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Shot mostly on 16 mm film, Pablo Pijnappel’s films have been influenced by the history of psychoanalysis and the trajectories of people with great importance in his life. In a montage style, Pijnappel creates biographies of individuals, some from his immediate surroundings, some who played a key role in his family life. Multiple narratives construct and trace paths of memory, identity and dislocation, trade facts with fiction and generate infinite possibilities for associations and readings that the viewer must help complete by filling in the gaps in an often-labyrinthine narrative.
Art on Paper 2012 features regional, national and international artists who have produced significant works made on or of paper. Sixty-five artists were selected through submissions and by invitation. As a special feature this year, Curator of Exhibitions Xandra Eden formed an advisory committee of artists whose work was presented in Art on Paper (AOP) 2006, 2008, or 2010 to select the invitational portion of the exhibition. The committee includes: Tomory Dodge (AOP ‘08), Franklin Evans (AOP ‘06), Jiha Moon (AOP ‘08), Frank Selby (AOP ‘10), and Stacy Lynn Waddell (AOP ‘08). Each of these artists nominated five other artists to participate in this year’s biennial.
Since 1965, the Weatherspoon’s Art on Paper exhibition has charted a history of art through the rubric of one-of-a-kind works on paper. Since its inception, the commitment of xpedx (formerly the Dillard Paper Company) and The Dillard Fund has allowed the Weatherspoon to acquire works from each and every Art on Paper exhibition, resulting in the formation and tremendous growth of the Dillard Collection, which today numbers nearly 600 works. Acquisitions have included work by some of art’s seminal practitioners, including Louise Bourgeois, Brice Marden, Joan Mitchell, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella and Eva Hesse.
Museum acquisitions for Art on Paper are made possible through the generous support of xpedx and the Dillard Fund. Support for the exhibition and catalogue is generously provided by the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc.
The biennial Art on Paper Preview Party will be held on Saturday, October 20 at 6:30pm, hosted by the Weatherspoon Art Museum Association. The exhibition opens to the public on Sunday, October 21. The Art on Paper 2012 catalogue includes selected images, an exhibition checklist, and curator’s statement.
Jeffry Mitchell “Like a Valentine” retrospective at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington
For the past 25 years, Jeffry Mitchell has approached his artistic exploration of the shared human experiences of love, death, sex, and spiritual trial and redemption with sincerity and intuitive intelligence. His art radiates with a charming appeal, marked by an exuberant abundance of forms, materials, and techniques. From his earliest experiments with resin and paper to his extended engagement with ceramics and his latest multi-part installations, Mitchell has consistently investigated the decorative and the theatrical and blurred distinctions between art, craft, and functionality.
Mitchell has developed a distinctive visual language full of symbolic characters like alphabet primers, flowers, elephants, bears, and other flora and fauna. What might first appear as child-like sweetness or nostalgic sentimentality quickly gives way to complex emotional content and deeper narratives that touch upon his identity as a creative artist and gay man as well as his working class Catholic background. Mitchell also responds to specific aspects of the history of art, craft, and visual culture. He fashions sophisticated twists on sources as diverse as Chinese funerary sculpture, folk art, Russian Constructivism, watercolor nature illustrations, and modernist assemblage.
On this occasion, the Henry will publish in cooperation with Marquand Books the first monograph of the artist’s work. This fully illustrated volume includes essays by exhibition curator Sara Krajewski, Matthew Stadler, Patterson Sims, and Sam Korman; a conversation between Mitchell and artist Matthew Offenbacher; and anecdotes from Eric Fredericksen, Tina Hoggatt, Kristan Kennedy, Jeanne Quinn, Hanneline Rogeberg, and Tommy White.
Organized for the Henry by exhibition curator Sara Krajewski. Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell is generously supported by The Barton Family Foundation in memory of Irving Marcus; Cathy and Michael Casteel; Jane Hedreen and David Thyer; Lady Foundation; Christina and James Lockwood; Judith M. Tobin and Michael H. Baker; William and Ruth True; the Bagley and Virginia Wright Foundation; ArtsFund, The Boeing Company; and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
I’ve never met Jeffry Mitchell, but having seen his art, I’d imagine him to be a chunky fellow. Not fat, just well built. I’d also imagine him to be extravagantly hairy. Google reveals my hunches to be correct in the first instance, wrong in the second.
Is this even relevant? I’d say that in the case of Mitchell’s gorgeously sensual and emotionally tender earthenware sculptures, it is. These objects seem so obviously indebted to the physicality of their maker that body and mind, heart and soul, are practically inseparable. The deftness of the male fingers that pressed soft, wet clay into chubby flowers and sturdy chains, the strength of the arms that raised coils into vessels and heaved them onto rough wooden plinths – both are evident in the sculptures and are themselves evidence of the love (the clean and the dirty), humour and pathos that is poured into them.
Mitchell’s work has been well known in his hometown of Seattle for over two decades now, but it hasn’t been shown in Los Angeles since 2001. Aside from ceramic works, he also makes ornate drawings, prints and architectural sculptures. This is his first solo exhibition with Ambach & Rice, which relocated to Los Angeles from Seattle last year.
Shamrock Edelweiss Seaweed is a group of sculptures bound by a unified palette of brown glazes – which, on closer inspection, thin into greens, blues and oranges – and rough-hewn wooden plinths cut from packing crates The objects themselves are so thick with adornment that it is sometimes hard to see what (jars? stacks of bowls?) lies beneath. Symbolic motifs – and innuendos – recur throughout: nails, holes, Disneyesque, fat-petalled flowers with lolling stamens, shamrocks, big fingers, flowers whose petals turn out to be fingers. Oversize beads and chains are also strung about them, so that, when paired with the thick rings that pierce them in places, one is put in mind of beefcake male jewellery.
This formal fuzz accounts for my misdiagnosis of Mitchell’s hairiness. In fact two sculptures, Hello Hello and Pad Pad (all works 2012), actually are hairy, one bearded and tonsured, and one dreadlocked. They evoke those famously gauche Staffordshire dog figurines, but also incorporate drawings of a bunny, a sunrise and an eagle, along with a peace sign and Robert Crumb’s bearded cartoon character, Mr Natural. Mitchell is profoundly nonjudgemental about the high and low references he piles into his work; a separate shelf of smaller figurines includes biblical scenes such as Jesus Kissing Judas as well as the rather more suggestively titled Animal Lover. It is not clear where the artist stands on any of this, except to acknowledge that it is all part of him, whether he likes it or not.