You must know by now that the Portland
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
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.