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Abbie Miller, Squeezed Arch

Abbie Miller, Squeezed Arch (2012), vinyl, steel, 300 ft. zipper, thread [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Sep 21-Jan 12]

2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Sep 21, 2013-Jan 12, 2014

Karl Burkheimer, Divide

Karl Burkheimer, Divide (2013), wood, plywood and paint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Sep 21-Jan 12] Photo: Mark Stein

This third edition of the biennial exhibition that recognizes artistic merit in the greater Northwest region began with over 200 nominees chosen by regional art professionals. The field was pared down to 28 semi-finalists based on their dedication, innovation and continuity of practice and on their work’s quality and relevance to community or global issues. From there, six finalists were selected and awarded with a place in this prominent museum show. Artwork by Karl Burkheimer of Oregon, Isaac Layman, Nicholas Nyland and Trimpin of Washington, Anne Appleby of Montana and Abbie Miller of Wyoming make up this exhibit.

Anne Appleby’s internationally exhibited colour field paintings reference landscape elements through careful chromatic choices and layering upon layering of oil and wax. Often assembled into multi-panel pieces, her resonant paintings are soothingly minimalist with complicated colour relationships that give voice to her underlying source of inspiration. Isaac Layman has become well known in recent years for his large-scale photo-constructions of domestic subjects such as a sink or medicine chest. His compositions are somewhat eerie in their sharp detail and underlying allusion to emptiness and loneliness.

Karl Burkheimer uses wood primarily as an expressive material. His crafted works are both architectural and sculptural, creating a weighty psychological tension in the way they inhabit space. Abbie Miller’s work is also material based. She uses yards of sewn vinyl and zippers to create large-scale biomorphic sculptures that have a glossy, surreal flavour. Nicholas Nyland’s work also has surreal tendencies, his vibrant painting and sculptures conjuring a highly personal aesthetic.

With his music-based installations, Trimpin innovates with sculpture, sound and engineering elements. In this show, his bright red, modified and interactive grand piano hanging from a tripod is his latest spectacle.

Allyn Cantor


Anne Appleby, Water Birch

Anne Appleby, Water Birch (2012), oil and wax on canvas [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Sep 21-Jan 12] photo: Kurt Keller Photography


 Sat, Nov 9, 2013