In Site: Karl Burkheimer

February 26 – March 26, 2011
Photos by Megan Radocha

In Site features new work by Portland artist Karl Burkheimer. Drawing from a wide range of interests and influences including extensive travel in the Middle East, design and construction of Japanese tea houses, and the utter love of making, Burkheimer’s Disjecta project is his most ambitious work to date.

Burkheimer’s sculptural installation will essentially occupy the entire cavernous 3500 square foot gallery space. Its sheer size would leave little room for an audience, however, In Site addresses the nature of experience by becoming the very ground one walks upon. The explicit functions of the gallery, of artwork even, are turned inside out as the piece becomes the environment without adhering to doctrines of performance or purpose. In Site takes the form of a giant, planked walkway, a ramp, a barrier, yet the work suggests an unknown or esoteric use and results in an object that challenges associations and expectations of image, object, and architecture. The haptic experience of the viewer will ultimately complete the piece.

Karl Burkheimer is an Associate Professor and Department Head of the wood program at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon as well as a faculty member and mentor in the Oregon College of Art & Craft/Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Applied Craft and Design MFA program. He earned an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining the faculty at OCAC, Karl taught design at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus in Qatar. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and has received several awards of recognition, including the 2001 Virginia Museum Professional Fellowship as well as a nomination for the Henry Art Museum’s Brink Award. Most recently, Burkheimer’s work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland as part of the exhibition Call + Response. His critical writing has been published in Ceramics Monthly magazine.