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HANS COPER—LESS MEANS MORE features the sculptural work of Hans Coper (1920-1981), a radical Jewish artist of the mid-twentieth century who was at the vanguard of British studio ceramics, pushing the boundaries of clay and forms of abstraction in his work. Guest curated by Sandra Percival, founding Director and Curator of Zena Zezza, the exhibition presents nearly 50 works by Coper including his Spade, Thistle, Ovoid and Cycladic forms drawn from an extensive collection of his work in England’s York Art Gallery, a rarely seen Portland collection, and a cluster of works from collectors and California institutions. Coper left Germany for England as a Jewish refugee in early 1939. The exhibition also includes works by celebrated ceramicist Lucie Rie, also a Jewish refugee, along with a small selection of related contemporary and modern artworks. Coper was described as “gentle, yet shattering” and Less Means More opens a conversation into the complexities and contradictions embedded in his life and work.
Betty LaDuke: EARLY WORK: curated by Bruce Guenther, Adjunct Curator for Special Exhibitions, features works created in the 1960s by one of Oregon’s most internationally recognized artists, Betty LaDuke, recipient of the Governors Art Award 1993. Centered in her identity as a first generation Jewish American, the early graphic works are based on memories of the vibrant street life of the immigrant neighborhoods of New York and stories from the Jewish bible. The works form a foundation for understanding the evolution of her long career as a narrative, image-based artist driven by deep social and political engagement.