For his latest exhibition, Portland sculptor Michihiro Kosuge has created sculpture out of polished and rugged granite, ranging in color from black, to brown, to red, to salt and pepper. His work reflects an interest in the relationship between man and nature, drawn from influences of human and architectural form as well as the natural environment. In this exhibition, Kosuge's sculptures range from those of human scale to more intimate pieces. Shapes range from abstract and gestural to others that suggest parts of the human body. These sculptures and the way viewers physically relate to them compel reflection on stability and fragility, permanence and transience. Kosuge’s treatment of each piece prompts reflection on what it may have been like before the artist's hand and mind transformed the stone into something new. Using drills, blowtorches and grinding wheels, each stone surface is thoughtfully honed, shaped and polished, or sometimes left pristine. The result is a beautiful combination of solemnity and spirituality. The initial understated presence of this work rewards close looking with a rich and profound experience.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Michihiro 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. 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 Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA; 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; the Washington County Justice Center, Hillsboro, OR, and an extensive 5-piece commission for the TriMet Transit Mall, Portland, OR. His work will also be included in an exterior sculpture court for the Oregon Department of Transportation building in Salem, OR, scheduled for installation later this year.