November 13 - December 24
Opening reception: November 13, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Artist talk on Saturday, November 15, at noon


DEMOKRATIE IST LUSTIG (democracy is merry), 2008
Wool blankets, thread, silk, organza

24 x 24 inches

Greg Kucera Gallery is excited to announce its first one person exhibition by Northwest artist, Marie Watt. Many of the pieces in this show relate to the idea of “Six Degrees and Seven Generations”, which references two theories of connecting people. One theory says that everyone can be linked to everyone else in the world by no more than “six degrees of separation”. The other theory is an Iroquois and indigenous people’s philosophy which states that our actions and decisions not only shape the next seven generations, but have also been affected by those seven generations prior. Watt creates narratives within her work by drawing together a collection of images that connect native people with events and individuals from western civilization.

Watt draws on her heritage as a woman, a Native American, and as an artist. Using wool blankets and their history of being handed down from generation to generation, the artist explores the human stories found within these everyday objects. Blankets provide shelter and protection, conjuring up images of security and home.

Bronze, wool blankets and cedar

45 x 30 x 30 inches

"Freud considered blankets as ‘transitional’ objects, but I like to consider how these humble pieces of cloth are transformational. Blankets are a part of how we are received into the world and also how we depart this world. Blankets are used for warmth and shelter. Children use them for hiding and to construct impromptu forts. A blanket is a catcher of dreams and ledger of secrets. Wool blankets are the pelts of our animal relatives, the sheep. Blankets are body-like.

Blankets are also very personal to me. I am Seneca, one of the six tribes that make up the Iroquois Nation, and in my tribe and native communities, we give away blankets to honor people for being witness to important life events. In this way, it is as much of an honor to give away a blanket as it is to receive one. Ultimately, wool blankets are simple objects with stories that connect us."
—Marie Watt

Marie Watt was born in Seattle, WA. She received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University and was the recipient of the Betty Bowen Memorial Award in 2005. She has work in the collection of Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ; Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Portland Art Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, WI; and Tacoma Art Museum. She lives and works in Portland, OR.

See more Marie Watt's artwork

Works in paper
November 13 - December 24
Opening reception: November 13, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

UNTITLED (barnyard scene/Garden Valley), 20th c.
Soot and saliva on paper

10 x 13 inches

Greg Kucera Gallery is very pleased to announce its third exhibition of works on paper by James Castle.  A large retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work is currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through January 4, 2009, continuing on to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Berkeley Art Museum. 

Opinions vary as to whether James Castle was born deaf or autistic. Clearly, he never learned to speak, read or write, and refused to be taught to communicate in any of the accepted forms of signing or finger spelling. What physical signaling he did was a highly personal expression of home signing used within his own family. Language, letters, numbers and symbols apparently meant something to him and often appear in his work, but it’s unclear on what level he perceived them.

Castle’s most eloquent means of expressing what he felt about the world around him was through drawing in the works on paper he made for nearly 70 years until his death in 1977. Whether sketching the domestic interior scenes of his home and family, or rendering the rustic architecture and pastoral terrain of rural Idaho, Castle tried to place the viewer within his own idiosyncratic world.


UNTITLED (friend construction), 20th c.
Soot and saliva on found paper

8 x 2.5 inches

Using stove soot mixed with his own saliva on the tips of sharpened sticks, Castle devised a unique substitute for graphite or ink. Despite the rudimentary materials and eccentric technique, Castle achieves an astonishingly varied sense of light and shade in each work with powerful lines and brilliantly nuanced textures that enliven the surface. By all accounts, Castle’s mastery of perspective drawing was self-taught from observation and mimicry. This ability became more assured as his work progressed over the 70 years in which he made art.

Like other self-taught artists, such as Gregory Blackstock, Henry Darger, or Bill Traylor, the peculiarities of Castle’s life can be emphasized to the extent that they overshadow the extraordinary accomplishments of his life’s work. The Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to present this work within the fuller context of contemporary art as a significant artist of the 20th century.

In recent years Castle’s work has been collected by the Art Institute of Chicago; Boise Art Museum; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Museum of American Folk Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The New York Public Library; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and others.

UNTITLED (blue figures/birdman), 20th c.
Soot and saliva on found paper

4.25 x 8.25 inches

See more James Castle's work

Upcoming Exhibitions

Selected Unique Works
January 3 - February 14

Color, Light, Time, and Place: Selected Works, 1966 - 2000
January 3 - February 14
Opening reception: January 8, 6:00 - 8:00 pm