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First Thursday February by Nicky Kriara
Introducing Nicky Kriara
Report from France (Part III)
Jo Jackson at PSU
Getting all linky
Report from France (Part II)
New Trajectories for Cooley
Hildur Bjarnadottir at Pulliam Deffenbaugh
Bethany Wright and Ashley Edwards at Nocturnal
Extended Absence
Report from France (Part I)
Goose & gander the Oregonian on PAM's direction

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Tuesday 01.31.06

First Thursday February by Nicky Kriara


Patrick RockI think there might have been some kind of mistake... • Interactive Installation
Some blond guy who also blogs for PORT is drooling over this internationally-experienced, native Oregonian and current PNCA Intermedia Artist in Residence's work because he had hoped Rock's installation, Cool, would be in his recent Inertia group show. The Styrofoam coffin was in Germany at the time. Now you have a chance to see what all the fuss is about!
Opening Reception • Thursday February 2, 6-9pm • Closes Feb 28
Interactive Media Arts Gallery, PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson Street • Tel. 503.226.4391


Posted by Nicky Kriara on January 31, 2006 at 22:20 | Comments (15)


Introducing Nicky Kriara

PORT is pleased to introduce our new calendar blogger, Nicky Kriara. Nicky is a recent veteran of the Everett Station Lofts, running the Epitome Gallery for over 2 years. A rare native Portlander, she brings a wealth of experience to the table, having studied at USC, U-Mass Amherst and the University of Oregon. PORT co-founder Jennifer Armbrust, will continue to post and moderate once she returns from Europe. The reasons for the change is academic, being a gallerist Jenn was busiest with the calendar at the very moment a new show needed to be installed. As an artist Nicky was looking for a way to stay connected to the scene while focusing on her own work. Nicky impressed us with her sharp eyes and quick wit. Please join me in welcoming her to the art-blogosphere. Expect her 1st First Thursday post soon.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 31, 2006 at 19:33 | Comments (0)


Report from France (Part III)

Ann Veronica Janssens , Installation view L E E 121 !
Courtsey Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Anvers
(c) Biennales de Lyon 2005, Photo: Blaise Adilon

On the 2005 Lyon Biennial

One could argue that the popularity of art fairs, biennials and newly minted MFA grads all has to do with a common desire: an obsession with the new and the now. In the midst of this frenzy for all things emerging, the 2005 Lyon Biennial – entitled Experiencing Duration - rejects a typical biennial's premise of surveying the present, creating a kind of anti-institutional anti-biennial. Curators Jérôme Sans and Nicolas Bourriaud collapsed distinctions between art of the late 60 and 70s and art of the past two years, disarming temporality of its authority in order to clear the way for re-imagining the future of art.

When post-modernism descended onto the art world and passed through a generation of art students who would later become teachers in these same institutions, it left the artist without the possibility to fantasize about anything resembling utopian ideals. Sans and Bourriaud are particularly interested in hippie idealism, except they are fully aware in the inability to believe in utopia. Relieving the artist of the quest to re-imagine the world in utopian terms, Sans and Bourriad instead seek to regain the experiential optimism and energy of this era without the delusion of utopia. At the same time, they are interested in no less than to foster a new environment for the younger generation of artists, one that reclaims an idea of sustainability and breaks away from a cycle of simply identifying and "consuming" the new...

Report From France: Part I (Nature)
Report From France: Part II (Fictional Geographies and Disorientation)

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 31, 2006 at 1:30 | Comments (0)


Sunday 01.29.06

Jo Jackson at PSU


Last week, hordes showed up to hear Chris Johanson narrate his life's work on a trippy vintage sound system. This week, let's hope they've fixed the mic in time for Johanson's wife and sometimes collaborator, Jo Jackson, who will be this week's PSU MFA Monday night lecture series guest. Even though they work so closely and both emerged out of the SF scene of the late 90s/early 2000s, they've both held on to their own distinctive styles. As Johanson reminisces in a long interview with the couple in the latest ANP Quarterly magazine, "...her work, I didn't get it immediately."

Monday, January 30 • 7 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema • 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Sponsored in part by PICA

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 29, 2006 at 18:50 | Comments (1)


Saturday 01.28.06

Getting all linky

Dear readers, January 2006 has been a banner month for PORT and we continue to make enhancements to the site. To that end we have added a links page under our categories on the left. All of the Portland links either regularly provide info about the arts in the city or discuss some of the things that make Portland so appealing to arty people. The arts don't exist in a vaccum and Portland is a city blessed with an obsession for good food, walking not driving, hip urban communities as well as its hyperactive art scene. The artist blogs chosen aren't mere vanity sites or PR vehicles. These sites provide a window into their individual experiences, which may be of great help to other artists. The list will continue to grow as well.

As for the other links, check em out. I find that the web has greatly reduced the proprietary nature of some art world information. On the web everything becomes local. The two best art sites are Artnet's excellent magazine and Tyler Green's Modern Art Notes. Those two sites alone have made the rather small art world a great deal smaller.

In the next week PORT will be announcing our new calendar person and photoblogger, bringing our our professional paid staff to 6 (but have no illusions, this is still a labor of love). There will be a host of new sponsors added this week as well. Thank you sponsors, you make this groundbreaking experiment in online visual arts publishing possible. When we created PORT we saw it as an opportunity to evolve the blog form into a focused, content rich publication that raises the level of criticism in Portland, while providing a template for a new type of local arts writing that is internationally accessible and relevant.

Considering our readership #'s I'm pretty proud of our staff, readers, sponsors and Portland in general. It's an honor.

As a thank you we published four critically rich reviews this week, more than doubling the number of critical pieces published in the city for that time period. I'd also like to note the WWeek just published its first visual arts feature since October and the Portland Tribune had a nice piece on the Ovitz collection (two things we have been shouting from the rooftops about for some time). I don't see PORT as needing to take part in any of the typical reindeer games that dead tree press usually requires. We are here to catalyze, create and draw attention to worthy information on Art that is of interest to Portlanders (and because Portland is a pretty dynamic place, the rest of the world).

PORT is a very specialized kind of publication and Elizabeth Zimmer (a senior editor at The Village Voice), Matthew Stadler (moderator), myself, Jenn, and Katherine of PORT as well as Mike Merrill of urbanhonking.com, and PICA's Amanda Deutsch all discussed this in a forum during last year's PICA TBA festival. Simply put, arts writing is dying off as dead tree media gets increasingly squeezed economically. By specializing, PORT is merely one solution to a larger problem as intellegent critical information gets increasingly marginalized in traditional news media.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 28, 2006 at 14:05 | Comments (0)


Friday 01.27.06

Report from France (Part II)

jeppe_hein1.jpg Jeppe Hein, Simplified

Fictional Geographies and Disorientation

For some, the creation of imaginary terrains involved the more literal creation of fictional geographies, visual counterparts that provided a place for the mind as well as the eye...

Report From France: Part I (Nature)
Report From France Part III (on the Lyon Biennial and Palais de Tokyo)

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 27, 2006 at 11:27 | Comments (0)


Thursday 01.26.06

New Trajectories for Cooley

ovitz_price.jpg Richard Prince, Untitled (Publicity)

In 2005, Reed's Cooley Gallery filled the gap in Portland's contemporary art programming that PICA left with the discontinuation of its ongoing exhibition program and that the Portland Art Museum is only beginning to address with its excellent new Meigs endowment programming. The Cooley will not slow down in 2006, beginning the year with a major two-part exhibition of work from the Ovitz Family Collection, opening on Thursday. Jeff's rundown of hotly anticipated art exhibitions and events can tell you why Ovitz has positioned himself as a major collector. But his position as a major collector should be obvious just by looking at the artist list for New Trajectories I: Relocations. Artists include jokester Richard Prince, recent MacArthur fellow Julie Mehretu, Stefan Thiel, Cosima Von Bonin and Idris Khan.

If you're looking for something to do before the opening, NYU professor Jonathan Brown will be lecturing on another noted collector - okay, a seventeenth century collector - Philip IV of Spain. Co-sponsored by the Robert Lehman Foundation.

Opening Reception • New Trajectories I: Relocations • Thursday, January 26 • 6:30 p
Cooley Art Gallery, Reed College • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd • Tel 503.777.7790

Lecture: Philip IV of Spain, the Greatest Picture Collector of the Seventeenth Century • Thursday, January 26 • 4:30 p
Reed College, Psychology Auditorium • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd (closest parking: East lot)

Photo: Richard Prince, Untitled (Publicity), 2001
Double-sided frame with stand, Publicity photograph with handwritten jokes, 33.5 x 27 in., Ovitz Family Collection

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 26, 2006 at 0:09 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 01.25.06

Hildur Bjarnadottir at Pulliam Deffenbaugh

Hildur Bjarnadottir - Gingham - Cadmium Red

Icelandic artist Hildur Bjarnadottir doesn't ignore art and intellectual history; she gives it a newer, smarter, better made/time tested and reflexively subversive cloth to wrap it in. She has already received kudos from Art in America and Artnet but her latest show, Overlap at Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery shows her as the fully developed, unpatronizing and supremely deft contemporary virtuoso her earlier and more obvious work had always pointed towards.

Somewhere between Modernism's impulse to push beyond the mundane and Duchamp's brilliant "so what" mundane ready-mades (later restated in Pop art), traditions became...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 25, 2006 at 0:07 | Comments (5)


Tuesday 01.24.06

Bethany Wright and Ashley Edwards at Nocturnal

Bethany Wright presented an intense, visceral piece assembled from components developed under the auspices of Bard College and PS 122 in New York. Bethany has here collaborated with Poet and Reed Graduate Ashley Edwards. Their piece was performed for a small audience at Nocturnal on Friday, January 20.


Bethany recites two of the poems from her bandolier. The tension seems to be building in the room, but it is hard to place why. People are relaxing as the readings progress, allowing themselves to be more expressive. Bethany is moving around a little quicker. The poetry is slowly submerging the space, rarifying the atmosphere. Finally the tension culminates, at which point Bethany stops what she's doing, drops the mic and runs back over to the table, where she picks up a honey bear and squeezes the honey out into her hand. Then she covers her face, neck and head with honey and rushes out of the room....

Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 24, 2006 at 17:30 | Comments (8)


Monday 01.23.06

Extended Absence

I will be heading out of town tomorrow to Los Angeles to participate in artLA with galleries from around the country. Pulliam Deffenbaugh, PDX and Alysia Duckler will be there too, representing Portland with a strong showing. This is the second year for artLA, an art fair directed by Stephen Cohen of the long-running photo L.A.. I, for one, am looking forward to a new audience of art lovers and a little Santa Monica sun.

I will then be taking the month of February off for a little R&R and some jet setting to Europe. So, I will be very scarce in these parts (Motel will also be closed through February). But, don't fear, I will be back in March. In the meantime, we will be introducing a new announcements writer who will be handling the First Thursday/First Friday listings. In case you were sending press releases directly to me, please re-route them to calendar@portlandart.net.


Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on January 23, 2006 at 10:47 | Comments (1)


Report from France (Part I)

lyon_biennale.jpg Graphic design: Cédric Henry

The illustration for the 2005 Lyon Biennial seems as if it is lifted from a 60s or 70s sci-fi book cover. Against a paint-splattered psychedelic sky, the silhouettes of three men turn to face a gigantic planetary orb rising above the skyline. It's an image that captures a moment of discovery - the discovery of alien planets, foreign terrains and spectacular sights. It illustrates exactly the kinds of reactions one is hard pressed to find within museum or gallery walls these days. In a time when cynicism and re-appropriation reigns, it's rare to find newness or impact. I was in France for the holidays, traveling to see the last week of the biennial and catching several shows in Paris. As expected, I saw very little that was truly new or awe-inspiring [disclaimer: I can't blame France's art scene entirely, since many galleries were between the major exhibitions of last fall and a round of new exhibition opening in mid-January]. But I did see a new kind of crisis bubbling beneath the surface, one that is sure to influence if not define whatever artistic and curatorial impulses the future holds for us.

An obsession with imaginary or re-imagined terrains - physical, psychedelic and real - repeatedly appeared in the work that I saw. It's present not only in France (where nearly half of the gallery artists I happened to see were American), but also in recent U.S. shows like MOCA's Ecstacy. Perhaps against a backdrop of "already been done," artists are trying to reclaim their position as the creator of new aesthetic and intellectual terrain. Or perhaps, if I allow myself to have an utterly cynical moment, it's the curators who are taking on the job of inventing new worlds, conveniently relieving the artist of this "burden..."

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 23, 2006 at 1:18 | Comments (0)


Sunday 01.22.06

Goose & gander the Oregonian on PAM's direction

D.K. Row had a nice probing article on the future of the Portland Art Museum now that the Buchannan's have left. Good work, the O might not be able to discuss Danto and art the way PORT can but let's be fair we aren't a generalist publication and can indulge in intellectual pursuits. This is why the Oregonian is completely outpacing the WWeek in visual art coverage and providing the goods in a way most mid-sized city newspapers do not. I'd love to see the WWeek at least attempt to keep up by having their first feature article on art since October!

As far as the article details go some things need to be countered and fleshed out (feel free to comment):

First, the museum already quantitatively dedicates more space to local artists than nearly any similar large generalist museum I can think of (with an entire wing). The new northwest curator position should address the qualitative issue. The real question is, will PAM balance its blockbuster programming with more serious curatorial efforts? It is about covering all the bases and when the Rosenquist retrospective didn't come here as it was first announced to, it stung... a lot. If a similar major retrospective or two were to come here it would be long overdue.

Still, the newly minted Meigs endowment shows like the current Sophie Calle and upcoming Roxy Paine exhibitions do help more than a bit. Yes, there is room to do more shows like the Keinholtz (2003) and New in Town (2002) as well. It's been too long and now that construction has stopped there are opportunities. As for the Oregon Biennial, it will only be relevant if it makes relevant statements. The Bay Area Now shows do this and the 1999 Biennial arguably did so as well, it jump started the current explosion in scene activity (leaders like Michael Knutson, Sean Healy, Tom Cramer, Jacqueline Ehlis, Kristan Kennedy, Storm Tharp, and Brendan Clenaghen are 1999 alums who have only matured since then). Ironically, except for Cramer the O blasts or ignores these very good artists (by any scene's standards) while blasting the museum for similar caprices. Look, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

As for directors the PAM board (+ the Oregonian and public in general), they need to understand that Portland is filled to the gills with a hoard of interested artists (both young and old) as well as newcomers from other more culturally developed cities (some of these individuals have serious financial portfolios and collections but have stayed out of PAM and PICA's searchlights because the institutions were rightly percieved as inconsistent). These "untapped" people by and large have sophisticated tastes and their attendance at warehouse shows and the Affair at the Jupiter indicate a hard-core constituency of thousands exists. So much for hurting attendance.

Contemporary art isn't the financial doom that the previous regime and the O suspect. In fact, it might help the museum more than anyone but a few insiders suspect. One of Portland's charms is how older patrons and youngsters actually mix at warehouse shows; it's a way to stay young/network depending on where you are in life. A moderate director can move the museum and city forward and institutionalize this fountain of youth and ambition by blessing the interaction (example: collector Bonnie Serkin recently comissioned Chandra Bocci for the Museum's contemporary art council holiday party). There needs to be more of that demographic mixing and I suggest a "moderate" director because I don't believe that big museums need to be the vanguard anymore, even MoMA doesn't/can't do that. That is for the warehouses and younger institutions. What the Museum needs to do is simply get in on some of that action and engage/support the best of it. It's already happening but there will be several litmus tests this year that will test the all important follow through.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 22, 2006 at 16:37 | Comments (0)


Thursday 01.19.06

Chris Johanson Lecture at PSU Jan 23rd

Chris Johanson is Portland's top living international artist but of course he's here because it is a great place to live and work, especially if you follow your own iconoclastic drumbeat.

He will present his work as part of the PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series
The public is invited and it's free!

Monday, January 23rd, 7:00pm 5th Avenue Cinema Room 92 510 SW Hall St.
(on the corner of SW 5TH & Hall on the PSU Campus)
Sponsored in part by PICA

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 19, 2006 at 22:03 | Comments (3)


Three Galleries/Three Artists, photo essay by Sarah Henderson

Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery features dyanmic subtlety of Icelandic artist, Hildur Bjarnadottir (and her boots)...

Elizabeth Leach Gallery features backlit installations of Hap Tivey on First Thursday...

Backspace features installation creations of James Newell, there is more...

Posted by Sarah Henderson on January 19, 2006 at 11:42 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 01.18.06

Daniel Duford's Sleeping Giant at the Art Gym

Daniel Duford's new work at the Art Gym explores the interaction between architecture and American cultural mythology as represented by comic books in Sleeping Giant.

The flyer published by the Art Gym contains a 2-page spread of a Sleeping Giant comic. This brief narrative seems to be a component of a larger story. It relies on a "nature as cataclysm" theme which parallels Alan Moore's famous Swamp Thing, as well as the pre-heroic Sub- Mariner. Sub-Mariner was the main character of the first Marvel Comic ever published, and his original intention was the oceanic destruction of New York City until the appearance of Adolph Hitler during WWII as an eclipsing super villain in the Marvel Universe caused him to reevaluate his moral position.


Duford's aesthetic is a mixture of the Golem myth and the "big" superhero. "Big" superheroes are incarnations of the id: they have become so physically energized that the power of their aggressive tendencies is nearly uncontrollable, and often supercedes intellect and judgement. These heroes represent an opportunity for writers to grapple with moral and existential dilemmas, and it is often difficult to establish whether or not they are heroes. Of course, it was Alan Moore and Berni Wrightson's Swamp Thing which brought a new level of sophistication to the "Big" hero. In Swamp Thing, the hero's "bigness" became spiritual "vastness." ...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 18, 2006 at 23:36 | Comments (2)


Extreme Ceramics

Nina-Jun-TWomb.jpg Nina Jun

One thing that curator Matilda McQuaid made clear during her lecture at W + K several months ago on her recent exhibition of industrial textile design at Cooper-Hewitt, is that industry is far ahead of art in pushing the material limits of a medium. The newest exhibition at Lewis & Clark College's Hoffman Gallery touches on the use of technology in ceramics, another media whose high-tech industrial applications rarely enter the realm of art. Though one could easily pull together a show of industrial ceramic products analogous to McQuaid's Extreme Textiles, L&C curator Linda Tesner has focused instead on how ceramic artists incorporate technology within their practice. The majority of artists in the show are relatively unknown, but the list includes work by Richard Notkin, whose post-apocalyptic wall tiles can be seen in PAM's new wing. There will also be work by Garth Johnson, who writes a very good crafty culture/design blog and makes work that perverts traditional ceramic ware, using the same high-low clash exploited by 2003 Turner prize winner and transvestite ceramist Grayson Perry.

A quick web search on the other artists leads me to believe that I won't be seeing much influence from the kinds of industrial materials that I find so intriguing and full of potential. Regardless, the exhibition brings up some interesting questions about how technology is advancing even what we consider the most elemental of materials and art practices. In the realm of art, where the notion of progress seems to be merely a Modernist fantasy, it's interesting to consider how technology still carries an aura of progress and advancement.

The New Utilitarian: Examining Our Place on the Motherboard of Ceramics
Opening Reception • Thursday, January 19 • 5 to 7p
Lewis & Clark College Hoffman Gallery• 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road • Tel. 503.768.7687

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 18, 2006 at 11:49 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 01.17.06

a little of this and that

First off, I absolutely agree with the Portland Architecture blog. At 45 million Portland's aerial tram is absolutely worth it. Besides, no public transit project worth a hoot costs 15 million, and this one spurs 1.9 billion in development. Then there is the fact that it allows OHSU (Portland's biggest employer) to expand. Not to mention it is the first really ambitious bit of world class signature architecture the city has attempted since the Freemont bridge. In that context it seems like a good deal. Visually, it gives Portland a symbol of its new progressive on the outside as well as inside image.

Jerry Saltz's brilliant review of Robert Rauschenberg's combines is right on and one of his best bits of writing to date. Although I reject the idea of RR being the American Picasso, he is the artist that exemplified how Americans pragmatically reinvent themselves (at all costs, including risking serious duds).

I logged a lot of time in front of the last combine pictured, Studio Painting, when it was on display at the Portland Art Museum a year or two ago. The way the piece foregrounded the idea of internal studio practices and pointed towards the transmission of the messy results via the image of telephone wires was practically romantic (even down to the pun of the two halves of the painting held in tension by the wall mountings, taut string and counterbalancing weight). In that painting Rauschenberg presents the studio struggle as a manufactured crime scene with a corpse, perpetrator, motive, opportunity and murder weapon he fabricated. Like Joseph Cornell, Rauschenberg always treated collaged elements as a game but unlike Duchamp was willing to play with readymades even if it meant losing. In Studio Painting Rauschenberg has it both ways; he wins then dismisses the outcome by pointing out how it was rigged. Artists love him because nobody purposefully cheated greatness of its patina better while achieving it. Current collage artists like Phoebe Washburn and Sarah Sze seem to be unwilling to cheat against their own system of rules like Rauschenberg.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 17, 2006 at 22:54 | Comments (4)


Monday 01.16.06

2006, highlights for the year ahead in Portland art

Ok 2005 was a ridiculously busy year for the Portland art scene and Im pleased that everyone (that matters) seems to be in the process of continuing to up the ante.

Here are some things in Portland to look forward to for the visual arts in 2006, if you live elsewhere expect to see more Porlanders from Iceland to Chandra Bocci's current show in San Francisco:

Detail of Ovitz's Untitled Mehretu

1) Opening Jan 24th, Reed College's Cooley Gallery is doing a two part show of recent painting, drawing and multi-media work from the Ovitz Family Collection called New Trajectories. It's a young collection featuring work by Richard Prince, Julie Mehretu etc. Michael Ovitz is the agent who facilitated David Letterman's defection from NBC to CBS after "the tasteless" picked Jay Leno to replace Johnnie. He also ran Disney for a while.

What is interesting about the collection is that...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 16, 2006 at 13:39 | Comments (0)


Sunday 01.15.06

Portland Art Museum free on MLK Day

Reminder to families and anyone who has Monday the 16th off. The Portland Art Museum is open free of charge for Martin Luther King Day. Considering the fact that one of the masterpieces of Western European art, The Holbein Madonna is on display... you really should go.

You want more? There is a small but worthy exhibit by dutch masters like Franz Hals that ends soon too. On the contemporary front there is a whole new wing plus Sophie Calle's "Exquisite Pain" which is on display for only one more month as well.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 15, 2006 at 17:42 | Comments (0)


Friday 01.13.06

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)


Tuesday 01.10.06

Brettell Lecture at PAM

Grand Bathers

Dr. Richard R. Brettell - Cèzanne and Beyond
January 15, Sunday, 2:00 pm
Portland Art Museum
PGE Foundation Education Center, Whitsell Auditorium

Yes, some are tired of dead French art in town but Cèzanne is so important and radical he gets an automatic exemption. Plus, Brettell is one of the country's foremost authorities on Impressionism and is Professor of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. His lecture will discuss the beginnings of the Modern movement as seen in the work of Cèzanne and other Impressionists. It is always nice to see an expert bring one of the greats to life. (free to museum members, call 503 226-0973 for tickets) Sponsored by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

*note the Portland Art Museum will be open free of charge on Martin Luther King Day

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 10, 2006 at 22:42 | Comments (0)


Guestroom Opening


This Thursday marks the grand opening of Marilyn Murdoch's new gallery, Guestroom. Marilyn has long been a supporter of the Portland arts community as an art lover, collector and the matron of Katayama framing. On Thursday, she sets sail as a gallerist with an innovative new space. Guestroom is thus named because each month will be guest curated, offering a constantly rotating and evolving collection of artwork from local and national artists, ranging from emerging to established. Housed in the Wonder Ballroom alongside Mark Woolley's space, Guestroom promises a dynamic format for art exhibition. On Thursday, she opens her first show, Selections from Sketchbooks by Ted Katz, followed on Sunday by an artists' chat covering Katz' 50-years of sketching people, animal and places.
Grand Opening • Thursday, January 12 • 6 to 9 p
Artist Talk • Sunday, January 15 • 2 to 4p
Guestroom • 128 NE Russell • Tel. 503.284.8378

Also on Thursday, Local 35 continues their tradition of Second Thursday openings for the Sk8 set with new paintings by Justin Fry. If you've got the arting bug, drop by to see what they're up to. There will likely be a DJ, drinks and a fashionable crowd.
Opening Reception • Thursday, January 12 • 7 to 9p
Local 35 • 3556 SE Hawthorne Blvd • Tel. 503.963.8200

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on January 10, 2006 at 22:16 | Comments (0)


Out on the web

Over at MAN Tyler Green has a great two part interview with Terry Riley, the new Director of the Miami Art Museum. (remember Portland's art museum is looking for a new director) Here is part 1 & part 2. Some of this discussion is very relevant to Portland, Seattle and pretty much any of the other major US cities that are also getting their visual arts act together.

On Artnet, Kay Itoi did a piece on Tokyo, check it out here.

...and well this just cracks me up.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 10, 2006 at 5:34 | Comments (0)


Monday 01.09.06

Anne Daems Lecture at PSU


Belgian artist Anne Daems will speak tonight, marking the first in a series of Monday night lectures presented by PSU's MFA program. Daems work ranges from spare, pseudo-narrative drawings with long, poetic titles (think Ty Ennis) to serial photographs that poignantly reveal the strangeness of mundane social behavior and posturing. A recent series of street photographs shows women wearing fur coats, ring-laden fingers clutching luxury goods shopping bags, reminiscent Jessica Craig-Martin's severely-cropped photographs of the rich and famous.

Monday, January 9 • 7 p
PSU Art Building • 2000 SW 5th Ave Room 200

Posted by Katherine Bovee on January 09, 2006 at 7:15 | Comments (3)


Sunday 01.08.06

First First Thursday Photoblog part 3

Continuing across Burnside into SW, I walked along second street to Augen Gallery. It was approaching 9 and things seemed to be winding down. I arrived at Augen and Froelick just as everything was being put away. Augen gallery has a show in the back of Marcel Dzama! I was excited to see it, but they had already lowered the lights in the next room, so instead I looked at Susan Larsen and Patrick Collentine's "Kolorbar, Present Perfect". These are landscape photographs in which a figure holds a seven foot color bar test pattern in front of their body at the same distance in every frame. The test pattern gives a true CMY RGB color reference for each photograph, which I imagine they work from when developing the pictures. The point seems to be that the photograph on display is as true to the real color of the landscape as can possibly be humanly acheived. The name of the show suggests that the photographers are trying to perfect the present, and see the tools of photography as a means to that end. This seems like a laughably futile idea, like the king in "The Little Prince" who commands the sun to rise every morning, and there is something funny about these grand landscapes with someone holding a test pattern over their head in the middle of them. And how does creating a photograph of something perfect it? Perhaps the title refers to perfecting the photograph. A perfect photograph can be thought of as a perfect record of the present.

Stephen Hawking would argue that a photograph is only a good representation of time when you use Euclidean Space-Time, in which time is one-dimensional, a line, and lines are of course constructed of a series of points. Each point could be represented by a single photograph. The perfect model for the Euclidean concept of time is of course the film, a series of still photographs. But in the Einsteinian model, which we now accept as the truth, time is simply one function of larger, inter-related phenomena. In Einstein, space, motion, gravity, mass, energy, and time are all interchangeable, all relative. So Stephen Hawking constructs a model of time as a "light cone" a set of possibilites which can be redirected as any of these factors change.


Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 08, 2006 at 8:15 | Comments (19)


Friday 01.06.06

First First Thursday Photoblog part 2

Ok, I'm going to finish my photoblog with this post, and I hope you'll forgive it being silly and jittery. Also, I really like people leaving comments and filling in the gaps in my coverage and or thinking so please continue to do that. Hopefully this will give you an overview of the experience even if it doesn't provide a thorough analysis.

So, this is PDX Contemporary. The new show is by Victoria Haven, entitled "The Lucky Ones". I only got a few images here because the delicacy of the work made it difficult to photograph. In essence, It appears to be intricate, architectural structures drawn or painted on paper. Mostly the ink or paint seemed close in color and value to the paper itself, and while this made it almost impossible to photograph, it made the images seem to float on the page. The work is simple and ephemeral, and communicates the primary rudiments of space without mimesis. When comparing it with Cynthia Lahti (the last show at PDX) it seems a curatorial arc is emerging having to do with delicate, spare drawings on fragile paper...or art as ephemera



Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 06, 2006 at 13:58 | Comments (0)


First Friday

A raucous First Thursday is followed by some good shows in the Central Eastside Industrial District.

The CEID arts district is making some bold expansions with a new gallery opening this month on Division. 12X16 Gallery celebrates their grand opening tonight, unveiling their new space on Division. The inaugural show includes a smattering of collage, photography, mixed media and painting from Cary W. Doucette, Luke Dolkas, C.W. Doucette, Maureen Herndon, Israel Hughes, Eunice Parsons, Lee Ann Slawson, and Edward Story.
Grand Opening • Friday, January 6, 6 to 9 p & Sunday, January 8, noon to 6p
12X16 gallery • 1216 SE Division • Tel. 503.239.4766

For the last 3 years Newspace has been offering great photographic exhibitions, studio space and instruction thanks to volunteers who work in trade for darkroom time. Tonight they showcase the artistic skills of this upstanding crew with a Volunteer Group Show including the belevalent and talented Faulkner Short, Ran Ben, Laura Valenti, Joshua Dommermuth, Phillip Goetzinger, Sika Stanton, Valerie Dolan, Ben Wizansky and Lyla Emery Reno. Artists will be in attendance for the reception.
Opening Reception • Friday January 6th • 7 to 11p
Newspace Center for Photography • 1632 SE 10th Ave • Tel. 503.963.1935

Small A Projects opens a solo exhibition from Michael Bise, Joey and Melissa. "Bise makes narrative drawings that depict an uncanny, yet stereotypical suburbia and a fetishistic attachment to the objects, textures and patterns of that mundane setting." These graphite on paper drawings dramatize the relationship of three characters with an aesthetic that seems to have jumped right off the kraft paper book cover of a high school math book. The artist will be present for the opening and giving a gallery talk during the reception.
Opening Reception • Friday, January 6 • 6 to 9 p
Artist’s Talk • 8 pm
Small A Projects • 1430 SE Third Ave • Tel 503.234.7993

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on January 06, 2006 at 11:10 | Comments (0)


Thursday 01.05.06

Heeeeyyy Yoooouuuuu Guuuuuys!

Seriously, where is everybody? Wow, this was one of the slowest first Thursdays ever! Where are you, fleet footed denizens of the art world? Has your formerly relentless desire for visual culture finally been satiated? Are you sitting at home writing thank you cards? Its really warm out tonight! Luckily you have your little Isaac to do an extensive photoblog for you...



Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 05, 2006 at 23:45 | Comments (6)


Everett Station Lofts


The Everett Station Lofts are sometimes great, sometimes terrible but always interesting artist run live work spaces in the thick of a lot of art action between Oldtown and The Pearl District.. I noticed about 4 of the best gallery spaces in this 15 unit complex are going to be changing hands. Here is a link for contacting the powers that be.

The ESL's provide an excellent opportunity for the young and ambitious to try and run their own gallery. I can guarantee you'll get noticed here if you are serious. The best galleries from the past have launched some sucessful careers, they were galleries with names like Fleck, Nil, Field and Sound Vision, are you next? Yes, I can also guarantee you will get ignored if its merely ok or some pure hipster hangout who covers up the best painting or C-print in the show with the DJ on First Thursday.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 05, 2006 at 21:50 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 01.04.06

First First Thursday of '06

VH-FoldedRange-14 Victoria Haven @ PDX

Well, as a New Year's treat, I have the First Thursday listing up ahead of time (who-hoo!) and have included every single opening I received a press release for. Usually, I comb through the announcements folders and pick some favs but this month, I'm pulling out all the stops. There's lots going on so you've got no excuse to sit at home. And don't forget to save room for First Friday!

Read on for complete listings...

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on January 04, 2006 at 1:27 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 01.03.06

Jan 6th deadline for Oregon Biennial

Reminder deadline for the much anticipated Oregon Biennial, curated by Portland's newest curator Jennifer Gately, is January 6th. Here is the 2006 Oregon Biennial prospectus link, use it wisely.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 03, 2006 at 5:43 | Comments (0)


Monday 01.02.06

Looking to 2006 and looking back at 2005 in Portland art

So what does 2006 hold for Portland Art? For Bruce Guenther Chief Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art (Portland Art Museum), "2006 will be a year for building the collection and the endowments... so the resolution is to 'buy more art'"

Artist With The Biggest Year in 2005: Matthew Picton. He sold well in LA and San Francisco but sold only one piece in his February 2005 show in Portland. Later, he was added to the new De Young museum's collection. Other projects are in the works. With great reviews from the LA Times' Christopher Knight and most everyone else he is Oregon's hottest artist.

Big Year Honorable Mention...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 02, 2006 at 21:06 | Comments (0)

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