Wendy Given reviews

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Review: “Nocturne” at Whitespace proves to be a lyrical exploration of mortality and immortality
April 26, 2016
By Jerry Cullum

One of the dominant themes of Wendy Given and Ryan Pierce’s two-person show Nocturne, at Whitespace through May 7, is aptly evoked in a poetic text by Given that appears on one of her artworks: “Regain the lost…bonds…with the stars, plants, minerals, animals and all of nature. These are the truest of ancients and hold innate unspoken cues of understanding.” Read More.

Darkness and Decay: Wendy Given and Ryan Pierce at Whitespace
April 21, 2016
By Andrew Alexander

Though Wendy Given and Ryan Pierce have parallel attractions to the Gothic beauty of the natural cycles of bloom and decay, their joint exhibition “Nocturne,” on view at Whitespace through May 7, reveals a somewhat imperfect pairing. Individual pieces can be hauntingly effective, but collectively, the work still feels too disjointed and exploratory to form a unified and effective whole. Read More.

Fan Mail: Wendy Given
March 14, 2014
A. Will Brown

Mythos: fantasy, fiction, legend, saga, parable, fable, narrative, invention, fabrication, yarn. The conceptual distance between myth and the concrete manifestations of mythology is a potentially endless—yet meaningfully orderable—list of synonyms. But with each word the gap shrinks, as mental images of processes and then objects emerge, even if just as puns. Wendy Given is bridging the gaps between the abstract idea of a mythos and its textural and visual components—the story. Read More.

Getting metaphysical at Whitespace
October 10, 2013
By Jay Bowman

The work of Wendy Given has an undeniable connection to nature and ritual. Her exhibition “Claw Shine Gloam & Vesper,” presently on display at Whitespace, treated patrons to works whose compositions, though beautifully and carefully composed, conveyed a subtle feeling of Wicca. This undertone is less about stereotypical witchcraft and more about an organic view of life, earth and the cosmos. Read More.

Review: Wendy Given’s uncertain identity, Martha Whittington’s canaries in a coal mine
September 24, 2013
By Jerry Cullum

Wendy Given’s exhibition of photography at Whitespace and Martha Whittington’s adjacent installation in the Whitespec project space carry us from the heights of dreams dealing with life and death to the deepest parts of the sweaty mess of manual labor. Both are on view through October 12. Read More.

Wendy Given Interview
May 5th, 2013

Wendy Given is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon.

Are your pictures closer to documents or myths?

My pictures are a type of becoming—past and future combined, both chronicle and tradition. What has happened and what can be. Photography is quite mythical, and always has been so. All picture production has potential to be perfidious and misleading. I do not produce pictures to communicate a specific thread of verity or to try to trick the viewer. I construct images to shift and open thoughts, to alter and propagate potential belief. Read More.

January 17, 2013
By Jon Feinstein

Wendy Given’s “In The Land of Pioneer” uses sculpture, taxidermy, and tableaux to create photographic narratives that explore the relationship between humankind and the natural world. The project, which is largely photographed in the woods of the Pacific Northwest where she resides, includes dark, witchy landscapes, unnerving, and sometimes humorous, images of rabbits, magical rocks, candles, and psychedelic mushrooms reminiscent of illustrations from old botany textbooks. Given’s greatest strength is her ability to connect photographs that do not follow a rigid visual formula, and in turn create a method of storytelling based on common mythology that is relatable to different generations and cultures of viewers. Read More.

Wendy Given re-reads magic and modernism at Whitespace
January 18, 2011
By Jerry Cullum

There is reason to note that many of the works in Wendy Given’s Turn Your Back to the Forest, Your Front to Me at Whitespace made their debut a few months earlier in a show titled How to Explain Magic to a Dead Rabbit at this ex-Atlanta artist’s Portland gallery. The title of that exhibition, an allusion to Joseph Beuys’s famed performance How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, indicates Given’s debt to mystical modernism. Read More.

Review: Wendy Given’s dark and beguiling fairy tales at Whitespace
January 14, 2011
By Felicia Feaster

Sometimes art is simply an object on a wall, beguiling for its aesthetic or intellectual properties but undeniably inert and aloof. And some work has the immersive properties of moviemaking: you enter willingly into the world the artist has conjured up, eager to be enchanted. Wendy Given’s solo exhibition at Whitespace gallery, “Turn Your Back to the Forest, Your Front to Me,” through February 26, fits into the latter category. Read More.