Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Dancers (1909) woodcut
(c) by Ingeborg & Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern.
Not only has the Portland
snuck in a minor redesign of their website's front page (the
old one was just terrible and so so creme brulee) they are open free of charge
, thanks to the generous support of the Lamb Baldwin
Foundation and the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund. Hours 10 AM - 8:00 PM
I particularly like roaming the museum at night and you run into a lot of interesting
people during those hours. For me nothing is better than taking
in a good Anne Truitt, a Dan Flavin and the only Schnabel I have ever liked
before a movie at the NW film center or Fox Theater (disclosure I am a board
member of the Museum's Contemporary Art Council).
Definitely check out shows like Roxy
. It's a brilliant work from a few years ago that complicates notions
of artistic production, authorship and notions of control vs. serendipity. Basically
the artist built a machine which makes paintings according to the algorithms
he programed into it. It's a very theatrical even funny process when running (like those plastic animal mold machines at zoos) and very
stark and minimalist when it isn't.
Also check out what I consider to be the single best show I've ever seen at
the Museum, From
Anxiety to Ecstasy: Themes in German Expressionist Prints
at the Gilkey
Center. Now prints are often considered second tier to paintings for a reason
but German expressionist prints are in a class all their own. The German Expressionists
often used medieval woodblock printing and stark imagery to address the existential
condition before anyone had even named it existentialism yet. Using the medieval
to address the industrialized world has never been so successful done. It's
still very edgy by today's standards and their social commentary really holds
up with a beguiling mix of ugliness, exoticism, death and frustration. Just
check out the names; George Grosz, Edvard Munch, Otto Meuller, Franz Marc, Max
Pechstein, Erich Heckel and the best of the bunch, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Note,
if you are a serious graphic designer you really shouldn't miss this.
This show was culled mostly from the permanent collection and PAM has unexpected
strength here due to the late Gordon Gilkey's role in recovering stolen art in
post WWII Germany.