Mike Rathbun: The Situation He Found Himself In

Portland artist Mike Rathbun has created a monumental circular wood structure designed specifically for BAM’s dynamic eighty-foot Sculpture Court. Made from Pacific Albus (hybrid poplar), the huge oval ascends 20 feet in the air and  appears to pierce the outer walls of the Sculpture Court, cross over the  outside courtyard and return through the east wall of BAM’s Nelson Gallery. Rathbun’s sculpture is informed by the power  of natural elements such as wind and water and the notion of life as a  spiritual journey defined through physical experience. The use of wood as his primary medium is particularly relevant for Idaho, a state which built its economy largely on the  timber industry, and the city of Boise, whose name is derived from the French “Les Bois,” city of trees. This complex  installation  is intended to explore the unique relationship between the  medium of wood and the exhibition site.

Sponsored in part by grants from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and  the National Endowment for the Arts