Stephanie Snyder

  • picks June 01, 2010

    Natascha Snellman

    Tallulah Bankhead––1930s stage actress, Hollywood bon vivant, and icon of a dexterous promiscuity––is the inspiration for the Los Angeles–based artist Natascha Snellman’s engaging new body of mixed-media sculptures and works on paper. Threaded throughout this exhibition are cunning juxtapositions of signs of twentieth-century femininity––depictions of fishnet stockings, black sunglasses, platform heels, and youthful pigtails––and natural materials such as driftwood, marabou feathers, and steel. Snellman’s particular interweaving of nature and theatricality exposes menacing entanglements at the

  • interviews April 22, 2010

    Gus Van Sant

    The Academy Award–winning director Gus Van Sant is well known for his unparalleled vision in cinema, and for his original screenplays. An accomplished artist as well, he is debuting two bodies of photographic work in Oregon this month. “Cut-ups” opens at PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, on May 5, and “One Step Big Shot: Portraits by Andy Warhol and Gus Van Sant” will be on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, from May 16 to September 5.

    THE FIRST TIME I USED A POLAROID CAMERA was during the making of Mala Noche (1985). When I bought the camera, I was very

  • picks April 22, 2010

    Elias Hansen

    Elias Hansen’s work possesses a threatening and pungent pitch. A native of the Northwest and an accomplished glass artist, for the past six years Hansen’s gritty, libertarian aesthetic has offered the region a critical antidote to the candy-colored daydreams of the Chihuly School.

    Hansen’s glass work in this exhibition, titled “We Used to Get So High,” is harsh, realistic, and a little nostalgic: crack pipes in the shapes of snow domes and crystals; walls of hand-formed beer mugs shored up with scrap lumber; and “antique” bottles glowing with surreal, folkloric tinctures––one in the exhibition

  • picks March 06, 2010

    Jessica Jackson Hutchins

    There is much more than art at stake in Jessica Jackson Hutchins’s work. Her mixed-media sculptures, prints, and works on paper, currently on view in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, as well as two solo exhibitions at Laurel Gitlen (Small A Projects) and Derek Eller Gallery, radiate an intoxicating experimental energy. Hutchins is interested in pure, bare life––in pain and ecstasy. Likewise, her sculptural protagonists are often sports heroes like Tiger Woods and Daryl Strawberry, and she tells their stories with a Sophoclean intensity manifested in a ferocious risk taking and a curious, visionary

  • picks January 20, 2010

    Christopher Rauschenberg

    Christopher Rauschenberg’s photographs of flea-market scenes in Paris’s Marché aux Puces in Saint Ouen were taken over several trips to the City of Light in 2008 and 2009. Rauschenberg knows the city well. For his study “Paris Changing,” 1997–1998, he rephotographed five hundred places depicted in Eugène Atget’s heroic documentation of its streets and surfaces. Rauschenberg then paired eighty-eight of his images alongside Atget’s originals in a book published by Princeton Architectural Press. The work is as intimate and distilled as the memory of a loved one.

    The Marché aux Puces prohibits

  • interviews January 05, 2010

    M. K. Guth

    M. K. Guth is a Portland, Oregon–based multimedia artist and filmmaker who has exhibited widely and received critical praise for her work in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Her exhibition at the World Financial Center in New York opens January 6.

    THERE ARE DEEP CONNECTIONS between my current project, This Fable Is Intended for You: A Work-Energy Principle, which is part of Mark Russell’s 2010 Under the Radar Festival, and the installation I created for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Ties of Protection and Safe Keeping––but there are a lot of departures as well. The similarities revolve around narrative

  • picks November 20, 2009

    Io Palmer and Modou Dieng

    Io Palmer’s ongoing work Artstars, 2007–, comprises a team of players represented, in absentia, by a collection of white “uniforms” paired with common cleaning tools (mops, brushes, and brooms) that have been radically accessorized with artificial hair, bobby pins, and barrettes, transforming them into radically hirsute tools. The Artstars are Palmer’s Dream Team—heroic amalgamations of the artist’s friends, family members, and sports heroes––and brilliantly synthesize haute couture, feminist art history, professional sports, and domestic servitude.

    In the artists’ hands, a plain maid’s smock is

  • interviews November 20, 2009

    David Lynch

    David Lynch is a renowned filmmaker, visual artist, and writer. Before making a career in film, he studied fine arts at the Corcoran School of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. A comprehensive solo exhibition of his paintings and photographs is currently on view at Griffin Gallery in Santa Monica, California, through December 12.

    I LIKE IDEAS. THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. So you get an idea, and sometimes you get an idea that you fall in love with, and that drives you. It’s all about the love of the idea––and ideas come for

  • picks October 08, 2009

    Nan Curtis and Nicolaii Dornstauder

    A new Northwest imaginary is taking shape in the studios and backyards of Portland—rough-hewn, historical, and voraciously sullen. Nan Curtis and Nicolaii Dornstauder’s two-person show exemplifies the organic pungency, polymorphic perversity, and pensive reverie that characterize some of the best art and literature emerging from the region.

    Curtis’s sculptures explore the remains and secrets of familial ties, motherhood, and feminist art history. In Soiled/Spoiled (all works 2009), a low plinth covered in white matelassé supports a cotton crib mattress. The bed’s otherwise clean minimalism is

  • picks September 23, 2009

    Fawn Krieger

    On Fawn Krieger’s project journal, the artist traces the evolution of National Park, 2009, a huge, mountable terrain––replete with grotto—based on the Ape Cave in Washington’s Mount St. Helens. Installed in the empty library of a former public high school as part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2009 Visual Art Program, Krieger’s artificial landmass subsumes the space, which is lined with rotating pencil sharpeners along its open windows. The artist built the work on a roller-coaster-like wooden frame with a bevy of local volunteers during a residency, and its engineering is no

  • picks September 13, 2009

    Roy McMakin and Jeffrey Mitchell

    “Joy and Reffrey” is the pseudonymous dyad created by veteran Seattle artists and friends Roy McMakin and Jeffrey Mitchell for this endlessly charming and curious exhibition. As the title suggests, “Joy and Reffrey” is a playful and intimate exploration of collecting, making, and exhibiting art. It is also a refreshing and celebratory exploration of companionship and craft by two gay artists.

    McMakin and Mitchell have filled the space with a large collection of objects and small furniture, some of which are instantly recognizable as the artists’ work; a white minimalist sculpture by McMakin, for

  • picks July 01, 2009

    D. E. May

    “Black Page,” D. E. May’s fifth solo exhibition at this gallery, furthers the artist’s hermetic examination of the material ephemera and vernacular traces of the Pacific Northwest. His new drawings and assemblages consist of serial works on paper housed in reflective transparent document holders installed throughout the gallery in a variety of grid forms. With nearly forty drawings in the exhibition, the room is electric with the raw and refined energy of May’s passionate exploration of spatial forms, language, and storied materials such as weathered cardboard, old notebook paper, and other

  • picks May 27, 2009

    Dinh Q. Lê

    Making its international debut at this gallery, “Signs and Signals from the Periphery” is Vietnamese and American artist Dinh Q. Lê’s most recent body of objects and photographs. Lê reimmigrated to Vietnam almost a decade ago, immersing himself in the distant home he knew mostly through family stories. Lê first captured international attention in the 1990s with disturbingly hallucinogenic hand-plaited photo-weavings that synthesize Vietnamese political history and popular American visions of the Vietnam War, like Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Apocalypse Now. Lê also created garish plaster multiples