Three The Hard Way opened last week at Portland’s Breeze Block Gallery. The exhibition curated by Sven Davis of Arrested Motion featured recent works from Augustine Kofie, Jerry Inscoe and Christopher Derek Bruno. Besides having a common interest in the geometric and linear aesthetics, the 3 are also all members of the Transcend Collective, a group Jerry started in 1990. Sven did an excellent job of curating this exhibition bridging the aesthetics with a common collective that weaves the trio together in a broader conversation. Being able to see all three artists work exhibited together is significant, 3 generations of writers who have all individually made a name for themselves in the past and present. This exhibition might may resemble your traditional art show with some great works, yet because of the range that these artists cover and will cover in the future historically, I tend to view the show as more of a survey. This exhibition covers so much territory with the 3 artists…. Jerry the pioneer, Kofie, considered one of today’s top artists, and Christopher Derek Bruno, the rising star who will I am sure be the future. Although we can categorize the artists in past, present, and future tenses, Three The Hard Way shows us that these artists are all just hitting their stride and have much more to show us. Besides the remarkable individual pieces from the artists the highlight of the exhibition has to be the collaborative installation that shows just how in tune these artists are with each other as well as taking over a space. We hope anyone in or near Portland, Oregon takes the time to see this show before it comes down November 30th, you wont be let down.
Three The Hard Way:
Augustine Kofie / Jerry Joker Inscoe / Christopher Derek Bruno
Three-person exhibition curated by Sven Davis
Breeze Block Gallery Portland OR.
7 November – 30 November 2013
All three artists come from a graffiti background, and are firmly established members of the pioneering Transcend graffiti collective. These highly versatile artists are equally known for their large-scale mural projects, as well as their own very individual voices in a gallery setting. Traditional letterforms are abstracted into geometric configurations within their work; and dimension, form and space are considered and explored within their dynamic compositions.
Their collective approach to art-making is steeped in academic discourse, and whilst retaining the vibrancy of their graffiti backgrounds, traditional art movements such as Futurism, Abstract Expressionism and Precisionism are also embraced by the visual vocabulary imbued within their work. The exhibition title itself is a literal reference to the historical terminology Hard-Edge painting; which was first coined in the late fifties and used to describe intense and abrupt delineation of color within the burgeoning Geometric Abstraction and Op-art movements. Whilst these artists acknowledge and embrace movements of the past, they confidently stand outside of historical classification and have established themselves as a core group of protagonists defining a contemporary movement they have made their own.
Whilst the three artists have shown together previously in larger group exhibitions, Three The Hard Way is the first time that this trifecta has shown together in a collaborative environment. For the month of November the three artists will take over both of Breeze Block’s gallery spaces for an installation that incorporates the full range of multi-facetted oeuvres from each of these influential creators.