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Sunday 10.16.05

« Whittle Away the Weekend | Main | Radius Studio »

Jubitz till you can't Jubitz no more

Tim Bavington's Voodoo Child a slight return, solo (in PAM's collection)

Ok, so there is even more ink (or electrons) on Portland's new museum wing out there.

In The Oregonian D.K. (Death) Row agrees with many of the same things in my review. He's dead on about the lack of Pop art in the collection. Although, he's a bit funny when he complains of a lack of collecting over the last 15 years then gets all frumpy about Laurie Reid, Din Q. Le and Tim Bavington being in the top floor's collection because the work is young.

Row makes lots of good points but this is preposterous. First of all Reid was in the 2000 Whitney Biennial and Le was in the 2003 Venice Biennale. Lastly, Bavington is an exemplar of an important group of artists who studied under Dave Hickey in the 90's. He is also in LACMA's and the Albright Knox Gallery's collection (I might add our Bavington is better than theirs). Seriously, all of these are hardly unproven regional West Coast artists and these are exactly the sorts of aquisitions that strengthen the collection.

If you got a problem with respected California artists, tough... welcome to yer typical West Coast museum being all youthful and snappy. Actually, that top floor of the Jubitz Center is for exactly that type of young work.

The Oregonian also ran an architectural review. Lastly, here on PORT (in the comments) the debate has been going on for some time.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 16, 2005 at 11:11 | Comments (4)


I made it to the museum yesterday--the last free admittance day--and it was packed with people!

I agree with the general sentiment that the overabundance of narrow-hallway/galleries is unfortunate--especially in the case of large paintings which really beg for the viewer to step back more than four or five feet.

Aside from the aesthetic impact of hallways, I have a real fear for the safety of the art. All day yesterday, I saw people forced to brush by the art in order to navigate the space. Particularly harrowing was watching the large Kiki Smith work (done on paper) whip up in the air currents from people passing by. Unless something changes, it's only a matter of weeks before that work is seriously damaged. On another painting I spotted a foot-sized smudge at, well, foot height--I suspect someone accidentally collided with the artwork. Also, all the work that is sited under stairsteps are covered with a layer of smutz from the bottom of peoples' shoes.

I wish the placards listed the artists' nations of birth in addition to adopted nations. It would also be nice, as a regional museum, to have some sort of indication of artists who have a connection with the Northwest.

My favorite part of yesterday's visit was hanging out by Rauschenberg's "Cardbird" and "Cardbird II" and listen to the indignant variations on "that's not art!"

Posted by: SimEnzo [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 17, 2005 08:48 AM

Are you arguing that because an artist is in the Whitney Biennial or Venice Biennale, they belong in the museum? I can think of several 'respected' artists that were in the 2004 Whitney that might have raised your hackles if PAM had purchased them.

Maybe the Bavington belongs in the museum. For one thing, it looks like the Hickey 1990's. It would have been a great backdrop to an Enron board meeting. I can hear Ken Lay saying 'Just keep your eyes on the pretty picture folks, we're going to show you the real danger of beauty'?. When I look at it now I think of George Bush promising me a new day every day.

The work of Bavington and his compadres are prima facie evidence of an extended visual mid-life crisis of people like Dave Hickey and Christopher Knight. With a curator of Modern and Contemporary art that counts among his prime aesthetic experiences a Grateful Dead concert (a band combining a curious mixture of blues without soul and jazz improvisation without chops), it's no wonder PAM bought it.

'Pass the bong dude, Hendrix is awesome...did I ever tell you about the time I went to the Monterey Pop Festival'?

You have to give kudos to Bavington for knowing the art market and delivering the perfect product. If this is a museum looking all youthful and snappy, they may want to run down to the store and pick up a case of Geritol.

If by youthful, DK Row meant young, he is dead wrong...but if he meant youthful as in 'same shelf life as the Spice Girls', he was right on the money.

Posted by: stephencleary [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 09:04 AM

Aquisitions that raise my hackles would be excellent...

as far as my remarks I think its clear that Reid, Le and Bavington aren't the unproven, regional and early career artists that DK painted them as. Le has three nice museum shows this year alone.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 10:45 AM

Speaking of the Biennials, any news on when the delayed Oregon Biennial is going to happen?

Posted by: SimEnzo [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 18, 2005 11:02 AM

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