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April 16th, 2008 RICHARD SPEER | Visual Arts
 

Installation Situation

Two effective installations shine at Marylhurst and Portland State University.

     
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STORM WARNING: Kate Simmons’ work at Autzen Gallery.

Jenene Nagy’s and Stephanie Robison’s Sitelines at the Marylhurst University “Art Gym” is an elegant show made up of inelegant pieces. Nagy, whose s/plit is currently part of the APEX series at the Portland Art Museum, is an artist obsessed with the relationship between landscape, abstraction and the relationship between the 2D plane and 3D sculpture. She continues this preoccupation in this show, with crinkled sheets of fluorescent-colored paper on the walls, on the floors and in a hidden, peeping-Tom closet called Pink Room. This is a subtler show than APEX; it does not invade your personal space; but it is effective nonetheless, with a rigor that recalls Jacqueline Ehlis, except with cheaper materials. Robison’s pieces are more ambitious in their cheeky architectural etude, managing to deconstruct without becoming stolid. Her Salvage rises in fabric mushroom forms from a bed of crisscrossing gray planks, while Stand-in towers like an oil derrick, a massive plume of squishy, inflatable clouds billowing up like a cross between There Will Be Blood and a Jabba the Hutt plush toy.

Meanwhile at Portland State University, Kate SimmonsHousehold Predictions and Fanciful Remedies is Autzen Gallery’s most engaging show in recent memory. With meticulous drawings of projected coffee filters, a bed frame covered in drippy, caramel-like sugar cream and a tapestry of Bounce dryer sheets woven together with gold thread, this well-conceived, spatially invigorating installation is a fearsomely surrealistic nightmare of domesticity gone amok.


SEE IT: Sitelines at Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway. Show closes May 14. Household Predictions and Fanciful Remedies at Autzen Gallery at Portland State University, Neuberger Hall, 2nd floor, 724 SW Harrison St. Show closes April 18.
 
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