Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Saturday 11.11.06

« Bargaintastic benefit tonight | Main | James Chasse Jr., artist and model »

Diana Puntar's An Hour On The Sun at small A

amomentoosoon.jpg
Puntar's A Moment Too Soon (2006)

Americans are famously materialistic so it's no surprise that American art has a long tradition of material fetish as carrier of information, although it certainly popular in other countries as well. Be it John Chamberland's crumpled cars, Warhol's Gold Marilyn, Carl Andre's bricks, Jeff Koon's vacuum cleaners, Damien Hirst's carcasses, Dieter Roth's chocolate, Yves Klein's blue pigment, Matthew Barney's Tapioca, Tara Donovan's stacks of cups the material is the engine that drives or at least directs the message.

More recently artists like Roxy Paine, David Altmejd or Curtis Fairman have all presented strong bodies of work exploring paint, mirrors and the world of store-bought plastic as well. Locally we have Chandra Bocci, Jacqueline Ehlis, Jesse Hayward, Brenden Clenaghen etc., the list is never-ending.

To this list lets add Diana Puntar at small a projects, it's he last day of her show and her materials are decidedly mid-century sci-fi.

Her favorite material is plywood, used in a way mid-century design fanatics will be very comfortable with. From Frank Lloyd Wright to Charles and Ray Eames it is as synonymous with modern furniture as metal tubing and glass. In step with the fetish Puntar often laminates mirrors to the plywood as well. This all relates back to a time when the future wasn't quite as complicated (save for Earth's annihilation by nuclear weapons).

The extensive use of mirrored plywood slats also serialize space with facets while evoking sputnik era satellite design. It's slightly Alvar Aalto but no where near as refined and some of the plywood edges wouldn't have made his grade. Still, this isn't furniture and instead of architecture should be compared with early sci fi set design. Puntar's work is more Doctor Who and Logan's Run than the elegant curves of Aalto.

In works like "A Moment Too Soon," the campy suspension of futuristic disbelief is ripe for the taking. The circular slatted and mirrored pedestal is sprouting a slightly sparkly green organic structure that reassembles a seed case and an organic satellite dish.

Is this some alien invasion or has Verner Panton's camp melded with an Eames-ish aesthetic? The effect is humorous tension that reminds me of the best Dr. Who episodes, a futuristic world of robots that look suspiciously like garbage cans. The camp comes full circle when the lights are turned off only to reveal the object glows in the dark. The fact that I can see how the foam was carved and not "grown" only furthers the sense of sci fi set design.

lastremember.jpg
Last Thing I Remember (2006)

Other works like "The Last Thing I Remember" leave no doubt that this is an ode to B-grade sci-fi dialog, but to what end? I'm geeky enough to connect it to shows like Space 1999 or Jason of Star Command but is this just pandering to the other Paul Allen's of the world?

Puntar.jpg
puntar2.jpg
Untitled (lights on and off)

I liked the back room better as the gimmicky fluorescent paint gag had more complete darkness. I also preferred it because the show's title piece, "An Hour On The Sun" seemed to evoke an impossible enterprise. Although visually less unique, the work's size was larger than a human as suited to the title's task. At this point in the show I decided this wasn't just prop art. Still except for the very weird "Untitled" the fluorescence seemed like a gimmick. Somehow having glow in the dark rocks during the 70's in my toy collection made this trick seem superfluous. It isn't Keith Sonnier and it doesn't have the wonder of those cheesy mall stores where you can buy lava lamps.

In the end I felt like this work was still in transition. It was enjoyable but it is no where near as funny or inventive as Curtis Fairman but it has a similar type of appeal. It needs to embrace the stagecraft of installation art and become as big a scene stealer as Shatner to really take off. Right now this is just Chekhov at the helm of this art "wessel." Overall, if the material is cheese, serve it up in bigger slices.

small A projects
1430 SE Third
Portland, Oregon 97214

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 11, 2006 at 13:26 | Comments (0)


Comments

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee