Solo Exhibition: Andy Coolquitt

March 14 – April 26, 2015
Photos by Evan La Londe

Coolquitt is a collector. He transforms the found object—often distorting its original use in the process—to create environments and develop relationships specific to the spaces that house his exhibitions. Over the past few decades, Coolquitt has established categories and invented a lexicon to better identify the found objects that comprise his work:

Somebodymades are found assembled objects that Coolquitt scavenges from the streets and exhibits unaltered alongside his own discrete sculptures. “Somebodymades” differ from the artist’s own compilations and may have once had a utilitarian function.

In-between objects are items that do not stand alone, but rather are raw materials that may work their way into sculptures or environments. While these objects support the work, their past lives are also on view, contributing to the complexity of the finished artworks.

Andy arrived to Portland for his five week residency with c3:initiative, an artist-in-residence program connecting creators and communities, and was greeted with fourteen days of solid Pacific Northwest rain. Coolquitt immediately began filming overflowing gutters and pipes in the St. Johns neighborhood. The result at Disjecta is a thematic exhibition of scavenged materials relating to pipes, fountains, hoses and gutters. Visitors follow a prescribed path of wet wooden planks through the gallery space, which has been consumed by a multitude of dripping objects, sounds of rushing water, imagery of pipe sculptures and broken gutters, and actual working fountains Coolquitt fashioned from found materials. Safety mannequins stand guard, reminding the viewer that the exhibition is hazardous. While embracing a more theatrical method of presentation, Coolquitt’s oeuvre is apparent throughout the gallery—collections of pipe elbows, safety sticks, and upside down sinks dot the exhibition, continuing the artist’s intentions of developing new relationships among objects he finds and manipulates.

Andy Coolquitt (b. 1964) is perhaps most widely known for a house, a performance/studio/ domestic space that began as his master’s thesis project at the University of Texas at Austin in 1994, and continues to the present day. In April and May of this year, Coolquitt had an artist-in-residency at the Chinati Foundation, which culminated with an exhibition, Multi-Marfa Room, at the Locker Plant in Marfa, Texas. Recent exhibitions include Burn these eyes captain, and throw them all in the sea! at Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey; The Ghost of Architecture: Recent and Promised Gifts at Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; and Illuminations at Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles.