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Around the Web: PAM Directorship, Hilda Morris and Judd Auction
Tokyo Flow
Allison Edge at Motel
PDX Film Festival Begins Tonight
Crewdson Lecture Tonight
Kate Fowle Lecture at PSU
Friday Night in NE
2 quick and dirty reviews
Multiplicity (NCECA Roundup Part III)
Artist Ops Galore
To Dada or not to Dada, that is not the question?
Bill Daniel at PSU

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Sunday 04.30.06

Around the Web: PAM Directorship, Hilda Morris and Judd Auction

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Donald Judd (1928-1994) Untitled, 1989 from Christies upcoming auction

Things have been busy in Portland and we've been behind on pointing to other publication's good efforts, here are a couple of important things to check out if you havn't already:

Although we give him hell about some arty but intellectually relevant concerns that his editors might not allow him to address, D.K. Row had a little bit on the progress the Portland Art Museum is making on a new director in the Oregonian's A&E. Nothing conclusive here but he reports PAM seems to be getting closer with the potential for an announcement in July. I'd urge caution on anything that early as museum directors are in very short supply and anyone shortlisted will probably be on other museum's radar's too. The advantage we have though is PAM has its building campaign done and a bigger endowment than the Guggenheim. Factor in that the museum is in a rapidly changing and truly unique city as well and it looks pretty good. Also, Portland very attractive these days as a whole new boatload of former New Yorkers (young and old) seemed to have just moved here in the last 6 months. It's an art city in the works.

Still, Portland requires certain traits to get anything done. For starters the job requires the right combination of relentless energy, stronger art savvy than we have been accustomed to in that position recently... as well as an understanding that Portland is in a magic moment of emerging cultural sophistication whose expression is ultimately highly influenced by its cultural leaders. The city deserves the right leader for its premier cultural organization. The museum's next director actually will help shape Portland's identity, for better or worse. I will add that the search committees did listen to a lot of voices before they even decided which headhunters to use, which bodes well as long as they see a need for more balance in the museum's programming. This means major contemporary retrospectives like Rauschenberg, Tuttle or even Andrea Zittel need to come here. Donald Judd would be a dream come true in a city with so many design firms.

Hopefully, the eventual appointment of a cultural leader (maybe without glaring weaknesses this time) will have a ripple effect on other organization? In the same article D.K. also reports a smidge on PICA's visual arts segment of TBA, including their announcement of artist Matthew Day Jackson. He's a super nice guy from the Pacific Northwest whom I met at Greater New York in 2005 (I have more reservations about his work though... is he just milking the Brooklyn fetish of the woods, puns and barbarians?). He was also part of the latest and altogether stillborn Whitney Biennial. Still, on his home turf I suspect he will go beyond just incorporating trees and Viking motifs, this isn't New York and using such materials in the Pacific Northwest asks that the ante be upped, he knows the trees are bigger here and we see em all the time.

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Hilda Morris, Sea Drum, 1962-64.
Cement and pigment over metal. Private collection.

Also D.K. Row's editor, Barry Johnson, reported on the Hilda Morris retrospective in today's Oregonian. It's a lively, Jed Perl-esque jaunt about Hilda Morris and adds all sorts of human interest tidbits that one often finds in newspapers. One important note though, Morris was an abstract expressionist sculptor, and there are very few of them that were of any note. Hilda Morris might not be David Smith but she's better than most of the others and instead of constantly pairing her with her husband (who's a fine artist but not of Hilda's caliber... the words whispered by most everyone at the opening) let's make certain we get to see her alongside Clyfford Still and Rothko like we do at PAM's Jubitz center in more national shows. Her work can be found all over the East Coast too (her career wasn't just Portland and Seattle).

Also, in case you've been under a rock you know there is a Donald Judd retro-er-um-auction-exihibition going on in New York till May 9th and The New York Times and the VVoice are catching up to Tyler Green's reporting here; 1, 2, 3 , 4. Look, Donald Judd is the most important artist to emerge after Warhol because in many ways he proved that overwhelming integrity and massive ambition could still yield results in a mitigated age of co-opted options and sampled meta culture (which is great too but it isn't everything). We need that kind of kutzpah today and no Matthew Barney does not even come close.

Conveniently, Sarah Meigs (whose collection continues to impress me, not just for "the names" but in terms of quality) has a really great red Judd box (1962) on loan at PAM next to her Agnes Martin... it's much better than the Carl Andre in this context and to be fair it out classes everything nearby in the room, including the Martin. Note some galleries in the Jubitz Center at PAM will be closed May 1-5th for repairs due to all the traffic. The center reopens May 6th but the 1st floor will remain closed through the 19th (the elevator will allow access to floors 2-4 which includes Roxy Paine's PMU and the killer Judd on display.)

Oh yeah and Ultra asked somebody some questions.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 30, 2006 at 21:37 | Comments (4)

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Thursday 04.27.06

Tokyo Flow

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Just over a year after W+K's John Jay and design giant Teruo Kurosaki held a public discussion about the state of Portland's creative culture and the need for more exchange between Tokyo and Portland, the dialog continues. Both Kurosaki and Jay are back, this time as part of a day-long symposium that also includes other notable guests like young designer Oki Sato and MoMA's Curator of Architecture and Design, Paola Antonelli. The theme is given as Tokyo Flow and the symposium not only contributes to the flow of dialog between Tokyo and Portland, but also takes a look at the ways in which Japanese populated culture has permeated the design world. Sessions include a discussion about otaku culture, a presentation by Sato and a panel on design strategies for the Japanese market. The evening discussion, moderated by Antonelli, takes an in-depth look at the exhibition on view in the Feldman, a collection of small objects from Tokyo collected by a group of "suitcase curators" that include Kurosaki and Sato.

The revolution segues into a party on Saturday with PNCA's annual gala and afterparty, "Za Kurabu," featuring Tokyo breakbeat duo Hifana of the Wieden + Kennedy TokyoLab music label.

Read on for a full symposium schedule.

Tokyo Design Revolution II: Tokyo Flow • Friday, April 28 • 10:30am • 9:30pm
Free and open to the public
Pacific Northwest College of Art • 1241 NW Johnson

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 27, 2006 at 7:43 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 04.26.06

Allison Edge at Motel

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Little Lost One

On paper I should really dislike this show of cute things called "You're the One for Me" but it's so wholeheartedly wrong and thoroughly obsessed with things I marginally understand that it became challenging and therefore worth exploring some.

Edge is essentially a crush artist and she loves cute boys and kittens. The subject matter is innocuous enough but Edge's impressive no-nonsense execution and careful color choices are coupled with her studied obsession with cuteness, all made palatable by Takashi Murakmi's importation of kawaii or cute culture into contemporary art. If you are into cute boys and kittens then this is heaven. The kittens in particular make me very uneasy and they have a strong recent history in contemporary art if you consider Fischli and Weiss or Bruce Nauman's cat in the studio. The difference here is instead of being disarming these are images of obsession and designed to provoke a specific fetished reaction rather than an open ended opportunity for confusion,(read more)...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 26, 2006 at 23:57

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PDX Film Festival Begins Tonight

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Detail of still from Old Joy, which opens tonight

The Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival (PDX Film Fest for short) begins today and runs through April 30, 2006 at the Guild Theatre.

Presented by Peripheral Produce and the NW Film Center, the festival will showcase provocative, artistic, and firmly uncompromising films from around the globe. The festival is an offshoot of Peripheral Produce, a video distribution label and screening series started by Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick. 2006 is the 10-year birthday of Peripheral Produce, and since it’s inception in 1996, Peripheral Produce has grown from a small, DIY project into an internationally respected venue and outlet for contemporary experimental cinema.

festival highlights include:

Old Joy: Portland Premiere with filmmakers in attendance tonight at 7:30. Shot in the Portland area and fresh from its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, the PDX Film Fest is proud to host the Portland Premiere of the new feature film Old Joy. Directed by Kelly Reichardt, the film stars musician Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy), was co-produced by PortlanderTodd Haynes (dir. Far From Heaven) and based on a novel by Portland author Jon Raymond. Those in the art scene have seen this project progress from a collaborative book project between Justine Kurland's photography and Jon Raymond's prose. I felt that the visuals overwhelmed the narrative in that initial collaboration but I suspect the re-writes and the filmaker's savvy brings this one around.


(read more)for complete info and schedule...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 26, 2006 at 5:50 | Comments (0)

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Monday 04.24.06

Crewdson Lecture Tonight

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Gregory Crewdson, Untitled (Summer Rain), Summer, 2004, Digital C-print, 64.25 x 94.25 in. Edition 5 of 6.
Image courtesy of the artist and the Ovitz Family Collection, Los Angeles


Don't miss the highly influential photographer Gregory Crewdson, who will be giving a lecture tonight @ Reed College's Vollum lecture hall, 7:00pm. Yes it is free so get there 25 minutes early for a good seat. Although I prefer his former student Justine Kurland, he is important-ish if you consider him as a part of a late 90's staging trend along with Matthew Barney's constructed cinematic stillness and Thomas Demand's equally staged/constructed photos.

Crewdson's talk occurs in conjunction with the exhibition New Trajectories II: expansions, recent photography from the Ovitz Family Collection, at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, April 11–June 11, 2006

I reviewed Part I here and I promise to cover Part II in the coming weeks. Till then here is John Motley's review in the Merc and D.K. Row's interview in the O. Also, the Cooley Gallery will be open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. the day of the lecture, so see it already!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 24, 2006 at 21:08 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 04.23.06

Kate Fowle Lecture at PSU

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Kate Fowle, current chair and one of the founders of CCA's four year old Curatorial Practice program, will be the next PSU Monday night lecture series guest. Fowle has worked as an independent curator on shows including 17 Reasons, co-curated by Jack Hanley in his San Francisco gallery in 2003. Trained in the UK, Fowle continues working between San Francisco and England through her London-based curatorial partnership, smith + fowle, co-founded in 1998 with Deborah Smith. Their collaborative projects include the recently published book To Be Continued>Contemporary Art Practice in Public Places and Shelf Life, an exhibition of thirteen artists at Gasworks in London (among the list was Will Rogan, who recently had a solo show at Small A Projects).

Monday, April 24 • 7 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema • 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Sponsored in part by PICA, PNCA, and Reed College

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 23, 2006 at 9:44 | Comments (0)

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Friday 04.21.06

Friday Night in NE

Tonight Guestroom Gallery opens Compound Concoction curated by Katsu of Just Be. Featuring a grip of young Japanese artists and a couple Americans, this show seems to be the Dig Me Out show at Compound last fall redux, perhaps with some new surprises. I'm interested to see what ZanPon's got up his sleeve this time around. While you're over there, be sure to check out Dan Ness' solo show at Woolley at Wonder.
Opening Reception • Friday, April 21 • 6 to 9
Guestroom Gallery • 128 NE Russell (Under the Wonder Ballroom) • Tel. 503.284.8378

*ADDITION Artist talk tonight at Tilt. Portland artist Brenda Mallory discusses the work in her current exhibition "Offcuts". "Working with the base form of an elongated oval, Mallory invents and reinvents structures through the use of various methods including stitching, burning, and cutting."
Friday April 21 7:30pm • Free
Tilt Gallery and Project Space • 625 NW Everett • Tel. 908.616.5477

Mark your calendars: May 6 is p:ear's 4th anniversary celebration and benefit, p:earblossoms. This annual benefit features food, wine, dance and an auction. p:ear is an awesome non-profit that builds positive relationships with homeless and transitional youth through education, art and recreation to affirm personal worth and create more meaningful and healthy lives.
Saturday May 6, 2006 • Wieden + Kennedy Atrium • 6 to 9pm
$75 per person or $130 for 2
More info at pearmentor.org or call 503.228.6677

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on April 21, 2006 at 13:05 | Comments (0)

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2 quick and dirty reviews

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Paige Saez's Art Forum (left), Scott Harrison (right)

2 reviews.... (read on)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 21, 2006 at 0:10 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 04.19.06

Multiplicity (NCECA Roundup Part III)

kay_hwang_multiplicity.jpg Kay Hwang

Multiplicity could have easily gotten lost in the predictability of its format—a group show defined by a single word that serves as both title and theme, with an expansive topic that gives the curator the ability to usher in everyone from the artist du jour to heavy hitting art stars. These types of exhibitions often seem hinged on a "curatorial-lite" formula that has proliferated in tandem with the crop of curatorial studies programs that have sprouted up over the past decade. Weakening the relationship between curatorial practice and academia, such exhibitions easily fall into curatorial sloppiness. When done well, however, they can provide a dynamic alternative to strictly historic or academically-grounded exhibitions. Curators Kate Bonansinga and Vincent Burke were able to reign in the exhibition at the Portland Art Center through careful selection and adept installation, turning out one of the best offerings of NCECA's ceramic-oriented exhibitions...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 19, 2006 at 15:39 | Comments (1)

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Tuesday 04.18.06

Artist Ops Galore

Whoa... lots of Calls for Artists.

Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery’s second annual showcase, The Game Show, is open to all artists working in a craft media or using traditional craft techniques. Mixed-media works and non-traditional materials are welcome. All works must be original, hand-made, available for sale, produced within the last two years, and not previously exhibited at CCMG. A $500 best of show prize will be awarded. Woo-hoo!
All applications must be postmarked by August 15th, 2006.
Click here to download the application.

The Game Show @ Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery
3934 SW Corbett Avenue • Portland, OR 97239

Newspace Center for Photography invites you to participate in their 2nd Annual National Juried Exhibition Competition. Selected photographers will exhibit at the Center in July and August of 2006. First, second, and third prize winners will be awarded $250, $150 & $100, a 3 person show in 2007 and selected gifts from Newspace sponsors. The competition is open to all photographic processes and themes but should have been created in the last 2 years. International entries are accepted. The exhibition will be judged by Christopher Rauschenberg and Jennifer L. Stoots.
All entries must be received by May 15th, 2006.
For information and entry form, click here.
2nd Annual National Juried Exhibition Competition @ Newspace
1632 SE 10th Ave. • Portland, OR 97214

Sedition Magazine in association with the Mark Woolley Gallery presents Alien and Sedition. The "Alien" show hangs at the Pearl gallery location and the Sedition show will reside at the Wonder Ballroom location. Co-curators Mark Woolley, Stephan Alexander, and Douglas Posey offer a collection of art as social commentary. Artists working in all visual media are invited to submit work. The themes are: Alien- Belonging to, Characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange; Sedition- Any action or language that brings about rebelion against the authority of the state or the status quo. Submissions Should relate to "Alien", "Sedition" or "Alien and Sedition Acts" in a literal, abstract or conceptual manner.
Deadline is April 25, 2006.
Click here for complete info.
Alien & Sedition @ Mark Woolley Gallery
120 NW 9th, Suite 210 • Portland, OR 97209
128 NE Russell • Portland, OR 97218

The Influence of Motorcycles on Contemporary Art is explored this August at the Mark Woolley Gallery, Guestroom Gallery and The Wonder Ballroom, guest curated by Rachel Sanders.
Deadline is May 31st, 2006.
Click here for complete info.
Influence of Motorcycles @ the Wonder Ballroom
128 NE Russell • Portland, OR 97218

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on April 18, 2006 at 15:19 | Comments (1)

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To Dada or not to Dada, that is not the question?

Everyone should read Tyler Green's absolutely spot on post on Dada from yesterday. I'm glad somebody else gets pissed off that anything nonsensical is automatically justified as a descedent of Dada, despite the fact that it was a reaction to W.W.I. Plus this aspect of Dada has plenty of resonance today, we've still got wars and some artists and collectives are rebelling against bourgeois agendas.

The historical facts are it was an artistic reaction to perceived "bourgeois agendas" that many saw as the enablers of that incredibly bloody war. People actually thought it was going to be glorious (we've never heard that before eh?). Artist weren't immune to it either and great artists like Franz Marc and August Macke both died early on in the war.

No, Dada wasn't an excuse to party and it was subversive precisely because artists found the social contract between the individual and their so called civilization could no longer be trusted as mechanized warfare essentially became a factory of human attrition and misery. Ever wonder why there is so much machinery in Dada? There's your answer, modern warfare (not that the non modern kind was better). If you really want to get a little more familiarity with that war and its effect on artists psyches' get yourself a copy of The Lost Voices of World War I: An International Anthology of Writers, Poets and Playwrights by Tim Cross.

*Update here are five Portland artists and collectives who have some legitimate ties to Dada:

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David Eckard & Podium at the Affair @ the Jupiter Hotel Art Fair 2004

David Eckard, whose kinky mechanical contraptions just keep getting... (read more)...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 18, 2006 at 0:49 | Comments (5)

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Sunday 04.16.06

Bill Daniel at PSU

bill_daniel_texino1.jpg On location during the filming of Who is Bozo Texino?

This Monday's guest lecturer at PSU is resident Portlander and filmmaker Bill Daniel. Daniel cut his teeth documenting the Austin punk scene in the 80s and has been working for over two decades documenting outsiders and subcultures. His work includes "Tresspassing Sign," made in collaboration with the late Margaret Kilgallen, and "The Girl on the Train in the Moon," a "hobo campfire installation" that was part of 2001's Widely Unknown show at Deitch Projects. Last year, Daniel debuted his feature length documentary on the history of hobo graffiti, Who is Bozo Texino?

Monday, April 17 • 7 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema • 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Sponsored in part by PICA, PNCA, and Reed College

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 16, 2006 at 9:26 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 04.15.06

In the future everybody will be famous for 30 minute parking

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I love these telephone pole interventions... a couple of years ago this same pole was covered in odd bits of fake fur. This one just grins and grins and grins...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 15, 2006 at 14:11 | Comments (1)

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Friday 04.14.06

Fresh

Let us write our own words! Let us speak with our own voices! Let us have the courage to express and defend our own opinions with something more savory than blurbs and puns.

I say down with the Salon! Down with the Emperor! Down with the voice of Portland art now! Down with pats on the head! Down with "Affirmation, Permission and Dissemblance!" Down with the commercial success of a gallery held as more important than the art it contains!

Long Live the Revolution! Long Live an art scene that is actually about art! (read more....)

Posted by Isaac Peterson on April 14, 2006 at 1:06 | Comments (9)

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Thursday 04.13.06

Grass Hut Opening

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Bwana Spoons stands as one of Portland's most prolific, energetic, multi-talented, community-minded and warm hearted young artists. He has had his fingers in zines, comics, illustration, painting, sculpture, toy-design, curation, storyboarding and I'm sure much more. Now he can add entreprenuer to the list as he's taken the reins and opened his very own shop to showcase his artwork, products and other items by people he loves. Nestled inside Renowned among the conglomerate of creative businesses at 8th and Burnside, the Grass Hut Shop opens tonight with some sweets and treats including rootbeer, a t-shirt release and a contest with prizes!
Grass Hut Shop @ Renowned
Grand Opening • Thursday, April 13, 5 to 8p
811 East Burnside, Portland Oregon 97214
Normal Hours • Wednesday thru Saturday 12-7pm

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on April 13, 2006 at 11:19 | Comments (1)

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Guggen-time

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Yoko Inoue at Contemporary Crafts this last March

Three of the recently announced Guggenheim fellowships have Portland ties. Of course the fantastic Roxy Paine has his PMU exhibit/production facility on view at PAM right now. Then there is Yoko Inoue, who recently completed an 11 day installation residency in Contemporary Crafts' largish window in March. Lastly, Lynne Tillman penned an essay for Core Sample way back in 2003. I was lucky enough to have dinner with both Inoue and Paine within 2 weeks time... two really nice, deserving people whose similar work ethic has paid off repeatedly. Congratulations!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 13, 2006 at 0:05 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 04.11.06

New Trajectories II Opens

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Today the Cooley Gallery opens the second installment from the Ovitz Family Collection. The first was an impressive overview of some exciting contemporaries. New Trajectories II: Expansions features recent photography by Gregory Crewdson and Candida Hofer. Exploring the construction, narrative properties, and imaginary qualities of built environments, the exhibition contains seven large-scale works. From the press release:

"Crewdson, who cites Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind as one of his most seminal influences, asserts, 'All photographs are unresolved. Unlike other narrative forms, a photo is mute and frozen in time. There is no before and no after. The events remain a mystery.' Of Close Encounters, he notes: 'I hope I achieve a similar tension between wonder and dread in my work.' While Crewdson produces elaborate, Hollywood-scale staged environments that are captured in individual images, Hofer isolates aspects of existing environments, exposing their enigmatic qualities. In both photographers’ work, an inexplicable stillness prevails."

Hofer was seen with the rest of the Becher school at Pulliam Deffenbaugh when then opened their new space last fall. Her large scale still lifes are mesmerizing for their balance, sometimes symmetry and unencumbered documentation of architecture and interiors.

There is no opening reception tonight, but later in the month Crewdson will give a public lecture at Reed and join in a Ripe family supper.

New Trajectories II: Expansions • Through June 11
Gallery Hours • Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5pm
The Cooley Gallery at Reed College (inside the Library)
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd • Tel. 503.777.7790


Image: Gregory Crewdson, Untitled (North by Northwest), Summer, 2004, Digital C-print. Image courtesy of the artist and the Ovitz Family Collection, Los Angeles

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on April 11, 2006 at 10:44 | Comments (0)

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Around the web but mostly in the backyard

There has been a lot of good local art coverage recently, and a dud that requires a slight rejoinder.

In the Mercury John Motley penned a nice review of the excellent: From Anxiety to Ecstasy: Themes in German Expressionist Prints show at PAM. This is probably the single strongest show Ive ever seen at the museum (runner ups are the Diane Arbus show last year or the Let's Entertain spectacle back in 2000).

Also, the Oregonian's DK Row interviewed Gregory Crewdson about his show at Reed's Cooley Gallery which opens tonight. Crewdson is kinda like Hans Hoffmann, more influential for his effects upon students like Justine Kurland who have surpassed him by being less contrived (Hollywood does that better).

Ok so it wasn't all good, yesterday's Fresh review in the O by DK "Death" Row had all sorts of intellectual holes. True, I agree with David that the show is underwhelming but it shouldn't be critiqued for lack of craft or youth vapidity (vapidity knows no age), much less the ability to draw the human figure. This is especially true since Fresh isn't a show of figurative draughtsmen, it's like critiquing his review for being a poorly executed tax return!

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Bocci on the back wall of Fresh


Also, his charge that Chandra Bocci is just "saccharine" misses the point to make an argument unsupported by a simple read of the work. Sparkle Fallout far from being untitled (as Row reports) seems to point to the cost of electricity (the whole fallout with PGE and Enron anyone?) and how it fuels our consumer culture of desire and disposable consequences. Instead of an anime knockoff, this is multifaceted social critique that can be criticized for other reasons.

True Sparkle Fallout isn't her best work to date but had he bothered to note the title it would have been nice. I felt her piece in my Fresh Trouble show was more visually arresting and a forest fire of celebrity hair was a more than witty bonfire of the vanities in a time of hyper celebrity saturation. The works by Sean Healy and Brad Tucker are the strongest on view here. In the coming days expect PORT to publish a review that may or may not be as forgiving of this not exactly stellar show, but trust dear readers any dismissals will be relevant. Also, pay attention to the Oregonian's letters to the editor, a local arts writer (not affiliated with PORT) has made a pithy response. Will they dare publish it?

For some non-Portland related art news check out this interesting Artnet article on Presentation Paintings. Portland's own Jacqueline Ehlis and other Dave Hickey alumni like Yek or Europe's Katherina Grosse all could have made this survey much stronger. To flesh out the theme, others like Karin Davie, Jennifer Steinkamp (to add video), Ingrid Calame, Francis Celentano, Jaq Chartier and James Boulton all relevant too. Other relevant Portland notables here are Michael Knutson, Tom Cramer, Eva Lake and Brendan Clenaghen.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 11, 2006 at 0:35 | Comments (3)

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Sunday 04.09.06

Back in Session

jim_drain.jpg Jim Drain at The Moore Space

Two concurrent events are taking place Monday evening, competing for your attention. You can't go wrong!

First of all, school's back in session and Harrell Fletcher resumes his Monday night lecture series at PSU. This week Jim Drain—a Providence resident, RISD grad and ex-member of the now defunct collective Forcefield (working under the alias Gorgon Radeo)—will take the podium. Drain's work combines the hedonistic aesthetics of 60s psychedelic culture with a decidedly un-masculine craftiness in a way that Portlanders should appreciate. Recent projects include a major installation at Art Basel (where he also received the Baloise Art Prize), a solo show at Greene Naftali Gallery and Wiggin Village at The Moore Space, where he teamed up with fellow ex-Forcefield member, Ara Peterson to create a trippy utopian environment.

Monday, April 10th • 7p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema • 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)


Meanwhile, one the other side of downtown Portland at Valentines, there will be an event to raise money for the films of Oakie Treadwell. Clips of Treadwell's films will be screened, including scenes from work-in-progress Maggots and Men, a historical drama with a mostly female cast that focuses on the Kronstadt rebellion in 1920s Russia, in which sailors staged a rebelled to protest against Bolshevik rule. The evening's lineup also includes music by Sarah Dougher and K Records musician Calvin Johnson as well as a lecture by Diana George on the films of Treadwell. But the highlight of the evening will undoubtedly be the planned craft activity: building Tatlin's Monument to the Third International with marshamallows and drink straws. The event is presented by Jon Raymond, Stephanie Snyder, and Matthew Stadler.

Monday, April 10th • 7p • $5 suggested donation
Valentine's 232 • SW Ankeny St • 503.248.1600

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 09, 2006 at 22:01 | Comments (1)

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Saturday 04.08.06

Red 76 in Oakland tonight

As part of their residency at Yerba Buena in San Francisco, Portland's Red 76 collective is doing another one of their "How To Create a Cultural District and Have it Vanish Into the Morning Mists of Dawn" projects in Oakland tonight. PORT reported on the Portland version here last summer. Once again, far from being naïve to the effects artistic activities have on the civic fabric, they understand the catalytic effects such activities historically have on neighborhoods and its their understanding of history that makes them relevant. It's like developers have radio tracking collars on artists and Red 76 acknowledges their role in the process in their statements. Their partial solution is to be more ephemeral and will take place tonight (11:59PM - 3AM) around 2nd and Franklin in Oakland, CA. They are also doing 2 laundry lectures tomorrow as well. Call their hotline for more info: 1(888) 212-5652.


Of course this raises larger questions, for instance is the intentional ephemeral, non commercial nature of these activities more or less easily co-opted by real-estate moguls? Also, I'm not convinced all developers are bad, although San Francisco certainly has been a massive cautionary tale that thankfully Portland has heeded to some degree. Is it enough? Objects as artifacts can be empowering as stubborn reminders to be navigated as well but Red 76 is just as bold about its ephemeral/communal approach. Also, does that ephemeral approach place them slightly more the mercy of writers?... and possibly attractive for that same reason? It's all good and I like Red 76's catalytic role, check em out.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 08, 2006 at 14:22 | Comments (0)

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Friday 04.07.06

Call for Writers

Hello loyal PORT readers! We are pleased to announce that we are growing and increasing our numbers and thus we are on the hunt for some new additions to our staff. With three writers covering reviews we are looking to bring on Announcements and News writers to fill in the blanks.

The Announcements writer posts about local happenings including openings, performances, special events, artist talks, impromptu stagings, etc. This job is ideal for someone with their finger on the pulse (or who wants to have their finger on the pulse). First Thursdays/Fridays are already taken care of so the Announcements writer would be listing the other events throughout the month. Not a lot of journalistic finesse needed here, just the ability to organize press releases, calendars, keep on top of happenings, and post regularly.

The News writer will post 2-3 short clips per week, drawing attention to Portland art news as well as national and international news; making connections between what is happening here and elsewhere. This job relies heavily on an obsession with contemporary art and art politics so if you are a blog-head or spend too much time reading about art online, you could be our peep!

For both positions, we are looking for someone with broad understanding of the visual arts; a strong writer who is energetic, opinionated, self motivated, curious about contemporary art and on the internet a lot. If interested, please email a letter of interest to Jeff Jahn (jeff@portlandart.net) or Jennifer Armbrust (jenn@portlandart.net). Please include any relevant experience (or bribes). PORT is largely a labor of love however, all staff are paid a modest stipend. Plus, you can gain Press access to fabulous art events in Portland and around the globe!

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on April 07, 2006 at 15:57 | Comments (3)

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Thursday 04.06.06

First Friday April 7, 2006



Drift,Wander,Migrate • Michelle Blade • paintings and illustrations Blade is inspired by myth and folktales of Russian, Hungarian, Indian, Mexican and Native American aesthetics. Renowned Gallery • 811 East Burnside Suite 111 PDX 97214 • 503.807.8128 Opening Reception 6-9:30pm. more...

Posted by Nicky Kriara on April 06, 2006 at 17:51 | Comments (3)

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Mayor Potter's First Thursday Symposium

Below I've listed the announcement for Mayor Potter's community symposium on the future and importance of the arts community in Portland. This event frames an important dialogue, however, there is one glaringly obvious criticism. From 5-7 pm on the first real spring first thursday, none of the essential participants in the visual arts community will miss prime gallery hours for a bureaucratic brainstorming session. This sounds like an invitation to an important dialogue, but not much consideration was given to the visual arts community in planning the event. Note there is a comment section and survey on the web-site.

VisionPDX, Mayor Potter's new community vision project, will host an open house at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th, on April 6th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The goal of VisionPDX is to create a vision for Portland for the next 30 years and beyond, and provides an opportunity for people from all over Portland to share their hopes and ideas for the future. Please come and lend YOUR vision for a strong arts community in the City of Portland. This special event will feature performances by BroadArts Theater and WellArts Theatre, and refreshments will be provided. Arts advocates can also sign up to host a visioning meeting with their friends and neighbors.

The more VisionPDX hears about the arts, the more likelihood that the arts will be included in our city's vision!

More information on VisionPDX can be found at: www.portlandonline.com/mayor/vision or call 503.823.5415, or email plvision@ci.portland.or.us.

Posted by Isaac Peterson on April 06, 2006 at 1:08 | Comments (1)

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Wednesday 04.05.06

Live to Work? ... artists Work to Live

The Willamette Week published a completely interesting article by Zach Dundas today on a potential solution to the critical creative live/work space issue in Portland here. It's an important follow-up to his early reporting on the issue here.

A synopsis, developer Brad Malsin of BEAM and Works Partnership Architecture have come up with a plan to build spartan, concrete box rental live/work lofts that would go for around $500 a month in the Central Eastside Arts District. This would be a huge boon since Portland is swarming with literally thousands upon thousands of artists, crafters and entrepreneurs who are currently using their ill equipped living spaces as studios illegally. This would be so much better, although owning a place is ultimately the way you want to go (some of the 30+ crowd have bought places in the NE as well as on North Mississippi and North Interstate recently). The secret apparently is WPA's plan for communal bathrooms and IKEA kitchenettes. Its true, most artists care less about doors and finished rooms than raw, impressionable space.

I found it particularly interesting when one of the architects, Carrie Shilling stated, "Your making it less enticing in a way....That can be tough for some developers to think about because you're willfully restricting your profit if you build one."

So what about the developer? Brad Malsin was the underdog developer who wasn't completely awarded the very important Burnside bridgehead redevelopment even though he had the best and most popular plan by far. I've also worked with him, he made my The Best Coast warehouse show possible by providing the space. He understood the collateral/catalytic effects that having 31 artists and a few thousand art lovers might have on his property, and to use his words at the time, "just trying to do the right thing for the community by doing something cool." Later, clarklewis... the best restaurant north of San Francisco opened up downstairs with a similar urban, spartan chic. I'm pretty sure Brad understands, he's from New York and saw how pure greed lead to less than ideal communities. I'll repeat my mantra, more growth is coming to Portland and instead of ignoring it, the city should encourage the kind of initiative and intelligent sensitivity this kind of project displays. Change will continue and it's best for everyone here that it be directed intelligently.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 05, 2006 at 18:57 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 04.04.06

1st Thursday April 2006

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Todd Johnson at Augen Gallery

FRESH • Group Show • multi-media
New works by upcoming and mid-career artists range from paintings in wax, cellophane collages, hand-stitched photography, to sculptural topography. Chandra Bocci, Elise Engler, Pierre Gour, Sean Healy, Kristan Kennedy, David McDonald, Mark Mulroney, Yuki Nakamura, Melody Owen, Daniel Peterson, Michelle Ross, Adam Sorensen, Daniel Sturgis, Brad Tucker and Amanda Wojick
Elizabeth Leach Gallery • 417 NW 9th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97209 • 503.224.0521
First Thursday Opening 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Exhibit ends May 27.

Boredom: I learned It by Watching You • Group Show
Ah, possibly another show attempting to lower the bar for the Portland art scene! Yawn? Curated by Josh Arseneau and Gabriel Flores. Artists include.....

Posted by Nicky Kriara on April 04, 2006 at 23:53 | Comments (1)

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Monday 04.03.06

Eugene on the move

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It had been several years since I made the hour and a half trek south to Eugene but this was my chance. With a new museum, a 35 year retrospective and one of the most exciting new buildings in America (by Morphosis) under construction there was plenty to see (read more)...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 03, 2006 at 23:25 | Comments (2)

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Around the web... now with Voltron references

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Voltron

There are a few things to take note out there right now and I think the Berlin Biennial, having been curated by artists and not curators curating artists to curate artists was a great plan. Check out Adrian Searle's review in the Guardian here. Artists usually don't think linearly, and the good ones don't make too many decisions out of fear. Many professional curators do when faced with a survey show and that's why I think this Berlin Biennial is making the right sort of waves. Kara Walker did a similar thing at the Metropolitan, read Roberta Smith's take in the NYT's. Trying to please too many masters or making too many second guesses makes for dull, intellectually stewed shows (i.e. mushy with no hard edges).

Also, the latest Visual Codec (the online monthly visual arts magazine designed to enhance communication between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland's scenes) is out now. People from outside the region might not realize that the British Columbia, Washington and Oregon corridor is a kind of burgeoning I-5 international art zone and lately everyone has gotten a lot more connected. Some call the region Cascadia (Transylvainia was already taken) and the three territories have a lot in common but different. Vancouver is in many ways the most "inward" psychologically but not as an international gateway to Asia. Seattle creates some very organized work but is easilly the most sarcastic city in North America (billioniares and Kelsey Grammer's connection have that effect). Portland is "much more floral color wise with this profusive energy" (according to the late Linda Farris). I took that to mean less inward and somewhat more iconoclastic...probably due to the fact that the city is reawakening to its ambitions with a vengeance. It's all good and I suspect we may try to combine all three cities into one giant Voltron like robot sometime in the future. I penned this article on PDA for the latest issue.

April also marks my last month of doing the Critical i articles for NWdrizzle magazine. Lets just say "i" have a lot of gigs both online and off-line that require my attention, change is inevitable. My complete archives for the last 5 years can be found here. Also, April 1 was my 7 year anniversary of living in Portland, it just keeps getting more interesting and its gratifying to know that all this is actually having some kind of effect. There has been a proliferation of voices lately and it's especially nice that some of them are so thoughtful.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 03, 2006 at 0:42 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 04.01.06

NCECA Roundup (Part 2)

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While one would be hard-pressed to definitively extrapolate recent currents in ceramic art from the work included in NCECA, a broad range of work was represented, and many shows found resonance with others around town.

Over at Pacific Northwest College of Art, four Alfred University grads—Ian McMahon, Nathan Sherman, Marc DeBernardis and Robert Marzinsky—take media-based concerns to an extreme in an exhibition entitled Composite. Four large-scale works in PNCA's Swigert Commons employ ceramic in its raw form, boldly taking site-specific clay and mixed media sculptures to architectural dimensions. The most successful piece is a horizontal band of raw clay, suspended in mid-air between walls and columns to delineate a new space that interacts with the building's existing architecture. It acts as an unavoidable public sculpture within the commons space. Visitors and students are confronted with a choice to walk around the sculpture, thereby changing their normal trajectory, or enter inside of the sculpture by ducking underneath the band, which was positioned several feet off of the ground. Although it serves as an architectural feature or barrier, its impermanence is apparent, as the raw clay bears deep cracks reminiscent of salt flats, a reminder that the construction could crumble at any moment...

Today is the last day to view these exhibitions at PNCA, PDX, Pulliam Deffenbaugh, Elizabeth Leach and Gallery 114.

Posted by Katherine Bovee on April 01, 2006 at 9:38 | Comments (2)

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