Saturday, May 12, 2012


The painting above is a simple study, just for color. I like how uber-simple it is, the black dots represent cows.

Some weeks ago I saw the Rothko show at the Portland Art Museum, but I missed the John Frame show that is located upstairs. I went today to have a look, to see why so many people have mentioned it. When you walk in you are struck by how dark the exhibit is, both literally and figuratively. There are no descriptive tiles next to the work and each unusual piece is illuminated individually. People seem stunned by the blackness and the figures, the only sound you hear is the floor creaking beneath the people walking from glass case to glass case. 

Frame is a complete genius..he fashioned his characters largely from found objects and he animated a breathtaking film with them. He even composed the music for the film. The John Frame experience was one I'll remember. It was all somewhat disturbing, but inexplicably heartening. The message I took away  was that life is brutal.... but we keep going.

(The photos below are not from the John Frame exhibit, but elsewhere in the Museum):

A Sculpture in the 1st floor section 

"Dishwasher" (a resin sculpture) from the early 70's. I thought he looked a little like Marlon Brando

"Our" Van Gogh. I always stop to see it.

(Top Photo) Oil Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Hood River Pasture, oil on 5x7 gessoed hardboard
2nd photo: John Frame Sculpture (to see Frame's  film, go HERE)


David E. Castillo said...

Celeste you are so right the John Frame show is like a crash on the highway, you can't look away. I was more interested in that show than the Rothko exhibit. Your study is nice. Will there be a bigger painting?

David E. Castillo said...

Did my comment go through?

Gatepost productions said...

I'm still working out what time zone difference there is ...there you are posting this 45 minutes ago on Friday.

Here I am 45 minutes later, at 9-40 on Saturday morning reading it! Takes me back to previous globe-trotting lifetimes.

You'll be amazed to know I've never heard of John Frame - but I have now and I will look deeper.

I thought they were cows, before you explained, so I'm getting there. It's very clever.

Have a great weekend, Celeste

Autumn Leaves said...

I'm always drawn to bucolic scenes...they are so refreshing to me after the hectic-ness of life. Such an interesting post, my friend. Is the dishwasher a real man or is it a sculpture? I can relate to his fatigue.

Libby Fife said...

That sculpture i beautiful! SO glad you showed that piece.

Happy that you went back to see that exhibit. I get to visit these places vicariously through you so thanks:)

Linda Popple said...

always an interesting post. next time i am in portland i am definitely going to the museum! missed it last time i was there.
love the color in your painting. really caught my eye!

Page Pearson Railsback said...

Your posts are so full of good stuff

Dan Kent said...

You didn't have to tell us about the cows. We knew. Just as we knew about the field, the trees, the sky. You know how to suggest images with few strokes. Very nice.