September was blessed with a glut of interesting shows that didn't get proper
reviews because the requisite TBA and the Affair at the Jupiter Hotel overview
pieces took up most of the column inches allotted in the Oregonian, Mercury and
WWeek. Sure they each had reviews but their obligatory information articles sort
of ate into the critical space.
To counter that effect here are two quick reviews of shows worth your attention this coming weekend:
This weekend, the group exhibition Construct/Re-Construct will be opening at the Cathedral Park Building in St. Johns. The show de-constructs (if you will) the physicality of the creative building process, and explores the dialog between an artist and his or her materials. The list of participating artists promises a complex and interesting series of installations: Josh Arseneau, Francesca Berrini, John Brodie, Tiffany Lee Brown, Clare Carpenter, Cathy Cleaver, Nancy Cushwa, Kristina DiTullo, Tore Djupedal, David Hacker, Helen Heibert, Harrison Higgs, Scott Wayne Indiana, James Jack, Horatio Law, Todd Leninger, Seth Nehil, Liz Obert, Kelly Rauer, Anya Shapiro, Benjamin Stagl, Andy Stout, Robert Wilhelm, Karen Willey, and Linda Wysong. It will run through October 27.
Walking the Path: Richard Serra Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art
Sequence (Detail), 2006
Overall: 12'9" x 40' 8 3/8" x 65' 2 3/16" (3.9 x 12.4 x 19.9 m)
Collection the artist
(c) 2007 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo: Lorenz Kienzle
In Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Serra's work provides a guide to the way that materials can be used to transform or define space. No sculptor has put more thought into the problems and pleasures of navigating and defining space. I was surprised to see how rigorous his approach to the experience of space has been over the last forty years even though his own language and budgets have grown considerably during that time. One thing that became immediately clear is that, Serra has thought harder about space than any artist, ever. More...
The fourth annual Stumptown Comics Fest is happening this weekend. The festival, which has moved to the Llyod Center Doubletree, features a wide range of celebrated comics artists, including Mike & Laurel Allred, Peter Bagge, Carol Lay, Shaenon Garrity, Sarah Oleksyk, Ted Rall, and Matt Wagner. Many small press publishers will be represented, including local legends Dark Horse Comics, as well as a variety of comics-friendly organizations. The weekend full of panels, workshops, and exciting artist tables is officially kicked off with the Stumptown Pre-party Friday night at Guapo at 8pm. And don't miss the Sunday workshops exploring digital creation techniques, distribution, and interactive work, put on by PNCA instructor Neal Skorpen.
It's happening tonight:Plazm is having a release party for Issue #29. The theme is collective memory, and it features the art of Sue Coe, Yoko Ono, Art Chantry, Storm Tharp, and Todd Haynes, conversations with JD Samson, Yoko Ono, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins, new writings from Robert Mackey and Domenick Ammirati, a Pdx musical memory map, taxonomy of meth labs, the End of War, explosions, and, of course, much, much more. The party will include performances by Evolutionary Jass Band, Hooliganship, and Glass Candy, as well as the screening of a film by Vanessa Renwick.
Ace Hotel | Wednesday, September 26, doors at 8pm (music at 9pm), $3 | 1022 SW Stark | 503.228.2277
Live performance art at the Archer Gallery
This weekend, the Archer Gallery at Clark College is hosting a night of live multi-media performance featuring Steve Gibson, Dene Grigar, Justin Love, and Jeannette Altman. An Evening of Digital Music, Interactive Dance & Electronic Literature in Live Performance will begin with Gibson's Virtual DJ, which combines motion-activated electronic music, dance, virtual reality & robotics, followed by the premier of Grigar and Altman's The Rhapsody Room, a piece that utilizes movement, language and live digital poetry. The night will wrap up with a live DJ/VJ set by Love and Gibson, so come with your dancing shoes on.
Archer Gallery | Friday, September 28, 1pm & 7pm | Penguin Union Building, Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA | 360.992.2246
Also, it isn't news that right now we are institutionally underdeveloped
while having a massive influx of serious talent that has continued unabated
for at least 10 years. The deluge has even increased and others
have noticed. I like it that the author Joseph Gallivan compared Portland
to Leipzig. One thing I've noticed is that people now seem to know the money
to do serious things exists here but hasn't been fully marshaled yet. I also
like how the artists take the burden of educating collectors and donors on as
well. A city built by artists (some world-class) rather than a few patrons simply
importing culture is a very special thing...(more)
Upon entering the the Pulliam Deffenbaugh gallery this month, artist Jeffry Mitchell's work greets you with a giant "Hello!" followed by exclamation points. The first, most impulsive response hearkens to childhood, and the mind answers with an enthused "Hellooooo!" in return. Perhaps it is the handstands of the ceramic elephants on Mitchell's shelves, or the curve of the greetings that adorn the big elephant lantern and drawings, but an intonation resonates from the letters. . . .(more)
Seen previously in the Knitting Olympics and at Reed College Arts Week, Portland craft artist Kim Manchester will be featured this autumn at PCC's North View Gallery. Manchester's exhibition, Object Place, pairs photography with swatches of decorative wallpaper to explore the traces of self left behind in empty domestic space.
Opening reception & artist talk: PCC North View Gallery | Thursday, September 27, 3pm | Sylavania Campus, 12000 Southwest 49th AVE, CT Building Room 212 | 503.977.4264
Sadly last weekend the studio
of noted Portland painter Michael Brophy burned. Katu
news has the story and blog
sans artifice has more details and pictures. Michael is too nice a guy to have
such terrible luck and another artist Michael Wilson was also affected by this terrible fire. Brophy was to have had 2 consecutive solo shows in December and January at Laura Russo Gallery and according to Vanessa Renwick at least some of the paintings survived. The new works were often radically different than his previous work and were some of the strongest he done to date. If any are destroyed (which seems likely) it will be a terrible loss.
We hope everyone's health and work were spared. Michael and Holly are said to be ok but shaken and staying with relatives. Brophy's studio itself was probably spared the flames but the real question is water damage as the space above was innundated first (oil paintings can survive deluge but there's all the falling debris). One cat survived and two others are presumed dead. Long time friend Paul Green described the scene as "horrible." I'll post more details as they develop, including where people can send their support and well wishes. Our thoughts are with everyone during this difficult time.
*Updates: I took at look at the site yesterday and the damage is pretty extensive and certaily a lot of ireplacable things have been lost. It is eerie how it looks like one of Mike's paintings, which have all been transferred elsewhere to assess their condition and for safer storage. Another cat has turned up so only 1 remains missing and Holly's computer, according to Randy Gragg is, "being dried out professionally." If it is just water damage a lot of the hard drive's contents should be recoverable (let's hope). A tax deductable fund through RACC has been set up to defray some of the rebuiding costs as insurance probably won't completely cover the costs.
Checks should be made payable to:
Regional Arts & Culture Council
Memo: for Michael Brophy studio rebuilding fund
108 NW 9th Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97209-3318
DC Comics Artist Matt Clark, from "Superman Batman"
This Wednesday, Organism is having a special screening of Hank Willis Thomas & Kambui Olujimi's The Making of Winter in America. Winter in America is one of the seminal works in Organism's Model Behavior exhibition, which will be closing in just one week. Curator (and PORT co-founder) Jeff Jahn cites the very powerful film as "one of the 10 best video art pieces done in the past 10 years."
After the screening of The Making of Winter in America, join Jeff and DC Comics artist Matt Clark for a discussion on Model Behavior.
Darren Waterston and Tyrus Miller :The Flowering (The Fourfold Sense) at Lewis and Clark
Darren Waterston, Leper's Conversion, Pigment print with letterpress and coloring 2007
Each of us knows what our bodies look like. There are different proportions but more or less it's several limbs, a layer of skin covering a skeleton of bones with various internal organs. That is our body, but is it what we are? Perhaps more than any other, Saint Francis found the divine through the body. He did not find it by looking at the ideal beauty of the ancient Greeks but in the wounds of the lepers and the homeless that surrounded his home in Assisi. He embraced things that we would normally turn away from like the bleeding sores of those who are sick. He resisted the temptation to run away, transcended his natural feelings of self preservation, and cultivated compassion to discover the divine through the path of caring for those around us.
OCAC founder Julia Hoffman teaches class in her home
2007 marks the centennial anniversary of the Oregon College of Arts & Crafts, one of the premier art schools in the Northwest. They've been celebrating all year with a wide variety of exhibitions and events, and this weekend they're holding a free event to invite the community to join them in their celebration. Festivities include face painting, hands-on arts and crafts, an alumni art sale, lively entertainment, and food, beverages, and OCAC memorabilia.
Read about the remaining centennial events under the cut.
For more information on the OCAC centennial celebrations, visit their events page.
Jupiter Affair '07 - serene and surreal, to 80s music
The Jupiter Affair 2007 comes through for the fourth year-- possibly more serene and surreal, as opening night goers meander through a maze of fresh art, to tunes from the 80s in the background. An opening eve, more conducive to art collecting and buying than last year's Friday bash, which featured local sounds of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. An air of excitement and nervousness as we hang on to the last days of summer. There is something about photographing art and people at this eve affair, as they move in and out of hotel rooms, that puts you in a bit of a Hitchcock-ian meets Body Heat mode of taking photos. The photos are not so much about documenting as they are about catching a feeling or a special kind of light from the eve. A gesture of a hand... a leaning up against a door. A Japanese monk sculpture smiles at you at James Harris. At a next turn, a performance artist in camo is breathing at you through the glass at 65 Grand... I liked not knowing what to expect at this Affair opening.
Well the big Portland vis art weekend has come and gone. Though it needed
a name (Critical Mass, Too Much Art etc.) the scene was combination of The
Affair at the Jupiter Art Fair, last weekend of Rembrandt at PAM, Ursula
von Rydingsvard at PAM, last weekend of PICA's TBA visual arts, a bunch of openings,
last weekend of Hap Tivey and a confluence of lot of other shows that are up
Rhythm from Wreckage is seeking video submissions for The Crypto-Zoetropical Pursuit. This collection takes the concept of crypto-zoology (the study of hypothesized creatures) to explore "collisions of technological and zoological unknowns". RFW wants your strange, your surreal, for screenings on October 19th & 20th in honor of the anniversary of the infamous 1967 Bigfoot film. Screenings will take place at Rererato in Portland, and LumpWest in Eugene.
Submissions must be sent by October 10. For more information, visit the RFW website.
In conjunction with her exhibition, Ursula von Rydingsvard will be lecturing this Sunday at PAM on her last decade of sculpting.
Born in 1942 into a German refugee camp, von Rydingsvard emigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1950, and later studied art at Columbia. Her often monumental sculptures, characterized by wooden, organic forms, have since elevated her to a major force in the art world. She received the 2007 Rome Prize, and her exhibition at PAM includes a series of drawings she completed during her residency in Italy.
von Rydingsvard will lecture at 2pm on Sunday, September 16, in the Whitsell Auditiorium. Tickets are $10 for non-members, and can be purchased online or at the museum box office.
Suggestions for art visitors to Portland this weekend
Obligatory photo of Portland Building
Yes, there are lots of out of towners in Portland's galleries this this week
and there will probably be many more by Friday. We even have Jetblue service
so why not visit on a whim? In keeping with that theme some have asked for a Portland art guide so here it is:
It is a small scale exploration of post WWII European art and is especially
nice because it is culled mostly from the museum's collection. More scholarly
than bombastic and appropriately sober considering Europe's need for extensive
Plan reconstruction after the war...(more)
The annual Affair at the Jupiter Hotel is happening this weekend. In the four years since it began, Portland's own Art Fair has become an essential venue for the cross-pollination of local artists, dealers, galleries, and curators, and one of the major forces encouraging the development of a Portland art market, or "art ecology."
Ok, I have a lot of theories about this trend/trope. There is a sense of inward and outward motion in this type of radial imagery. It might signify a way to both leave the world and or to project an outward sense of change? It is both explosive and inward reflective. Either way it is everywhere in art right now and there are plenty of historical precedents. I'll let the images speak for themselves:
The Wisdom of Light: The Hiroshi Sugimoto Retrospective at the De Young Museum
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Boden Sea, Uttwil 1993
Photography is by definition about the interaction between time and light. In Hiroshi Sugimoto's photographs we are able to engage in a conversation with light. In a very real way, he opens the light to us. He lets the light speak to us in a way that would be impossible in any other medium. Sometimes the light is fast like in the Seascapes and the dioramas where the exposure time is some small fraction of a second. In other work the light is slow, so slow that one photograph is exposed for the length of an entire movie. In most of his photographs the light is reflected, so that the light seems to be emanated from the subject that he is photographing. More...
This Saturday, photographer Bruce Davidson is lecturing at PAM. This highly influential artist received the first ever NEA grant for photography, and has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1958. Davidson will be lecturing at 6pm on September 8, in the Whitsell auditorium. Tickets are $25 for non-members. Click here for more information.
Also happening this weekend: San Francisco-based artist Lucas Murgida will be performing at Rocks Box Fine Art. The Good runs from 6-11pm on Saturday, September 8, at 6540 N. Interstate AVE.
For the month of September, the Newspace Center for Photography presents a joint show featuring Jake Shivery's Contact Portraits and Jason Kelly's Mylarsian Dreams. Shivery's work, named for the technique of contact printing directly from 8x10 negatives, is a collection of meditative, highly process-oriented photography.
Kelly's Mylarsian Dreams breaks away from the notion of "reality-based" photography. He coated his studio in mylar, creating bending and reflecting patterns of light that become like ghostly entities in the photographs, bearing little resemblance to what is visible to the naked eye.
Taking over the entire Linfield
gallery Jenene Nagy's False Flat is one of the more ambitious solo shows
in recent Portland history, with the added promise of a creating a lot more
headroom for work her to expand. Until recently I had questioned whether Nagy
(PORT's business manager) was going in a fruitful direction but after the controversial
Hook Up group show it was apparent she had made a major breakthrough by
simplifying and... (more)
There have been a ton of Ferriso interviews here in the last 8 months and PORT will probably do a formal sit-down with him and maybe some senior
staff in the future but we really want things to be settled in more before we
ask those nitty gritty and probably unique to Portland questions. I can say
I know literally hundreds of people who have worked with him in Milwaukee and
Portland and it is almost unanimously enthusiastic about his thoughtful dedication
to the important role of museums. In short Portland has almost Roman civics and Ferriso seems to fit right in here. Museums should lead and challenge not pander to some statistical lowest common denominator audience. That strategy ultimately cheats everyone, while looking great on paper.
It's time for PICA's annual Time Based Art Festival. In its fifth year, TBA is a 10 day festival (September 6 - 16) that uses visual art, sound, theater, installation, lectures, and everything else under the sun to explore themes in contemporary art.
"Read more" for our visual arts picks, and a volunteering opportunity that will earn you a free pass.
Darren Waterston: Reception & Talk at Lewis and Clark College, September 6th
Darren Waterston from The Flowering (The Fourfold Sense) 2007
Pigment print with letterpress and hand-coloring
18 x 13 inches
For those of you who have been hungering for a museum-level show of paintings...
a painter's painter so to speak, well look no farther than the sensuous and
haunting work of Darren
Waterston at Lewis and Clark's Hoffman Gallery. Sure, the lecture and reception
conflict with First Thursday but it's impossible to see the art properly through
those crowds anyways. If you are all about painting this is your ticket and an
opportunity to rub elbows with this very adept painter.
For the month of September, the Elizabeth Leach Gallery presents Homunculi, the painting and sculpture of Claire Cowie. Homunculi explores the life that can be imbued into the creations - or creatures - of the artist, and toys with the threat that these beings may turn on their creator. The often mythological results are simultaneously dark and playful, and very visually lush.
It looks like San
Francisco is questioning John Buchanan in the same way we Portlander's were
for years before
he left. The problem is that museum directors shouldn't be preempting their
curators, they are two very different jobs and from our experience in Portland
most would say that John was very hand's on. To quote the late Gordon Gilkey
a curator who predated but passed away before Buchanan's term finished at PAM,
"he's a damn micromanager." I like the idea of Gordon having the last
Green has been all over this and I remember our first phone conversation
about John distinctly... let's just say everything I mentioned about JB's style
has come to pass. It is no secret that the serious contemporary art community in Portland really had
a bone to pick with him. Still to John's credit he did create the current Rembrandt
show (which isn't fluff at all), the transformative Greenberg Collection aquisition,
and allowed the Miller-Meigs series of contemporaty shows at PAM to happen. Maybe John can turn it around?
Still, it is a fact... by the time he had left for San Francisco Portland had outgrown him.
It is time to sell your soul to Rock-n-Roll... Sincerely,
John Head are up to their genre crossing installation performances, confounding
the borders between fan & Foghat in ways that amuse the hell out of me.
As a recording engineer and and art curator they kinda hit all my secret interests...
except um Foghat, what next Badfinger? They are looking for cover musicians
(though they need not be practicing muscians), here is their call:
BOX SET: Studio Sessions
Studio Sessions is a sound studio open, by appointment, to anyone. Microphones,
an electric guitar and bass, and a drum set will be provided. Within a recording-studio
setting, participants can cover a song of their choice from Foghat LIVE in any
style they choose, from heavy metal to hip-hop to doo-wop. Each song will be
considered for a future pressing of the Sincerely John Head Foghat LIVE cover
album. Call now for an appointment (888) 774-7456 and leave a message with your
contact info. Studio time begins September 6 and ends September 16. Studio Sessions
takes place as part of PICA's
Time-Based Art Festival.
"Sweet Sixteen #1" 2001 Angela West image courtesy Quality Pictures
The attempt to photograph life in the south is not a new idea. Life for southerners and the characters the place makes them creates jerky flavored targets and meals for literature, film, and the saltiest of still images. It is a swarming breeding ground for nostalgia and ghost stories, as a balmy, pink, and protracted humanity thickens the waterlogged atmosphere there. . .(more)