CARSON ELLIS // mush, mush, the sloping midnight line

...With supporting pieces by MIDORI HIROSE

On view November 14 - December 9, 2012
Opening reception for the artists Saturday, November 17 (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
Closing reception First Friday, December 7 (7 p.m. - 8 p.m.)

Carson Ellis returns to Nationale with Mush, Mush, the Sloping Midnight Line - an exhibition of new works on paper influenced in parts by the Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset and her acclaimed Kristin Lavransdattar trilogy.

Like the above work of medieval fiction, Ellis’ enchanting scenes entwine together into a compelling narrative of desire, fear, atonement, nighttime voyages, and motherhood. Her characters’ navigate their destinies with the inspiring, yet clearly fated, qualities of romantic stoicism and self-determination. The resulting discord between this tragic core and Ellis’ serene, midnight landscapes of snow-covered fields, stave churches, and fantastical vegetation inspires a new folklore that, while rooted in a romanticized past, ultimately evokes a more introspective present.

Accompanying this exhibition, Midori Hirose’s snowdriſt sculptures of globular braids and ethereal flakes beautifully echo the tension stimulating Ellis’ mythical Nordic backdrops. For, while their once-charged underbellies of painted psychedelic swirls appear frozen within the enveloping plaster glow, one senses that this silencing of time and energy is only temporary.

Carson Ellis lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She received her BFA in Painting from the University of Montana in Missoula. Throughout the past decade, Ellis has exhibited original artwork in Portland, Oregon at PDX Contemporary Art, Motel Gallery, Basil Hallward Gallery, and Nationale and in San Francisco, California at Giant Robot. As an illustrator, she received the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators in 2010 and has provided artwork for four New York Times’ bestsellers: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Composer Is Dead by Lemony Snicket, and Wildwood & Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Ellis has been the illustrator-in-residence for the band The Decemberists since 2001. She is represented by Nationale in Portland, Oregon.

Midori Hirose lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has shown in Portland, Oregon at the Lumber Room, PDX Contemporary Art, Quality Pictures, and Beppu Wiarda Gallery and in Berlin, Germany at galleryHOMELAND East/West Project. Her work was also included in Weirding and Uncanny (curated by Levi Hanes) at the Newbery Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland and in Supernatural (curated by Arnold J Kemp) at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. She has recently published Roll of the Die as part of Container Corps’ SummerSigs ’12 series.




To request a price list for this exhibition, please email

Name *