"Receptacle", Mel Katz

A major gift to OASF enabled the Foundation to purchase, then gift to the City, Receptacle by noted Oregon artist Mel Katz. The 2004 piece was installed on the southwest corner of Chemeketa and Liberty Streets in downtown Salem on October 19, 2017. 

Russo Lee Gallery, which represents Katz, notes that he “continues his exploration of shape and contour using the drawn line. Over the years his work has become more and more flattened, addressing the silhouette and positive and negative space. There is a stylistic nod to his father’s career in tailoring, linking the artist’s economy of line and allusion to the figure with the pattern cutouts for men’s suits.”

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Mel Katz graduated from the Cooper Union Art School in 1953. He moved to Portland in 1963 and became well known in the early 1970s as one of the founders of the nationally reputed Portland Center for the Visual Arts. Katz taught art at Portland State University until retiring in 1998. He has been exhibiting his work since 1956, including a solo show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem in 2006, a retrospective at the Portland Art Museum in 1988 and the highly acclaimed traveling exhibition, Still Working, in 1994. Selected collections include: the Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, City of Seattle, OHSU and Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland, and Safeco Insurance, Seattle.