EMILY COUNTS // form factor
On view March 4–April 6, 2017 *
Opening reception Sunday, March 5 (3–5 p.m.)
In conjunction with the 2017 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference in Portland, OR, Nationale proudly presents Form Factor, Emily Counts’ second solo exhibition with the gallery. From framed assemblages to sculptural sound pieces, Counts’ works are realized through the precise arrangement of small handcrafted ceramic parts. Whether shiny or matte, etched or perforated, smooth or sharp, active or flat, these unique, visually disparate, units come together under her meticulous eye into a singular, spirited aesthetic.
Inspired by the graphic networks of early computer and playground design, Counts utilizes both positive and negative space as interdependent sites of action. The viewers’ visual navigation around her stacked and connected sculptures creates a stage for playful interaction mirrored within the compositions of the assemblages on the wall. These latter pieces meanwhile extend the monochromatic gestures of artists Louise Nevelson and Leroy Setziol into colorful exercises in composition and form. Carefully interlocked within the shallow space of wooden frames, each ceramic component seems to embody a painterly gesture, a brushstroke writ in 3D. Also on view is Counts’ new sculptural keyboard, a multifaceted work featuring assorted ceramic buttons arranged on a grid that, when pressed by the viewer, emit different sounds. The participatory nature of the work references, once again, Counts’ attentiveness to cross-collaboration and community. When working together, every form has a place and every form has a purpose.
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, Disjecta, and Nisus Gallery, in Tokyo at Eitoeiko and Gallery Lara, and in California at the Torrance Art Museum, Garboushian Gallery, Mark Moore Gallery, and Durden & Ray. 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 joined Nationale as a represented artist in the summer of 2015.
* The gallery will be exceptionally closed on Monday, March 13, 2017
Critic's Picks, The Willamette Week by Jennifer Rabin, March 29, 2017
Arts Picks, The Oregonian by Amy Wang, March 16, 2017
Sight Unseen gallery feature by Jill Singer
On Remastered by Gabi Lewton-Leopold
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