Home Schooled by Isaac Layman
Home Schooled presents a chronological experience of the work of Seattle-based artist Isaac Layman, from his undergraduate studies through his 2013 solo exhibition Funeral at Elizabeth Leach Gallery and beyond.
Layman’s photographic constructions derive primarily from ordinary environs within the home he shares with his wife Camilla and their children. Layman describes his process thus: “I take many photographs of the one object, one spot, then another, then another. Each image is topographical.” His large-scale objects, often encased in handmade frames, possess a disarming multi-point perspective, forcing the mechanics of the human eye and the brain informing it to pause, see, consider, see again.
The selection of images featured in this publication range from the deceptively simple surface of Stove, 2008 to the cacophony of Drawers 1, from the same year. Environments reconsidered (Sink, Cabinet) over a span of years highlight dramatically different visual results. The design and sequence of the book are intended to introduce his way of seeing to expanded audiences, as well as foster a newly-intimate relationship to the works presented for those who have personal experience of Layman’s works.
Isaac Layman has been consistently producing and exhibiting work for over fifteen years. In 2011 the Frye Art Museum in Seattle presented his first solo museum show and accompanying catalog, Paradise; his work has also been exhibited at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, and the Portland Art Museum, among others. Layman’s works are included in numerous collections, including the Frye Art Museum; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Portland Art Museum; the Seattle Art Museum; the Tacoma Art Museum; and the Walker Art Center. A graduate of the University of Washington, Layman received the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum and the Contemporary Northwest Art Award from the Portland Art Museum. He lives in Seattle with his wife and their two children, and is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland.
A critic and curator, Bob Nickas has organized more than eighty exhibitions over the last thirty years. Nickas served on the teams responsible for Aperto at the Venice Biennale in 1993; from 2003-2006 he was Curatorial Advisor at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. He is the author of several books, including Painting Abstraction—the first major definitive survey of the new wave of innovation in abstract painting—as well as numerous articles. He contributes regularly to Vice.com among other print and online publications, and is based in New York.