was a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It was led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. This website serves as an archive of Yale Union’s programming from 2011 through 2021.

Yale Union acknowledges that it occupies the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and other Indigenous peoples.


A Talk on Michael Asher
Thursday, June 2, 7pm

Kirsi Peltomäki will discuss Michael Asher’s practice through notions of the proposal, site specificity, the historical impulse, and retrospective expectations associated with the legacy of conceptual art. Asher, a Los Angeles-based artist, taught at CalArts for more than thirty years. As an artist and teacher, Asher’s achievement was to force us to take absolutely nothing for granted when looking at works of art. Asher articulated the web of underlying and often hidden conventions that surround art and how art is viewed, valued, and distributed in society. His work asks that we consider the context, history, architecture, and economic flows of all institutions and works of art when making aesthetic judgments.

Kirsi Peltomäki teaches art history at Oregon State University.  Her research focuses on the experiential and participatory dimension of art from postwar Modernist sculpture to conceptual art and institutional critique. Her recent publications include the book Situation Aesthetics: The Work of Michael Asher (MIT Press, 2010). She is currently editing a volume of Michael Asher’s writings for publication in the MIT Press’s Writing Art series. She also sits on the board of Michael Asher’s foundation.

Michael Asher was born in 1943. He died in 2012.