As If Without Us We Could Be We
December 1, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Nino Mier Gallery is thrilled to announce our first solo exhibition of new works by Portland-based artist Blair Saxon-Hill. The artist presents a series of figurative sculptures and wall works assembled, arranged and sometimes fully realized in the gallery by the artist. The installation as a whole, resembles a haptic take on today’s emotive landscape including those walking in the caravan, astonished by our everyday, in love, enraged and peering towards the outside world. The works are rich in texture and made with humble, found materials including towels, driftwood, vintage textiles, pantyhose, safety glasses, and twine along with more traditional studio materials including plaster, wood, and cement. The works progress art historical histories such as Arte Povera and COBRA along with the rich international and west coast history of assemblage. In this exhibition, Saxon-Hill evokes a sensorium of memory, documentation, and perception drawn from everyday occurrences outside of the constant stream of information and data to form what she calls “impossible documents”. These works uphold and celebrate the worn, mended, improvised, weathered as a platform for conversation on humanity.
There are two homeless shelters a block away from the studio. I never know what of ingenuity and unexpected manipulation of material I will encounter as a result of necessity and desire. It is here that I’ve been eye-to-eye with the pigeons and crows for twelve years, this January. I am most familiar with the tides and constants of this pedestrian area. My seashells, my studio moons, are often the detritus found nearby around the railroad tracks and homeless camps. You might look across the street to the giant cranes clawing at the bedrock making those adorned in hi-vis clothing into miners. However, there is a challenge of vision. There is a challenge of the knowing. What is it that sustains these people in this pervasive global sadness? I want to know about that in the studio. I witness so much suffering being endured alone. For now, I gather dross alongside these new and old friends and consider what holds us to each day as we continue to challenge being led farther from one another.
In 2016, Blair Saxon-Hill was awarded fellowships from both the Oregon Arts Commission and the Hallie Ford Foundation. Saxon-Hill has exhibited at the 500 Meter Museum in Sapporo, Japan, Venus Over Los Angeles and Artist Curated Projects. Additionally, her 2017 solo exhibition at JOAN in Los Angeles received both an Art Forum Critic’s Pick and the LA Weekly’s Critic’s Pick.
Saxon-Hill is currently working on a new book called Condition Report to be published by Chicago-based Sobers Cove Press.