The World Is Not The Earth at Adams and Ollman


Artists: James Castle, Austin Eddy, John O’Reilly, Blair Saxon-Hill, Timmy Straw

Exhibition title: The World Is Not The Earth

Venue:  Adams and Ollman, Portland, US

Date:  April  18 – May 30, 2015

Photography:  images courtesy of the artists and Adams and Ollman

March18, 2015, Portland, OR: Adams and Ollman is pleased to present TheWorld Is Not The Earth,a group exhibition featuring James Castle, Austin Eddy, John O’Reilly, Blair Saxon­Hill and Timmy Straw.

James Castlecreated a complex, personal and fascinating body of work over a lifetime lived on family farms in Idaho. Born profoundly deaf, Castle made elegant landscapes and interiors, for which he is best known, as well as three­dimensional constructions and books and drawings of texts and symbols, all using found paper, soot and spit. This latter group of works, more impenetrable and personal, are rooted in appropriation. Castle copied and collaged images and text from packaging, newspapers, advertisements and books. His poignant text works, such as LaborDay,featured in this exhibition, show him drawing text as image that he then cut into pieces and reassembled. He often made reference to his own art work. Three­dimensional constructions feature prominently in his atmospheric drawings of interiors. Books made by the artist appear to catalog his two­dimensional work. On view will be a selection of works that feature aspects of his appropriation, assemblage and collage.

Austin Eddy’swork is marked by spare moves, limited color and an economy of forms that coalesce around the idea of still life and portraiture. Eddy’s blunt, cut­out shapes, often fashioned from bits and pieces of his own works, have deep art historical references, but as he arranges them within shallow space, a personal lexicon develops. This method of collaging simultaneously feels intentional and inquisitive as the artist expresses a raw narrative.

John O’Reillytransforms collaged photographs, images from art history and clippings from pornographic magazines into intimate and seamless spaces that, at first, read as plausible and familiar, but then reveal themselves to be disorienting. Incongruous and disparate imagery–a man’s tongue probes the mouth of a figure from a painting–create scenes that exist between reality and artifice as O’Reilly stages an often jarring and transgressive alternative to known or simple narratives.

An amalgamation of carefully arranged images and objects, BlairSaxon­Hill’stwo­ and three­dimensional works are poignant and poetic feats of material play. Appropriating from a range of sources including books, personal notes, her own works of art and images of material culture, Saxon­Hill cuts, rips, photographs, paints, folds and layers until she creates an experience or image which seems essential and believable. In this way, her works–staged and cinematic–use a photographic logic while contemplating our complicated relationship to contemporary images and image­making.

The quiet, but powerful music of TimmyStrawevidences her interest in lyric poetry, religiouscadence, minimalist piano, the folk song, pop music and everyday speech. Straw lends us lyrics from an unreleased song to title the show and will do a live musical performance at the gallery in conjunction with the exhibition.


James Castle (1899–1977) was a self­taught artist who, over the course of his lifetime, made a remarkable body of work that has been the subject of retrospectives organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008 and by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid in 2011. James Castle’s work is now included in major museum collections throughout the U.S. including the American Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, all in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Boise Art Museum; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

John O’Reilly (b. 1930) lives and works in Worcester, Massachusetts. He studied painting at Syracuse University and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1956. O’Reilly worked privately in his studio for several decades, but entered the public eye after his photomontages were selected for the 1995 Whitney Biennial. In addition, his work has been included in numerous exhibitions including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA. His workis also in the collections of numerous museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover.

Blair Saxon­Hill (b. 1979) lives and works in Portland, Oregon where she is the co­owner of Monograph Bookwerks. She has most recently exhibited at Portland State University; Hallie Ford Museum of Art; lumber room, and Disjecta, all in Oregon, with future projects to include an exhibition at JOAN, Los Angeles in 2015. Concurrent with this exhibition is a solo presentation of Saxon­Hill’s work at Fourteen30 Contemporary, on view April 17 through May 17.

Austin Eddy (b. 1986) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL in 2009. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Bendixen Contemporary Art Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark; Roberto Paradise in San Juan, Puerto Rico; The Horticultural Society, New York; and Important Projects, Oakland, California.

Timmy Straw (b. 1981) is a writer, composer and pianist working in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, Straw was included in the exhibition, St. Petersburg Paradox,at the Swiss Institute, New York; her first chapbook, ToWater, Everything is a Swimmer,was published by Editions Plane; and she was recognized by the Academy of American Poets for her poem “Tundra Cinema”. As a composer, Straw has been commissioned by the Dutch contemporary dance company Nord Nederlands Dans and has performed solo projects in a wide range of venues including at the Getty Museum.








Blair Saxon-Hill, For Those Who Look (There is a Beer in the Branches), 2015


Blair Saxon-Hill, What We Look At, 2015


James Castle, Untitled (Cyrillic inspired letterforms and dollar signs), n.d


Austin Eddy, Pulled Thin, 2014


Austin Eddy, Learning to keep my mouth shut, 2014


James Castle, Untitled, (Buffalo book), n.d


James Castle, Untitled (friend construction), n.d.


John O’Reilly, The Kiss, 2010


John O’Reilly, With an Angel, 2008