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: Damali Ayo
(had a hot year nationally from museums, books and websites), Ellen George
(shows from Texas to Washington and was hot at Miami's Aqua Fair), Matt McCormick
(included in a prestigious young Americans show curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Daniel Birnbaum), Sean Healy
(has lots of things cooking in Houston), Red
Shoe Delivery Service
did great in Melbourne and Nottingham England of all places, Laura Fritz
who recieved devastatingly good reviews in Seattle
, Michael Knutson with an Art in America review, Jacqueline Ehlis
(lots of media attention and sales), Marie Watt
(received the Betty Bowen award), Bruce Conkle
had successful shows in Boston and Seattle (Iceland in 2006 and in 2007 it is Brazil), Michael Brophy
(numerous museum shows and an Art Forum review) and lastly Tom Cramer
who remains at the top as Portland's artist laureate by selling ridiculously well while garnering a review in Art News. Of course Harrell Fletcher
and Chris Johanson
continued their success too. Picks for Best Solo Show of 2005: Ehlis at Savage
My pick for best Portland solo show: Jacqueline
Ehlis, Vigor at Savage Art Resources
, I consider it a thorough and superbly
executed show of photography, paint slabs, stainless steel, airbrush and even
some traditional stretched canvas works. Somehow it all worked together in a
rigorous challenging way that felt like a Dia show instead of a gallery show.
picked Ehlis and Cramer
in a tie but Cramer's show was a bit more predictably
excellent. Ehlis' show was full of unexpected twists and most all of it worked. Note
Cramer and Ehlis are the two best selling artists in the city under the age of 50 so lots of people are palpably jealous of them.
Our readers included Ehlis and Cramer frequently as well. There were votes
for Matthew Picton, Jaq Chartier, Pat Boaz, Zach Kircher, Charles Goldman, James
Lavadour, Mel Katz, Doug Morris, TJ
, Port's own Katherine Bovee & Philippe Blanc, Ellen George, Roy
Lichtenstein at PAM , Randy Moe and even Joe
Macca's riotous show at NAAU
.Most Ubiquitous Artist: Justin
From Powell's to cafés around
the city you couldn't miss him. He doesn't let us miss him, which means he might
start getting taken for granted. Art ala Scrappers
Most interesting development:
in November Chandra
was commissioned by Bonnie Serkin to create an installation in their
home. Nearly every dealer, critic, artist and collector in town thinks Bocci is ultra talented but she has received little support. The fact that a collector didn't
wait for the more conservative gallery system should be telling people something. Bocci was in Zing Magazine in November too.
Young artist most admired by older stars:
Jesse Hayward. This CCAC MFA grad's
fan club includes Sean Healy, Tom Cramer and Bruce Conkle. All agree
only the non artists knew how much good new work this guy had (besides one piece
at my Fresh Trouble show nobody's seen it).
Best New Discovery: Jesse
our readers apparently agree with me on this. His debut at
the CEID show then triumph in the
absolutely put him on the map. Some of our readers felt it was
Daniel Kaven, he is certainly one to watch.
Best Photography show:
Diane Arbus Family Albums at the Portland Art Museum
like anybody else had a chance! Actually, Justine Kurland's show for PICA could have been a contender had they cared enough to put the show in a dedicated exhibition space instead of a highly inappropriate corporate lobby.
Worst Show Title:
"Natura Naturans" a.k.a. pretentious pretences (three other readers came to the same conclusion independently). Personally, I don't care if it's a latin phrase or not, it is pretentious in a bad way.
I'd link to it but very little on the web references the show. It's like everyone
wants to forget it happened.
Most Improved Gallery: Pulliam
. Since the move away from the awful carpeted space their shows
not only look better but are more ambitious; from the School of Becher to Anna
. One of our readers (a collector) felt it was Mark Woolley.
Most improved artist(s): Katherine
Bovee & Philippe Blanc. Their show at the PCC Northview gallery
so nicely executed and sustained. Runner ups: TJ
(his bottles and tape are good but a bit overexposed, can't wait
to see if he gets good enough to pull off a sustained show
art was very hit or miss and he needs to be more careful now). Our readers agreed with my 3 picks giving each an equal # of votes.