Fuzzy Logic

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Opening Reception:
Gallery Hours:

August 16 – 31, 2013
Gallery Hours
: Friday – Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm and by appointment
Opening Reception: Friday, August 16 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Nisus Gallery: 8371 N Interstate, Studio 1, Portland, OR

Nisus Gallery is pleased to present Fuzzy Logic.

“In fuzzy logic, exact reasoning is viewed as a limiting case of approximate reasoning. 
In fuzzy logic, everything is a matter of degree.
Any logical system can be fuzzified.”
          — Fuzzy Sets, Fuzzy Logic, and Fuzzy Systems: Selected Papers by Lotfi A. Zadeh

The works in “Fuzzy Logic” were produced in ten weeks by five artists –Nicholas Norman, Tatyana Ostapenko, Thomas Putman, Chacha Sands, and Julie Webb–each responsible for producing 50 paintings. This idea to produce so much in so little time, essentially a painting per workday, was the main prompt of an advanced painting class, The 50 Works Project,  that had been taught for over twenty-five years by Susan Harlan in the School of Art + Design at Portland State University. Though the class was no longer offered, these five students independently found a willing mentor at PSU, Painting Instructor Tia Factor, to guide them through the process. 

The five artists worked closely together in a classroom studio environment, and although each painting was produced by an individual in his or her own style and voice, the ideas behind the paintings relate directly back to the collective. There is a dialogue between the works; two paintings by two different artists may communicate closer than two by the same person. This blurring of authorship parallels the experience of working in a shared studio space: deadlines, days, times and mediums became just as responsible for the ideas in the paintings as the experiences of the artists. 

The sense of Incompleteness is evident — a subject? — in many of the paintings, and the question “Is it finished?” was asked between the artists repeatedly. A layered brushy section with no apparent representation, or an abruptly contrasting space that was at first overlooked are sometimes the most appealing part of the works. By seeking a balance between underdevelopment and control, they intend to pose unanswerable questions about what makes a painting “good”, but mostly to make something interesting to the painter’s eye. 

There are no absolutes in “Fuzzy Logic.”

The Artists

Nicholas Norman

Nick Norman is a mixed media image maker who works primarily in painting and photography living in Portland, OR. He is interested in exploring the concept of decay and entropy and how it relates to our interpretation of reality. In March 2013 Nick had a solo installation up inside of the Portland Building, the project was funded through RACC (Regional Arts and Culture Council). Nick recently graduated with a BA in Art Practices from Portland State University. 

Tatyana Ostapenko

Born in the Soviet Union, now independent Ukraine, Tatyana Ostapenko has lived in the United States for the last fifteen years. She holds a bachelor degree in Spanish and international business and worked in financial industry prior to realizing her dream of being a full time art student. She is currently enrolled in a post-bachelor studio practices program at PSU. Tatyana’s paintings and photographs have been exhibited at the NewSpaceCenter for Photography, Gallery 114, Peoples Art of Portland, Cascade Gallery, Goodfoot, Splendorporium and many others. Her current work can be seen online at tatyanaostapenko.com

Thomas Putman

Thomas Putman is influenced by society’s evolving relationship with technology, the spirit of the Pacific Northwest and his late grandfather, Donald “Putt” Putman, a painter from the Yosemite Valley. He is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Portland State University and projected to graduate in Spring 2014. Thomas has produced illustrations for various online publications and works for private commissions. He seeks to communicate the emotions of his childhood home, showcase natural materials and question the relationship between handmade objects and images of the digital age. He plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Fine Arts.

Chacha Sands

Chacha (Chelsea) Sands received traditional training at the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. She then completed an Associates of Science and an Associates of Arts-Oregon Transfer with highest honors and was member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Portland Community College. Currently, Chacha is in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Portland State University. After showing collections of her work for over a year at Cannibals Gallery in Portland, Oregon, she had a group exhibition last year (2012) at the Woo Jae Gill Museum in South Korea. She has donated several pieces to the Cascade Aids Project Auction and Cornerstone Recovery Auction. Her artist activity has included art mentoring in the Mural Project with Portland State University, private art lessons for children in the community, cake decorating at Who Made The Cake!, completing private commissioned portraits and receiving second place in Culture Shapers High School Art Competition, Houston, Texas (2004).

Julie Webb

Julie Webb was born in San Diego, California and lived in rural Ohio for several years before moving to Portland, Oregon at age twelve. Julie attended Arts and Communications Magnet Academy where she studied fine art, music and dance. Julie is currently in her fifth and final year at Portland State University and is immersed in a rigorous program constructed to give her a unique studio art experience. Julie won the Lucille Welch Endowed Scholarship for her artistic merit in 2012-2013. Julie aims to be a professor of art and upon graduation will pursue her Master’s of Fine Art in painting and drawing.

This show is co-curated with Tia Factor