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APEX: Dawn Cerny

Oct 28, 2017 - Feb 11, 2018
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
General accessibility


Dawn Cerny’s works are at once formal and reductive while existing in a realm of the playful and ridiculous. The Seattle artist’s newest sculptures and works on paper resemble familiar forms that suggest furniture and domestic objects occupying our interior spaces. Sculptures created from cardboard, fiberglass, and bright, matte colors exude levity while calling our attention to their form.

In her sculptural work, the objects seductively draw in viewers to contemplate their function, texture, and relation to the human body. Simultaneously, these same works reject the more traditional notions of sculpture and furniture, existing in an awkward place in between. They are gloppy objects that embrace a different kind of abstraction. Amassed within the galleries, their collective presence may evoke the space of a home or independent figures standing together in a room.

Cerny likens her work to Buster Keaton’s slapstick comedy as “an absurdist response to the productive rationalism of modern times—one that both represents and is alienated from everyday life.” Cerny’s work has been exhibited at many venues including Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; Or Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia; Night Gallery in Los Angeles; and Derek Eller Gallery in New York. This will be her first exhibition in Portland.

APEX is an ongoing series of exhibitions of Northwest-based artists, curated by Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art.

The APEX series is supported in part by The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art and the Exhibition Series Sponsors.


Detail of a yellow sculpture with a curtain-like rod and hanging fabric
Detail of Abiquiu for the Common Man, 2017. Photo by Mark Woods. Courtesy of Henry Art Gallery, Seattle.
Exhibition brochure