Rejoinder (2010)
  • Rejoinder (2010)
A nice conversation has sprung up between the critic and the artist over on PORT's review of Seattle artist Cris Bruch's new show at Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland. The show is called Gather and Wait, which describes Bruch's working process—he brings together materials that interest him (often wood, but just as often, strange stuff such as vacuum-formed consumer packaging), and then he waits until he really feels he needs to do something with them. He does not produce willy-nilly. He waits for the buildup to reach a point where a thing must be made.

Then, the things are gathered and shown in a gallery, where they wait for connection. I've always loved Bruch's work for its sheer intelligence, and his new show of sculpture and drawings is, I believe, his first time really incorporating photography. Photographs of the sculptures are cited as new works, and labeled as by Bruch in collaboration with Richard Nicol, the go-to guy in Seattle when you want your art photographed for documentation purposes.

Reusing his own sculptures happens again in an amalgamation piece called Rejoinder: An abstract sculpture from 2008 with the same name sits on top of a bookshelf containing butcher-papered thrift-store books bearing the titles of Bruch's personal collection of books. Bruch has an interesting explanation for this over at PORT. And he's also making these landscape-like ink paintings.

If you're anywhere near Portland before August 28, when the show closes, get there. I know I'm going to try. (And I'd also like to see this.)