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Harrell Fletcher at Artpace
Bienvenido a Miami
John Buchanan as Marie Antoinette
Smithsonian, Smithson, Bowie
Annual Holiday Art Sale
Messing with Minimalism
Danto at PAM
Buchanan Q & A
1st Anniversary Discussion of MoMA
The End Of The Buchanan's At Portland Art Museum
TJ Norris' Nucleo at Chambers Gallery

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Wednesday 11.30.05

Harrell Fletcher at Artpace


Harrell Fletcher recently wrapped up his residency at Artpace and his latest project, The American War, is currently on view there. While one can typically find subtle jabs at the politics of the art world in Fletcher's work, this series confronts a more overt political topic, war. The American War appropriates documents detailing the American War (better known as the Vietnam War to Americans) from the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Bi-lingual captions detail horrifying photographs depicting American atrocities against civilians, chemical warfare, torture and other sickeningly explicit scenes from the war. It's a version of history that's rarely seen, and one can't help but draw correlations with the United States' current involvement in Iraq. By re-photographing these panels, Fletcher not only brings these documents to an American audience, but maintains a loose, snapshot-like quality that emphasizes their context within an institutional setting.

The American War will travel to Solvent Space (Richmond, VA), White Columns and MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies in 2006. A catalog will also be available in the spring of 2006.

Posted by Katherine Bovee on November 30, 2005 at 12:00 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.29.05

Bienvenido a Miami

Unless you're living under a rock, you must know that this week is Miami Madness. Arty events abound around Art Basel Miami Beach with satellite fairs, projects, parties, collection tours and lots and lots of schmoozing. To keep your finger on the pulse, even from drippy PDX, there are plenty of bloggers on the beat. JJ will be checking in with some posts from the eye of the storm. Tyler Green gives the most comprehensive list of guides and blogs on the scene. Also, check out abLA for the inside scoop from Aqua. Uh oh, looks like it's raining in South Beach, too.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 29, 2005 at 21:19 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.28.05

John Buchanan as Marie Antoinette


La Creme de la Creme... Francophile museum director extrodinare John Buchanan will be leaving us for a San Francisco in February but first a onetime Portland Art Museum staffer wanted to share this gem of a painting with the world.


It's a mark of success to be tartuffified in such world class splendor! seriously...

Posted by Guest on November 28, 2005 at 22:56 | Comments (1)


Smithsonian, Smithson, Bowie

Today marks the official launch of Eye Level, the official blog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. "Using the museum's collection as a touchstone, the conversation at Eye Level will center on the ways in which the nation's art connects to its history and culture." One of their first posts captures the intrigue and popularity of Smithson's Spiral Jetty with the inclusion of a link to an image of the piece by Portland's own Chas Bowie.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 28, 2005 at 16:04 | Comments (0)


Annual Holiday Art Sale

Make sure to stop in to PNCA's Annual Holiday Art Sale this first Thurdsay, December 1st. The sale will be going on all day from 9 am to 9 pm and also runs at the same times on Friday and Saturday.

Artwork for sale is all by PNCA artists and on Saturday a raffle will be held for two flawless Hokusai reproduction prints: The Wave and Mt. Fuji.

PNCA also features new work by Chandra Bocci, constructed with assistance from the PNCA student body. Here is a preview of the new work:


Pacific Northwest College of Art • 1241 NW Johnson •

Portland, OR, 97209 • www.pnca.edu • 503•226•4391

Posted by Isaac Peterson on November 28, 2005 at 8:07 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.26.05

Messing with Minimalism

David Cohen at Art Critical posted this nice review of two artists who tinkered with minimalism, Barry Le Va and Christopher Wilmarth. This is of great interest in Portland which sports a large # of very good artists who seek to do a lot more than mess with minimalism (a style that is rather easy to cop). I'm writing an essay on some of these "more than minimalism" artists for another publication, let's just say I don't believe the original minimalists were done much of a service by the term.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 26, 2005 at 15:55 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.23.05

Danto at PAM


Philosophers and critics are notorious for holding onto their intellectual ground at all cost, and Arthur Danto, speaking last Sunday at the Portland Art Museum about the gap between art and life, was no different. Danto described a trajectory in which the differences between art and life were muddled, finally breaking apart completely in the 1960s, leading to our current period in which art is no longer a matter of aesthetics or craftsmanship, but a kind of philosophical game in which a work of art is an embodied meaning. Danto has taught at Columbia's philosophy department since the mid 1960s, and it shows in every aspect of his art criticism.

In Danto's version of art history, the 1960s marked a dramatic shift in which modernism gave way entirely to the pluralism of post-modernism, breaking apart an approach to art making very much based in a single media and ushering in the era of "everything is possible." Artist manifestos and grandiose visions of inciting real change through art were gone. Greenburg's quasi-religious devotion to the idea of art as a quest to find the essence of a single medium (in his case, painting) was no longer relevant. From this period forward, the role of artists shifted - now an artist's primary concern is to generate meaning.

Surprisingly, Danto doesn't come off as particularly jaded or cynical about the state of art, he just approaches art with cool intellectualism - it's an intellectual game, but an enjoyable one that Danto is happy to engage with. He is thorough and brilliant, but interestingly, the consistency of his ideas can seem counterintuitive to his decades-long interest in pluralism and post-modernism. As a philosopher, his overarching ideas come to an intellectual elegance that resembles reality, but ring false when one thinks too deeply about their implications...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on November 23, 2005 at 12:03 | Comments (1)


Tuesday 11.22.05

Buchanan Q & A

MAN interviews John Buchanan on his future position at FAMSF. Buchanan talks a little about the Portland Art Museum and a lot about SF. The Oregonian also gives its two cents on the departure. The question remains, what's next for PAM?

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 22, 2005 at 9:12 | Comments (0)


Sunday 11.20.05

1st Anniversary Discussion of MoMA

It has been a year since The Museum of Modern Art reopened in Midtown Manhattan and in many ways MoMA has become the contemporary art equivalent of the elephant's graveyard. It is where we grieve and remember the death of giants and look at the bones while poachers scavenge for ivory tusks. It's a parade of masterpieces and names, an epistemology of aesthetics that (according to Saltz and others) the faithful recite like the Lord's Prayer or Pledge of Allegiance. Yet masterpieces like Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Barnett Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis and Matisse's The Red Studio are guaranteed to deliver the goods. MoMA has lost what I call its freak factor… lets just say MoMA is infuriating if you like to be infuriated by art occasionally. It just doesn't happen there… instead one gets the inevitable corporate Pixar retrospective on Dec 15th . I can't wait for the video art retrospective on the iPod…? At that point who needs MoMA's walls?

The core of greatness in the early & mid twentieth century collections lets MoMA get...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 20, 2005 at 22:36 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.18.05

The End Of The Buchanan's At Portland Art Museum

Thanks to Tyler Green's tip. There may be dancing in the streets amongst contemporary circles in town but John Buchanan, director of the Portland Art Museum and his wife Lucy have done some amazing things... including saving The Museum from financial ruin and redefining fundraising in town. Still, after the master plan was completed what was left? Certainly contemporary art is a hot topic in town and he made no secret of his dislike of most contemporary art... It was time and it is a mark of distinction to move on when needed.

JB officially becomes the new director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco on February 1st.

What does this means for PAM? ...change of course and Portland is ready for it. Thanks John.

Posted by Guest on November 18, 2005 at 10:48 | Comments (2)


Thursday 11.17.05

TJ Norris' Nucleo at Chambers Gallery


Limitations can be beautiful and ideally concepts are a type of limitation that focuses or distills a work of art's elements into more than the sum of its parts or intentions. A good example of this is TJ Norris' latest show at Chambers gallery. Although tiny (in the back room) it packs the punch of a Shaolin Monk. It does so precisely because the concepts, space and execution are so tight & disciplined… it all works.

Nucleo refers to the very interesting circular shapes of these photographs and the focused centrality each image seems to exude because of this feature. Each image seems to be a focused study of a particular bit of a decaying urban environment. Each image is own world, but it's a recycled, very processed version of decay that seems newly minted by the camera's mechanical eye. It seems to be a parable of how the artists's focused attention (through camera, editing and circular forms) creates a mimetic effect upon the viewer. The works don't seem less gritty because of their slick photographic surface… instead they seem more intimate and approachable in a charmed way that smelly urban grit might not normally exude. The visual focus brings...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 17, 2005 at 22:44 | Comments (1)



Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 17, 2005 at 10:26 | Comments (5)


Over the Weekend

rogandraw2.jpg Will Rogan at small A projects

Here's a brief rundown of some things to do through the weekend...

Small A Projects defies the conventions of First Thursday, First Friday, Second Tuesday and what have you with an opening smack dab in the middle of the month. For her second exhibition, Gitlen presents a solo show of new work by Will Rogan entitled Getting Through. Rogan is a Bay Area artist known for his photographs and video works of “found situations” and incidental sculpture. His work is often about awe, and the incongruous conjunction of the everyday and the fantastic. In this body of work, Rogan takes as a central theme an ordinary life renderedextraordinary. Join Rogan tonight for the opening reception with a conversation with Harrell Fletcher at 8p.
Opening Reception • Thursday, November 17 • 6 to 9p
small A projects • 1430 SE Third • Tel. 503.234.7993

Tomorrow night Mark Woolley presents The Art of Tom Cramer and Music of Klaus Schulze. This evening of art and sound-scapes features Klaus Schulze, Germany’s pioneering electronic space musician, and his brand new album, Moonlake. Klaus has been exploring the outer reaches of electronic music since 1970, as co-founder of legendary space-rock bands, Ash Ra Temple and Tangerine Dream. Now, some 35 years later, is considered to be the father of, what has come to be known as "21st Century Classical Music." In addition to the new album, there will be a kaleidoscopic selection of music from Klaus’ other major works, as well as unreleased material and rare DVDs.
Friday, November 18th • 8p to 2a
Woolley @Wonder • 128 NE Russell

On Sunday, critic Arthur C. Danto speaks at the Portland Art Museum on Modern Aesthetics, The Gap Between Art and Life. From PAM's website, "Arthur Danto, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation, has been a major shaper of recent aesthetic theory. Find out how the celebrated author of The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World, After the Death of Art, and the award-winning Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present looks at art today." Jeff says, "it will sell out."
Sunday, November 20th • 2p • $10
PAM • 1219 SW Park Ave • Tel. 503-226-0973.

On Monday, Justin Oswald talks to Eva Lake on Artstar Radio. Maybe he will release his granndiose plans post-Gallery 500...
Monday, November 21 • 5p
1450 am on your radio dial or kpsu.org

On Tuesday, NAAU offers Mona Hatoum films through Cinema Project. Over the approximate span of twenty years, Hatoum has traveled freely between performance, video, photography, drawing, sculpture and installation. Cinema Project will be screening several of Hatoum’s early video work including Changing Parts, a video inter-cutting imagery from her parents’ house with the documentation of a performance in which the artist was trapped inside a plastic walled container; and Measures of Distance, a video that focuses on Hatoum’s separation and isolation from her family in Beirut. This screening is part of a series of public events surrounding her solo show at the Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College.
Tuesday, November 22 • 7:30 p
Cinema Project @ NAAU • 922 SE Ankeny Street • Tel. 503.231.8294

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 17, 2005 at 10:22 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.15.05

Bundles and Ties

Becky Slemmons's show of new paintings at Blackfish is entitled Bundles and Ties. The subject matter is slow and contemplative, but the execution is rapid, luminous and sometimes quite clumsy. Slemmons studies adolescent girls in domestic environments, a world many artists have found charged with sexual potency and dysfunction, but Slemmons's subjects are slow and introspective.


Faith's Preference

Bathed in light that is somehow harsh and image-eradicating as well as warm and radiant, young girls in somber dresses bundle cloth into careful, soft objects. The figures are engaged in protective acts, preserving some object to which childhood has fixed undo importance and a heightened sense of fragility....

Posted by Isaac Peterson on November 15, 2005 at 20:58 | Comments (1)


Stadler on TBA in Artforum


Matthew Stadler reviews PICA's tba:05 festival in this month's issue of artforum, focusing on the dislocation that (for better or worse) is an inevitable part of such international performance festivals. Some artists take advantage of this by directly confronting the notion of dislocation through their art (Ivana Muller), by incorporating artifacts from the location of the performance or by finding dynamic ways to engage in an immediate ways with the audience and environs (Lone Twin, Lori Goldston and other performers at the Works). Other artists simply ignore the fact of their dislocation, reveling in their cosmopolitan existence that rises high above what Paul D Miller (aka DJ Spooky) dismissively deemed "cultural tourism."

In the past two years, I felt that many performances fell short by conscientiously positioning themselves in an "avant-garde" that caters to the circuit of international performance festivals. There were too many gratuitous uses of video/multi-media, of "edgy" content that didn't ever find immediacy with audiences. While I saw this evidenced in fewer performances this year, it will perhaps always be latent in these kinds of international festivals. As Stadler suggests, the trick is for the performer to find a way to engage with their performance, to recapture the "live" aspect of performance, or at least bring awareness to the "intersection between 'live' and 'remote.'"

Posted by Katherine Bovee on November 15, 2005 at 8:19 | Comments (1)


Sunday 11.13.05

Excellent things to check out

A daily dose discusses an interesting earth art project that involves excavating a volcano... no, not the Roden Crater, it is Eduardo Chillida's Mt. Tindaya project. Admittedly, digging into a volcano is one of the most counterintuitive things human beings are capable of entertaining, but there you have it. Portlanders are especially into this sort of thing because our fire mountains are a little too active to attempt this sort of thing and Portland is the only major US city with a volcano or two within its city limits. Our thankfully extinct Mt. Tabor doesn't have a Chillida or a Turrell but it does have an outdoor amphitheater placed right in Tabor's crater.

On artnet (that lady's man) Charlie Finch, takes a little tour of Columbia's MFA studios. In Portland I'm hearing some interesting rumblings about our very own PNCA stepping up to the plate and creating a serious MFA program. It's absolutely necessary. Currently PSU has the only MFA and that is pretty ridiculous for a city of Portland's size and generally art prone sentiments. Will PSU be left in the dust in the MFA race while it builds its new design building?

Lastly, Edward Winkleman has a great post about the place where one of my heros, Aaron Copeland, wrote Appalachian Spring and its worth to society in general. In particular this sentence really caught my eye and it is very relevant to Portland, "... he's saying that 'nurturing artists of the highest merit' does not serve to advance 'the spiritual, physical, intellectual, social or economic well-being of the general public.'" Edward's analysis of that government official is spot on, and this fetish of what many here call "mediocracy" is a big problem everywhere.

This issue of excellence has really been a burning subject in Portland, which has has experienced both a populist quantitative arts uprising (over 10,000 artists in town) and a qualitative shift where there are maybe 5-15 artists that are significantly better or completely unique in comparison to what is going on elsewhere (that is a lot, maybe 150-300 are pretty good or better). The question of recognizing excellence vs. community as opposing polarities is simply wrongheaded. Excellence serves the community in indelible and far reaching ways. London is imbued with Shakespeare and Vienna and Salzburg owe Mozart a lot. Portland has Rothko, Matt Groening and a bunch of top notch people that I wont mention because they still live here. There is no need to apologize for success and the excellence that often drives it.

On that note here is a link to a Portlander who is doing some great things in a field parallel to art.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 13, 2005 at 19:54 | Comments (5)


Friday 11.11.05

Teach Me Your Wildness

Elizabeth Leach gallery currently features a show of drawings by sculptors, entitled 2D from 3D. Immediately upon entering the gallery, one encounters a huge Kiki Smith drawing of a wolf. It is a clumsy drawing in ink on a large crumpled sheet of paper which has one corner cut out of it.


The proportions of the animal make no sense. Its front legs are entangled in a nasty perspective problem, the left fore leg should be closer to the viewer but instead ends up behind the right fore leg. The hindquarters of the animal are properly foreshortened but inexplicably larger than the rest of the body. The wolf has no background but the crumpled, creamy paper on which it is drawn. Above its wedge shaped head is a single, graphic, five-pointed star, which the animal seems to contemplate. The ink hatch marks which render the fur of the animal are regularly spaced and patterned.

The piece is brutal, clumsy, awkward, fiercely and naively executed. It is almost as though the artist herself is a wild animal akin to her subject...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on November 11, 2005 at 8:50 | Comments (3)


Thursday 11.10.05

Performance Art as Cover

This week at the Guggenheim, Marina Abromovic is re-enacting seminal performance pieces from the 1960s and 70s, including Vito Acconci's Seedbed, Valie Export's Action Pants: Genital Panic, Joseph Beuys' How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare and one of her own pieces from 1975, Lips of Thomas. As the project description states, "[This] project is premised on the fact that little documentation exists for most performances from this critical early period; one often has to rely upon testimonies from witnesses or photographs that show only portions of any given piece. Seven Easy Pieces examines the possibility of redoing and preserving an art form that is, by nature, ephemeral."

In Portland, we've witnessed two artists in the past 6 months who have employed the idea of performance art as cover. Brad Adkins revived a Francis Alys walking piece in conjunction with PICA's 10 year retrospective and, recently at Marylhurst, covered Michael Bowley's 1979 Walking in a Circle Until a Mark is Made. Last August, Harrell Fletcher gave a performance at the Aalto Lounge of Robert Smithson's slide lecture on the Hotel Palenque...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on November 10, 2005 at 10:20 | Comments (4)


Wednesday 11.09.05

Under Construction

Since launching PORT, we have had a hard time making our text links visible. I have been playing with some different options to rectify the situation. You may notice some changes over the next couple of weeks until we get it right. For now, the unread links are a lighter gray and the read ones, a bit darker. We hope this eases site navigation. Feel free to give feedback in the "Comments" below. Thanks again for reading!

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 09, 2005 at 23:15 | Comments (9)


Mid-Week Grab Bag

drawings-JoeMacca-untitled.jpg Joe Macca at Marylhurst

A few things going on around town...

Tonight Michael Brophy speaks at Powell's on The Romantic Vision of Michael Brophy, a recently released book edited by Rock Hushka. The book explores how Brophy's art reassesses the historical events and decisions that shaped the American West. Brophy is best known for his quietly haunting landscape paintings addressing forest ecology and history (he is currently showing sumi-ink drawings at Laura Russo).
Wednesday, November 9th • 7:30p
Powell's City of Books • 1005 W Burnside

40+ artists / 200 works

The 25th anniversary drawing show at Marylhurst that opens today. "Old heavyweights, mid career artists, and young turks." Including Henk Pander, Tad Savinar, Judy Cooke, George Johanson, Michael Brophy, DE May, Marie Watt, Linda Hutchins, Ryan Boyle, Melody Owen, and Joe Macca. While you're out there, don't miss Brad Adkins' re-enactment of Michael Bowley’s 1979 Walking in a Circle Until a Mark is Made, a 25ft dirt/crop circle on the south side of the driveway into Marylhurst.
Show runs through December 11th.
The Art Gym @ Marylhurst • 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43) • tel. 503.636.8141

Tomorrow night is On The Wall, a group art show to benefit Skaters For Portland Skateparks featuring customized Vans slip-on's and hand-painted skate decks by local up-and-comers and national talent. All monies raised from the sale of artwork will be donated to S.P.S. to aid them in their goal of free public skateparks in metro Portland. Drop by the opening for DJ’s, limited edition catalogs and posters. Work by Russ Pope, Paul Fujita, Joker, Jesse Reno, Klutch, Chad Kelco and more.
Opening reception • Thursday November 10th • 7 to 10p
Local 35 • 3556 Hawthorne Ave • Tel. 503.963.8200

Also, the SE Portland Artwalk's Call to Artists continues through Nov. 15th. Apply at seportlandartwalk.com.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 09, 2005 at 14:36 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.08.05

2006 Oregon Biennal Call for Entries Announced

Much anticipated, often reviled... it's baaack. In many ways it is less important than some make it (it has no pull outside of Oregon and many Portland artists are active internationally). Then again, it has really launched the careers of serious talents like; Amanda Wojick, Sean Healy, Brenden Clenaghen, Storm Tharp, James Boulton, Melody Owen and Jacqueline Ehlis, etc. Artists are always looking for validation and a museum biennial does offer that. Personally, I hope for surprises.

Once again it will be in the Maribeth Wilson Collins Gallery space (like the 2001 and 2003 biennials). One thing is certain though, it will get a lot of scrutiny. Although one really important detail is still missing, the curator.

Word is the biennial is supposed to be curated by the yet to be announced Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art (but yah never know). Actually, it's a nice opportunity to get introduced to this very dynamic art ecosystem and gives the curator some time to dig around. Word is we may hear something about who that curator is before year end but one thing is certain, if the show doesn't meet expectations the loathing will be extreme (making the 2003 hate fest seem tame). If the 2006 is great the Museum and the curator will have the goodwill of the omnipresent art community in Portland.

Important dates:

Jan 6 2006: Slides, CD's and DVD's are due, so get on it.

March 10th 2006: "The List" is announced... this date is often pushed back a bit and it probably will be because the show occurs in late July not May or June. Why rush?

The show runs July 29th - October 8th.

Link to the official prospectus

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 08, 2005 at 21:15 | Comments (0)


Nerve Block

Jerry Iverson strips painting raw in the "Nerve Block" series at Pulliam Deffenbaugh. By reducing his palette to only pure white and pure black, Iverson's compositions have a graphic shock quality which he plays against the traditional vocabulary of abstract painting: form, balance, compositional harmony. Iverson's work is like watching a master fencer working with a cattle prod instead of a foil. It seems uncertain whether the elegance of his movements will be readable within the unrelenting, graphic organization of his compositions.


In an all black painting entitled Where We Go, Iverson treads the water of minimalism. One gets the uneasy feeling that Frank Stella is looking over your shoulder, sipping a cup of coffee. The painting seems heavy, full of a gravitas similar to minimalism's assertion of the unavoidable truth of materiality. But the gravitas in Iverson's work is not an assertion of the materiality of the paint itself, it is soulful, full of motion, expressive...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on November 08, 2005 at 8:15 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.07.05

Well, Portland Oregon and Slow Gin Fizz, if that ain't love than tell me what is?

Here's a little sampling of Portland's art magnetism, as experienced by the NY times travel section: NYT Travel

And of course the Holbein: NYT Holbein


Here's a conversation I had recently:

It's a Holbein madonna.

Oh really? which one?

Oh, you know, it includes the patron's portraits... Jakob Meyer and his family.

You mean THE HOLBEIN MADONNA. Oh my God.

Can't you just feel that it's here? Doesn't the air feel kinda tingly or something? Doesn't everything seem a little more sparkly?

Posted by Isaac Peterson on November 07, 2005 at 11:02 | Comments (10)


Sunday 11.06.05

1st Thursday and Friday, photoblogging Portland Art Crawls

Michael Brophy with some of his sumi ink drawings at Laura Russo Gallery. Fresh off several successful museum shows, a CD cover for Sleater-Kinney and a nice review in Art Forum, Brophy went for something more immediate than paintings this time.

Mona Hatoum's anti war poster on PNCA's walls (the painted rectangles by architect Randy Higgins are code for Rimbaud's "Departures")...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 06, 2005 at 22:34 | Comments (2)


Friday 11.04.05

First Friday (finally!)

If you're tiring of the same old gallery reception schtick but still love an arty party, then tonight's your night. The Eastside does First Friday with a flare, including a gallery grand opening and celebrity-graced movie night.

Across from the Jupiter Hotel, Fix has been holding down fort for the past year or so. Through some incredible magnetism and muscle, they have attracted at least 3 other young independent art-minded businesses to take up shop in the same building. Tonight, Tony Nguyen opens Renowned with Soon and Very Soon, a group show of local and national artists including Bwana Spoons (PDX), Maya Hayuk (NY), Erik Sandberg (LA), Jill Bliss (SF), and Deanne Cheuk (NY).
Grand Opening • Friday, November 4 • 6-10p
Renowned • 811 East Burnside, Suite 111

Around the corner, NAAU offers What it all Meant, the second solo exhibition by Ty Ennis. This collection of minimal drawings walks the line between irony, rebellion and social critique.
Opening Reception • Friday, November 4 • 7 to 10p
New American Art Union • 922 SE Ankeny St. • Tel. 503.231.8294

A hop, skip and jump away, Homeland takes up fort at their second (temporary) location with new
works by Scott Wayne Indiana. My interest is piqued by the promise of a 72 foot scroll stretched from pillar to pillar, "a long painting resembling the artist’s sketch book and revealing a reflective exercise of examining his own
stream of consciousness as a visual representation." There will also be a collection of smaller new works.
Opening Reception • Friday, November 4 • starting at 7p, live music at 8
Gallery Homeland • 222 SE 10th (within the Troy Building)

A little further south at Newspace are Myron Filene and Jodi Boatman. Filene presents a series of panoramas in the form of prisms, splicing together thin slices from full panoramic shots to effect an extreme stretching of the vertical field. Boatman’s work deals with memory; her images dwell on objects or spaces that trigger personal recollections.
Opening Reception • Friday, November 4th • 7 to 10p
Newspace • 1632 SE 10th Ave. • Tel. 503.963.1935

Over at small A projects, Laurel Gitlen wraps up her inaugural exhibition All I Want is Everything with a movie night screening of Velvet Goldmine featuring a casual conversation with director Todd Haynes. Seating is limited so call the gallery to RSVP or bring your pillows to sit on the floor. Beer, soda and popcorn will be provided.
Movie Night • Friday, November 4 • 7 to 10p
small A projects • 1430 SE Third Avenue • Tel. 503.234.7993

Wrap up your Eastside Evening at Holocene with a benefit for Flight 64. Flight 64 is a non-profit co-op dedicated to providing affordable access to a press in order to nourish a new generation of artists and Portland's printmaking community. Prints will be for sale by over 30 local artists. The evening will be punctuated by a $5 raffle of prints by Chrisy Wycoff, Emily Ginsburg, and Martha Pfanshmidt. The evening will be accompanied by live music from Horsefeathers, Sexton Blake, and Blitzentrapper.
Flight 64 Benefit • Friday, November 4 • Doors at 5, Raffle at 8:45
at Holocene • 1001 SE Morrison • Free until 9, then $5 cover

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 04, 2005 at 14:01 | Comments (1)


All I Want is Everything at small A


Small A project's inaugural exhibition, All I Want is Everything, gives us a taste of what we should expect more of in the coming months. The exhibition is tastefully spare and features work by a savvy group of young artists based in cities from LA to NYC who are just beginning to find their way onto the pages of ArtForum, Trans> and Modern Painters. At least half of the artists in the show will have larger shows throughout the next year. The premise of the exhibition - artists who explore the potential of transcendent or transformative experience in rock and roll / metal - isn't a particularly new or revolutionary curatorial thesis, but the show is smartly enacted.

After the Savage Gallery closed its doors at the end of last summer, its former gallery director Laurel Gitlen took over the location to begin her own gallery. Gitlen made her mark at the Savage Gallery by bringing in artists like Dave McKenzie and co-founded Portland's first art fair in 2004 with former PICA curator Stuart Horodner. Both at Savage and through the Affair, Gitlen has consistently brought in artists from Brooklyn and elsewhere outside of Portland, which has raised the hackles of at least some of the art community here, but is exactly why I'm glad she's continuing with her latest endeavor at small A projects.

Themes of transformation and transcendence are potentially weighty, but given a dose of pop culture irreverence, they are rendered facile. It's all intentional of course, a strategy of a contemporary art scene always willing to undercut its own authority. To make an obvious metaphor, it's a bit like your favorite nostalgia-inducing song - its formulaic predictability is also what makes it rock...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on November 04, 2005 at 10:47 | Comments (0)


First Friday

There's plenty of great events going on tonight. First Thursday madness has put me a little behind on my PORT posting. Expect a complete run-down of tonight's receptions this afternoon. Hopefully by 2pm or so.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 04, 2005 at 10:32 | Comments (0)


AFF New York by Brad Carlile

Robert Sagerman's 5,460 @ Margaret Thatcher Projects

The AAF Contemporary Art Fair was this past weekend at New York's Pier 92. There was art from 140 galleries including three from Portland:Butters Gallery, PDX Contemporary Art, and Alysia Duckler Gallery. The tag line was "Fine Art under $10,000". Previously they used to advertise "affordable art under $5,000" -- that's inflation I guess. If you must, a few postage-stamp sized works at $100 did exist.

I was hoping to see some fresh work, but didn't find much. A problem with an art fair like this is that most galleries seemed to hang slightly-stale decorative works. However, a saving grace for me, the AAF was less loaded with adolescent images on paper than The Affair @ the Jupiter hotel (sorry, but I overload easily on this type of work).

At London's Quantum Gallery, Diane Kaufman's impasto portraits were quite gripping (and selling). These thick layered oils start with a Baconesque feel andthen go further. Fleshy cuts of the palette knife descend through multi-color strata to reveal both turmoil and humanity. They also ask why we invest such meaning in a face's configuration.

Also in the thick paint category is Robert Sagerman's richly textured work at Margaret Thatcher Projects (New York). Robert Sagerman's brightly-colored work dizzyingly...

Posted by Guest on November 04, 2005 at 0:30 | Comments (3)


Wednesday 11.02.05

First Thursday Round-Up

sunrise.jpg Victoria Haven at PDX

Laura Russo presents large, monochromatic drawings by Portland strong-holds Michael Brophy, Mel Katz and Lucinda Parker. Brophy takes a break from two years of focused painting offering sumi ink washes and drawings hauntingly depicting the Pacific Northwest. Katz presents charcoal drawings depicting the realized designs for his 3 dimensional works.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 5 to 8p
Laura Russo • 805 NW 21st Ave • Tel. 503.226.2754

At Pulliam Deffenbaugh, sumi ink reappaears in Jerry Iverson's Nerve Block. Iverson works with tissue paper, ink, rabbit skin glue and varnish on gessoed chip-board for a result that is as much collage as painting.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 5:30 to 8p
Pulliam Deffenbaugh • 929 NW Flanders Stree• Tel. 503.228.6665

PDX has reached a milestone. The gallery that has so long resisted First Thursday receptions finally joins the brouhaha in their new location in the heart of things on Ninth Ave. PDX christens their new space with Next a group show featuring gallery artists. It promises to be a strong showing with new works by D.E. May, Eric Stotik, Marie Watt, Joe Macca, Storm Tharp, Brad Adkins, Nick Blosser, Ellen George, Cynthia Lahti, Kevin Burrus, James Lavadour, Terry Toedtemeier, Jacques Flechemuller and more.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 6 to 8p
PDX Contemporary Art • 925 NW Flanders • Tel. 503.222.0063

Froelick presents glass sculpture by Joe Feddersen and works on paper by Sally Finch. Fedderson, a member of the Coleville Confederated Tribes (and faculty at my alma matter, go geoducks!), creates hand blown glass sculpture with traditional woven basket froms. Finch presents a collection of delicate assamblage pieces loosely based on grids, cellular substructures, printed circuit boards and book text.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 5 to 8p  
Froelick • 817 SW Second Ave • Tel 503.222.1142

Motel announces the first solo exhibition of Jen Corace. In this new body of work on paper, Corace elaborates on her distinctive linear style by introducing meticulously detailed scenery to otherwise minimal compositions. This exhibition marks the most elaborate series to date from this talented up-and-comer. Corace’s precise line work, subtle use of color and restrained composition crafts a series that is remarkable for both its artistic and narrative qualities.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 6:30 to 9:30p
Motel • Located on NW Couch St, between 5th & 6th Aves • Tel. 503.222.6699

On the heels of last week's news that Gallery 500 is closing it's doors, it seems obvious that you won't want to miss this, their final First Thursday reception and what promises to be a blow-out party. Nicholas DiGenova and Troy Briggs each present new bodies of work, DiGenova with bold detailed drawings using animation techniques of cel painting and Troy Briggs' moody, minimal portraiture and landscapes. Bring flowers and tip your hats as we bid adieu to Gallery 500.
Opening Reception • November 3 • 6p till late
Gallery 500 • 420 SW Washington • Tel. 503.223.3951

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 02, 2005 at 12:40 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.01.05

connecting the dots

Two Links:

Edward Winkleman has an excellent Q & A with his first curator of the month here.

Also, my ongoing Critical i article features an updated version of the completely biased history of the Portland art scene since 1995. The last update was way back in October 2003 so this was way overdue.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 01, 2005 at 22:14 | Comments (0)


2 Lectures: Jencks, Hatoum

hatoumbroyeuse.jpg Mona Hatoum at Reed

Tonight, as part of the Portland Arts & Lectures "Literary Arts" series, Charles Jencks presents a slide/lecture presentation on The Iconic Building, his new book surveying modern structures that challenge the traditional architectural monument. Jencks is a seminal theorist on architecture and postmodernism. This evening, he will discuss the work of his contemporaries Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Peter Eisenman, Enric Miralles, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Renzo Piano, Will Alsop, and Rem Koolhaas. A Q&A session and book signing will follow the event.
Tuesday, November 1 • 7:30p (Doors open at 6:30)
First Congregational Church • 1126 SW Park Ave
Literary Arts • $15 General, $12 College/Senior, $10 Youth/Architecture Interns
Call 503.227.2583 for tickets

Mona Hatoum stands as one of the most important British artists of her generation. You may have seen her humorous photographs and small-scale sculptures in the project room at the Affair last month. Through the hard work of Stephanie Snyder and the Coolley Gallery, we are fortunate to have her and her work in Portland. Hatoum emerged onto the British art scene in the 1980s during the brouhaha of the YBA (Young British Artists) movement. Since that time she has been exploring the cultural dynamics of immigration, gender, and physical and psychological displacement,often using the personal space of the body and its products as a context for broader cultural and political concerns. Tomorrow night, she talks about her work, which has ranged from physically extreme public performance in her early years to more recent video, photography, and mixed media sculpture. This is one not to be missed!
Wednesday, November 2 • 7 p • Free
Vollum Lecture Hall • Reed College • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd • Tel. 503.771.1112
Hatoum's exhibition runs through December 23

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on November 01, 2005 at 8:18 | Comments (3)

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