Pilgrims

06.11.15 – 20.02.16
Storm Tharp’s ink portraits are like altered vanitas, drawn out through time, in which the proud busts recall the classical portrait tradition, while bearing decomposed, recomposed, stained, and deformed faces, as if to inform us that presence and dignity do not emanate so much from a restored façade as from the extreme sensibility that Tharp portrays in these faces. For Tharp, the portrait is not a state of the present, but must show the entire life of the individual, make visible all the moods and self-digressions that make up the whole.
 
Emotional, the gazes of unexpected gentleness spring from the distorted faces and surprise with their calm strength whoever dares to meet them. And a kind of empathy then settles in, opening the way to introspective communication, an experience of otherness in which universal suffering of being resonates, though its form is nonetheless unique to every story.
 
These portraits seem both foreign and familiar. The fractured plurality of multiple selves is constructed into one cohesive portrait adorned in pictorial t-shirts and dress shirts in soft colors that hark back to some of Tharp’s earlier work. The technique employed for the faces is more “brutal”, and Tharp reflects influences from African art, cubism, and abstraction that are very important in his figurative practice. In this series in ink and gouache, we also note fine, sometimes barely visible cut-outs and collages and an occasional use of spray paint.
 
Tharp is not playing at being provocative, but is rather of that vein of artists for whom affect is an essential element. In their journey of initiation, the quest of his pilgrims is without a doubt spiritual: an existential struggle in search of the self, in a world in which one must endlessly make and put on new faces and other masks, occupy the media terrain, and multiply online identities, without losing the roots of one’s own entity.
 
His portraits seem to make up a family collection, in which a radical glitch at some point exteriorized the disturbing or fascinating interiority of the members represented, their psyche. With Tharp, the wanderings, wounds, or rough edges of the soul are no longer monstrosities to be erased but on the contrary vivid finery, providing these gazes the honesty from which they draw their strength.
Les portraits à l’encre de Storm Tharp sont des sortes de vanités, altérées et étirées dans le temps. Les bustes fiers nous rappellent la plus classique tradition du portrait, mais portent des visages décomposés, recomposés, tachés, déformés, comme pour nous dire que la prestance et la dignité ne se dégagent pas tant d’une façade ravalée que de l’extrême sensibilité que Tharp dépeint dans ces visages. Pour Tharp, le portrait n’est pas un état du présent, mais doit donner à voir la vie entière de l’individu, rendre visibles les différents états de l’âme et les digressions de soi qui forment le tout.
 
Emotionnels, les regards d’une douceur inattendue jaillissent des visages distordus, et surprennent de leur force apaisée celui ou celle qui ose les croiser. Une sorte d’empathie s’installe alors, qui ouvre la voie d’une communication introspective : une expérience de l’altérité dans laquelle résonne une souffrance universelle de l’être, mais dont la forme est pourtant particulière à chaque histoire.
 
Ces portraits paraissent à la fois étrangers et familiers. Chacun d’eux regroupe en un visage la pluralité fracturée d’identités multiples, tous parés de t-shirts ou chemises aux couleurs douces et très graphiques, qui rappellent certains travaux précédents de Tharp. La technique employée pour les visages est plus « brutale »,  et Tharp témoigne des influences de l’art africain, du cubisme et de l’abstraction, qui sont d’une grande importance dans sa pratique figurative. Dans cette série d’encre et gouache, on observe aussi des découpes et des collages délicats, parfois à peine visibles, ainsi que l’usage occasionnel de spray.
 
Tharp ne joue pas de provocation, il est plutôt de cette veine d’artistes pour qui l’affect est une donnée primordiale. Dans leur voyage initiatique, la quête de ses pèlerins est sans nul doute spirituelle. Une lutte existentielle à la recherche de soi, dans un monde où il faudrait sans cesse composer et revêtir de nouveaux visages et autres masques, occuper le terrain médiatique et multiplier les identités online, sans pour autant perdre les racines de sa propre entité.
 
Ses portraits semblent compléter une collection de famille, où une sorte de bug aurait à un moment rendu visible l’inquiétante ou passionnante intériorité des membres représentés, leur psyché. Avec Tharp, les détours, blessures ou aspérités de l’âme ne sont plus des monstruosités à gommer mais au contraire d’intenses parures, donnant à ces regards l’honnêteté dans laquelle ils puisent leur force.

Born in 1970, Salem, Oregon, USA.
Lives and works in Portland, Oregon, USA.



Education

1992    
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

1991    
Roberto Einaudi Architecture Program, Palazzo Massimo, Rome, Italy.

 

Solo Exhibitions

2018    
Ma’at Mons, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR
TBD, The Case Works at Reed College, The Cooley Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR

2017    
Fierce Last Stand, Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

2015    
Pilgrims, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland

2014    
Tiger, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Turn, FELDBUSCHWIESNER, Berlin, Germany

2013    
Storm Tharp/Third Person, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Curated by Andrea Inselmann

2012    
Holding a Peach / PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

2011    
It’s You / April / Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland

2010    
High House / October / PICA Time Based Arts Festival, Portland, OR
Asbhy Lee Collinson / November / Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NY
Hercules / June / PDX Contemporary Art, Portland , OR

2008    
Arm & Arm, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Arrangement In Flesh Color and Black, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland

2007    
WE APPEAL TO HEAVEN, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

2006    
DO, DON’T drawing + sculpture, CCC, Astoria, OR

2005    
The Black Show, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

2002    
Drawing, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

2001    
Calliope and the Clown, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

1999    
The Answer is Nothing, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

1997    
Peccadiloes, PDX Conteéporary Art, Portland, OR
 

 

Select Group Exhibitions
 

2020      
Portraits & Some Standing Figures, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, CH

2019      
Still Life: An Ongoing Story, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, CH
Works On Paper, Atlas Gallery, Newburgh, NY
IT’S SUMMER!, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR
Downward Flower, FOURTEEN30 CONTEMPORARY, Portland, OR
What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR
What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts, Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Roseburg, OR
What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts, Whipple Fine Arts Gallery, Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR
Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID

2018      
Encounters, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR
Along the Edge, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR

2017      
Doomtown, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
TOMORROW TOMORROW, Canada, New York City, NY, Curated by Stephanie Snyder and Wallace Whitney
American Genre: Contemporary Painting, ICA at MECA, Portland, Maine. Curated by Michelle Grabner
Converge 45, PNCA, Portland, OR. Curated by Mack McFarland
Dorian, The Cooley Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR. Curated by Stephanie Snyder & Jay Dickson
Dislocation, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR
Functionally United, White Box, University of Oregon, Portland, OR. Curated by Cris Moss Truth, Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. Ashland, OR. Curated by Scott Malbaurn

2016      
Love is a Pink Cake, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR
Portland Biennial 2016, curated by Michelle Grabner, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR
Portland Biennial 2016, DISJECTA, The Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR.
I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Summer show, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
A Stand of Pine in a Tilled Field: 21 Years at PDX, PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland, OR

2015      
Works on paper, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
E.O: Hoppé : Studio, Society and Street Photography, 1909-1945, Cooley Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR

2014      
Miami Project 2014: Midtown Miami, Wynwood District, Miami
About Desire, White Box, University of Oregon, Portland, OR. Curated by Meagan Atiyeh
I Never Complained About the Past: New Work / New Year, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

2013      
The Power of Paper, Saatchi Gallery, London, England

2012      
Spill, Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada
Portraits: Cabinet de curiosités, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
Storm Tharp and Megan Murphy, Ochi Fine Art, SunValley, Idaho

2011      
Oomph, PDX Contemporary Art, Porltand, OR
I am who I am – The Portrait Reconsidered, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
Sarah Awad and Storm Tharp, James Harris Gallery , Seattle, WA

2010      
Human Being
, TBA Festival , Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
2010 The Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2009      
20 Years, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY
Suddenly: Where We Live Now, Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, CA. Curated by Stephanie Snyder

2008      
Works on Paper, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland.
Ben Durham and Storm Tharp, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery (project space), New York, NY
Abandon: The work of Jim Hodges and Storm Tharp, Saranac Art projects, Spokane, WA

2007      
CENTENNIAL, Crawl Space, Seattle. WA. Curated by Elizabeth Brown and Bruce Grenville.
Portland? Fuck Portland!, RocksBox, Portland, OR, curated by Patrick Rock.

2006      
Oregon Biennial, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR. Curated by Jennifer Gately.
The Portrait Show, The Hall Gallery, Portland, OR. Curated by Levi Hanes.

 

Awards

2016     Career Opportunity Grant, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, OR
2015     Visiting Artist, Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, Colorado.
             Golden Spot Invitation for Visual Artists, Caldera, Sisters, OR.
2014     Hallie Ford Fellowship, Ford Family Foundation, Salem, OR
2008     Finalist, Ist Annual Contemporary Northwest Art Award, Portland Art Museum.
             Curated by Jennifer Gately and James Rondeau.
2006     Individual Fellowship, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, OR
1999     Museum Award, Oregon Biennial, PAM , Portland, OR. Curated by Kathryn Kanjo.
1997     Juror’s Award, Oregon Biennial, PAM, Portland, OR. Curated by Kathryn Kanjo.

 

Special Projects

2016    
Disjecta Dialogues: Jon Raymond & Storm Tharp in Conversation, Portland, OR

2015    
Lecture - “Work“, Creative Mornings, Portland, OR
Juror - “The Neddy Award“, Cornish School of the Arts, Seattle, WA
Symposium Lecture - “Late Bloomer“, Reed College, Portland, OR

2013    
Advocate Print Maker – Graphic Arts Council, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Lecture - Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell, University, Ithaca, NY

2011    
Recipient / Invitational – “Connective Conversations / Inside Oregon Art 2011 and 2012
Curator – “Reader on a Black Background,” The Lumber Room, Portland, OR
Essay: “Reader on a Black Background”, The Lumber Room, Portland, OR
Essay: “Equivalents,” The Lumber Room, Portland, OR
Lecture - Evergreen Collage, Olympia, WA

2010    
Discussion - “TBA Noontime Chat / Storm Tharp, Jessica Jackson Hutchins «It’s Too Personal»“, PICA, Portland, OR.

2009    
Reading - “«From My Sketchbook», As an extension of, «Suddenly : Where W Live Now», The Mandrake Bar, Culver City, CA

2008    
Lecture PSMNLS - “Lonely People, Sensuous Pictures,” PSU, Portland, OR.Presenter - “Elizabeth Taylor, 7 Performances”, LOVELY PETALUMA FILM SERIES, Small A Projects, Portland, OR

2002    
Essay - “I Have Nothing To Say And I’m Saying It – Gerhard Richter at SF MoMA”, The Organ Review of Arts, Jan-Feb, 2002

2001    
Instructor - “History of Photography“, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
Costume Design - “Bambi“, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Collaboration : James Canfield, choregraphy, Thomas Lauderdale, composer, Malia Jensen, set design.


 

Selected Bibliography

2019    
Idaho Press Staff, “New exhibition coming to Boise Art Museum in March.” February 24, 2019

2016    
Cohen, Alina, “10 Picks from Portland” Interview Magazine Online, July 22, 2016

2014    
John Motley, The Oregonian, “Storm Tharp Embraces Hos Identity as a Painter“, October 7
Gattan & McKennon, In the Make, On-line, Spring 2014

2012    
Emilie Seldon, Bomb Magazine, “It’s a Peach”, September 27, online
Steven Zevitas, New American Paintings, “12 Must –See Painting Shows”, Sept
Eva Lake, Art Focus, KBOO Community Radio, Sept

2011    
Erin Langner, New American Paintings , “The Atmosphere of Painted Spaces”, Sept
Sarah S. King, Art In America, “Storm Tharp: Nicole Klagsbrun”, March
Daniel Kunitz, Modern Painters, “Brush in the Water”, April.
OPB, The Speakeasy, Episode 2 , “Studio Soundtrack”
IdN, IdN Extra 04: Most Wanted Volume 1, “Storm Tharp”

2010    
Katherine Bovee, Art Papers, “Storm Tharp, Hercules”, Sept-Oct
Stephanie Snyder, Artforum, “Critics Picks: Storm Tharp” August
Sarah Douglas, Modern Painters, “Whitney Biennial: 2010”, May
Bean Gilsdorf, Daily Serving, “Interview with Storm Tharp”, January 4

2008    
Eva Lake, Art Focus, KBOO Community Radio, Nov
John Motley, The Mercury, “Storm Tharp: Arm & Arm”, Nov
Ryan Pierce, PORT,” Interview with Storm Tharp,” Nov. 5
Josh Berger, Plazm.com,”Storm Tharp: Arrangement in Flesh Color and Black”
KPSU, Art Talk AM on the Radio, April
Phillips de Pury, Phillips Art Expert, Emerging Artists, January
Jeff Jahn, PORT, “Best of 2007”, January

2007    
OPB, Oregon Art Beat, “Storm Tharp”, October
Shift Magazine, Shift Japan, “Storm Tharp”, June
Jeff Jahn, PORT, “Virtuoso Vindicated”, January
Jon Raymond, PLAZM, issue 29, “Storm Tharp”
Jon Raymond, Modern Painters, Introducing: “Storm Tharp”, June
Jon Raymond, Artforum, “Storm Tharp”, March
Lois Allan, Artweek, “Storm Tharp at PDX Contemporary Art”, March
John Motley, The Mercury, “Storm Tharp, PDX Contemporary Art”, January

2006    
Jon Raymond, Modern Painters, “Schisms: Less Gloom in Doom Town”, November
Natascha Snellman, I Heart Darkness, 2nd Cannons Publication
C. Bowie & J. Motley, The Mercury, “Two Views on the 2006 Oregon Biennial”, August 3

 

Catalog

2019    
“What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts,” Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, Salem, OR and The Ford Family Foundation, Roseburg, OR

2017    
“American Genre: Contemporary Painting,” Michelle Grabner, The Institute of Contemporary Art at The Maine College of Art, Portland, METBD, Storm Tharp & Stephanie Snyder, The Cooley Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR
“Storm Tharp / Third Person,” Andrea Inselman, Jon Raymond, Stephanie Snyder, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

2016    
“Portland 2016, The Portland Biennial,” Michelle Grabner, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR

2014    
“Storm Tharp / Third Person”, Andrea Inselmann / Essay by Jon Raymond, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

2013    
“PAPER”, The Saatchi Gallery, London, England

2010     
“2010” Whitney Biennial, Francesco Bonami / Gary Carrion Murayari, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Yale Press, New Haven
2008     
“Storm Tharp: Arrangement in Flesh Color and Black”, Essay by Stephanie Snyder, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland

 

Public Collections
 

The Whitney Museum of American Art – New York, NY.
The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Fine Art , Cornell University – Ithaca, NY.The Cleveland Art Museum – Cleveland, Ohio.
The Saatchi Gallery – London, England.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery – Buffalo, NY.
The Portland Art Museum – Portland, OR.
Reed College – Portland, OR.
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art – Portland, OR.
Museum of Contemporary Craft – Portland, OR.
Museum of Contemporary Art - San Diego, CA