Blog / 2012 / Dead, Tired, or Vital?

February 16, 2012

Recently, I was talking with an artist friend about whether or not to show work that’s already been exhibited. To his mind, once art has been displayed, it’s dead. By the end of our conversation, I’d talked him into replacing “dead” with “tired” but he held fast to the idea: work that’s been seen publicly is old news, publicly speaking.

For my part, I’m of two minds about this.

On the one hand, I’ve seen the same few works trotted out by certain emerging artists around Portland time and again. I may know the names of these artists and recognize their work, but that doesn’t mean I find it interesting after so many viewings. If anything, I’m fascinated by what I perceive as their inability to make new work.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that the art I’m showing should be good enough—layered enough, both aesthetically and conceptually—that it can stand up to repeated display.

American Gothic with an Algerian-American daughter and father
Gwenn Seemel
Amazigh Gothic (Algerian-American, Taous and Cherif)
2008
acrylic on panel
35 x 30 inches

I guess I’m thinking a lot about this right now because I’m showing a large portion of my Apple Pie series again. It premiered in Portland over three years ago now and I’ve showed it four time since then—once in Eugene and three more times in various venues in Portland. Next week, it opens in Monmouth.

Does that make this work dead, tired, or vital? Ultimately, I suppose that’s for the audience to say, but, in any case, this time the series is juxtaposed with allegorical portraits by another artist, Jessica Burke, giving it a new context. The show opens Wednesday at Western Oregon University!

Reception: Wednesday 22 February, 4:30 to 6:00 PM
Open: 22 February through 23 March
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Dan and Gail Cannon Gallery of Art
inside Campbell Hall at Western Oregon University
345 N Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, OR 97361

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