...according to Art Forum's Art
Guide the postponed Oregon Biennial
is taking place this weekend at an alternate
site...the lovely state of Maine (scroll down). The greatly anticipated survey of Oregon art will be
the most radical ever since only Maine artists were chosen.
All kidding aside, the real one is rumoured to happen in 2006 and thankfully
none of the last 2 biennials (although disappointing compared to the pool available) looked as underwhelming
as the one in Portland Maine does.
There has been talk that the yet to be hired Arlene & Harold Schnitzer
Curator of NW Art will be involved. The format really deserves a serious re-appraisal too. Oregon artists are making real strides nationally and internationally
and a more focused show of 6-9 artists makes a lot of sense to me.
What do you think? Do you prefer it be more focused with less artists? Is jury
by slide just too limiting? Should the museum simply commission works, especially considering the number of installation artists we have here? Does the thing really matter now that Portland artists are increasingly using the place as a base for national/international activity? The biennial's contentious nature does keep things interesting.
Yes, there is a sense of catching up that needs to be addressed but some museum's
move slow and the Portland Art museum is based on the venerable Metropolitan
Museum's "better late than never" model. Fact is the biennial is an
inexpensive blockbuster for the museum in this art crazy place.
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