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Tuesday 10.09.07

« Filling Those Autumn Days: Update | Main | NAAU is the time for Couture »

Bruce Conkle in New York, opens Oct 12th

Conkle's The La La Zone Expedition, Haze Gallery (2004)

It isn't news that a Portland artist is having a New York solo show, Dan May and Harrell Fletcher (among others) have done so recently. The difference is the way the gallery, Jack The Pelican Presents, is promoting Bruce Conkle's show... as part of a visual arts renaissance in PDX. Old news to us of course, but it's nice they noticed. We probably have have as many artists as Williamsburg but it's different because Portland's scene is lifestyle and value driven (eco sustainable & measuring man by something other than man)... not money or fame driven. Portland is the US city where America's "conscience" seems to be most active and well developed.

The gallery is also right that Conkle (who spent years in the late 80's working for Leo Castelli etc.) is awfully good. Conkle's 2004 exhibit at Haze gallery, The La La Zone Expedition, is one of the best solo shows I've seen anywhere in the last 10 years and it managed to address genocide, exploration, conquest and ecology. It did so in a way a that a lot of Brooklyn artists can't do without a stunting sense of a city slicker gone camping irony. Conkle, being half Swiss, half Portlander and probably half goblin... has no problems presenting the ridiculousness of Western Civilization's ecological, militaristic and humanistic dilemmas. One of Conkle's existential snowmen in a freezer got a bit of attention in Miami last year even.

Here is part of what the gallery press release is saying: "Bruce Conkle... De facto king of the Pacific NW eco art geeks and self-styled 'misfit at the crossroads,' he creates 'Lament for Middle Kingdom Earth,' a quirky eco-absurd installation that restages contemporary ideas about nature and community in a pre-modern world of fairytale landscape."

Conkle, like a lot of Portland's best artists is not represented in Portland and we tend to see his work in numerous group shows where he has been woodshedding his ideas. Here's an interview we did years ago. All I can say is, Bruce you better make us look good!

Opening reception • 7-10pm • October 12
Jack The Pelican Presents • 487 Driggs Ave. (at 9th), Brooklyn New York • 718.782.0183

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 09, 2007 at 9:45 | Comments (0)


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