Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

jerseyjoe
lsd
Criticaleye-notpen
SimEnzo
Double J

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Friday 01.13.06

« Brettell Lecture at PAM | Main | Portland Art Museum free on MLK Day »

Gately Q & A in the O

In today's Oregonian, D.K. Row publishes an interview with the Museum's new Curator of Northwest Art, Jennifer Gately. The interview offers a cursory overview of Gately's motivations, interests and thoughts on her new position. As long as I've been in Portland, the Museum has completely ignored young local artists, except for the token exposure of the Biennial. The frustration felt by the city's emergings is palpable. Gallerists in other cities are shocked when I tell them that the museum's contemporary curators don't visit (of buy from) the younger galleries in town. In the Q & A, Row presses Gately on this pervasive discontent and she responds,

People are obviously angst ridden by this issue... Of course, change takes time. But I wouldn't be skeptical given the new wing (devoted to contemporary art) at the museum. I think the museum is aware of that (dissatisfaction) and everything happening now is an answer to that.

Hiring Gately, who seems to be in touch with how Portland's up-and-comers fits into the greater schema of contemporary art, is a good first step. I'll also take it as an auspicious sign that Gately has already been in my own 'lil gallery before even beginning her work at the Museum. Let's hope that she will infuse the Museum with a much needed enthusiasm and begin engaging with Portland's young creatives with a seriousness that we haven't yet seen. We can also cross our fingers that as PAM undergoes major staff changes, it will, as Gately suggests, rectify some of it's past offenses and make a commitment to our city's talented up-and-comers.

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on January 13, 2006 at 14:15 | Comments (5)


Comments

The change in museum directors at PAM will have a huge impact on the institution. In fact its changed a lot already (even before John left). Has anyone else noticed that Eric Palmer and Erin Kennedy are up in the Northwest wing? Also Marie Watt holds her own on the Jubitz Center's 4th floor. Bruce Conkle has just been added to the collection (ever the pessimist I bet Bruce fully expects the work to remain in storage forever).

Still, the next biennial will be the big litmus test in the eyes of the general public. And really how much does the biennial matter if you are already showing nationally or have already made a name for yourself regionally? The Bay Area Now has gotten a lot of attention but many of the Bay Area's best have moved to Portland... and yes Portland has a massive pool of artists. Are they all good, no... but some would put anything similar nationally to shame.

Another big problem with having a northwest curator and wing, plus a contemporary curator and wing is the issue of ghettoizing the young artists in Portland who dont think of themselves as inherently regionalists. In fact, many artist in Portland have higher visibility outside of of the region and many would rather be shot than hung in the "northwest wing".

I think the current hang at the Jubitz Center adresses this somewhat since it does put living contemporary artists from Portland that show nationally right next to contemporary artists from elsewhere.

Also, it isnt just the hoard of artists in Portland that understand that a lot rides on this biennial. Many collectors (and big donors to the museum) noticed as well too.

So yes, the last biennial caught the curator off guard and that happens (in some ways it was good for the artists, it created a much needed hullabaloo) but that is the past now and I do see PAM curators at openings often these days.

I'm certain Gately will hear about the previous biennial constantly, but everyone now knows what is at stake.

Additionally, with all the shows that have happened in the last 3 years, along with the catalogs (and a documentary film in the works) it's actually a lot easier to know what is going on in the scene.... with that I think we will have surprises not just some statistical sample of that core sample show years ago. (many called that one snore ample).

Let's face it all surveys are flawed, its a big museum and they always come late to the game (its also why the Whitney Biennial seems like art world cliff notes).

Lastly, I think it is a greater mark of distinction for artists to make a name for themselves without being discovered in a biennial. The really great ones create their own weather.

.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 13, 2006 03:24 PM

I'm glad to read Jennifer Gately likes installation work. The Biennial prospectus included installation in the eligible media, but the 108 x 108 x 36 inch limitation pretty much ruled it out.

Posted by: SimEnzo [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 14, 2006 08:23 AM

The museum will always lag, sometimes following, sometimes not. I'm sure the curators could fill in the details, but the museum sometimes accepts donations of work by current artists. How to get into Carnegie hall: practice, practice, practice; the museum: donate, donate, donate!

The biennial has gotten many artists signed by galleries, but ultimately the work needs to be good enough to sell, which is entirely in the hands of the artist.

As for the artist's age variable.. The hubris wears off with age as emotional depth kicks in. The process of making art is complex enough, that age is only a minor variable in the equation of quality. The value of young is twofold: first - more People Magazine worthy (substitute here any zine, music/ art / culture publication/ blog, website, etc.), second - more years to exploit by signing cheap, young, and raising prices later. Call it the Brittany effect.

Posted by: Criticaleye-notpen [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 14, 2006 02:21 PM

I agree with the above statement. Maybe age is not so much the point as exposure... and there are plenty of innovative artists of all ages here, making work which is underexposed, not recognized by galleries or the museum.

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 15, 2006 08:35 PM

I agree with your statement about how most artists worth paying attention to rarely need the museum to qualify their work. In Portland, word about interesting work travels super fast. The catch is that the work HAS to be interesting in or out of the presenting institution. Often, artists are the ones to ask for recommendations, not gallerists, curators, or even critics. By the time word about the work has reached these people, it is buoyed by the spectacle surrounding the artist. Who his or her patrons are, where the artist has shown, and where the work has been written about. Most curators have their hands tied by these situations, and would rather do the right thing, than risk doing the wrong thing.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 17, 2006 12:30 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee