[The Fortuny Tent at Pulp Fashion]
Back in the spring of 2011 I coerced my sister into accompanying me to an exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor called Pulp Fashion. Both of us came to this visit with no expectations and were quite blown away at the exquisite exhibit. Isabelle de Borchgrave is a Belgian artist who works mainly with paper and paint to recreate to scale reproductions of historical costumes. I believe the exhibit at the Legion was the first large scale exhibit of her work in the United States.
Tonight, the Bellevue Arts Museum opens an exhibit called A World of Paper which focuses on a specific body of work inspired by painter and textile designer Mariano Fortuny. I am very excited to have an opportunity to see the work of this world class artist again.
I have to mention to see this work up close is a bit mind boggling when you realize every bit of it is created from paper. I hope people “go over the bridge” and take the opportunity to visit BAM with their own eyes. I’ll be reporting back on my own visit.
As an aside, for anyone who hasn’t been to the California Palace of The Legion of Honor, it is quite the grandiose pleasure. The location is a bit out of the way, so you feel like you are making a pilgrimage, with a pay out of spending time with the mainly European collection of art. For Hitchcock fans, you might recognize the interior from the famous museum scene in Vertigo.
Last week I had the good fortune of going across the waterway to the Kirkland Arts Center to view the exhibit pARTners. The secondary title of the show is Considerations Rather than Constraints,which is the underlying thread. The group show is a collection of work curated by Deborah Paine and showcases work done by artists that are also live in partners/sidekicks. Paine says in the tidy little catalogue that comes with the show that:
Through the decades, literature has painted a somewhat bleak picture of the artist; solitary, angst ridden, self-oppressed and carried along by a muse that seems less than friendly. I’ve come to consider this a myth. In the introduction of Significant Others, a book edited by Whitney Chatwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, the question is posed,”if the dominant belief about art and literature is that they are produced by solitary individuals, but the dominant social structures are concerned with familial, matrimonial, and heterosexual arrangements, how do two creative people escape or not the constraints of this framework and constuct an alternative story?”
And Paine continues, through the work she has chosen for the show to execute examples. Often two pieces are displayed side by side showing inferred influence two people might have over each other’s work. Some pieces are collaborative showing a joint working style, like the glasswork done by Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman, and the video by Ken Fandell and Patte Loper. Some pieces were possibly done together for the exhibit like the one by Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park. My favorite piece in the exhibit is the collaboration betweenClaire Cowie and Leo Saul Berk– which looks like two Monopoly © piece houses parked facing one another on of Leo Saul Berks strange cartographic work- in separate yet close proximity. Sheila Klein’s billowy work next to Ries Niemi’s embroidered silk pillow offering was also a great combo.
An entertaining aspect of the show is finding out that someone does indeed have an artistic sidekick- perhaps lesser known (both Gaylen Hansen and Gregory Grenon have painting partners).
I never regret the 20-minute drive it takes me out of my way to get to Kirkland, and again KAC has mounted another invigorating show underling work done by local artists. Unfortunately the exhibit ends tomorrow- November 16th. Keep your eye on KAC though- they continually step up to the plate in giving local artists and curators a nice space to show contemporary art.
Photo stream of exhibit.
A note about the sparseness of writing here:
I have been feeling rebellious about time spent on the computer lately. In two weeks I will be leaving to go to Iceland for a month, and in a bizarre act to reign in all the details that are falling down on me, all I have felt like doing is cooking. I haven’t purposely cooked for years, so this is comical. Lots of soups and cold weather comfort food and time spent over a pot— just stirring. Cooking doesn’t lend its self to multi-tasking outside of additionally just listening to music, so maybe that is what it is all about.
I will be in residency in Northern Iceland in the town of Akureyri which is will soon be boasting a collective 3 hours of daily “twilight”. My sister claims I could be stuck by Seasonal Effective Disorder on day 1 and be unable to get out of bed for the entire month. All I know is this is going to remove me from the hum drum of daily life undoubtedly.
pARTners: Considerations Rather Than Constraints
at the Kirkland Arts Center.
Here is another exhibit at the Kirkland Arts Center that looks promising- curated by Deborah Paine who is an art consultant and worked as the Microsoft Art Collection Coordinator from 1993-2003. As an example of pairing live-in partners who both make art, Paine sets out to prove the impact and subtle influence two people’s work might have on each other over the long haul. At the very it is an interesting survey of local work- representational of some of the area’s established art makers.
Artist couples on display in pARTners incude: Gwen Knight & Jacob Lawrence, Robert C. Jones & Fay Jones, Michael Spafford & Elizabeth Sandvig, Robert Hanson & Judy Cooke,
Michael Burns & Marsha Burns, John Buck & Deborah Butterfield, Valeriy Gerlovin & Rimma Gerlovina, Albert Paley & Frances Paley, Lee Kelly & Bonnie Bronson, Sheila Klein & Ries Niemi, Flora Mace & Joey Kirkpatrick, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, Gaylen Hansen & Heidi Oberheide, Robert Sperry & Patti Warashina, Sherry Markovitz & Peter Millett, Gregory Grenon & Mary Josephson, Jerry Uelsmann & Maggie Taylor, Aaron Parazette & Sharon Engelstein, Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles, Leo Saul Berk & Claire Cowie, Nancy Callan & Julia Ricketts, Demi Raven & Rebecca Raven, Dirk Park & Jaq Chartier, Patte Loper & Ken Fandell.
The Kirkland Arts Center is open Monday- Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm.