John Grade Selected Press

  • John Grade World Economic Forum 2017


    Natural Capital: John Grade’s Dazzling, Decomposing Artworks
    by Anna Bruce-Lockhart, January 9, 2017

    “I think people might find it surprisingly rewarding to pause and participate in the sculpture – even very briefly.”

    His giant tree artwork, Middle Fork, will be on show at the Annual Meeting at Davos this month, thanks to a joint collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and World Economic Forum. More than 2,000 people have worked on the enormous wooden sculpture – which, after its exhibition at various venues, will be returned to the forest and allowed to disintegrate.

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  • John Grade NY TImes 2015


    Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery Reopens With a New Focus
    by Graham Bowley, November 12, 2015

    The museum drew 160,000 visitors a year before the renovations. Ms. Broun hopes it will attract double that number after the reopening.

    WASHINGTON — The Renwick Gallery, housed in an ornate, 156-year-old confection here that was the first American building constructed as a public art museum, begins a new chapter in its history on Friday.

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  • John Grade Smithsonian 2015


    The Renwick Renewed
    by Alex Palmer, November 12, 2015

    “The making of these trees was so much in that spirit – in terms of dodging the ease of digital and instead doing this all by hand.”

    He wanted to bring a 40-foot tree into the gallery. He had just the tree in mind—a 150-year-old hemlock located in the Cascade Mountains (east of the artist’s Seattle home). About the same age as the Renwick itself, and a size that would just fit into the gallery space if hung parallel to the floor, the grand old hemlock was ideal for the site-specific project Grade had in mind.

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  • John Grade Design Boom 2013


    John Grade’s Capacitor moves and illuminates with weather data 
    by Nina Azzarello, September 4, 2013

    “The whole of the sculpture will appear to be very slowly breathing.”

    The artwork — whose coil configuration is influenced by organic and geometric forms found in nature — physically behaves according to accumulated statistics from a mechanized controller, amassing both current outdoor conditions and weather patterns from the past one hundred years. sending the information about change in wind intensity and temperature directly to the sculpture, the interactive art piece moves and changes in luminosity.

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  • John Grade Seattle Times 2012


    John Grade builds a soaring sculpture from the remains of an 1897 schooner
    by Danny Gawlowski, October, 2012

    Grade and his assistants have been working six months on reshaping and repurposing the century-old Douglas fir…

    Artist John Grade is repurposing the century-old Douglas fir salvaged from the sailing ship Wawona into a 65-foot tall sculpture for Museum of History and Industry’s new location on South Lake Union.

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  • John Grade American Craft 2010


    John Grade: Engineering Entropy
    by Suzanne Ramljak, October 2010

    Through discussions with writers and musicians, Grade began to view sculpture less as a static object and more as a composition with narrative sweep.

    Grade’s outdoor works can be seen as variants of performance art, rather than as environmental or land art, to which they’re often compared. Instead of enlisting his own body as performer, he recruits his crafted surrogates to be ravaged by nature, and then presents the aftermath on public display.

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  • John Grade Whatcom 2010


    Making Art New: Form and Process, Elephant Bed exhibition catalog
    by Barbara Matilsky, April 2010

    “I am interested in impermanence, at directing our attention to what is compelling within a state of decay or disintegration.”

    Floating inches below the surface of the sea are tiny micro-organisms called coccolithophores. Individually, they are too small to see, but grouped together they form such large masses that they can be seen from satellites blanketing hundreds of miles of ocean, coloring the water a bright turquoise.

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  • John Grade Fabrica 2009


    The Elephant Bed, Fabrica exhibition catalog
    by Jonathan Swain, Jul/Aug 2009

    Twin clusters of horn-like cones float down the rafters of the gallery. One group dissolving into a mysterious pool, the other, awaiting a ceremonial end in the sea…

    Landscape is at the heart of John Grade’s work. Past projects have involved traveling across the vast wilderness of North and SOuth America and making degradable works in response to the environment.

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  • John Grade Artweek 2008


    John Grade at the Bellevue Art Museum
    by Elizabeth Pence, Dec/Jan 2008

    Designed to interact with the landscape, weathering and wildlife of the site, changes to the condition of the works suppress the typical parameters of objects and site…

    Informed by the narratives of nature, Grade’s work is an interesting exploration of these ideas; each work included in this exhibition arrived in a different stage in its material process, where no single stage could be considered complete and final.

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  • John Grade Sculpture 2008


    John Grade: Lived History in Sculpture
    by Suzanne Beal, December 2008

    Grade is master at transforming experience of place into material manifestation.

    Grade created Host, only to have it picked apart by birds, digested, and deposited as waste. The approximately 13-foot wide telescoping sculpture of cast cellulose covered in ground seeds was situated in the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona.

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  • John Grade Art in America 2005


    John Grade at the Boise Art Museum
    by Christopher Schnoor, September 2005

    To come to this exhibition was to come to a world of suspended animation.

    After completing BFA studies at Pratt Institute in 1992, John Grade took advantage of a generous travel grant and headed for Mexica, beginning an extended period abroad…

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  • John Grade Sculpture Magazine 2004


    John Grade at the Davidson Galleries
    by Matthew Kangas, September 2004, Vol. 23, No. 7

    Grade’s world fetishizes the natural into the manmade and vice versa; industrial surfaces are rendered uncannily natural-looking.

    John Grade’s fourth solo show in Seattle since 1998 shifted away from the site-specific installation work to autonomous unitary objects. The results were varied and impressive.

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