Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The next object outside the Portland Art Museum is Michihiro Kosuge's Composition. The museum's page about it gives the date as 1960-1974; I'm not sure what the 14 year time span means: Designed in 1960 and fabricated in 1974? Slowly constructed in fits and starts over a decade and a half? The page does't explain. Kosuge also created Continuation for the circa-2009 MAX Green Line project, created from recycled bits of an old fountain from the original transit mall. Given how much time elapsed between the two, I suppose it's no surprise that they don't closely resemble each other.

Composition was in the personal collection of sculptor Tom Hardy (best known for various animal sculptures, & the series of Oregon Landscape panels at PSU). He donated it to the art museum in 1982.

I've mentioned before that I walked in to the museum's outdoor sculpture court and was able to guess the artist for a surprising number of the pieces. This wasn't one of them. I saw the Cor-Ten steel and the size and immediately assumed it was a Lee Kelly, a companion to his Arlie on the other side of the plaza. I was thinking it was one of his better efforts, somehow more elegant and mathematical than the others, and then I realized it wasn't his at all. So yeah, I do kind of like it, aside from my usual grumbling about Cor-Ten as a medium. Portland Public Art didn't like it, although that's sort of par for the course at that erstwhile blog. Kosuge was recently profiled in a February 2013 Oregon Art Beat segment, in connection with a PICA show last spring featuring his work.

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