New Modernism


July 20 - September 2, 2017
First Thursday Reception
: April 6, 6 - 8pm

New Modernism presents seven artists whose innovative approaches to formalism link them to the modernist art movement of the 19th century. Just as modernism embraced expressiveness over the strict formalism of the past and reflected the dynamic changes taking place in the fields of technology, science and philosophy, the New Modernism group exhibition features artists who also expand upon formalist concerns by infusing their artworks with political dialogue and personal expression.

From the inventive symbology of Math Bass and Pat Boas to the socio-political examinations of Chris Gander and Samuel Levi Jones, or the imaginatively vibrant creations of Chris Johanson, Joanna Pousette-Dart, and Amanda Wojick, each artist has created a formal style that expands upon art history by creating a distinctly new visual language. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures and works on paper that highlight the diverse, idiosyncratic styles developed by each of the artists. 

Math Bass (b. 1981) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose practice includes painting, sculpture, performance and video. For the past several years Bass has been developing a vocabulary of symbols that generate a new visual language by blending disparate forms. Her latest series, Newz!, riffs on newspaper-like graphics and are punctuated with bold shapes and bright pops of red. Bass’ intriguing compositions strike the perfect tension between recognition and discovery. Bass’ work was included in the Hammer Museum’s (Los Angeles, CA) biennial Made in L.A. in 2012. Bass’ work has been included in exhibitions at Wallspace (New York, NY), Michael Jon Gallery (Miami, FL) and Human Resources (Los Angeles, CA). 

Pat Boas (b. 1952) makes drawings, paintings and prints driven by her fascination with the common and complex activity of reading. She investigates the relationship between the textual and the pictorial and is interested in deconstructing representational painting. Her work is included in the Hallie Ford Museum (Salem, OR) and the Bonnie Bronson Collection at Reed College (Portland, OR), among others. In 2017 Boas received a Hallie Ford Fellowship. 

Chris Gander (b. 1954) is an Oregon sculptor who explores illusion and spatial relationships with minimal line and form. His sculptures are made of painted wood or stainless steel and appear to activate the space they occupy. Gander graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art - PNCA (Portland, OR) in 1986 and has taught art at PNCA, Portland State University (Portland, OR) and the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art (Pont-Aven, France). He was included in the Oregon Biennial in 1991 and 1995 and in the Tacoma Art Museum's Big Objects Invitational in 1991.

Chris Johanson (b. 1968) is a Californian artist associated with the San Francisco Bay Area’s Mission School. Johanson’s paintings, drawings, installation and sculpture feature colorful scenes with a flattened perspective where real, idealized and imagined worlds collide. His artworks convey a deep engagement with issues of anti-materialism and political, social, and philosophical observations about the modern world. His work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) and the New Museum (New York, NY), among others.

Samuel Levi Jones (b. 1978) creates geometric grids and assemblages that comment on institutionalized racial inequity and injustice. His provocative and poetic patchworks of dismantled law books suggest the disregarded remnants of society’s collective knowledge with an intention to construct new histories. Jones was the recipient of the 2014 Joyce Alexander Wein artist prize awarded to him by the Studio Museum in Harlem. His work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA), the Rubell Family Collection (Miami, FL), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA) and the Studio Museum (New York, NY).

Joanna Pousette-Dart (b. 1947) is a New York-based painter who creates curved panes of colorfully stacked shapes that appear to glow. Her defined, nestled shapes and lyrically linear structures convey a sense of movement and appear to create depth without relying on illusionistic space. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA), the Guggenheim (New York, NY) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), among others.

Amanda Wojick (b. 1974) is a sculptor based in Eugene, Oregon, who creates inventive, brightly colored artworks that accentuate the handmade process. Wojick’s work merges highly personal and symbolic traces from the cultural space of the home, with imperfect geometry and wobbly patterns. Her work is included in the permanent collection of Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA) and many private collections.