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Thursday 03.01.07

« Marching Curatorial Madness | Main | First Friday March 2007 Picks »

First Thursday March 2007

Matt McCormick's Shaniko House (2007)

Elizabeth Leach Gallery: Matt McCormick's Future So Bright and Adam Sorenson's The Glows
415 NW 9th (503) 224 0521

McCormick's is the undisputed high anticipation show this month. He is currently showing in high profile international exhibitions like The Moscow Biennial and Uncertain States of America. I also think he's added something to the lexicon of work that documents the state of civilization and American westward expansion by focusing on ghost towns and monolithic signage. The Portland Tribune had a nice piece on McCormick Tuesday (as a contrast to their forward looking coverage somehow the O decided to focus on the past and a resurrected art dealer. David Row even stated "there's a lack of experience and savvy" in new dealers now, which is patently false... way to party like it's 1999 David).

I'll debate it any where any time (most of the dealers even Liz leach are operating at a level unheard of 6 years ago)... and the new dealers in town like Small A and Motel are so much more art world savvy that they make most of their sales outside the area. In fact, Small A Projects was just accepted into NADA too. Does the Oregonian have any idea how many New York, LA or London galleries covet that association? Regardless if one respects the art they show they are definitely savvy. *Update and yes the Mercury has declared it the Month of Matt. You guessed it he's also one of the most liked people in town.

Adam Sorensen's Rusty Pine (2007)

Back on topic, Adam Sorensen is one of the most promising painters in Portland and this debut has been a long time coming (his last show with over 2 paintings was something I curated for Core Sample in 2003). This work is more floral, candylicious and filled with a Japanese meets haunted Swedish aesthetic this work seems a quantum level more developed than what was on view at the 2003 Oregon Biennial.

PNCA Feldman Gallery: Sue Coe's Graphic Witness
1241 NW Johnson

Not surprisingly, political art is a big thing right now and Sue Coe has been an international name for some time. It speaks volumes of PNCA's importance to the Pearl district as cultural anchor too.

Rake Gallery: All Day Snacking
325 NW 6th

This space has been very uneven but when faced with the issue of how to be taken more seriously it is often a good idea to call in some more seasoned curators. With Teri Hokins (will the Oregonian ever tire of wondering if she's bored at the Art Gym? Is David bored with Art, look that this passion?), Stephanie Snyder (Reed College) and Kristan Kennedy (PICA) they have taken a step up. With 35 artists exploring the themes of excess, relaxation and consumption in America today, visual gluttony is certainly the order of the day here. The Everett Station Lofts are the most vibrant place to see art in the city and Rake seems to be taking its role on the block more seriously in light of the often excellent shows at Tilt, Ogle, Sugar and as always Zeitgeist.

Laura Russo Gallery: Mel Katz's Painted Aluminum Sculpture
805 NW 21st ave

Mel Katz still matters, not because he was once Mayor Katz's husband or because he helped found the impressive PCVA which showed Carl Andre and Chris Burden back in the day but because he's still at the top of his game and pushing himself. Pieces like December are lyrical, funny, convincing and unapologetic.

Stumptown (Downtown): Harvest Henderson THISENFRANCHISEMENT
128 SW 3rd Ave

Stumptown is the undisputed king of coffee shops to show and still have a possibility of being taken seriously. Harvest Henderson tends towards the conceptual, and is a recovering freelance critic for the Oregonian. Her work usually evokes a tension between nature and intellectual constructs, let's see how this one turns out.

Bald TJ Norris (2007)

Art Institute of Portland Gallery: Hard(ly)Soft curated by Amy Zollinger
1122 NW Davis Street

Yet another group show, this one exploring the formal naure of softness might be worth checking out. The presence of Rachel Denny, Stephen Slappe, Cynthia Mosser, Scott Wayne Indiana, Jennifer Anable, Damon Thompson and TJ Norris (AKA the artists who seem to show constantly) is a good sign, will the show be different though?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 01, 2007 at 11:08 | Comments (6)


I believe that the Rake show was actually curated by Jhordan Dahl and Nickolaus Typaldos, and the names you mentioned were of the jury.
It should be interesting to see how people have interpreted the theme of this show...

Posted by: s. meadows [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2007 05:33 PM

Matt definitely deserves the hype. Beautiful video work. Although it seemed very wrong seeing the videos tonight with Liz Leach completely packed. I am somewhat on the fence with Adam Sorenson's work. But I am excited to learn more about them. They are very interesting, and are such enticing eye candy, one almost has pay attention to all their nuances.

The Rake show was yet another step up for them lately. There is some interesting work there, yet there is still far too many artists allowed into the show. 31 artists is a little excessive. This curse of trying to pack too many artists into a space seems to have been happening a lot this last year. Jeremy Le Grand's "Bookworm" stole the show for me. Something about the monotonous carving of books is very exciting. Also, Danridge Geiger's "Town Square."

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2007 10:33 PM

Depending on how one defines it jurying is part of the curatorial role... really I dont care to explore that rabbit hole.

I felt like the Rake show had a few gems but was still spotty and underdeveloped (but with more promise). Best shows of the night: McCormick, Sorensen, Watt (at PDX what a great installation), Coe at PNCA and Quality Pictures (which also had an amazingly good hang that enhanced the work). The Art Institute show is the best of the group efforts.

I think Ill always like Katz's shows... that's the impression I get from both the man and the work.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2007 09:26 AM

Yes, Watt's show was fantastic! It was an unexpected surprise. I had no idea she was showing there this month. The way the wall pieces confront and join the world of painting is magnificient.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2007 07:17 PM

Actually, I believe the Oregonian will be weighing in on McCormick's show in this week's A&E. I wrote a review of the show and have been covering his work since the late 1990s. I heart Matt McCormick.

Posted by: Brian Libby [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 03:31 PM

Telling that it isn't David....though to be fair I think its the kind of show he can get into. Im on his case because I'd be on the case of anyone who wrote some of the things he's writing.

Everyone likes Matt I think. The use of LCD projectors was essential to keep the colors vibrant... DLP's cant do the same job.

Also,an image with heatwaves distorting the image is a bit of a test for some viewers who equating moving pictures with instant gratification.... even for some very sophisticated viewers. First Thursday and opening night were not optimal viewing either.

Let's have a beverage sometime.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 5, 2007 05:54 PM

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