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Michelle Ross, Perfect Storm (2009-2010)

Michelle Ross, Perfect Storm (2009-2010), oil and paper on panel [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Jun 11-Sep 11]

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Jun 11-Sep 11, 2011

Brian Jungen, Carapace (detail)

John Buck, Once in a Blue Moon (2008), wood, acrylic and motor [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Jun 11-Sep 11]

Brian Jungen, Carapace (detail)

John Grade, Fold (2008-2010), wood cast in resin [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Jun 11-Sep 11]

Chris Antemann, Feast of Impropriety (2010)

Chris Antemann, Feast of Impropriety (2010), 3-section centerpiece, dining table with 16 figures; porcelain with decals, luster and china paint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Jun 11-Sep 11]

The Contemporary Northwest Art Awards exhibition celebrates exceptional works by artists residing in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Inaugurated in 2008 to replace the Oregon Biennial, the exhibition showcases seven award winners from a pool of nearly 300 nominees. One of the seven artists will be honoured by receiving the prestigious $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer Prize at the opening celebration.

The work of the award winners is as varied as is their locales. Chris Antemann of Joseph, Oregon creates delicate porcelain vignettes that recall 18th-century figurines which examine social relationships, rites and taboos among men and women. John Buck of Bozeman, Montana builds large-scale wooden sculptures of disparate objects and figures. The artist also creates wood-block prints and 2-D and 3-D mixed media works using wood.

Seattle artist John Grade is known for his ambitious sculpture-meets-land art projects. His pieces employ elegant sculptural forms that naturally erode, degrade and alter over time as a result of materials chosen by the artist or, the environment. Jerry Iverson of Big Timber, Montana, works with sumi ink on paper to create formal yet expressive compositions, while Susie Lee of Seattle creates time-based digital media works and video installations.

Megan Murphy of Ketchum, Indiana combines photography and painting in works that capture quiet, contemplative elements of geography. Her documentary pieces feel abstract-like, although they are meant to record moments in history. Portland artist Michelle Ross also contemplates elements of formal, geometric and expressive abstraction in her mixed media oil paintings.

Allyn Cantor

 Mon, Jun 6, 2011