Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz at PNCA’s Feldman Gallery

January 06, 2012

January 6, 2012

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art
lradon@pnca.edu, 971 255 5528

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art
bbiggs@pnca.edu, 971 255 5511

Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz at PNCA’s Feldman Gallery
First major show in Pacific Northwest for each of these important artists

Exhibition | Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz
Curated by MFA in Visual Studies Chair, Arnold J. Kemp
January 17– March 24, 2012

Artist Lecture | B. Wurtz
2011-2012 Graduate Visiting Artist Lecture Series
January 26, 2012, 6:30 pm
PNCA Main Campus Building, Feldman Gallery, 1241 NW Johnson St.

First Thursday Reception with artists in attendance
Thursday, February 2, 6:00 pm
PNCA Main Campus Building, Feldman Gallery, 1241 NW Johnson St.

Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz in conversation with exhibition curator, Arnold J. Kemp
Friday, February 3, 12:30 pm
PNCA Main Campus Building, Feldman Gallery, 1241 NW Johnson St.

For high resolution images, please contact Lisa Radon, lradon@pnca.edu.

PORTLAND, OR – January 6, 2012 – Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz is a two-person show presenting major new works by two important contemporary artists. Dealing in the complexity and specificity of color and material, Xylor Jane’s and B. Wurtz’ artworks are rigorously executed translations of environment and experience. B. Wurtz (b. 1948) makes sculptural assemblages from string, socks, buttons, household implements and plastic bags. Xylor Jane (b. 1963) draws on numerical series including the Fibonacci sequence and prime numbers to make intricately patterned paintings, finding hidden curiosities and subtle patterns amidst swarms of numbers. This exhibition, curated by MFA in Visual Studies Chair, Arnold J. Kemp, represents the first time work by these two artists has been shown together, offering a unique opportunity to consider complimentary practices by two artists of different generations whose bodies of work are outside of the mainstream museum and gallery fare. The exhibition is the first major showing of the work of both artists in the Pacific Northwest and follows on the heels of the summer 2011 retrospective of B. Wurtz’ work at Metro Pictures, New York.

B. Wurtz has been exhibiting his work since 1981. While his work has been influential to artists such as Richard Hawkins, Nayland Blake, Vincent Fecteau, Joe Bradley, Matt Connors, Fawn Krieger, and Rachel Harrison, Wurtz remains an artist’s artist. That is, his work is beloved by a small group of artists who are in the know while his work has limited visibility to a wider public. Wurtz’ sculptures and collages have been fully developed for a long time, often setting the standard for a critically engaged visual practice while avoiding trends that came and went from the 1980s to the present. B. Wurtz’ body of work in its historical and cultural context provides a platform for examining the origins of such exhibitions as the New Museum’s Unmonumental, which explored the reemergence of sculptural assemblage in contemporary art, focusing on a specific form of contemporary sculpture that juxtaposes disparate elements for suggestive effect. Like the work in Unmonumental, Wurtz’ sculptures display an additive quality that gives them a distinct informality: conversational, provisional, they are un-heroic and seek to describe the present as an age of crumbling symbols and broken icons.

Like B. Wurtz, Xylor Jane’s work seems to flaunt decorative abstraction, but is conceptual or more accurately philosophical at heart. The content of the work is on its surface and in the abstract grid of small marks that create a unified image. The concepts in the work are related to real things in the world. While Wurtz deals with found objects, Jane creates her images by adhering to found concepts of counting and ordering information. In fact many of Jane’s paintings incorporate her interpretations of the Fibonacci sequence. This series of numbers shows up repeatedly in the natural world in the patterns of leaves on a stem or the structure of a pine cone. It’s related to the golden ratio and Pascal’s triangle and is used in analysis of financial markets and computer algorithms making Jane’s concerns timeless as well as very contemporary.

B. Wurtz will be on hand for the installation and opening and will have the opportunity to interact with students and give a rare lecture on his practice and experiences as an artist who studied at Cal Arts during its heyday with such artists as James Welling, Tony Oursler and Jim Shaw. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with a critical essay by Arnold J. Kemp and interviews with the artists.

Xylor Jane and B. Wurtz is funded in part by a $40,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This grant supports a six-exhibition series in the Feldman Gallery exploring various media and methodologies in contemporary art.

About the Feldman Gallery + Project Space
PNCA’s Feldman Gallery + Project Space is the centerpiece of a total of eight galleries on the main PNCA campus and in satellite locations. Dedicated to bringing national and international contemporary artists to Portland, PNCA’s Feldman Gallery features six exhibitions of national/international artists annually and is free to the public seven days a week. The Feldman Gallery is also an educational resource for local schools and organizations; several school groups visit the gallery throughout the year to view new exhibitions.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its ten Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, PNCA offers graduate education with an MFA in Visual Studies, a Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, and an MFA in Collaborative Design, as well as an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. With the support of PNCA+FIVE (Ford Institute for Visual Education), the College has a partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit pnca.edu.