Featuring Samantha Wall, Dan Gluibizzi, Gregory Grenon, and Anne Siems
July 1- August 27, 2022
Beginning in prehistoric times and continuing throughout history, artists have had an enduring fascination with representing the human form. This exhibition features four artists from the Pacific Northwest who all use the human figure as the focus of their artistic expression and who, together, present a very eclectic approach to the figure in art.
For some, the figure presents an opportunity to look inward, as with Samantha Wall’s drawings that explore her own multi-racial identity and that of others. Wall’s portraits are less about capturing a physical likeness than conveying a shifting inner psychology or emotional state. Similarly, Anne Siems’ and Gregory Grenon’s paintings reflect on the inner lives of strong women. Often gazing directly at the viewer, these individuals convey strength, determination and courage—prompting our respect and admiration. Dan Gluibizzi’s works look outward, presenting us with a fresh view of our image-saturated digital world. Culled from a wide range of social media sites and selfies, Gluibizzi’s figures seem at once anonymous and still specific. While the work emerges from our obsession with the solitary act of screen swiping, it imparts a sense of human connection, inclusivity and optimism.
The human figure in art remains as varied as the artists who create the work. Through the expression of their creative vision, artists and their work have the power to inform and enhance the way we see ourselves as individuals as well as how we see our place in this world and our collective humanity.
Figure In , An Exhibition in Collaboration with Russo Lee Gallery
Samantha Wall, she/her
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Samantha Wall immigrated to the United States as a child. She received her BFA from The University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, and her MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR. Her work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally. Wall is the recipient of awards and grants from organizations including the Oregon Arts Commission; Portland, Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council; The Ford Family Foundation; and The Joan Mitchell Foundation. She was also selected for the Portland Art Museum’s Contemporary Northwest Art Awards 2016 and the winner of the Arlene Schnitzer Prize. Recently she has completed commissions for Oregon State University’s Cascade Camps in Bend, OR, and for the Facebook AIR Program, Redmond, WA.
Gregory Grenon, he/him
We are saddened to share that long-time gallery artist Gregory Grenon passed away on February 6, 2022. Gregory made Portland his artistic home from the late 1970s forward and was represented by Russo Lee Gallery and its predecessor The Laura Russo Gallery from 1995 to the present.
Gregory grew up in Detroit, Michigan where he studied at the Center for Creative Studies and began making art in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, a thriving center of the arts in the 1960s and ’70s. After a stint in Chicago, where he furthered his printmaking skills at Landfall Press, he moved to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1970s. Gregory was among the most widely recognized Northwest artists of the late 20th century, known both regionally and nationally for his distinctive technique of painting on the reverse of glass, incorporating folk tradition with a contemporary subject matter, and frequently using surfaces repurposed from past uses. Old doors, windows, mirror frames, or car windshields, among other surfaces, came to new life with his unmistakable, expressive, and boldly colored figures.
In addition to showing his paintings in Portland, Gregory was also represented by galleries across the country, including Traver Gallery in Seattle. He received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR; the Portland Art Museum; the Seattle Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington; the Boise Art Museum in Idaho; and New York Public Library, New York City.
Anne Siems, she/her
Anne Siems was born in Germany and received her MFA in 1991 from Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Her work shows a fascination with nature and the mystery of human experience. Figures are delicately rendered and embraced by flora and fauna, yet placed in ambiguous settings of time and space. Siems has exhibited in the United States since the mid-1980s, at galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Her work is included in the collections of the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, the Boise Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, Microsoft, University Hospital in Seattle and University of Washington, among others.
Dan Gluibizzi, he/him
Dan Gluibizzi, based in Portland, Oregon, has an international reputation. He has illustrated for the New York Times and has received press from Wired, Juxtapoz, White Wall Magazine, The Observer, Print Magazine, Beautiful Decay, and New American Paintings. He received a BFA at Kutztown, University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA from DAAP, University of Cincinnati. He recently completed a commission project for Facebook corporate offices in Seattle, WA, and has works in the collections of Randall Children’s Hospital and Casey Eye Institute, OHSU, in Portland, OR.