represented artist

FRANCESCA CAPONE'S NIGHT FOG // CAPSULE REVIEW BY LUIZA LUKOVA

Francesca Capone  Night Fog (As the object grows, it curves around the forms of its surrounding shapes)  2018, Lostine long wool, poly netting line, and cotton on oak board, 24 x 22 inches

Francesca Capone
Night Fog (As the object grows, it curves around the forms of its surrounding shapes)
2018, Lostine long wool, poly netting line, and cotton on oak board, 24 x 22 inches

Nestled in the backroom between an Amy Bernstein painting and an Emily Counts sculpture is Francesca Capone’s Night Fog, part of her solo exhibition at Nationale entitled Think of Seashells.

As a weaver and a poet, Capone approaches her work from a visual as well as a literary mindset. The prose attributed to this particular work by the artist reads as follows: As the object grows, it curves around the forms of its surrounding shapes, and it feels as if this is precisely how Night Fog operates in the context of the show as a whole. Although it may be the final work a visitor may see tucked away as it is, its bold resonance does indeed curve to the viewing experience and serve to form a lasting impression. As a gallery-goer moves through the space, they are gathering growing memories of the body of work in total. Culminating with Night Fog, this particular piece stands somewhat solitary, both due to its location but also to its composition. Mounted on oak board, this is only one of two weavings that is presented in this manner. Yet, this doesn’t detract from its overall relation to the remaining pieces -- the oak nicely completes oceanic visions of seashells and driftwood that Capone brings into the space. The poly netting line similarly compliments other found materials such as the flotsam rope, plastic bags, and beach refuse that are embedded into the fiber of the hangings.

The dark colors of this particular weaving are slightly more drastic than the inviting pastels of the other works, yet they correspond nicely with its placement. If Night Fog were the last work to be seen, it would leave viewers with a cool imagery of things closing, things coming to a rest. Invoking a kind of serenity that can only be found with the setting of the sun on a calm evening, Night Fog creates a comfortable sensory shroud for viewers to come in contact with. The day has come and gone and grown into night, which silently and cooly forms to this nightly ritual. Take a deep breath, let the fog ebb over you, and think of seashells.

PARTY STORE/SUPER MODE [EMILY COUNTS] 

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Nationale proudly presents a flash exhibition of Emily Counts’s newest work, as well as a special musical event: Party Store performs with Super Mode!

Super Mode is an interactive sound sculpture by Emily Counts recently shown as part of Sonic Arcade at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. It consists of a walnut wood box topped with ceramic objects that trigger individual sound samples when pressed downward. Illuminated windows in Super Mode allow the user to view the interior mechanics and wiring of this piece. Programming and circuitry design by Andy Myers and sound samples by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. 

Emily Counts was born in Seattle, WA, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and the California College of the Arts, where she received her BFA. Her work has been exhibited in Portland, OR, at Nationale, Carl & Sloan, and Disject; in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design; in Tokyo at Eitoeiko and Gallery Lara; and in California at the Torrance Art Museum, Garboushian Gallery, and Mark Moore Gallery. Counts was an artist in residence creating work for associated solo exhibitions at Raid Projects in Los Angeles and Plane Space in New York. She has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and The Ford Family Foundation. She is a member of SOIL Gallery in Seattle, WA, and is represented by Nationale in Portland, OR. / IG @emilyraecounts

Party Store is a lo-fi ambient project by Seattle musician Josh Machniak. 

On view: April 21–April 22, 2018
Opening reception: Saturday, April 21 (6–8 p.m.) with a 20 mins performance at 7 p.m.

THE CREATIVE CHRONICLE INTERVIEWS EMILY COUNTS

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We were thrilled to see (and read!) this in-depth, The Creative Chronicle interview with gallery artist Emily Counts. Counts talks about her creative process, the crossover between her art practice and her jewelry line, St Eloy, and the importance of community. She also presents her latest piece, a sound & light sculpture which will be part of Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York this fall . 

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DISJECTA'S PORTLAND2016 READER NOW AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP

Nationale is pleased to now carry Disjecta's The Portland2016 Reader and Catalog, a beautiful publication which is presented in an etched case and features gallery artist Amy Bernstein (in conversation with Emily Bernstein and Julia Calabrese).
Established in 2010, the Portland Biennial is a major survey of Oregon artists who are defining and advancing the state’s contemporary arts landscape. Building upon the success of its predecessors, the Portland2016 Biennial was a two-month celebration of the here and now that showcased 34 artists at 25 partner venues in 13 communities across the state – the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Oregon art ever. It was curated by Michelle Grabner
Artists included: Avantika Bawa, Carla Bengtson, David Bithell, Pat Boas, Mike Bray, Bruce Burris, Julia Calabrese & Emily Bernstein, Cherry & Lucic, David Eckard, Tannaz Farsi, Jack Featherly, Howard Fonda, Julie Green, Midori Hirose, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Colin Kippen, Anya Kivarkis, Michael Lazarus, Charlene Liu, Giles Lyon, Ellen Mcfadden, Whitney Minthorn, Donald Morgan, Brenna Murphy, Julia Oldham, Rebecca Peel, Lisa Radon, Jon Raymond, Jack Ryan & Chi Wang, Heidi Schwegler, Rick Silva, Storm Tharp, Weird Fiction, and Ryan Woodring.

Also available on our WEBSHOP!

EMILY COUNTS AT BULLSEYE PROJECTS

Emily Counts,  Future Connect And Bind,  2016, cast and fabricated bronze, cast glass, 18 x 23 x 12"

Emily Counts, Future Connect And Bind, 2016, cast and fabricated bronze, cast glass, 18 x 23 x 12"

Emily Counts is exhibiting this summer alongside Ligia Bouton, Kate Clements, Emily Nachison, and Judy Tuwalestiwa in the exhibition Transformations at Bullseye Projects in NW Portland! 

From the press release: 

Bullseye Projects presents a group exhibition exploring themes of personal, natural, and metaphysical change.Transformations will be on view June 21 – September 30, 2017 and will open in conjunction with BECon 2017, Bullseye Glass Company’s biennial conference.

Mysterious in its creation, common in its application, and utopian in visions of the future, glass is rife with cultural, scientific, and metaphysical meaning. The glass we encounter is largely comprised of sand, soda ash, lime, and metallic oxides. These minerals are combined, melted and then cooled into a myriad of forms. The recipe is millennia old, but retains much of the magic that likely accompanied its first discovery. Sand is transformed into glass; it is a transformation that borders on the alchemical. A common material is made into something new with unique qualities that require a new category of matter: amorphous solid. Artists Ligia Bouton (New Mexico), Kate Clements (Pennsylvania), Emily Counts (Washington), Emily Nachison (Oregon), and Judy Tuwaletstiwa (New Mexico), approach glass from diverse perspectives, but it is transformation – be it through meditations on mortality, adolescence, fantasty, or the spiritual - that draws them to this material and connects their work.

Bullseye Projects
300 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR

EMILY COUNTS SHOWING AT STROBEL & SANDS IN SEATTLE

Emily Counts,  Answering Machine , 2012, stoneware with luster, glass, silver chain, 9 x 9 x 13"

Emily Counts, Answering Machine, 2012, stoneware with luster, glass, silver chain, 9 x 9 x 13"

Gallery artist Emily Counts is part of a summer group show at the new Seattle gallery, Strobel & Sands alongside Royce Allen Hobbs and Jessie Rose Vala opening on June 17! 

From the press release: 
Strobel & Sands’ second exhibition, Reinterpreting the Object, explores the dynamics of sculpture in relation to the viewer through varying degrees of abstraction, conceptualism and craftsmanship. Many of the works in the exhibition are recognizable or reminiscent of a functional object that has been rendered useless. Emily Counts, Royce Allen Hobbs, and Jessie Rose Vala each present a distinct path to examining the relational and aesthetic nature of sculpture.

Reinterpreting the Object
Emily Counts, Royce Allen Hobbs, and Jessie Rose Vala
June 17 – July 22
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 17, 5-8pm

Strobel & Sands
Emerson Garage
Corner of 35th Ave W and Emerson St.
Magnolia, Seattle, WA 98199

TY ENNIS & JAIK FAULK IN "THE COMMUNITY (2007–2017)"

TY ENNIS,  L Elle , 2017, acrylic on on unstretched canvas, 40 x 30”

TY ENNIS, L Elle, 2017, acrylic on on unstretched canvas, 40 x 30”

In June 2007, I installed my first show for Stumptown Downtown.  More than 100 exhibitions later and having worked with almost as many artists, it is no understatement to say that this responsibility & privilege has had a strong impact on me. From inspiring me to open Nationale in 2008, to shaping some of the most important relationships in my personal and professional life, this has been quite a journey.  While thinking back on this ten year span, one during which the Portland arts ecology has changed so much, I invited ten painters who’ve all had solo exhibitions at the café during that period, including gallery artists Ty Ennis and Jaik Faulk.  With The Community—a title borrowed from Jon Raymond’s collection of art writings published last year by Publication Studio—I hope to present a survey of sorts.  A glimpse into what it has been like to meet these artists and experience the work they all make, after clocking out at their day job(s), and that they share with this ever changing community.  Given the simple assignment to render some kind of bouquet on a 40”x30” piece of unstretched canvas, they all went into their studios to do what they do best: paint.—May Barruel

JAIK FAULK,   Sunday Evening to Friday Night , 2017, acrylic on on unstretched canvas, 40 x 30”

JAIK FAULK, Sunday Evening to Friday Night, 2017, acrylic on on unstretched canvas, 40 x 30”

The exhibition is on view through July 11, 2017 at 128 SW Third Avenue, Portland, OR.

GABI'S THOUGHTS ON EMILY COUNTS' "REMASTERED"

Emily Counts,  Remastered , 2017, stoneware, 25 (h) x 19 x 18”

Emily Counts, Remastered, 2017, stoneware, 25 (h) x 19 x 18”

There are many spaces to enter into Emily Counts’ current series Form Factor on view at Nationale. An abundance and diversity of patterning, vibrant color choices, textures, and unusual forms, make this work an ever-unfolding visual playground.

Remastered, composed of multiple stacked ceramic forms, reveals Counts’ ability to manipulate her materials in such a way that elements made from the same stuff appear completely different from one another in weight, shape, and texture. At the very top of the work sits a rectangular cube that, because it is only attached to the form below on one side, appears to be flying off of the sculpture. Its placement, as well as the soft pale green hue and uneven lined texture, gives it a nearly weightless quality. It appears as light and delicious as a marshmallow.

Remastered, as with many of Counts’ sculptures, feels like a life force. With each element making up the entirety of the organism, it holds the presence of a living thing. At its base are an array of small ceramic objects, each one different in shape, texture, and color. They peek out from beneath the large blue and red perforated rounded form, which sits under a shiny brown thick pancake shaped piece. Nearly at the top of the sculpture rests a rock shaped object painted to resemble the patterning of Counts’ childhood living room rug.

Initially, the work appears to be precarious, as if the bottom pieces which seem so small and fragile are being crushed by the weighted stack above them, but it is actually these small works that together have the strength to hold up the heavier parts. Similar to the piece at the top of Remastered, the bottom elements, which are surrounded by negative space, give the work an unexpected levity. It is this confluence of solidity and lightness that circles back to the idea of a living form. As with the human body, gravity equals presence, and lightness implies the ability to move freely. We can imagine Remastered continuing to grow and evolve, and with Counts behind the curtain making the magic happen, who knows what is possible.

AMY BERNSTEIN & CARSON ELLIS // ALCU OF OREGON ART AUCTION

Carson Ellis' donation to the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner Art Auction

Carson Ellis' donation to the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner Art Auction

Gallery artists Amy Bernstein and Carson Ellis are honored to be included in the ACLU of Oregon's Art Auction at their Liberty Dinner this Friday, February 24th. For more info on the Liberty Dinner, please follow THIS LINK. And for those attending, be sure to raise those paddles to support a more than worthy cause: civil liberties!

Amy Bernstein's  Soft Mechanics  will be up for auction at the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner

Amy Bernstein's Soft Mechanics will be up for auction at the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner

ANNOUNCING LE OUI

Back in early December, gallery artist Carson Ellis approached me to see if we could help her with an idea she had: she had just finished her family's holiday card and thought the design would make an amazing poster. Since the elections, she'd also been wanting to do a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Putting the two ideas together, together we produced ONWARD, silk-screened locally here in Portland. The first run sold out in just a few days raising $5600.

The experience of producing Onward with Ellis led to many sleepless nights with fast running thoughts about the state of the world; the madness & challenges of running a small art gallery in Portland, OR; and on a more personal level, what I love most doing: working with inspiring artists whose work is not only beautiful but also thought provoking.

And so with the second printing of Carson's Onward, we launched Le Oui, an offshoot of Nationale. The first batch of prints sold out within a few hours on Inauguration Day, but you can sign up to be on the alert list HERE (leoui--001 will always be an open edition so we can raise more funds for the ACLU).

With Le Oui, our goal is to closely collaborate with established and emerging artists to eventually release limited edition silkscreen prints and donate part of the proceeds to organizations fighting for social justice and equality.

EMILY COUNTS FEATURED IN SEATTLE GROUP SHOW

Emily Counts'  Basic Diagram  (2016) now on view in  Migratory Paths  at Tashiro Kaplan Lofts in Seattle

Emily Counts' Basic Diagram (2016) now on view in Migratory Paths at Tashiro Kaplan Lofts in Seattle

Seattle friends! Check out Migratory Paths, a group exhibition featuring work by gallery artist Emily Counts and curated by Julie Alexander at the Tashiro Kaplan Lofts. The show features four Seattle-based artists whose work is "tactile, object based and engages the viewer’s body."  Exhibiting artists include:  Emily Counts, Marisa Manso, Tuan Nguyen, Dori Scherer. Gallery hours and more info can be found HERE.  

Upcoming hours are:
Open hours: Friday 1/27 and Saturday 1/28 from 12-4pm
Open for the First Thursday Art Walk 2/2, from 6-8pm
Closing reception: Saturday Feb 4th from 12-3pm

Tashiro Kaplan Lofts
300 South Washington

"THE ARTISTS RESIST" / AMY BERNSTEIN FEATURED IN THE MERCURY

Many thanks to Megan Burbank, at The Portland Mercury, for her inspiring article, THE ARTISTS RESIST about how art can help us through these bleak political times (as it has so many times before!). 

Burbank writes, "...if you’re looking for an aesthetic refuge from the 24-hour news cycle, pop in to see the shop’s January show of Amy Bernstein’s minimalist paintings. A Lover’s Race features neatly elegant constructions—bright blobs of color on white canvases that seem to blend into the wall—and after months of trying to make sense of Trump tweets, it’s a relief to get away from screens and in front of abstract pieces. Nationale’s accompanying copy calls the show an attempt to reach the 'heart within the chaos,' which is exactly what it was for me on a recent weekday visit."

Check out the article for other great exhibitions and programming happening now to, as Burbank puts it, "preserve your sanity"!

 

INTERVIEW: JAIK FAULK

Gallery artist Jaik Faulk discusses his fifth solo exhibition at Nationale (!), "I feel alright with azaleas around." 

Gabi Lewton-Leopold: This is the first series you've shown at Nationale that focuses solely on the still life genre. We've seen elements of this in other series—abstracted paintings of objects or flowers, but they are typically accompanied by a healthy dose of the figure. What brought you to this space that focuses completely on painting objects with a clear nod to the still life tradition (skulls, flowers, vases)? Do you see it as a departure or as an extension of your past work? 

Jaik Faulk,  Dark Skull and Bottle , 2016, oil on linen stretched over panel, 18.25 x 21.5" 

Jaik Faulk, Dark Skull and Bottle, 2016, oil on linen stretched over panel, 18.25 x 21.5" 

Jaik Faulk: Man, this question actually has thrown me for a loop. I was going to be wishy-washy and say it's a little bit of both (an extension as well as a departure) in some ways. But I will say firmly that it is an extension of my previous work. 

The big difference is that these paintings come from direct observation. I constructed these little arrangements and still lifes with painted bottles, handmade flowers (as well as flowers I've gathered from my neighborhood), and skulls that I have collected and painted. My work up until now has always resulted from collected images—painting as a direct response to the archive I've amassed in numerous sketchbooks and carried about. They've aged and torn and become discolored and I had always found it to be a nice little secret world to pull from. At some point I found myself searching and searching this archive and nothing grabbed my attention. I felt like I had hit a brick wall with that method of working. So, in response I began creating these little studio sculptures and arrangements. I set them up and lit them—moved them a bit here and there and began tinkering with these things in a more tangible way. I've toyed with this sort of thing for quite awhile but somehow it stuck this time. I guess I have such an attachment to portraiture and the figure that it was hard to allow myself to let it go. 

I find something very measured and nuanced in working this new way. It's really spooky how a studio practice can evolve and take you to places you never could've imagined. So there ya go: Extension vs Departure ?? Who knows. I could make a case for both, I guess.

A cardboard flower arrangement in Jaik's studio 

A cardboard flower arrangement in Jaik's studio 

GLL: It's like you took all the 2D imagery you usually work from in your sketchbooks and made it 3D in your studio—as if all the elements you collected and set up for these paintings were sketches in themselves. Your studio become your sketchbook and where you'd normally pull magazine fragments, you collected real objects. Something kinda magical about that idea. Can you talk more about your studio process with this series, what your setup is like and what materials you used. 

JF: In the studio I have little clusters of arrangements all around so each angle that I am painting from varies. These objects and things are ever-present, they create a vibe in the studio that I've always wanted to be in the work. Many a time I found myself saying "ah I wish I could just have a show in my studio, or I wish I could open my studio up to the viewers." Perhaps I thought that the thinking and logic in my paintings would be more apparent that way? But I'm not sure if that's the way it works. 

It is very much a painter's studio; very lived in and worked in, I love being in there. At some point in grad school someone said that it was exactly what they had imagined an artist's studio to look like, or that maybe it was "the studio most likely to be a real artist's studio." I love to see visitors respond to it, there is always something they gravitate towards that grabs their attention. Their thoughts on the objects, the space, the paintings are so informative. As I said, I love to be there and it's a nice little space that I've carved out for myself to think in and to paint in. 

Studio flower made from a plastic bottle

Studio flower made from a plastic bottle

GLL: This is perhaps your first series without of figures. The paintings Wolf Mask and Mask with Punk Wig could be seen as figures, but you've been sure to tell us in your titles that they are in fact objects, not living beings. Through this naming they lose their menacing quality and become more artificial. Was that your intention? 

JF: Yes, in the naming I did want to point out that they are artificial. You are exactly right that I wanted to strip them of their menacing quality and in fact, a great deal of all these things are artificial. 

They are flowers I made out of plastic and are sort of maquettes of flowers and arrangements that I imagine to be unreal or hyper-real. I wanted to use them as objects, as things to paint for purely formal reasons. With Wolf Mask for example, I really wanted to paint the hair and I was curious as to what I would need to do to achieve that. Mask with Punk Wig was much the same—I saw the teeth as a challenge. I thought to myself, "what could I do with that?"

Mask with Punk Wig , 2016, oil on canvas stretched over panel, 18 x 20"

Mask with Punk Wig, 2016, oil on canvas stretched over panel, 18 x 20"

GLL: The teeth are one of my favorite moments from this series! The pop of color and texture is so good and satisfying. I was also wondering about symbolism. Dutch still life genre (or Vanitas) was all about symbols—the skull and flowers as markers of time passing and impermanence of this life and pleasures that will not last. Was that part of your thought process conceiving of this series? Were you thinking about mortality?

JF: I do think of the Dutch still life tradition and Vanitas painting, but I hold it all on the periphery. I've done a bit of research on its history but to be honest, I felt that I was ruining good paintings by reading too much symbolism into it or adhering to the specific coded language those old fellows were using. I like that meaning to be there, and perhaps to discover personal meaning in these works, or to develop a personal language with them is more valuable than adopting a coded language. 

Mortality, oh yes. I was thinking about mortality, but again, only at the periphery. I've been to way too many funerals in the past year or two—many loved ones and people way too young, so I could see the skulls being a reflection of that. My brother is getting married in January, and I told him his wedding needs to hurry and get here so I can dress up for something fun.

I guess also on a lighter note, if the funerals have taught me anything, it is that life is too short to not paint what you want. I've always loved skulls and they do carry such a heavy weight symbolically that I've steered away from painting them. However lately, I've been looking at James Ensor and I felt like seeing how he embraced painting both skulls and masks—that gave me permission to do the same. As I get older I am learning to enjoy my little eccentricities.

James Ensor , Squelette arrêtant masques , 1891, oil on canvas 

James Ensor, Squelette arrêtant masques, 1891, oil on canvas 

GLL: I see that in my own life too, that growing up doesn’t get rid of insecurities, but it does make it easier to embrace those aspects that used to make me uncomfortable. Can you tell us a little about azaleas? What do they mean to you in terms of place and cultural or personal significance (as implied with the first person title)? And I may be wrong, but they seem to only make an appearance in one of the paintings Still Life with Gold Cup, and even in that work they are more white and light pink versus their signature hot pink. 

JF: Azalea's are a little bush or shrub that is very common in Acadiana (Cajun South Louisiana), where I live. I actually didn't paint any. The little flower in Still Life with Gold Cup is some other unknown flower from my front yard. It fades pretty quick after clipping so I had to work pretty fast to paint those flowers. 

Back to the Azalea's though, I thought maybe it would be too obvious to paint them, so I didn't even approach the idea. However, I love them, their presence in our neighborhoods down here gives me a specific sense of place. I see them everywhere riding my bike, and this combined with the bungalow architecture and porches I find endlessly fascinating. They do have a hot pink color and I'm not sure that they fit in the category of classic beauty, as they are a little "weedy." They pair well with linoleum counter tops and Salvation Army furniture. “Southern Bohemian Beauty” I would call it—beer rather than wine. 

Photo from Rick Olivier's 1976 Bayou Lafourche azaleas series

Photo from Rick Olivier's 1976 Bayou Lafourche azaleas series

GLL: "Southern Bohemian Beauty" —love that, and that's exactly the picture I have in my mind of you working in your studio. I've never been to the South but people always talk about how the pace is different. Do you think your studio practice and your work have changed since moving back to Louisiana? 

JF: Yes, I do believe both my practice and my work have changed—evolved, more so. I can't say if it is outwardly visible, it may be more subtle, but I know that I look at my work differently now. I expect different things from any particular piece. I've had much more time to get to know my work rather than the work of others. Who's doing what and where, and which way the art world was swaying; these were things that I paid more attention to in Portland and San Francisco. Now I am at a place where I am able to ignore extraneous noise.

I am getting to a point where I can view older pieces of mine through the lens of new works and say, "oh ok, that's what I was doing there, now I get it." And "ah-ha! that's why that piece works!" If I had to give specifics, it would be something to do with the lame fundamentals of painting. Quite often it is in analyzing the structure of a painting, the visual depth or the arrangement of things, visual cues. Silly little things that make paintings work. 

Louisiana has afforded much more time and space for my work. It feels very healthy. Also I get to have lunch with my brothers just about every week. It has been a very long time since I was able to do that.