For Maria Porges, a complicated, lifelong relationship with the printed word lies behind her exploration of books as both physical material and subject matter. Her primary source is the library left behind by her grandmother Mary Low. A citizen of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and an Anglophile, she read many English classics, translated indifferently into German and printed in ‘blackletter,’ a Gothic typeface now illegible to virtually all readers. Hence, most of these unwanted volumes are destined for landfill. Yet, it is here where Porges finds new life for each book. Art functions as reclamation of their
value and, at the same time, serves as an uncomfortable recognition of the decreasing role of books in a digital media world.
Porges incorporates illustrations from these books, as well as parts of pages, dust covers, and other miscellaneous printed material, onto the painted surfaces of many works. It is a labor of love in many different ways.
MFA, University of Chicago, Chicago IL.
BA, Yale University, New Haven CT.
Also attended Grinnell College and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Shortest Stories, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY.
Storytelling: monotypes, TI 155, Treasure Island, CA.
F(r)iction, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica CA.
Shortest Stories and Exhortations, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley CA.
Balancing Acts: A Fifteen Year Survey of Works in Wax, Maria Porges, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA.
After the Age of Reason, di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature, Napa, CA.
Under the desk, Littlejohn Contemporary, New York, NY.
Bombast, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Bedtime Stories, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL.
Tall tales & short stories, James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA.
Acts of Deception, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA (catalogue).
Miraculous Vessels, David Beitzel Gallery, New York, NY.
Hand Signals, Gallery A, Chicago, IL (catalogue).
(S) light of Hand, Allene LaPides Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
Lost Language, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA.
History Lessons, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco CA.
Anodyne, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans LA.
Twenty Questions, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Angelography, Shepard Art Gallery, University of Nevada at Reno, NV.
Fugitive Time, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco CA.
SECA Award Show, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA (catalogue).
Meridian, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Under the Skin of Circumstance, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.
Read \ See: The Book of Knowledge, Installation at SF Camerawork, San Franscisco, CA.
Harboring Illusions in the Sea of Information, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
The New Domestics, Finding Beauty in the Mundane, LH Horton Jr Gallery, SHIMA 144, Delta College, Stockton, CA, curated by Gail Enns; catalogue.
The New Domestics, Finding Beauty in the Mundane, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA; curated by Gail Enns; catalog.
You’d Be Prettier if You Smiled, Three person exhibition, Susan Abbott Martin, Maria Porges, the Temple Sisters, Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA.
By the Book, Kaller Fine Arts, Washington DC.
Collage: four artists, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson WY.
The Art of the Book, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley CA.
This is not a book, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose CA.
The Exquisite Corpse of the Unknown Veteran, SFAC Gallery, SF CA.
Terrain Biennial: Home (multiple sites), installation in Oakland, CA.
Equilux, Southern Exposure Gallery, SF, CA.
Transformation of Connectivity, Mercury 20 Gallery, Oakland CA.
Paronomasia, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson WY.
Smoke and Mirrors, Southern Exposure Gallery, SF, CA.
Making ( ) That Matters, Tecoah Bruce Gallery at the Oliver Center, Oakland, CA
Build, Traywick Gallery, Berkeley CA.
Day Redreamed, Berkeley Central Arts Passage, Berkeley CA (18 piece installation).
Breaking Ground: Gifts from Katie and Drew Gibson, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose CA
IRL, Alter Space Gallery (15 piece installation), SF CA.
Reverse Rehearsals, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco CA.
The Art of the Book, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley CA.
The Wanted Posters: an invitational, Shipping and Receiving, San Francisco CA
Under Cover, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT..
X Libris, Root Division, SF.
Collect, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley CA.
Kalafornia, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley CA.
Unbound: A Short Survey of Book Art, organized by the Bedford Gallery for the Walnut Creek Public Library .
Secret Drawings, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA.
Shadowshop, SFMOMA, SF CA.
New Works/ Old Story: 80 Artists at the Passover Table, Contemporary Jewish Museum, SF CA.
Faculty Exhibition, Oliver Gallery, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA.
Belle du Jour, Collette Blanchard Gallery, NY.
Under Cover, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT.
Book of Lies, Volumes I-III, 18th Street Art Center, Los Angeles CA.
Under Cover, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT.
Transitional Objects, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA.
War in the World, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ.
Summer, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Artist/ Teacher/ Artist, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA
Bottle: Contemporary Art and Vernacular Tradition, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT.
25th Anniversary Exhibition, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA.
Re-Loaded, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago IL.
Summer, Littlejohn Contemporary, New York NY
Cabinets of Wonder/ Redux, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto CA.
Spring Forward: New Work from the Studio, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco CA.
Plotting: Artist’s Studies, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago IL
Witcherina Pixerina, University Art Gallery, Illinois State U., Bloomington IL; traveled to three additional venues.
Amused, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago IL (catalogue).
Objects Considered: Modern/ Postmodern Still Life, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
The Great Novel Exhibition, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA.
Bluer, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL (catalogue).
The Ray Graham Collection, Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM (catalogue).
American Art Today: Fantasies and Curiosities, The Art Museum at Florida Int’l University, Miami, FL (catalogue).
What is Art For?, Oakland Museum (Museum of California), Oakland, CA (catalogue).
Looking at Ourselves: Works by Women Artists from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF, CA. (catalogue)
Recent Acquisitions, Scottsdale Museum of Art, Scottsdale AZ.
Still Life Infinitely Moving, Contemporary Art Center, Virginia Beach, VA (catalogue).
Museum Pieces: Artists Look at the DeYoung, M.H.DeYoung Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA (catalogue).
Four California Conceptualists, B & D Studio Contemporanea, Milan, Italy.
Art Around the Bay: Recent Acquisitions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF, CA.
Wild Things, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco CA.
Legible Forms: Contemporary Sculptural Books, Hand Workshop, Richmond VA; traveled to Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
House of Wax, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati OH.
Posters, DBL00 Gallery, Albuquerque NM.
Image/ Text, Gallery A, Chicago, IL.
John Berggruen at Andrea Friesen, Andrea Friesen, Gallery, Sun Valley, ID.
Office Art, University Art Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
Spring Fever, Crown Point Press Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Matters of the Heart, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Objects Transcended, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA (3 person show).
Glass: Linking Art and Science, MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA.
Sex Sells, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
25th Anniversary Show, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
The Art of Light and Glass, Bedford Gallery/Regional Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.
Points of Interest, Points of Departure, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Transtextualization, Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
Espiritu + Geistigkeit, Cabrillo College Gallery, Aptos, CA (3 person show).
SoEXX: 20th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Wunderkammer, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Art About Books, Pratt Institute Galleries, NY/Brooklyn, NY.
Beyond the Written Word, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.
The Art of Text, Comus Gallery, Portland, OR
Material Departures, One Illinois Center, Chicago IL
The Object is Bound, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Homefront, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA.
Paint/Print, Rena Bransten Gallery, SF.
Undercover/Out of Bounds, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ.
Sacred Art, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA.
A Fragile Line: Artists Who Use Glass, Pro Arts, Oakland, CA.
Harlequin, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
The Library of Babel: Books to Infinity, White Columns, New York, NY; traveled to Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY (catalogue).
Books as Art, Boca Museum, Boca Raton, FL (catalogue).
Erotic Drawings, San Francisco Artspace, San Francisco, CA.
Buying the Magazine for the Ads, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
AMDG, Installation at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco CA.
Phenom \ Phenotype: A Group Theory, Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Summer Salon, Upaya Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Con\Text, Richard/ Bennett Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
The Writing on the Wall, DICE Gallery, Reno NV & DTO Gallery, Oakland, CA (2 person show; catalogue).
The 1st International Festival of Contemporary Art, Soviet-American exchange show: Moscow, Russia.
The Book as Metaphor, Folk Art and Craft Museum & California Craft Museum, SF CA.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, SF CA (catalogue).
Tools; Instruments; Implements; Utensils, Airport Commission Gallery, SF CA.
Artists and Books, Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, Reno NV.
Transfiguring the Mundane, New Langton Arts, San Francisco CA
Airport Cafe: Food Images by Contemporary Artists, Airport Commission Gallery, SF CA.
Chairs: Historic Objects, Architectural Design and Sculpture, Airport Commission Gallery, SF CA (catalogue)
Beyond Words, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose CA.
AWARDS, RESIDENCIES, GRANTS. COMMISSIONS
Finalist, Art Writer’s Grant, Creative Capital/ Andy Warhol Foundation.
Residency, Kala Institute, funded by Sustainable Arts Foundation.
Investing in Artists Grant, CCI (for studio equipment)
Finalist, Art Writers Grant, Creative Capital/ Andy Warhol Foundation.
Hauberg Fellowship Residency, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood CA.
Faculty Travel Grant, California College of the Arts, San Francisco CA.
Faculty travel grant, California College of the Arts, San Francisco CA.
Faculty development grant, California College of the Arts, San Francisco CA.
Public sculpture commission (six pieces) for CALPERS headquarters, Sacramento, CA.
Artist in Residence, Headland Center for the Arts, Fort Barry, CA (also 1992),
Printmaking residency, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA.
Art in Transit (public art kiosk poster design for Market Street, SF).
Artist in Residence, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA.
SECA Award, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
California Arts Council Individual Artist’s Grant.
Recipient of Critic’s Grant as part of “City Sites” at CCAC, Oakland, CA.
John McCarron Criticism Grant, from San Francisco Artspace, SF, CA.
CURRENT ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS
Associate Professor, Fine Arts, Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts.
Independent writer, art reviews, articles, catalogue essays and educational materials on contemporary and historical art since 1988. Publications include reviews and articles in Artforum, Sculpture, American Craft, as well as over 100 catalogue essays for commercial and nonprofit exhibition venues.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The di Rosa Foundation
Berkeley Art Museum Phillip Morris.
Oakland Museum of California.
Certus Assets Advisers.
Seattle University Charles Schwab.
Scottsdale Museum of Art
Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Gund Collection
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Armand Hammer Museum at UCLA.
The Hechinger Collection
CalPERS corporate headquarters.
Morris, Elise, Interview, for blog The Studio Work (thestudiowork.blogspot.com), January.
Roth, David, review, Shortest Stories, Seager Gray Gallery, squarecylinder.com, April.
Included in Studio Visit, Linda Geary, Edition One Books, Berkeley CA.
Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: the SECA Art Awards, SFMOMA, pp.92 (plate), 185.
Nargi, Lela, Astounding Knits, Voyageur Press: essay on knitted bombs, pp.148-49.
Ross, Martha, Wax Works, exhibition feature and cover, DIABLO ARTS MAGAZINE, 4/09.
Jamie Brunson, review of Bombast in STRETCHER MAGAZINE (www.stretcher.org)
Knight, Heather, Cabinets of Wonder capture spirit of the past, SF CHRONICLE, 11/1..
Unearthing the Past, PALO ALTO WEEKLY, November 1, p.18.
Fisher, Jack, Collecting Curiosities, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, October 27, p. 5E.
Winn, Steve, Work in Progress, SF CHRONICLE, 5.21, D 1, 2.
E. Sivesind, Still lifes continue to stir the imagination, CONTRA COSTA TIMES, Nov. 17, D1.
V. Josslin, Porges brings art, magic and science together, SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 2/9.
Hamlin, Jesse, Pictures of a Thousand Words, SF CHRONICLE, 7/18.
Cebulski, Frank, The Great Novel Exhibition, ARTWEEKk, September, p.20.
King, Sarah, Maria Porges at Allene LaPides, ART IN AMERICA, March, pp.137-138.
Bonetti, David, Witty ways with words, material, SF EXAMINER, 3/24, p. 37.
Helfand, Glen, Edward Ruscha, Maria Porges, SF BAY GUARDIAN, 29, p. 105.
Johnson, Ken, Maria Porges, NEW YORK TIMES, 4/14, B44.
Whitney, Kay Maria Porges, SCULPTURE MAGAZINE, April, pp. 67-69.
Hamlin, Jesse, Messages in her bottles, SF CHRONICLE, 4/5, Datebook p. 1, 6.
Wiedeman, Paul Wax, Sculpture: Porges at LaPides, PASATIEMPO WEEKLY, 9/17/23, p. 24.
Alt, J., Gallery Previews: Maria Porges, SANTA FE MAGAZINE, October, p.99.
Reeve, Carolyn, San Francisco: Quattro artisti en camino, ARTE MAGAZINE, July, pp.114-119
Artner, Alan Maria Porges stays true to unique vision, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/1, sec.5, p. 2.
Webster, Mary Hull, Maria Porges at John Berggruen Gallery, ARTWEEK, February, p. 18.
Resnicow, Ruth, Art 1997 Chicago, SCULPTURE MAGAZINE, October, p.68.
Rebecca Snedeker, Waxing Pain, NEW ORLEANS ART REVIEW, 11-12/97, pp. 30-31.
Melrod, George, Openings, ART & ANTIQUES, October, p. 30.
Klausner, Betty, Maria Porges, ART IN AMERICA, March.
Askey, Ruth, Bound for Glory, VISIONS ART QUARTERLY, Summer.
Jan, Alfred Maria Porges at Terrain, VISIONS ART QUARTERLY, Spring.
Bonetti, David, Through a Glass Brightly, SF EXAMINER, April 1, D-19.
Brunson, Jamie, San Francisco FAX: Maria Porges at Terrain, ART ISSUES, 31, p.31.
Books as Objects, (exhibition catalogue), Comus Gallery, Portland OR.
Bonetti, David, Strong showings by three Californians, SF EXAMINER, 12/3, p. C-18.
Sherman, Ann, A spine madness: reinventing the book as art, METRO Dec.9-15, p.44.
Time flies, and only an angel can keep up, interview in JEJUNE, pp.1-4.
Barrett, Strategies: SECA, ARTWEEK, 11/4,p.24.
Donato, Debora, On View: San Francisco, NEW ART EXAMINER, 9/92, pp.24-26.
SECA Art Award 1992, catalogue, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Bonetti, David, Conceptual Art By The Book, SF EXAMINER, 4/24, D2.
Moser, Charlotte, Down Home, ARTWEEK, 4/24.
Fisher, Barbara, From Cover To Cover, ARTWEEK, 5/7, p.26.
Baker, Kenneth, How Culture Defeats Nature, SF CHRONICLE, 6/4.
Baker, Kenneth, Mining the Environment for Local Riches, SF CHRONICLE, 9/27.
Rapko, John, Remembering and Forgetting, ARTWEEK, 6/6, p.28.
Watten, Barrett, Consensual Erotica, ARTWEEK, 10/10, p.13.
The Library of Babel, catalogue (Hallwalls/White Columns).
Books as Art, catalogue, Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Jeff Kelley, Fugitive Landings: Installations in San Francisco, VISIONS, Winter, p. 28.
Watten, Barrett, The Writing on the Wall: Women and Language at CCAC, ARTWEEK, 7/5, pp.12-13.
Spector, Buzz, The Writing on the Wall: Exhibition Review, Shift #11.
Spector, Buzz, Conversation: Maria Porges/Buzz VISIONS, Fall 1990, pp. 14-18.
Baker, Kenneth, Finding a Message in Found Objects, SF CHRONICLE, 1/7, C-.7.
Helfand, Glen The Ordinary Transformed, ARTWEEK, 1/7, p.7.
New Langton Arts Catalogue of Programs, pp. 41-43.
What’s Wrong With This Picture? Artists Respond to Censorship, publication in conjunction with Arts Commission Gallery exhibition, p.1
1988 in Review: Alternative Spaces, ART IN AMERICA, August, p.60