April 24, 2012

Seattle Report: Studio visit with Robert Yoder

Last week I flew out to Seattle where I saw "SQUEEZE HARD (Hold that Thought)," a two-person show I'm in at SEASON, Robert Yoder's home-based gallery near UDub, and to participate in a discussion about arts writing at Cornish College of the Arts that was organized by Cable Griffith. I visited several artists studios, and I'll be posting images throughout the week. First, let's look at Robert Yoder's new work.

Yoder works in the basement of his mid-century modern home. The livingroom and most of the first floor house the gallery. Here's the wall above Yoder's desk, which is cluttered with images of people clipped from magazines.

 Paintings combined with collage are grouped loosely in multi-panel pieces.

 In new drawings, Yoder combines text with architectural form. I can't be sure what it says, and he's fine with that.

An amusing collection of vernacular typos is posted on one wall.

Yoder, who had a solo show in NYC at Frosch & Portmann in November 2011, is in the process of preparing work for a solo booth at Volta in Basel and an exhibition at Platform in Seattle. He says they are figurative paintings, but to me they look lushly, seductively abstract. In an essay written in the form of a letter, Seattle writer D.W. Burnam, one of the panelists at the Cornish arts writing discussion, eloquently wrote that the "visual pairing of [Yoder's] panels with other treated objects sets up a dialectic in which familiar sexual cues move toward the stock of their formal construction – shapes, hues and linkages – while a baser hedonism simmers underneath the sterility of everything. These ensembles mete out verdicts on prefab identity’s impotence – its fleshy bait and switch. The painted-white tile becomes a sloppy censor – a wad of wet toilet paper above a urinal. As the presumably illicit image beneath seeps through, the rendering remains just barely identifiable as a picture of something intimate and shudderingly familiar. It’s not lost on the present work that paint and skin are both containers, organs that mediate inter-permeation." Nicely put.

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Beleaguered and dispirited, artists in Seattle, who have seen several gallery closings, diminished art sales, and fewer exhibition opportunities in recent years (on top of all that depressing rain), need some attention. More Seattle studio visit posts are underway.

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3 comments:

this is a great peek into Yoder's studio - thanks for sharing the view, Sharon!

I agree, fun to see Robert's current state of play!

Yoder's work is so inspiring, thank you for this post.

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