April 1, 2010—May 8, 2010 | Reception Thursday, April 1, 2010
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition entitled Mirror, Mirror. Folk tales often tell a fantastical narrative to teach morals, reflect on society, history or culture. Visual artists often employ visual tricks to imbue meaning into a work. The objects in this exhibition do not tell a story per se, but the works are united by the many definition of “mirror.” The exhibition considers both literally or figuratively the mirror, how artists create a visual language, through materials and form to infuse an object with multiple readings. “Mirror, Mirror” explores ideas of replication, imitation, reflection. To this end, the work in the show begins to engage the viewer with broader issues of the aesthetics of an artwork. Included in this exhibit are works by Mel Bochner, Rashid Johnson, Adam Fuss, Spencer Finch, Siebren Versteeg, Andrew Witkin, Mary Ann Peters, Akio Takamori and Sol Hashemi. The underlying meaning of each of their work is derived from a subject matter, selection of a medium, and the determination of compositional strategies. What unites the pieces here is not the materials of the object but the mechanics of the artworks capacity. Some have a reflective surface, other works repeat form, while others demonstrate physical properties of a medium, but all of the artworks tell a story.
Witkin’s work investigates systems and structures that shape contemporary life and experiences. His artistic practice blurs the boundaries and roles of art. He is a conceptual artist that focuses on language and how we perceive the world and objects around us. Much of Witkin’s work could easily be confused with the elements populating our everyday lives, yet would live on as visible alterations in and out of context. His combination of photographic images and text asks the viewer to consider not just the ways in which language shapes things, but also how it can be codified into many meanings.
Witkin’s education occurred, academically, primarily at Wesleyan University (undergrad) and Tufts University (grad). Exhibition experiences have happened at museums such as Currier Museum of Art, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as at galleries such as Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston, Theodore:Art in New York and James Harris Gallery in Seattle. Works are in the collections of the DeCordova, ICA, Boston, MFA, Boston and MFA, Houston. He has executed site-responsive works in locations as diverse as Big Bend National Park, Texas, Damascus, Syria, Naples, Italy, and a long-term project is in the works in northern New Hampshire. This summer, works of his are on view in groups shows at the Flag Foundation in New York and at Concord Art in Massachusetts. A large solo exhibition of his works at the University of New Hampshire’s Museum of Art will open in January, 2018. In addition, he is partner and director of Barbara Krakow Gallery in Boston and has served as the editor of the Sol LeWitt Catalogue Raisonné of Prints and is the editor of the is the editor of the Mel Bochner Catalogue Raisonné of Prints.
“I work from the premise that images are never neutral and that they sustain layered meaning from the inception of an idea to the completed piece. Historical narratives, architecture, science, personal heritage, politics and questions of perception have all played a part in my thinking over the years. I look for seemingly disparate elements that can coalesce and redefine a topic. I have traveled extensively, most frequently in non-Western cultures. Traveling has informed my understanding of the global roots of aesthetics. It consistently defines for me those social practices that provide outlines for cultural inquiry, including which ethical questions should be considered or supported. In the end I work to the afterimage of the viewer and the potential discourse that might ensue. The kiss of death for any artist is the work that no one can remember.”
- Mary Ann Peters
Mary Ann Peters lives and works in Seattle, WA She received an MFA from the University of Washington in 1978. She has received numerous awards including an Art Matters Foundaton Grant, New York that allowed her to travel to Paris and Mexico City to research the migration from the Middle East after World War II, a grant from The New Foundation, Seattle in 2014, a MacDowell Fellowship in 2010, a Jentel residency in 2009, the Northwest Institute of Architecture & Urban Studies in Italy (NIAUSI) residency in 2003 and the Neddy Fellowship from the Behnke Foundation in 2000. Collections include Microsoft, Seattle Art Museum, 4Culture, Tacoma Art Museum, and others.
Takamori was a seminal figure in ceramic art, whose work over the past thirty years has left an enduring impact on the Pacific Northwest arts and the medium itself. His work is often autobiographical, drawing on his life in Japan, his family, and mythological themes. He is known for his coil-built figurative sculptures in which the narrative painting defines the form. Takamori explored themes of cultural identity by engaging the history of Eastern and Western aesthetics. Bold form and color defines his body of work, which is highly expressive of human emotion and sensuality.
Akio Takamori was born and raised in Japan. He has been exhibiting in the United States, Europe and Asia since the mid 1980s. Takamori received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 1978.
Takamori’s work is included in numerous collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Los Angels County Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Ariana Museum in Geneva, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grants (1986, 1988, 1992), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2006), and the USA Ford Fellowship (2011). Takamori was a professor of art at the University of Washington. He lived and worked in Seattle.
Sol Hashemi is a photographer who uses the medium in a wide range of ways allowing the viewer to approach his works in different ways. Hashemi uses post-modern ideas and themes to challenge the ideas of hierarchies among objects and in artworks. He also uses a wide array of recognizable objects from everyday life and pop culture to further challenge hierarchical ideas. While Hashemi works within photography, he also adds three-dimensional elements such as shirts, plants, and vanilla beans to give the viewer yet another viewing experience.
Sol Hashemi was born in 1987 in Vancouver, Washington. He currently lives and works in Seattle. He received his BFA from the University of Washington where he received Mary Gates Research Scholar Seventh Annual Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities and Matt J. Jarvis Travel Award for Photography. He is also the recipient of Seattle Art Museum’s Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award, 2013. Solo Exhibitions include “Technical Support” Annarumma Gallery Naples, Italy (2013), “Software Update / System Build” Henry Art Gallery Seattle, WA (2013), “Industry Standard” James Harris Gallery Seattle, WA (2012). He has also shown at Greg Kucera Gallery, 4 Culture, and Punch Gallery in Seattle. Hashemi has works included in the permanent collection of Portland Art Museum.