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

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

Sunday 01.22.06

« Chris Johanson Lecture at PSU Jan 23rd | Main | Report from France (Part I) »

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)


Comments

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