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I Have a Winter Friend | Jeffry Mitchell
November 17, 2021 - December 24, 2021Free
PDX CONTEMPORARY ART is pleased to present I Have a Winter Friend, a solo exhibition of new work by Jeffry Mitchell. The show will take place in our new, and still developing gallery space on 1825 B NW Vaughn Street in Portland, Oregon.
I Have a Winter Friend features a variety of enchanting new work including porcelain trees, terra cotta pots, wooden furniture, ceramic vessels, and prints. While putting together this exhibition Jeffry Mitchell reflected on the many friendships which made it possible. Friendship is foundational to both his survival and work, and the exhibition is a celebration of the connection and creative collaboration that happens between friends.
Central to the exhibition are eight porcelain plum trees which Mitchell created in Dehua, China in 2019. The tall, white trees are laden with intricate plum blossoms and are teeming with Mitchell’s recurring motifs of alphabet letters, elefants (he prefers ‘f’ to ‘ph’), tigers, rabbits, and bears. The trees were made with a very white clay specific to Dehua county, famous for “blanc de chine,” which has been highly sought after for centuries. The clay and the opportunity to work in Dehua are rare—placing these works in an interesting stream of blanc de chine porcelain history.
Jeffry Mitchell’s primary medium is ceramic, and he is well versed in its varied traditions around the globe. His approach to working is direct, often eschewing refinements that commonly accompany many ceramic processes. The resulting pieces radiate an exuberant, unbridled immediacy. He feels that this unfettered approach is relatable to our shared human experience.
Mitchell has been an Artist in Residence at the Center for Ceramic at California State University, Long Beach, Township10 in Marshall, North Carolina, Archie Bray Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, Zentrum für Keramik, a guest lecturer and critic at Harvard University and Emily Carr’s School of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, and a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, the Neddy Artist Fellowship Award, and the Contemporary Northwest Art Award.
His work has been the subject of a solo exhibition in the Workspace Gallery at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), a mid-career retrospective at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), and included in exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA), the Fabric Workshop (Philadelphia, PA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Missoula Art Museum (Missoula, MT), PDX CONTEMPORARY ART (Portland, OR), James Harris Gallery (Seattle, WA), Morgan Lehman (New York, NY), Ambach & Rice (Los Angeles, CA), Rena Bransten (San Francisco, CA), Kittredge Gallery (Tacoma, WA), Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA), Museum of Contemporary Art (Detroit, MI), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), Western Bridge (Seattle, WA), World Ceramic Center (Icheon City, South Korea), CoCA (Seattle, WA), Bellevue Art Museum (Bellevue, WA), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), among others. Mitchell is currently represented by PDX CONTEMPORARY ART in Portland.
His work is featured in the collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Microsoft (Redmond, WA), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), New York Public Library (New York, NY), Philadelphia Art Museum (Philadelphia, PA), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Safeco Corporation (Seattle, WA), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), Contemporary Museum (Honolulu, HI), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA), Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (Saratoga Springs, NY), Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA), and Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, WA), as well as numerous private collections.
Mitchell’s work has been featured in a wide variety of publications over the years, including art ltd., LA Times, Art in America, The Seattle Times, T Magazine, The Oregonian, Portland Mercury, The Stranger, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Artnet, and Reflex.
The exhibition viewing hours are 10:00am – 5:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday, and by appointment.