The premise of The Still Life Show involves a pairing of eighteen artists from Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Portland’s ebb and flow of dreary winter and resplendent summer, fascination with experimental music, European-influenced urban planning, and bicycle riding seems far removed from LA’s vast, sprawling pocket neighborhoods; each island-like and different from the next, U-turns, car tans, canyons, and fiery Santa Ana winds. I feel that there is much to be gained by an exchange of sorts between these fascinatingly dissimilar cities that I have lived in; united by the commonality of art making. This exhibition was created to incite a curious dialogue between artists, schools, writers, and spaces.
Each artist was told to find a box of any size and fill it with contents of their own whim and discretion. I paired the artists and sent each a corresponding address. Nine artists from Los Angeles sent boxes to Portland and likewise nine Portland artists sent boxes to LA. Artists were instructed to install the contents of the box they received as a ‘still life’. Only items placed in the box could be used.
Similar to Japanese ikebana, ‘still life’ in this context serves as a unifying force. Whereas usually a painting or drawing would be made from a still life, in this case the arrangement itself is the work of art.
This exhibition represents an overall mixing of emerging and established, West Coast north and south, craft and anti-craft, desert and forest, public and private, domestic and wild.