is a showcase of two witty, bizarre, and entirely self-sufficient/contained/referential worlds. Both creators Ethan Hayes-Chute
and Yeshe Parks
use old paper materials to draw on/cut out, creating images that problem-solve internal situations.
Ethan Hayes-Chute, known in Portland for "Hermitage", the life sized, ramshackle, cabin he created for the Portland Museum of Art 2009 biennial, will display his intimately scaled drawings for Assembled Thoughts
. While "Hermitage", as it welcomed visitors to the museum lobby, portrayed a reality, an identifiable and familiar place that viewers could intrude upon, Hayes-Chute's two-dimensional work is more about what could potentially
be real. On the backs of forty year old German documents collected from the dumpster behind his Berlin studio and scraps of graph paper, Hayes-Chute draws out ideas for what he calls "various (possibly discontinued) ways of life; models for potential living situations; as well as decidedly more supernatural events." Pen and graphite are used to create small finely executed scenarios, collections of boards and junk that may assemble themselves into structures or blow about like tumble weed at the mercy of unseen forces. Hayes-Chute is continually amazed by "ideas of self-sufficiency, self-preservation and self-exclusion," an interest that is manifest in the work. No world is hinted at beyond the lodgings, (built/pre-built /post-built). All that is drawn on these old and lonely pages are structures, metaphorically ideas in various states of completeness and efficiency. The drawings are delicate, sometimes humorous and evocative of strange, geological forces. Above all they convey seclusion and individuality but despite this loneliness and pathos the drawings at Whitney Art Works transcend any sense of tragedy with their careful craft, luminous detail and the personality that emerges in each creation.
Also a PMA Biennial alum (2007), Yeshe Parks' collages/drawings could be described with many of the same adjectives as Hayes-Chute's: idealist, whimsical, problem-solving, culled from archives, etc. Parks creates what he refers to as "portraits. What his collages actually depict is wide-ranging but this word correctly identifies the sense of humanity and society in his work. While Hayes-Chute's works are decidedly about an individual's designs, (almost as if the artist is playing a frustrated, post-apocalyptic, rural, hermit of an architect) Parks is using a more collective subconscious approach to problem-solving. Parks works on a small scale, sometimes drawing figures that navigate geometric wonderlands. Collage is used for color and to create an illusion of depth and space. Precisely cut checkerboard patterns create undulating planes that may depict a snake, the sky, or a sense of surreal space. Working on an intimate scale with the resources at hand (like old books) to create expansive vistas and complicated patterns occasionally make Parks' works feel as if they came from an Outsider artist's mind: a misanthrope, ironically, who is tapped deeply into the collective psyche. The unbalanced symmetry and obsessive detail add to this effect, but it is not a bad thing at all. Parks is an evolving, acutely tuned-in artist whose works continue to be visually and conceptually impressive.
is on view August 6th - 28th
A reception will be held on Friday, August 6th
from 5- 8 pm.
Whitney Art Works is open 12 -6 pm on Wednesday - Saturday