On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Joseph Gallivan interviews Dylan Russo Lawrence about legendary Portland sculptor Michihiro Kosuge [PRONOUNCED MEECH-ee-HEE-ro ko-SOO-gay] and his Memorial Exhibition at Russo Lee Gallery through July 30, 2022. Kosuge was the life partner of galley owner Laura Russo, and his semi-abstract, polished stone sculptures can be found across the northwest. Dylan Russo Lawrence tells family anecdotes and gives personal insight into the work. He talks about how his stepfather’s granite forms relate to more than just nature, but concern human relationships in their interdependence of forms and their holes and negative spaces; how Kosuge discovered the architecture of grain silos on a drive to Chicago; and the place of painting in his career.
Kosuge died in October 2021. He and Laura’s relationship slogan was “See me, hear me, kiss me”.
This interview was recorded at Russo Lee Gallery on a HN2 Zoom recorder on July 21, 2022, without masks, in person and edited by KBOO volunteer Ray Bodwell. https://kboo.fm/blog/55224
The winner of the Michelangelo trivia contest is Erik Isakson, who answered that Pope Julius II commissioned the Last Judgement painting.
From the press release:
For the month of July, Russo Lee Gallery presents a Memorial Exhibition for Michihiro Kosuge (1943–2021). Known for distinctive sculptures made primarily of stone, Kosuge maintained an active studio practice for more than 40 years. This exhibition features works created over several decades and includes pieces in granite, basalt, as well as stainless steel, that Kosuge thoughtfully shaped into organic and geometric forms. A selection of Kosuge’s paintings will also be included in the exhibit. Emerging from his profound respect for the natural world, Kosuge’s artwork invites peace and reflection. Each piece echoes an interest in the relationship between humans and nature, permanence and impermanence, continuity and transformation.
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-time 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 ever 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 sculpture for the Portland TriMet Transit Mall, a comprehensive 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.
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com