The hotly discussed and highly anticipated results are in. However, the Biennial exhibition opens in late July so you'll have to wait to see the goods. Congratulations to the selected artists!
Brad Adkins (Portland)
Marcy Adzich (Eugene)
Holly Andres (Portland)
Pat Boas (Beaverton)
Chandra Bocci (Portland)
Michael Brophy (Portland)
Benjamin Buswell (Portland)
Grace Carter and Holly Andres (Portland)
Matt Clark (Portland)
David Eckard (Portland)
Andrew Ellmaker and Mark Brandau (Portland)
Ty Ennis (Portland)
Anna Fidler (Portland)
Emily Ginsburg (Portland)
Heidi Preuss Grew (Salem)
Jesse Hayward (Portland)
Mark Hooper (Portland)
Jo Jackson (Portland)
Kristan Kennedy (Portland)
Zack Kircher (Portland)
K.C. Madsen (Portland)
Federico Nessi (Portland)
Lucinda Parker (Portland)
Matthew Picton (Ashland)
Brittany Powell (Portland)
Shawn Records (Portland)
Vanessa Renwick (Portland)
David Rosenak (Portland)
Storm Tharp (Portland)
Mariana Tres (Portland)
Laura Vandenburgh (Springfield)
Bill Will (Portland)
Amanda Wojick (Eugene)
According to the exhibition curator, Jennifer Gately, "This year's Biennial
is dynamically different from past exhibitions with its range of mediums and
intentions. It includes artists that represent a strong respect for history,
and hints at shades of the future. As with any biennial, it presents an opportunity
to explore, debate, and reflect upon the current state of visual art in Oregon." Let the discussions begin...
Definitely a bit of a catch up for the museum with a few surprises and a few things that just sorta had to be there for local politics sake. This is definitely a very democratic representation, all of the various cliques are here, but with so many artists it will take a good hang to not look like a swap meet. There are a lot of academic artists on the list too.
As far as history and more cutting edge issues the inclusion of Bocci, Madsen and Hayward definitely gives a nod to short lived and out of the way Haze Gallery, which to this day can claim the most engadging exhibition program in the city.... no other monthly programmed space has come close.
Also, there are nods to Core Sample and a litany of other important shows I dont have to mention. Picton, Bocci and Eckard were the deal breakers in my mind (and for many others too). At least one of thoses three needed to be given some credit for what they have done. The inclusion of all three might make this show seem a tad inevitable (along with Adkins, Brophy and Parker) but these biennials aren't so much as a way to define the scene (that's already taken place). Instead, biennials present new work to a lay audience. Most of the artists listed are not the most accomplished artists around here but their rapidly developing bodies of work will give this show a key sense of discovery and growth. Still enough of them are at the top of their games and should produce the requisite weight. The inclusion of Wojick reminds every one that the last biennial had some high points.
I like that it takes chances with Ty Ennis, Matt Clark and Brittany Powell who is a recent CCA grad (a few of them in this show).
Tres, Ginsberg and Boas have all been doing great work for years and getting critical attention for it... but this is a great and very deserved thing for all three. Tres is extremely bright and Boas's mutant drawings deserved this nod... it's a pitty so few saw her Syvania campus show.
Also, Zach Kircher is the best figurative painter in th Northwest and I'm soooo pleased with that one, been crossing myfingers for weeks on his inclusion.
All that said the hang will absolutely make or break the experience. Museums get no breaks in this department and I learned long ago that the overall feel of a group show is largely determined how the physical arrangement of the space. Aesthetically, not very many of these artists except Picton and Adkins make pretty work... those two both engage and complexify minimalism, a big trend in Portland art. Hayward's earlier work did so as well but he's more grotesque like a lot of the artists in the show now. Also, I wonder if the photography will be strong enough or just look like an obligatory nod without any show stoppers?
The show has good ingredients, let's see how the souffle turns out.