Michael Endo


Watch Michael Endo Fuses Glass on PBS. See more from Arts and Life.

Watch Artist and Curator Michael Endo on PBS. See more from KOPB.

Michael Endo + Emily Nachison: Isolated Growth

April 14 - 24

OPENING RECEPTION: Sunday, April 14th, 5 - 7 pm

Gallerie 333
Toledo School for the Arts
333 14th Street
Toledo, Ohio

Richard Speer reviews “The End and After”

Bullseye’s previous show was about memento mori; the current one is about apocalypse. The staff should start handing out Zoloft to gallery visitors. Despite the moribund theme, the new exhibit, The End and After, is surprisingly lively, with oil paintings and kiln-formed glass works by Michael Endo and mixed-media pieces by Stacy Lynn Smith. The most striking of these is Smith’s interactive Blue Spark, which invites viewers to pull a pin out of a steel contraption, which makes a rectangle of glass crash to the floor and shatter. The sound of the shattering is amplified and made to reverberate by four microphones, which are hooked up to an eerie sound installation designed by Robert Burns.

Richard Speer reviews “Vanitas” (Willamette Week)

Michael Rogers, Vanitas III, 2012, cast glass

Curator Michael Endo has long held an interest in the “vanitas” genre of 17th-century still-life painting, which used motifs such as skulls and botanicals as memento mori. As an artist, Endo has explored these motifs in his paintings. Now, as a curator at Bullseye, he calls upon five other artists to offer takes on the transience of human life: Shannon Brunskill, June Kingsbury, Catharine Newell, Marc Petrovic and Michael Rogers. All five use glass as a material. It’s an intriguing medium for this theme, since glass, like life itself, can seem strong, sturdy and limitless in potential—until the instant it shatters. Jan. 2-March 2.

Review by Richard Speer (art ltd.)

If, during an otherwise unremarkable afternoon, you happen to look at the sky and see a dazzling circular rainbow around the sun, you might wonder whether you’re witnessing a portent or miracle. There is a scientific cause for such a phenomenon—a meteorological anomaly known as a 22-degree halo—but explications of sunrays and ice crystals in the atmosphere would hardly dampen the feelings of disbelief and awe such a sighting might provoke. These are the types of emotional response Emily Nachison aimed to recreate in her exhibition with Michael Endo, “Of Other Spaces.” Taking her cue from an essay of the same title by Michel Foucault, Nachison riffed on the French theorist’s conception of the heterotopia, a paradigm in which everyday experience mingles with the uncanny or sublime. Using cast glass, found objects, and other media, the artist staged sculptural vignettes in which natural phenomena took on supernatural overtones. In Fairytale Trees (all works cited 2012), blossom-dotted branches reached out toward one another, as if magically imbued with a human yearning for intimacy. In the formally elegant, thematically poignant Portal, twenty mushrooms sprouted from a circular plane representing the forest floor, each fungus in a progressive stage along the continuum from growth to decay to deliquescence. It was no stretch to imagine that instead of twenty different mushrooms, Nachison was portraying a single mushroom across time. According to the viewer’s position and the clockwise—or—counterclockwise directionality with which one’s eyes traced this fungal journey, the piece read either as an ode to virility or a decline from health into rot. This interpretive ambiguity taps into our innate ambivalences about the merits and indignities of each stage of life.

Around the gallery’s perimeter, Michael Endo complemented Nachison’s meditation on heterotopic spaces and natural decay with his own inquiry into the mythology of urban decay. In oil paintings and kilnformed glass, Endo evoked the art world’s recent fascination with Detroit-centric “ruin porn,” portraying foreboding streetscapes and derelict buildings in a dingy grayscale palette occasionally emboldened by streaks of crimson. While kilnformed panels such as Boundary and Olympic exploited glass’s potential for optical depth and layering, those works did not ring as true as Endo’s paintings, which conveyed not only the desolation of economically depressed neighborhoods, but also the pulse-quickening sense of possibility that takes hold only when outcomes are unknown. In Nachison’s and Endo’s parallel explorations, viewers found themselves transported into dimensions in which banalities gave way to wonder, dread, and the potential for discovery.

American Craft, April/May 2012, pg. 20

Richard Speer reviews “Of Other Spaces” (Willamette Week)

“Deliquesce” is a fancy word for what happens to mushrooms when they rot and liquify. It’s the concept at the center of Michael Endo and Emily Nachison’s exhibition, of other spaces. Sculpting mushrooms and other fungi out of cast glass, Nachison uses installations such as the circular Portal to illustrate the cycle of life and death as each of 20 mushrooms grows, withers and melts into the soil. These images of organic decay are complemented by Endo’s images of urban decay. Using oil paint and kiln-formed glass, Endo depicts desolate cityscapes with burning tires and derelict houses. It’s a thought-provoking thematic pairing. Through April 28.

(Source: wweek.com)

Katharine Morales previews “Of Other Spaces” (Glass Quarterly)

Michel Foucault outlined a theory of history which places the emphasis of human experience not on the passage of time but on our physical place and the spaces around us. In Foucault’s 1967 lecture “Of Other Spaces,” he talked about how the world hovers and bounces between spaces either “sacred or profane,” and “protected or exposed.” There are “urban places and rural places” and cosmologically speaking, “celestial” versus “terrestrial.” What does this mean for two mixed media artists collaborating in the same space? Bullseye Gallery in Portland, Oregon has the answer in the form of a duo exhibition presenting the work of up-and-coming collaborating duo Michael Endo and Emily Nachison. Their exhibition, which opens this evening, is named for Foucault’s posthumously published lecture of the same name. The pair’s work “explores mythmaking through the accumulation of meaning and history,” according toEndo’s website. The artists will be available to discuss the influence of this philosophy among other things at the Bullseye Gallery Artists Talk Sunday, April 15th at 2 pm (entry is free, but reservations are required for attendance).

Endo and Nachison work in a variety of mediums from oil on linen, wool felt and yarn, cast glass and the kiln formed glass for which Bullseye Gallery is known. Both artists are based in Portland, and were awarded the Regional Arts and Culture Council Grant from the city just last year. In addition, they each earned their Master’s Degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, Endo in painting and Nachison in fibers. However, the similarities end with their imagery. Much of Nachison’s work plays with dreamy and quirky worlds, reminiscent of spending summer hours in your best friend’s backyard playing “Little House on the Prairie.” Every bit as realistic as real life, and sometimes more so, the boring parts are omitted on a whim, and small embellishments added to suit the scene.  Toadstools created out of drippy, bright red glass as in Deliquesce can be seen alongside larger than life glass sculpture, Fairytale TreesThe twin trees sprout spindly November branches sparsely adorned with glowing white orbs teetering in the fragile tops. The effect is sad and precious, like a child’s missing tooth or a single lost mitten.

In contrast, Endo often creates landscapes and still life in conventional mediums based on unconventional subject matter. His gallery on the Cranbrook Academy of Art website depicts two haunting scenes, the first of which comes across like a portrait – it shows an abandoned mattress in a swamp. The second are hunters celebrating their kill in a dusky forest – the kill of a man. For Of Other Spaces,he works with kiln formed glass in minimal and spooky tones, as in the black and white Telegraph and Olympic. The Bullseye Gallery News categorizes this work as a, “reference [to] spaces that are on the outskirts or in the margins of our built world.”

How these artists will marry their seemingly disparate aesthetic worlds remains to be seen by Portlanders with gallery access. It seems the Foucault theory of Heterotopia – places within society that simultaneously mirror and invert the known ethos — is a natural and thoughtful through line for their work. This videoon the Bullseye Gallery website gives insight into the real life imagery that provided much of the inspiration for the exhibition. Fairy tales blend with the all too real world, black ink is etched into smooth glass, and the viewer is left to wonder, is this dark? is this hopeful? and where am I? Foucault answers, “From the standpoint of the mirror…I see myself where I am not.”


Of Other Spaces

February 29 - April 28, 2012

(Source: bullseyegallery.com)

"Shred of Lights, Worksound" review (Willamette Week)

Michael Endo, Strega, 2011, oil on linen, 38 x 38 inches

(excerpt) painter Michael Endo offers quiet, meditative paintings that depict desolated landscapes, nearly devoid of human habitation. This is a vision of a society that is either pre-technological or postapocalyptic, and in either case far removed from the information overload evoked in Radon’s, Shaw’s and Zemel’s work. Endo paints in a palette of dingy grays and blacks, except in the sinister Grim Reaper fantasia Strega, whose diabolical reds and Pepto-Bismol pinks telegraph a garish menace. Life off the grid might be less than utopic, Endo suggests. (excerpt) - Richard Speer

(Source: wweek.com)

Of Other Spaces

Michael Endo & Emily Nachison

February 29 - April 28,  2012

A duo exhibition of sculpture, installation and painting that explores mythmaking through the accumulation of meaning and history.

Bullseye Gallery
300 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209 USA

Michael Endo’s “Et in Arcadia Ego” (Willamette Week)


Fresh off his eerie exhibition at FalseFront, Michael Endo departs from painting in his mixed-media installation, Et in Arcadia Ego. Based on two works by 17th Century painter Nicolas Poussin—with a skosh of fashionable “Detroit ruin porn” thrown in—Endo’s show evokes a grungily post-industrial, post-apocalyptic dystopia. The show posits that even amid the most arcadian perfection lurk the memento mori that portend decay and death. Don’t get too comfortable, Endo’s works imply, for, as poet Robert Herrick warned, “This same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.”

Michael Endo’s “Et in Arcadia Ego” at the Portland Building

Project Background: Tapping into the growing fascination with the remains of America’s industrial past, artist Michael Endo presents his installation, Et in Arcadia Ego, at the Portland Building. The central focus of the installation consists of a full-size shroud of a 1970’s era muscle car resting among a slew of industrial and automotive debris. Accompanied by an auto windshield altar piece, the scene creates a wistful homage to an American industrial utopia that never delivered on its promise. Endo’s installation, which draws on his recent series of paintings with similar themes, underscores the folly of our romanticized interest in the decayed remains of America’s once gleaming industrial past. Although aesthetically alluring at first glance, the stark scene he renders moves us past nostalgia to point out the failure and disappointment such ruin represents.

“I am often enthralled by the discarded, decayed and unfinished. An abandoned gymnasium retains an imprint of the events and people that passed through it. The gnarled lines and cracked asphalt of a parking lot hold a glimmer of the utopian ideal that suburbia represents. These places are between time, existing in their physically experienced state and as a phantom of what they were.”

About the Artist: Michael Endo currently lives, works and teaches in Portland, Oregon. He received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 2009 and earned a BA from Portland State University. His work has been exhibited internationally and has been selected for multiple group and solo exhibitions.

Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Series including images, proposals and statements of all the installations featured since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

Issued 7/20/11.

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