To Do: Artist Interventions with Adriane Herman

By Julia Einstein
Assistant Director of Family and Studio Learning

On Friday, June 28 come the PMA with your to-do lists, grocery lists, list of books to read or any list in your pocket! This month’s Artist Interventions was designed by 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work artist Adriane Herman. She and her team of “markers” will take over a gallery on the third floor with an assembly line, crossing items off your list.

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Adriane and I talked about her upcoming Artist Intervention.

You’ve chosen to be near the painting Brushstroke VI by Roy Lichtenstein…
I am excited that the event will take place near Lichtenstein’s relief sculpture because it satirizes and pays homage to the great American tradition of personality-infused marks. I have to credit PMA Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art, Jessica May, who suggested Lichtenstein’s piece as a natural complement to my focus on the marks made when we cross things off our lists. May’s savvy connection is just one reason I’m so excited that the PMA has a contemporary curator and feel so lucky to have had this kind of collaboration from the museum.

And your “markers”?
Yes, there will be a panel of artists to cross items off people’s “to do” lists. It’s a kind of hypothetical public service, a “what if,” if you will.

You selected a great list of artists for your panel. (Lucinda Bliss, Bridget Spaeth, Clint Fulkerson, Alison Hildreth, Ayumi Horie, Jeff Kellar, Deborah Wing-Sproul, Henry Wolyniec, and Alix Lambert)
I’m inviting people to bring pieces of paper to the museum that depict, document, and essentially make up their lives, and offering them the opportunity to have items on those lists crossed out with dynamic marks by artists. The whole thing is a little silly and exaggerated—forced, you might even say! This is an exercise that might give people the chance to experience the relief and release of having everything “done.”

The Artist Intervention series is about interactive engagement in the galleries between visitors, art, and artists. What are your thoughts on this?
On one level I am simply agog about all things to do with lists and I want to talk to people about their lists; on another level I am interested in how this event could help some people see that their lives are relevant to an artist’s work and that my working process, if not finished work, might help them see their own lives in a new and possibly fruitful light. It doesn’t get better than that for me—that kind of symbiosis. We’ll see what happens!

Adriane Herman’s latest work on lists is about the mark made by crossing-out. She studies the details of each crossed-out line, looking at the gesture and for the inherent abstraction. PMA visitors can check out her exhibition, Finish Lines, at Rose Contemporary Gallery in Portland. Make plans to see her work in the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work when it opens on October 3!

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