but are not completely accurate or exact copies of the evolving reality I observe in my surroundings, they rely on the tenuous relationship between reality and construct created by the use of the constructed model as well as the illusion of permanence that the resulting photograph provides. These images present a non-linear progression of mark making and destruction of the interior spaces I have created. Multiple photographs depicting a variety of destructive actions represent each space. The marks are at the same time destructive and gestural, referencing both traditions of drawing and marking of territory.

“The class of structures I reference in my photographs—apartments and houses—are structures that we all experience in various and intimate ways. This level of familiarity is important to me, allowing the environments I create to resonate with the viewer, allowing them to create parallels between my visual interpretations and that which they have directly experienced in their own reality.”

Ross’s work has been in in various exhibits including the 2006 CoCA Annual and the 9th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2009. His work is in the Monsen Family Collection (Seattle, WA), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), and the Nelson-Atkins Museum (Kansas City, MO). He holds an MFA from the University of Washington. This was his third solo show at Platform.

Debra Baxter Wanting is Easier Than Having    
July 7 to August 6, 2011

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While much of Debra Baxter’s past work has explored the many aspects of longing, her newest work asserts that wanting is easier than having. Longing can become strangely comfortable, but it is the having or joining where a new level of awkwardness arises. Her work is about finding strength in the uncomfortable moments and addressing the dichotomy of simultaneous success and failure, while also exploring her continued passion for rocks and minerals.

Debra has had solo exhibitions in Seattle with Howard House, Soil, and Gallery 4Culture, as well as in New York with Massimo Audiello Gallery. She was part of a three-person show at the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada (Reno NV), and at SOME/THINGS Gallery in Paris. She holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery School of the Arts. She was a finalist for the 2011 Brink Award.


Scott Fife Bear Season    
May 27 to July 2, 2011

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My Friend the Bear
Down in the bone myth of the cellar
of this farmhouse, behind the empty fruit jars
the whole wall swings open to the room
where I keep the bear.  There's a tunnel
to the outside of the far wall that emerges
in the lilac grove in the backyard
but she rarely uses it, knowing there's no room
around here for a freewheeling bear.
She's not a dainty eater so once a day
I shovel shit while she lopes in playful circles.
Privately she likes religion—from the bedroom
I hear her incantatory moans and howls
below me—and April 23rd, when I open
the car trunk and whistle at midnight
and she shoots up the tunnel, almost airborne
when she meets the night.  We head north
and her growls are less friendly as she scents
the forest-above-the-road smell.  I release
her where I found her as an orphan three
years ago, bawling against the dead carcass
of her mother.  I let her go at the head
of the gully leading down to the swamp,
jumping free of her snarls and roars.
But each October 9th, one day before bear season
she reappears at the cabin frightening
the bird dogs.  We embrace ear to ear,
her huge head on my shoulder,
her breathing like a god's.  –Jim Harrison from Shape of the Journey

Scott Fife has been exhibiting his sculptures and drawings since 1976 in galleries in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver, BC and in museums including the Frye Museum (Seattle), the Tacoma Art Museum, the Boise Art Museum, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane). His work was included in the 2008 Art on Paper Biennial at the Weatherspoon Museum of Art in Greensboro, NC. The Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, Montana hosted a solo show of his work in the winter of 2010, and one of his sculptures was included in the Seattle Art Museum exhibition "Kurt" in the spring of 2010. His sculptures are in many collections including Microsoft, Safeco, Swedish Hospital, the City of Seattle, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Boise Art.

Matt Sellars Supra tidal    
March 31 to May 21, 2011

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The zone of a beach that is just above of the high tide mark is called the supra tidal. During the summer of 2009, Matt Sellars spent an hour or so along the beaches of West Seattle over the course of many visits. On his walks he would pick up the debris that had washed up in the supra tidal zone, enough to fill a plywood box. When the box was full he would sit and do a drawing of the area he had been collecting in and he made a photograph documenting the collected debris. In these visits to the shoreline, Matt reflected on a variety of things including how the landscape might have looked when the native Suquamish people lived there. The human-made debris gave him insight to contemporary ways of living. Fragments of old boats caught in between rocks reminded him of maritime disasters. Beachcombing slowed Matt down enough for him to pay attention to the tides, on-coming storms, and cloud formations. Drawing on his reflections, Matt’s installation at Platform includes sculptures of clouds carved from wood, small handmade terra cotta boats, and drawings from the high tide mark, each with written details describing the nature of that day.

Matt's work has been exhibited in the Schneider Museum (Ashland, OR), the Sun Valley Center for the Arts (Sun Valley, ID), Western Gallery (Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA), the Hallie Ford Museum (Willamette University, Salem, OR), and the Boise Art Museum (Boise, ID). He has had two solo shows at Platform and his work is in the City of Seattle Portable Works Collection.

Melissa Pokorny Was the Return
Easier Than the Getting Here?    

February 18 to March 26, 2011

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For Melissa Pokorny, found objects constitute the starting point for elaborate constructions that address gender, the public and private self, the nature/culture divide, and most recently, the connection between “things” as potent containers capable of active agency and the deeply haunted sense of history that clings to landscape and personal possessions. The unremarkable narratives of everyday objects become activated and heightened as they move into new situations and re-positionings within larger tableau. This compulsion to collect and re-imagine the status of marginal objects and things is a focus in these works. The rarified and the quotidian act together to create momentary and speculative connections. Reveries. Fragmentary narratives emerge on the nature of loss and desire, the power of magical thinking and the manner in which popular media shapes our collective imaginings of enchanted spaces such as caves, underwater grottoes and forest glades, wherein the ghostly and magical find refuge. These “things” come from estate sales in and around Urbana, Illinois. The photographs were taken at various tourist sites, national parks, and wilderness areas in Missouri and Kentucky.       

Melissa Pokorny has been an exhibiting artist for over twenty years. Selected group exhibitions include venues such as Yerba Buena Gardens, Southern Exposure, Victoria Room, and New Langton Arts in San Francisco, FOOD HOUSE Gallery in Los Angeles, Gallery 400, Columbia College, Devening Projects + Editions, and the James Hotel in Chicago and The Richard Peeler Art Center at Depauw University, in Greencastle, Indiana.  Her work is held in collections at Orange County Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Richard L. Nelson Museum at UC Davis, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum of Art, and the Richard Peeler Art Center at Depauw University. Pokorny was the recipient of a 2010 Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship.  


Adam Ekberg The arsonist's shadow    
January 6 to February 12, 2011

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“In calculated performances that intersect with photography’s documentary potential, I explore ephemeral occurrences that can serve as metaphors for existence. Making such humble events happen is alchemy of sorts, the transformation of the mundane into the poignant.

“Within the constructed images, I reposition specific celebratory iconography to create minor spectacles: balloons, cocktail umbrellas, disco balls, soap bubbles, and lens-based refractions. Such economy of means not only activates environments, it also prompts fascination and suggests auras.

“My process requires detailed and elaborate production outside the photographic frame so that what appears within the frame implies simplicity and straightforwardness. The photographs are made using medium and large-format cameras. While the images are handled digitally, Photoshop is used solely as a darkroom tool and not as a way in which to manipulate the image. It is important to me that these constructions actually exist in the world if only for the moment in which the photograph is made. Through this process, I hope to show that what is insignificant is not meaningless.”

Adam holds an MFA in Photography form The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL.