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Sunday 12.10.06

« I Want to Show You Somewhere | Main | Outer and Inner Space: Films of Andy Warhol »

Miami Art fairs (part 2) by Amy Steel

Portland has a striking presence in Miami. Chris Johanson and Harrell Fletcher are showing at Jack Hanley at the Nova fair. Motel, Small A, and Elizabeth Leach are all at Aqua. PDX is at the Flow fair.

Chris Johanson's painting at Nova. Nova is apart of the main fair (Art Basel Miami Beach) and encompasses all the spaces on the building perimeter. Its intention is to showcase "emerging" artists.

In contrast to many of the spaces at Basel, the Nova spaces only allow three artists whereas many of the galleries at the main fair seem to cram the kitchen sink into each cube. Less is more in this case. These spaces are easier on the eyes. Here is Harrell Fletcher @ Jack Hanley's Nova space.

Portlander Dana Dart-Macleans brilliant gouache paintings at Small A's space @ the Aqua fair.

Jessie Rose Vala's installations are always a treat. Here is an installation of cut paper, sewing and drawing at Motel's Aqua space.

Portlander, Ryan Pierce, aka Tarp Tarmac's painting at Aqua.


Malia Jensen's "This is your cat" at Elizabeth Leach Gallery's space at the aqua fair.

Matthew Picton @ Toomey Turrell, Flow Fair.

Portlanders Paul Middendorf, Ryan Jeffries, Amy Harwood, Bruce Conkle, and Ryan Pierce at the hot tub at aqua fair.

Bruce Conkle's iceman at Jack the Pelican's space at Scope Fair.

Part 1

Posted by Guest on December 10, 2006 at 16:11 | Comments (14)


I am assuming this is why Motel is closed down this month? It's awesome to see such a presence of Portland artists in the land of q-tips. Way to REPREZENT P-town O.G.s! That was retarded.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2006 11:57 PM

seriously, no more coffee for you!

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2006 09:45 AM

Sadly, coffee had nothing to do with it. Just lack of sleep, caused by the wonderful world of school finals, while still trying to produce paintings outside of schoolwork. For some reason, sleep hardly makes it onto my schedule.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2006 08:55 PM

yet, this is really mediocre work for Johansen. It was better when it was grittier and seemed to spill over the edges instead of nodding its organization to more formalist concerns.
i was surprised at the amount of Pacific NW work there was around and about the fair, and it was of pretty good to good quality.
And, how come there has been little reference to the article in Modern Painters last month about portland?
A fair crit of certain critics, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: moustaches_afar [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2006 10:49 PM

We didnt discuss the Art News article last year either, those articles are nice but they reveal little for those with a lot more familiarity with Portland. They are cattle calls.

The issue is really Portland's rapidly redefining self-image and I'll do something on many of the numerous articles on PDX in recent months soon. Also, since I wrote the last Modern Painters expose back in 2003 I didn't want to get too deeply into it (he got the date of core sample wrong) and would rather critique certain critics directly rather than use Jon's words. I dont think it applied to PORT at all. It certainly pissed off nearly every college art teacher in the state.

Other than that it was very similar in terms of "names" to the article I wrote... but there have been a lot of new arrivals that I think were missed, Jon isnt that involved in the scene but that has value too.

So yeah, I have something in the works... yes I'm working the Dwell articles in as well.

All this is somewhat off topic... what was everyone's impression of Miami this year? I decided to skip it and put on a show. Ill catch the Armory instead.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 10:12 AM

I finally got around to reading that Modern Painters article earlier today. I have had the damn magazine sitting in my studio for over a month.

Anyone that was pissd about the article probably overreacted. Yes, Portland's art scene is great. Yes, Portland's art scene is rather unique. But I think us that are deeply involved in the Portland arts forget that Portland is still just a baby. I mean, we are still trying to compete with our larger (yet more boring in my opinion) neighbor Seattle.

We are still the ugly duckling. Our growth into the swan is coming, but it isn't here yet. However, the benefit of this is, it gives us something to fight for. (Pumps fist into the air!)

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 10:37 PM

which is why I titled my MP article "something to prove".

Right now the artists are the ones making Portland a unique art city. Eventually the institutions will catch up (and its starting to happen) but that is the way it goes. Right now in Portland if you are a very good artist, you will get noticed. That isnt true in many places and in Portland being an artist somehow means more, its an interesting time. The city is unique and things that are happening here more than in other cities (trabsit, planning, neighborhoods) will be the main civic discussion points during the 21st century. The artists are articulating a very humanistic set of ideas in this city.

The important thing is some really great work is being created here and unlike some places the artists have been allowed to develop.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2006 11:30 AM

Vala's installation pictured above sold to European collectors. This points to both the quality and quandry of Portland, we have some very strong artists but the city's patrons arent as developed as many of its resident culture producers are.

It is actually exciting because the city is full of new people who have been patrons elsewhere. It isn't a question of if, its more of a when. Till then Portland is remarkable for not being as tainted by crass commercialism as most other places.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 16, 2006 05:47 PM

so the question is,forgive me for being obvious, how does portland keep untainted when comercialism comes to call?

Posted by: ArtStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 17, 2006 02:43 PM

I've been so poor lately I'm nearly welcoming commercialism with open arms and an invite to dinner.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 17, 2006 05:03 PM

change is inevitable and if a few people can make a living by it... then fine.

really, it is ok as long as the comercialism's main goal isnt commercialism (kinda like gravity and black holes). Besides there will always be artists who make work that is difficult to market. There are always pressure valves, II suspect if the market gets much crazier some artist will simply start stealing works of art, then take credit for them.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 17, 2006 06:34 PM

Dammit Jeff! You stole my idea!

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 18, 2006 10:50 AM

some down hill of commercialism is that arts become tame i.e. lame- what Jerry Saltz was addressing in the VV piece- i happens, its going to happen, it already is happening. our recourse is to make and exhibit work that has... hell you tell me.

Posted by: cmjm [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 20, 2006 09:53 AM

Well, all commerialism isnt bad and poverty can be a relentless distraction to art making. The trick is to find a happy medium.

As for what art needs right now. Bigger and better ideas, a sense of fearlessness and a more penetrating stare at what isnt being looked at so hard.

The biggest problem with lot of the art making headlines today is it isnt very radical. A lot if lot It is kinda "predigested".

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 20, 2006 10:31 AM

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