Portland sculptor Michihiro Kosuge is well known for making sculpture out of polished and rugged granite or basalt, manipulating the stone into a range of organic and geometric forms. With this show, he focuses primarily on granite, incorporating bamboo into some of the work. His sculptures reflect an interest in the relationship between man and nature, permanence and impermanence, continuity and change. Each piece has a unique story of its inspiration, prompting reflection on what it may have been like before the artist's hand and mind transformed them into something new. Using drills, blowtorches and grinding wheels, each stone surface is thoughtfully honed, shaped and polished, or sometimes left pristine. The initial understated presence of this work rewards close looking with a rich and profound experience.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Michihiro Kosuge’s arrival in the United States. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Kosuge first studied architecture at the Tokyo Sumida Technical School of Architecture and then went on to receive his MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1970. He began teaching art at Portland State University in 1978, becoming a full professor in 1989, and after serving three years as the Chair of the Art Department, retired in 2003. His first exhibition was in San Francisco in 1970, and he has exhibited continuously every since. Exhibitions of his work include the Oakland Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Seattle Art Museum. Major commissions include a 5-piece commission for the Portland TriMet Transit Mall, a comprehnsive landscape and sculpture project for Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA; and major works for the River Point Education Center, Spokane, WA; Kaiser Permanente Foundation, Vancouver, WA; the Little Tokyo Mall, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, OR; and the Washington County Justice Center, Hillsboro, OR.