Christopher Russell Acquired by Portland Art Museum (OR)

The gallery is proud to announce the Portland Art Museum‘s acquisition of “Ghost Ship Wreck (1)” (2010) by Christopher Russell for its permanent collection.

The oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum was founded in late 1892 when seven leaders from Portland’s business and cultural institutions created the Portland Art Association. The goal of the Association was to create a first-class art museum that would be accessible to all citizens. With more than 42,000 works of art, 121,000 square feet of galleries, and the Northwest Film Center, the Museum provides a comprehensive opportunity to view some of man’s greatest creative achievements. From its earliest days, the Museum has closely followed and supported contemporary art. In 1908, the Museum acquired its first original painting, created by the American Impressionist Childe Hassam in the same year. In 1905 and 1913, exhibitions of avant-garde art were presented at the Museum, including Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase and other momentous works from the controversial 1913 Armory Show in New York.

Dealing less with the supernatural than the psychosomatic, Christopher Russell rouses ghosts. Within his scratched photographs, fractured glass panes, and hazy metallic paints, there are haunting recollections – the kind of outlier memories that plague our psyche well after childhood. Through a purposefully repressive fog, we habitually revisit the monsters of our innermost mentality, and find ourselves the protagonist of a lifelong plight – a cinematic tale evocatively illustrated by Russell’s eerie ships and spectral trees. Like a folkloric odyssey into a cognitive web, his mixed-media works and installations traipse through places of fragility and wistfulness; evidence of the divine and unsettling encounters inherent to our complex mortality.

Russell (b. 1974) received his M.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design (CA). In 2009, he produced a solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA). He has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Tokyo Institute of Photography (Japan), The Norton Museum (West Palm Beach, FL), Armory Center for the Arts (Los Angeles, CA), White Columns (New York, NY) De Appel Arts Center (Netherlands) Oakland Museum (Oakland, CA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), among others. He has published numerous critical articles in addition to being a featured subject of positive review by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, Artillery, Frieze, and ArtForum, among others. Russell is also known for his ‘zine Bedwetter. His first novel is Sniper, and other books include Budget Decadence (2nd Cannons Publications), Pattern Book (Insert Blanc Press) and Landscape (Kolapsomal Press)–which was included in Martin Parr’s The Photobook: A History Volume III (Phaidon). His work is included in the collections of numerous public institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art – University of Oregon, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Hammer Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, to name a few.

ghost ship wreck

Penelope Umbrico at University of Toronto Art Centre

The gallery is pleased to announce Penelope Umbrico‘s current exhibition and project at the University of Toronto Art Centre, “Broken Steps and Haunted Scenes.” On view through May 30, 2015, the exhibition is presented in two separate but interrelated parts.

Says the institution:

Since the beginnings of photography, the camera has been used in service of a wide range of scientific pursuits, including medicine, physics, forensics, criminology, and botany. It has brought the news of the world and the glint of ice in a glass of whiskey. It has mapped every crater on the moon and spotted the Loch Ness Monster. None of this was done with the intentions of fine art, but contemporary artists have been deeply influenced by the tropes of vernacular photography.

The first part of the exhibition offers a look at the astonishing panoply of this photographic genre. Drawn from flea markets, personal albums, and private collections, the exhibition presents several coherent groupings of pictures, such as mugshots, insurance evidence, amateur self-portraits, psychic research, UFO sightings, and many others.

The second part presents a series of recent works by Toronto-native, New York-based artist Penelope Umbrico, who uses photographic imagery downloaded from the internet. Intimately involved with current vernacular photography, Umbrico employs traditional photographic techniques and methods of appropriation, extraction, multiple production, and intervention to explore how people, as a culture, make and use images. 

Together, the two parts of this exhibition present a certain arc across the history of vernacular photography. When culled from the proliferating archives—at the curatorial hand of the artist or the artistic hand of the curator—the compulsion toward photographic evidence that underpins this history comes up haunted by the vicissitudes of time, belief, prejudice, and ultimately, the betrayal of control and intention. 

Penelope Umbrico offers a radical reinterpretation of everyday consumer and vernacular images. Umbrico works “within the virtual world of consumer marketing and social media, traveling through the relentless flow of seductive images, objects, and information that surrounds us, searching for decisive moments—but in these worlds, decisive moments are cultural absurdities.”
She finds these moments in the pages of consumer product mail-order catalogs, travel and leisure brochures; and websites like Craigslist, EBay, and Flickr. Identifying image typologies—candy-colored horizons and sunsets, books used as props—brings the farcical, surreal nature of consumerism to new light.

Penelope Umbrico (born in Philadelphia, 1957) graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has participated extensively in solo and group exhibitions, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Umbrico is core faculty in the School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Program. Selected public collections include the Guggenheim Museum (NY), International Center of Photography (NY), McNay Museum of Art (TX), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Museum of Contemporary Photography (IL), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA), Museum of Modern Art (NY), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), among others. She lives in New York City.

For more information about the artist or available works, please email info@markmooregallery.com.

Bad Display

Featured Works: Zemer Peled

The gallery is pleased to present new works by program artist Zemer Peled. These pieces can be viewed by visiting the gallery’s “Featured Works” page on the website.

Zemer Peled’s work examines the beauty and brutality of the natural world. Her sculptural language is formed by her surrounding landscapes and nature, and engages with themes of memories, identity, and place. Her sculptures and installations consist of thousands of hand-crafted porcelain shards; a technique that yields a texture both delicate and severe. In some works, large scale-like ceramic pieces appear airy, delicate, and fluffy, as if one’s breath might break it. In others, Peled’s fragments are geometric barbs that mysteriously take on an alluring form – offering a sense of softness despite a sharp actuality.

Peled (b. 1983) was born and raised in a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel. After completing her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem), she earned her MA at the Royal College of Art (UK). In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, including such venues as Sotheby’s and Saatchi Gallery (London), Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv), and the Orangerie du Senate (Paris), among others. The artist currently lives and works at the Archie Bray Foundation Residency (Helena, MT).

Single Central Bloom

Andrew Schoultz in “Left Coast: California Political Art”

Currently on view at the James Gallery (through May 30, 2015) at City University of New York is “Left Coast: California Political Art,” featuring MMG’s Andrew Schoultz. Curated by Nadiah Fellah, the exhibition includes artworks from the 1980s to the present that focus on the spirit of protest and resistance, which has come to be synonymous with the West Coast in recent years.

The title of the exhibition takes its name from a playful moniker for the left-wing politics associated with California, a place that curator and art historian Peter Selz has referred to as “America’s edge.” By exploring how the roles of these artists cross into the realm of activism, the show brings to the fore timely political tensions and social movements that are unfolding across the country. The exhibition will feature sculptures, drawings, paintings, video and prints by several contemporary artists currently working in California, as well as newly commissioned works by Los Angeles-based artist Andrew Schoultz, the Bay Area-based mural collective Precita Eyes Mural Collective, and the international artist collectiveFuturefarmers, founded by San Francisco artist Amy Franceschini. Also included in the presentation are works by artists Judith F. Baca, Evan Bissell,Libby Black, Enrique Chagoya, Bruce Conner, Estudio Teddy Cruz with Fonna Forman, Jennifer Moon, PERSIA and DADDIE$ PLA$TIK, Lari Pittman,Rigo 23, Favianna Rodriguez, Martin Wong, and Imin Yeh. This exhibition is curated by Nadiah Fellah, the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow.

Sourcing inspiration from 15th Century German map making and Indian miniature paintings, Andrew Schoultz’s frenetic imagery depicts an ephemeral history bound to repeat itself. In his mixed-media works, notions of war, spirituality and sociopolitical imperialism are reoccurring themes, which shrewdly parallel an equally repetitive contemporary pursuit of accumulation and power. Intricate line work, painting, metal leaf and collage twist and undulate under Schoultz’s meticulous hand, ranging from intimately sized wall works to staggering murals and installations. While his illustrated world seems one of chaos and frenzy, Schoultz also implies a sense of alluring fantasy and whimsy – a crossroads vaguely familiar to the modern world.

Schoultz (b. 1975, WI) received his BFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco (CA). He has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Boston, London, Portland, Detroit and Milan. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum (PA), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Havana Biennial (Cuba), Hyde Park Arts Center (IL), Laguna Art Museum (CA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), among others. His work can be seen in the public collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), Frederick R. Weisman Foundation (CA) and the Progressive Art Collection (OH), in addition to his publicly funded murals in Portland (ME), Jogjakarta (Indonesia) and San Francisco (CA). Schoultz lives and works in San Francisco (CA).

dark vessel (grey shades)

Stephanie Washburn Acquired by Weisman Foundation (CA)

The gallery is pleased to announce the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation Collection‘s (CA) acquisition of  “Reception 9″ (2011) and “Telltale (Fire 1)” (2013) by Stephanie Washburn for its permanent collection.

The Foundation is dedicated to continuing the legacy and vision of Frederick R. Weisman, an extraordinary entrepreneur, philanthropist, and art collector. He held an uncompromising belief in the cultural value of art and understood the importance of both the individual artist and creative process. In carrying out Mr. Weisman’s intentions, the Foundation seeks to preserve, collect, and make publicly accessible his collection of modern and contemporary art as a means to strengthen and contribute to the greater artistic and intellectual life of our time. More than four hundred works of art are on display at the Foundation. The collection includes works by European Modernists including Cezanne, Picasso, and Kandinsky and Surrealist works by Ernst, Miro, and Magritte. The holdings in postwar art include works by Giacometti, Noguchi, Calder, Rauschenberg, and Johns; Abstract Expressionist paintings by de Kooning, Francis, Still, and Rothko; Color-Field paintings by Frankenthaler, Louis, and Noland; and Pop Art by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, and Rosenquist. Contemporary California works include those by Ruscha and Goode, and Super Realist sculptures by Hanson and de Andrea.

Stephanie Washburn (1980, MA) works in various media including drawing, painting, photography, and video. Her practice explores the material digital interface and the persistence of the body and human touch in pictorial space. Washburn combines everyday materials and televised imagery to stage a series of photographs. The images that result generate a range of painterly abstractions and counter narratives to the programmed content flickering beneath. With references to Abstract Expressionism, feminist art practice, and early performance, they pose a real physicality as the dramatic player in the fictive space of both the digital spectacle and her own hybrid image making.

Washburn received her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work has been exhibited at The University Art Museum (CA), The Palms Bar (CA), Atkinson Gallery (CA), Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA), Eagle Rock Center for the Arts (CA), Los Angeles Municipal Gallery (CA) and Davidson Art Center (CT). Washburn’s photographs have been acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA) and Sweeney Art Gallery at UC Riverside (CA). She currently lives and works between Ojai and Los Angeles.

Reception 9

David Maisel Acquired by MCA San Diego (CA)

The gallery is proud to announce the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego‘s acquisition of “Lake Project #6″ by David Maisel for its permanent collection.

Founded in 1941 as The Art Center in La Jolla, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has evolved into an organization of national and international renown. The collection includes more than 4,000 works created since 1950, and reflects an artistic program that encourages promising emerging artists and recognizes mid-career artists whose work deserves more visibility. The Museum serves the region as a vital cultural and civic asset, with contemporary art and living artists at its core.

David Maisel is a visual artist based in San Francisco, CA. His large-scaled, surreal photographs chronicle the complex relationships between natural systems and human culture. His research-based practice has been the subject of five monographs, including “The Lake Project” (Nazraeli Press, 2004), “Oblivion” (Nazraeli Press, 2006), “Library of Dust” (Chronicle Books, 2008), “History’s Shadow” (Nazraeli Press, 2011), and “Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime” (Steidl, 2013). Maisel’s images of radically altered terrain have transformed the practice of contemporary landscape photography. His hallucinatory worldview encompasses both stark documentary and tragic metaphor, and explores the relationship between nature and humanity today. Maisel’s images of environmentally impacted sites consider the aesthetics and politics of open pit mines, clear-cut forests, rampant urbanization and sprawl, and zones of water reclamation. These surreal and disquieting images take us towards the margins of the unknown, and as the Los Angeles Times has stated, “argue for an expanded definition of beauty, one that bypasses glamour to encompass the damaged, the transmuted, the decomposed.” Maisel also explores similar ideas of perception through alternative techniques in other bodies of work, such as “History’s Shadow” (completed during the artist’s residency at the Getty Research Institute) and “Library of Dust,” which The New York Times has called “a fevered meditation on memory, loss, and the uncanny monuments we sometimes recover about what has gone before.”

Maisel is the recipient of a 2011 grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, a 2008 Artist Residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a 2007 Scholar/Artist Residency from the Getty Research Institute. Maisel has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Opsis Foundation. He was appointed a Trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2011. His work has been shown globally, including in such prestigious institutions as the California Museum of Photography (CA), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (AZ), Portland Art Museum (OR), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), American Academy (Rome), Musee des Beaux Artes (Bordeaux), and Seoul Arts Center (Seoul) among many other venues. Maisel’s works are in major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), the Getty Museum (CA), the National Gallery of Art (D.C.), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), among many other institutions. He received his BA from Princeton University, studied at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and received his MFA from California College of the Arts. The artist lives and works in Sausalito (CA).

For more information about the artist or available work, please email info@markmooregallery.com.

Lake Project #6

David Maisel Acquired by Norton Museum (FL)

The gallery is very pleased to announce the Norton Museum of Art‘s acquisition of David Maisel‘s “Lake Project #2″ for its permanent collection.

The Lake Project comprises images from Owens Lake, the site of a formerly 200 square-mile lake in California on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains. Beginning in 1913, the Owens River was diverted into the Owens Valley Aqueduct, to bring water to Los Angeles. By 1926, the lake had been depleted, exposing vast mineral flats and transforming a fertile valley into an arid landscape. For decades, fierce winds have dislodged microscopic particles from the lakebed, creating carcinogenic dust storms. Indeed, the site has become the highest source of particulate matter pollution in the United States, emitting 300,000 tons annually of cadmium, chromium, arsenic and other materials. The concentration of minerals in the remaining water yields blooms of microscopic bacteria, turning the liquid a deep, bloody red. The lake has become the locus of water’s absence, a negation of itself, a void. The images serve, in a sense, as the lake’s autopsy. Viewed from the air, vestiges of the lake appear as a river of blood, a microchip, a bisected vein, or a galaxy’s map. It is this contemporary version of the sublime that Maisel finds find compelling– a strange beauty born of environmental degradation.

The Norton Museum of Art was founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton (1875–1953) and his wife, Elizabeth Calhoun Norton (1881–1947). The Nortons were actively interested in fine arts and developed a sizable collection of paintings and sculpture. The Museum Collection consists of 7,000+ works of art concentrated in the following departments: European, American, Chinese, Contemporary and Photography.   

Maisel is the recipient of a 2011 grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, a 2008 Artist Residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a 2007 Scholar/Artist Residency from the Getty Research Institute. Maisel has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Opsis Foundation. He was appointed a Trustee of the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2011. His work has been shown globally, including in such prestigious institutions as the California Museum of Photography (CA), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (AZ), Portland Art Museum (OR), Fotografie Forum International (Frankfurt), American Academy (Rome), Musee des Beaux Artes (Bordeaux), and Seoul Arts Center (Seoul) among many other venues. Maisel’s works are in major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), the Getty Museum (CA), the National Gallery of Art (D.C.), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), among many other institutions. He received his BA from Princeton University, studied at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and received his MFA from California College of the Arts. The artist lives and works in Sausalito (CA).

For more information about the artist or available work, please email info@markmooregallery.com.

Lake Project #2