Portland's favorite "greatest painter", James Lavadour, will be this season's final PSU MFA Monday night lecture guest.
The season will resume in early January, with a lecture on January 8 by Dave McKenzie, a Brooklyn-based artist who will be presenting his second solo exhibition in Portland with Tomorrow Will be Better at small A projects.
James Lavadour is known for his abstract landscapes inspired by mountainous northeastern Oregon where he has lived for most of his life. An avid hiker, Lavadour finds that this physical experience is converted into the kinetic act of painting. "At some point I made a connection between the ways walking conditioned my body movements and the way my body governed my hand when I painted. Links between muscle and memory, place and identity became the basis of my art." Lavadour's work reflects his intimate knowledge of the land and its dynamic permutations. Expressionistic vistas appear caught in the midst of spectacular transfiguration by the sudden force of the elements or position of the sun. Applying pigment, then scraping or wiping it away, the artist re-enacts nature's layering and erosive processes. "Raging currents in a drop of pigment pre-tell the mountains and rivers in a brush stroke. Light burns behind ridges after a simple horizontal scrape...Trails dead end. New spaces open." Lavadour frequently combines small separately painted canvases that present multiple views of the constantly changing panorama. Recently he has introduced architectural shapes and streams of contrasting color that bleed across the terrain. Part Walla Walla Indian and a self-taught painter, Lavadour helped found the nonprofit Crow's Shadow Institute, which provides social, economic and educational opportunities to Native Americans through artistic development. Crow's Shadow Institute is located on the Umatilla Reservation where Lavadour grew up.
"There is a continuous flow of energy and a compounding of events that mark time in a body of work. The whole thing moves forward each time that I discover something new in one painting and apply that lesson to all of the others. In these latest works, color and space, vistas and structures layer upon each other and make me feel as if I am standing before uncountable universes."
—James Lavadour, February 2005
James Lavadour is one of the Northwest's most revered painters. He is the recipient of numerable awards and accolades, including the Eiteljorg Fellowship (2005), Award for Visual Arts from the Flintridge Foundation (2004), Oregon Governor's Arts Award (1994), and the Betty Bowen Award (1991), among many others. Lavadour's work is in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Boise Art Museum, the MicroSoft Collection and other respected public and private collections.
Lecture · Monday, December 4th · 8:15 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema · 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Funded in part by PICA, PNCA, Reed College, Lewis & Clark College and The Affair at the Jupiter Hotel
I am quite sad I had to miss this tonight. Definitely one of my favorite Portland/Local artists.