Cris Bruch: Others Who Were Here

January 30 – March 27, 2016

The Frye Art Museum is pleased to present Others Who Were Here, an exhibition of new work by distinguished Seattle artist Cris Bruch. Inspired by his investigation into his family’s roots as dryland farmers in eastern Colorado during the first half of the twentieth century, Others Who Were Here addresses the durability of hope in the face of obsolescence and decay.

In the exhibition, Bruch extends his investigation of formal aesthetics and material properties with narratives both personal and historical. The sculptures are informed by the artist's observations of the Great Plains, both in the region’s present form and in its past state as recalled through the stories and letters of his parents, grandparents, and others. According to Bruch, "There is a wheel of adversity, scarcity, perseverance, humility, gratitude, and generosity." Others Who Were Here celebrates these qualities by transforming utilitarian objects and architecture to honor the lives shaped by the Plains.

Physical evidence of the past coexists with the present. Iconic grain elevators and spavined buildings dot the landscape. The physicality and straightforward construction of the works in Others Who Were Here recall these structures and express emotional, practical, and poetic truths about the Plains and its inhabitants.

Bruch, whose artistic practice spans more than three decades, is a recipient of the 2014 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. The award, funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium, supports and advances the creative work of outstanding artists and culminates in an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum.

Cris Bruch: Others Who Were Here is a Raynier Institute & Foundation exhibition organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker. The exhibition is funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium, the Frye Foundation, and Frye Art Museum members and donors. Seasonal support is provided by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and ArtsFund.

Cris Bruch. Harrow, 2015. Wood. 100 x 28 x 7 in. Photo: Mark Woods
Cris Bruch. Agra, 2015. Flannel, fiberglass, epoxy. 32 x 19 x 19 in. Photo: Mark Woods
Cris Bruch. Wide Open, 2014. Recycled metal roofing, wood. 138 x 168 x 156 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mark Woods
Cris Bruch. Pent, 2016. Wood. 7 x 16 x 16 ft., (variable). Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mark Woods
Cris Bruch. Conservatory, 2016. Steel, recycled church windows. Nave: 123 x 104 1/2 x 63 in. Transept: 123 x 163 x 86 in. Apse: 123 x 104 1/2 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mark Woods
Cris Bruch. Clockwise: Weldona, Dresden, Limon, Leoville (installation view), 2015. Flannel, fiberglass, epoxy. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mark Woods