Jamie Isenstein: Will Return

Jamie Isenstein: Will Return

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College

Image (photography by Evan La Londe): (Left) Jamie Isenstein, Snuffer, 2008, C-print, 19 x 24 in., Edition 2/5. Courtesy of
the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (Right) Jamie Isenstein,
 Rug Woogie X, 2013,
 Performance on harp with yarn. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.
September 11, 2013
Jamie Isenstein: Will Return

August 27–October 20, 2013

Public reception and catalog release party: September 19, 6pm at the Cooley

Part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art 2013 Time-Based Art Festival.

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday), Noon–5pm


Public conversation with Jamie Isenstein and exhibition curator Stephanie Snyder, moderated by PICA visual art curator Kristan Kennedy, September 17, 12:30pm PICA, 415 SW 10th #300

Jamie Isenstein: Will Return is an exhibition, an occasion, and a publication. For the past fifteen years, Portland native and Reed College alumna Jamie Isenstein has created objects, drawings, mixed-media sculptures, and installations that engage the artist’s body as an artistic medium—a subject of humor, theatricality, and historical representation. In keeping with the tragicomic slapstick of turn-of-the-century vaudeville, Isenstein explores the subjectivity of the marginalized individual—the bit-player, the human prop, the butt of the joke, the wisenheimer who gets the last laugh. At times, Isenstein’s humor veers toward the bittersweet and the melancholic. The jokes and wordplay embedded in her work materialize the pain of others, confronting us with life’s most essential predicaments: mortality, particularly. Perhaps more than any other object, Isenstein uses the common “Will Return” sign as a means for expanding the relationship between artist and spectator, and artist and artwork. The sign embodies the inevitable moment when both artist and spectator will no longer return. Or will they? Like all good magicians, Isenstein keeps her secrets close, so don’t ask.

Curated by Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery

Jamie Isenstein was born in Portland, OR in 1975, and lives and works in New York City. She received a BA in Art from Reed College and an MFA from Columbia University. She has presented her work in numerous exhibitions, including: as It is what it is. Or is it?, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2012); MakeUp, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2012); Liverpool Biennial: Touched, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (2010); Marina Abramovic Presents, Manchester International Festival, Manchester, UK (2009); One Minute More, The Kitchen, New York (2009); Hammer Projects: Jamie Isenstein: This Way to The Egress, The Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2007); Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005). Her work is represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York and Meyer Riegger in Berlin/Karlsruhe, Germany.

Full-color catalog published by the Cooley Gallery with texts by Reed College alumni: Jamie Isenstein, Graham M. Jones ’97, Stephanie Snyder ’91, and David Velasco ’00. Catalog concept and design by Heather Watkins. Catalog available mid-September at the Cooley, PICA, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

The mission of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is to enhance the academic offerings of Reed College with a diverse range of scholarly exhibitions, lectures, and publications, in its role as a pedagogical organ. The Cooley was established by a generous 1988 gift from Sue and Edward Cooley and John and Betty Gray “in support of the teaching of art history at Reed College, as part of an interdisciplinary educational experience that strengthens the art history component of Reed’s distinctive humanities program.” Exhibitions are curated by the director, often in collaboration with Reed faculty and visiting artists. A schedule of three to four exhibitions during the academic year brings to Reed College and the Northwest community work that would not otherwise be seen in the region.

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Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College
September 11, 2013

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