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Sculptors Ned Colclough and Michihiro Kosuge come from two different artistic worlds. Colclough is a young artist from Brooklyn, New York who builds simple constructions out of found objects and everyday materials. Kosuge is a renowned Portland sculptor who creates finely crafted and refined sculptures out of stone.
Both artists are featured in “New Arrangements,” a new exhibition on display at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA).
On paper, the pair may seem like an unusual match, but PICA curator Kristan Kennedy saw a shared visual aesthetic in their work and similar approaches to ideas of balance and simplicity.
Kennedy says the inspiration for “New Arrangements” came simply from a desire to see what would happen when she put the work of the two artists in the same room.
“The exhibition started without having a theme,” says Kennedy. “It was more about having two artists in conversation with each other from different backgrounds, different generations whose work seemed to be speaking to each other without ever meeting. I was really interested in seeing how Ned’s work, which is so ephemeral, would sit next to Michi’s work, which is so strong in many different ways.”
To start that conversation, Kennedy first brought Kosuge’s stone sculptures to PICA’s exhibition space, arranging the pieces to reflect the “casual and accidental” style Kosuge uses to display the pieces on his property in Scappoose.
Colclough arrived later with a collection of component parts from past sculptures which he combined with new materials and assembled in the gallery. Kennedy says Colclough’s process of constructing his work on site allowed him to react to and get inspiration from the forms and arrangements of the stone sculptures already in the space.
“It came together very easily, which is not often the case when putting together an exhibition,” says Kennedy. “The artists left a lot of room for the other to be in the space, which created a really beautiful marriage of ideas.”
To learn more about Michihiro Kosuge, watch our profile on Oregon Art Beat.