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Monday 07.11.05

« mini me & mini you | Main | Mid-Month Melee »

Bigger = Better


You must know by now that the Portland Art Museum has been expanding with a new Center for Modern and Contemporary Art with construction underway for at least the last year or so. The new wing is scheduled to open the first weekend in October (mark your calendars) coinciding with the Affair at the Jupiter Hotel and a gazillion other art events. To celebrate the Museum's $40 million North Building expansion and opening of the region's largest center for modern art, PAM will install Brushstrokes (1996), created by American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97) in the last years of his life. The sculpture has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C., and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and will now make it's home in our fair city. This baby is big, the largest public work by Lichtenstein west of the Mississippi at 29.5 feet (not 30', mind you). The painted aluminum sculpture will be placed on the east side of the Museum campus and in conjunction with the installation of the new acquisition, the Museum will present a dossier exhibition centered around Lichtenstein's brushstroke-themed sculptures by featuring drawings, maquettes and small-scale sculpture.

The size of the sculpture is a good match for the scale of the museum's new wing. For those of us who thought the Museum was a bit dated, the CMCA offers an ambitious attempt to deliver PAM into the 21st century. "The CMCA includes over 28,000 square feet of gallery space on six floors, showcasing more than 350 works of art in a full spectrum of mediums, and an underground link gallery that connects the North Building with the Museum's historic Belluschi Building. The North Building also includes magnificent ballrooms for community events, a new curatorial and administrative center, a 33,000-volume Art Study Center and Library, which is the region's most significant resource for art research, and the NW Film Center, the area's finest source for filmmaking arts. Fall 2005 marks the completion of the $40 million project, which is the culmination of the 10-year, $125 million master plan to develop the Museum's campus." This sort of well-executed contemporary arts center has the potential to help put Portland on the map by creating a legitimate venue for the import and export of national and internationally relevant art. I will look forward to seeing the curatorial schedule for the upcoming years which in my fantasy world would fall somewhere between the Hammer and MoMA.

The Lichtenstein sculpture and CMCA open October 2, 2005. If you join PAM now, you can probably even beat the crowds and gain entree to the gala events.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on July 11, 2005 at 17:58 | Comments (0)


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