Philip Robertson is a new PNWS member who moved from New York recently and is in the process of reestablishing his sculptural career on the West Coast. His day job is as an arts educator at Catlin Gabel in Portland and his artistic passion is to involve our various cultural diversions into unifying conversation, inviting viewers to literally see themselves in his work. Philip recently had a show at the Cave Gallery titled: Old Talks With New Icons. His sculptures are bas relief and many are larger than life size and invite involvement from close up to across the room. Most involve the use of natural wood and polished stainless steel. The wood is often recycled or with a local history, and mounted on steel that is polished so that viewers see themselves involved in the work. The following is from the catalogue from the Cave Gallery:
A multi-media sculptor and conceptual artist, Philip A. Robinson Jr. uses wood to symbolize temporality within natural cycles of time and geography to amplify the narrative of identity within popular and marginalized cultures. The linear marks and structural beauty in spalted maple; the varied palate of tinted tones in walnut and the enduring history of the red oak trees, metaphorically define and contextualize selfhood as part of a global discourse about power paradigms that delineate culture and ethnicity as a valued product and object d’art within the marketplace.
a new series of works will be featured at PDX from mid May through July. To learn more about our new PNWS member and this show: https://www.catlin.edu/posts/~board/stories/post/welcoming-in-travelers-from-around-the-world
Philip’s reflections on this new show:
For this new series, I wanted to correlate the relationships between clothing and fabric
to trees and the life cycle/dating of the wood. The sculptures embody different fabric
patterns, colors and symbolism found in multiple civilizations from East to West
Coast. The sculptures also prompt the viewer to consider the meanings of fabric in
relation to nature and belonging: A set of clothing—handcrafted in wood—is mounted
on finished stainless steel, so the viewer sees themself in the composition, wearing the
clothes or within the weavings of the fabric.