Two Map Art Exhibitions

Matthew Picton: Portland (2007), detailAn exhibition of Matthew Picton’s art just wrapped up at the Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery in Portland, Oregon. “His cartography transforms the traditional two dimensional mapping system into a multi-layered sculpture of communication, transportation, and rivers,” says the gallery, “thus both depicting and abstracting the systems of the city.” The Oregonian has more: “Picton’s materials are deceptively simple: Dura-Lar plastic, paint, pins and a white rectangular canvas. The Dura-Lar is hand-cut — a doily of lines that float in space, casting delicate shadows against one another. The pins lend an eerie feel to the pieces, as if the maps were insects affixed in a taxidermist’s box. The process of assembling each piece, as well as the research involved, must take months.”

Meanwhile, eight time zones away, another map art exhibition is currently on display at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland. The exhibition, entitled [C]artography: map-making as artform, “seeks to explore the techniques and styles of early map-makers, as well as focus on contemporary artists who use mapping methodologies in their art practice, often for very different reasons,” says the gallery. “These early maps and present day computer digital maps will be seen alongside works by Kathy Prendergast, Frank Bowling, Grayson Perry, Stephen Brandes, Jeremy Deller, Mona Hatoum, Dorothy Cross, Tom Molloy and other contemporary artists who explore the relationship between cartography and memory, imagination and meaning.” Thanks to Neil Costigan for the tip.