24 January 2014

Doris Chase



"Doris Chase (1923-2008) had her first solo exhibition in 1956 and her first international showing in Rome in 1962. Her artwork flowed through different mediums of painting that led to sculpture, evolving into experimental video and then dramatic filmmaking. In Seattle Chase is best known as a painter and sculptor. Her most notable sculpture commissions are "Changing Form" at Kerry Park and "Moon Gates" at Seattle Center. She is considered a pioneer of video art and produced and directed over 70 films." - Abmeyer + Wood. See more;

The following information is from a biography published at HistoryLink.org where you can read more about Chase's carrier, actually they took that biography from Deloris Tarzan Ament's Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art. Also we can enjoy her video art online thanks to her gallerist Abmeyer + Wood who uploaded all the videos below to its Youtube channel.


Doris Chase began working in video in the early 1970s, using computer imaging, when video art was in its infancy. She began kinescopically integrating her sculptures with interactive dancers, exploring the range of image processing, synthesizing, and colorizing. She used special effects in the way other artists might use a paintbrush, to create dreamlike effects.


Circles and More Circles

King Screen, then an arm of KING-TV, made a film of the dance and sculpture collaboration. Chase requested and received footage edited out of that film. The thrift she had learned in the lean days of Elmo's illness had taught her to waste nothing. From the cut footage she made her own film, Circles II, with the help of film professionals Bob Brown and Frank Olvey.

Using color separations that showed the dancers and sculpture as pure color forms, she used a slight time lapse in which trails of vivid light followed in the wake of dancers' moving arms and legs -- a tracery effect seen as abstraction. The film won acclaim at the 1973 American Film Festival in New York. Critic Roger Greenspun compared it to Matisse's Dance painting, calling it "at once delicate and massive," and stating that "as visual experience it is ravishing" (Greenspun).

At about the same time Circles II which was shot with 16mm black and white film and then Chase created effects by overlaying different films. Later she added colour. Chase created prototypes for a 12-piece group of kinetic sculptures for children, made of shaped urethane foam encased in tough, bright-colored fiberglass cloth. The shapes were designed for kids to interact with, to help them learn equilibrium and body awareness. The shapes held particular promise as a teaching tool for children with cerebral palsy or learning disabilities. Unfortunately, the idea coincided with a time when school budgets were plunging and the price of plastics soaring.



Circles I, 1969-70
Created using the large mainframe computer at Boeing's facility in Seattle




Circles II, 1971
Dancer/choreographer Mary Staton who is dancing with Chase's sculpture. 






Dance Seven, 1975
Dancer/choreographer Marney Morris




Jazz Dance, 1975




Jonathan and the Rocker, 1977
Dancer Jonathan Hollander




Variation Two, 1978 
Dancer/choreographer Sara Rudner




Window, 1980
Video translation of Linda Mussman stage production performed by Claudia Bruce.