Friday, November 6, 2009
In "Selections 2004-2009," themes of human density once again occupy Peterman's meticulous photographs, as the artist juxtaposes vast landscapes of sublime emptiness with claustrophobic metropolises of impenetrable saturation.
Peterman goes for the wide shot in his muted, spare images of the American Southwest. The standout among his desert photos, "White Sands III," depicts the blanched landscape just as the cloudless, dust-filled sky turns the same shade of off-white as the dunes below. Like a glaucomatous mirage, the desert threatens to vanish into a monochrome abyss.
- Chas Bowie
Monday, August 17, 2009
This is a breezily-paced historical show whose individual works would fit quite well in the Portland Art Museum's photography collection. And while it's not an extraordinarily unique sampling by any measure -- Portland has welcomed such works regularly in the past through other commercial art venues -- the quality is affirming. The Portland art world needs the consistency of these kinds of shows.
- D.K. Row
Saturday, August 1, 2009
In mid-June, four days after his interview for this profile, photographer Corey Arnold left Portland for a two-month odyssey to Bristol Bay, Alaska. As this issue goes to press, he is on a commercial fishing boat, catching and gutting salmon by day, sleeping in an abandoned salmon cannery by night, and photographing these eerie environs—and their eccentric habitués— whenever he can steal a moment to click a shutter. With their exotic imagery and narrative quality, Arnold’s portraits, seascapes and landscapes have an offbeat appeal that sometimes veers into the absurd, mythic and grotesque.
- Richard Speer
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Ultimately, there's great mystery on the walls. And as much as I admire and like the aesthetic qualities developed in these works, I think every choice is a precise calculus meant to increase the enigmatic, a mood of puzzlement. Maybe these extremely manicured photos, which are almost exclusively devoid of human presence, hint at some level of emotional closure. Like the works of Richard Misrach, Kenna's photos are so beautiful and faultlessly consummated that they're closed off to imperfection, perhaps even nature's ways.
- D.K. Row
Friday, June 5, 2009
But perhaps the most compelling way to look at these works is within the framework of a changing era, the transition from mid-20th-century industry to something far more abstract and ephemeral. Robinson's paper mills and grain elevators, as well as other natural landscapes we often forget about, remind us of a past and a way of making things that may not return or thrive again in the same way --just like General Motors.
That's not a bad thing. This is a dizzying, electrifying time where time present is already time past and where eloquence is measured by 140 succinct words. It's an era beyond measurable history, beyond the usual metrics. Robinson's gaze at the present is already a sentimental, nostalgic one. They remind us of how fine and beautiful things were. And will be, no matter what.
- D.K. Row
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The show’s most innovative works, the gold-leaf sculptural wall piece, Award, and the silver-leafed Tarnation, were meticulously carved and sanded wood panels that mimicked the puffed-out, wrinkled-up look of bed pillows. Glinting, gleaming tours de force, they presented a visual paradox: the apparent softness of quilting and padding versus the solidity of gold bars and silver bullion. The viewer, registering but unable to reconcile these dueling impressions, was left with a dissonance that might have proved disturbing, were it not for the broadly smiling opulence the pieces exuded.
- Richard Speer
Monday, March 30, 2009
At 31, Hornschemeier retains an audacious sense of what is possible in the graphic arts. Mother, Come Home is the story of a mother who doesn't, leaving behind a husband and son who must help one another find a safe place to land. The Three Paradoxes is a complex weave of five narratives in which Hornschemeier tackles, among other things, schoolyard bullies, Zeno's Paradoxes, and the hazards of every-day cartooning.
- Steve Duin
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Speer's hand can be precise, but the artist also sometimes lets her paint dribble onto the canvas and spread organically, Jackson Pollock-style. Taking a cue from nature, the artworks are soothing even as they portray turbulent transformations. Speer particularly sees both the accessibility and enduring mystery of clouds in these pieces: picturesque explosions changing in slow motion but always on the move.
- Brian Libby
Monday, January 12, 2009
Maybe that's naive sentiment, a streak of fanciful emotion. But there's so much warmth and compassion in Miller's work, which is being celebrated at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art with a modest show covering the years 1942-58. Extraordinary isn't the first adjective that comes to mind regarding Miller's workmanlike prolificness. Some of the photos by this former head of the photo agency Magnum reach high-level photojournalism and remind viewers that Miller's is a narrow point of view: It operates under the armor of journalistic objectivity.
Still, these photos have a timelessness, and in light of the looming historical moment this month, a timeliness that should arouse our finest spirit, our best motives.
- D.K. Row