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Tuesday 10.02.07

« Las Vegas Diaspora & Dave Hickey's Homecoming Dance | Main | DRAWN »

First Thursday Picks October 2007

Tom Cramer at the Laura Russo Gallery
Tom Cramer, "Aviary"

This month, Portland's unofficial Artist Laureate is exhibiting his latest work at the Laura Russo Gallery. By holding on to what he understands as traditional creative values, "art driven by emotional content," Tom Cramer has become a bridge between Oregon's historical artists and Portland's young, hyper-new contemporary art scene. Cramer's current work blends painting and wood carving, building beautiful, labor-intensive reliefs that reflect the influence of his travels to India, Egypt, and Europe.

Opening reception • 5-8pm • October 4
Laura Russo Gallery • 805 NW 21st Ave. • 503.226.2754

Matthew Picton at Pulliam Deffenbaugh
Matthew Picton, "Portland (detail)"

Seen recently in part in Organism's Model Behavior, Matthew Picton's cartography project is being featured in a solo show this month at Pulliam Deffenbaugh. Picton, who has just got a mention in The New York Times and has received positive reviews from the LA Times' Christopher Knight, has shown his work all over the globe, including a recent exhibition with Tara Donvan and Ingrid Calame. His cartography transforms the traditional two dimensional mapping system into a multi-layered sculpture of communication, transportation, and rivers, thus both depicting and abstracting the systems of the city.

Opening reception • 6-8pm • October 4
Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery • 929 NW Flanders St. • 503.228.6665

D.E. May at PDX Contemporary
D.E. May, "Testbeds (#398)"

For the month of October, D.E. May will be exhibiting his work at PDX Contemporary. May is a finalist in the 2008 Contemporary Northwest Art Award at the Portland Art Museum, and his work appears in permanent collections throughout the U.S. Testbeds is a deeper exploration into "the abstract climate and restraint" that characterizes May's work.

Opening reception • 6-8pm • October 4
PDX Contemporary Art • 925 NW Flanders St. • 503.222.0063

Mary Adzich at Tilt
Mary Adzich, from "Still Life with Wolves"

Canadian artist Mary Adzich's installation, Still Life with Wolves, will be inhabiting Tilt this month. Through the arrangement of wood forms, commercial balloons, and silver animal ornaments, Adzich has constructed a surreal landscape, or "untraditional still life," that attempts to "reconcile the idea of the scenic" by taking over the gallery space with these strange, yet quotidian, objects.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • October 4
Tilt Gallery and Project Space • 625 NW Everett St. #106 • 908.616.5477

Jessie Rose Vala at Motel Gallery
Jessie Rose Vala, from "The Torturous Veil"

This month, Motel Gallery will continue to feature Jessie Rose Vala's The Torturous Veil. The exhibition, which is centered around four large-scale graphite drawings, transforms the gallery space into a "ghostly cavern." Exploring mythological narratives of the subconscious, The Torturous Veil takes its name from Isis' veil, the delicate membrane between the conscious and the unconscious, and uses this ancient myth to explore the fear and power of four archetypes: the Werewolf, the Zombie, the Shape-Shifter and the Vampire.

First Thursday reception • 6-9pm • October 4
Motel Gallery • 19 NW 5th Ave. Suite C • 503.222.6699

Posted by Megan Driscoll on October 02, 2007 at 12:34 | Comments (13)


"Artist Laureate". There is no such title or award as it were here in Portland. This term has been used several times in refernce to the artist above, primarily by one of the authors herein. Can you please explain the use of this phrase, is it assumed boosterism?

Posted by: Norma Dee Plume [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2007 02:55 PM

What about "unofficial" is confusing???... and though I may have started it I'm hardly the only one. Tom's about the best selling artist in the city and few could challenge his ubiquity.

Some other really good shows this month are:

Scott Peterman at Charles Hartman (in the Desoto Building)... some really nice ice houses. Peterman had a group show at the Tate last year.

Kenneth Callahan at Laura Russo: This is a particularly good historical show... I love the insects in particular.

Karin Weiner at Elizabeth Leach: Yes yet another Brooklyn artist obsessed with doing outdoorsy work... though she now lives in Vermont so it isn't completely ironic. It's nice work...even if a little bit of a trend.

It looks like Bob Kochs at Augen has sold some rather expensive Chuck Close Prints... they look great in the new space. Close still bores me though.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2007 05:28 PM

The window project at PDX -Amjad Faur- looks awesome this month. Chilling, beautiful, mysterious.
Too bad Michelle Blade's show at Motel was canceled. The zombie art is just not doing it for me.

Posted by: inexile [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2007 07:30 PM

Always excited for Tom Cramer.

And the Matthew Picton show will be amazing. That piece at the Model Behavior was phenomenal. I stared at it for quite some time. And congrats to Jessie Rose Vala for quite possibly being the only artist in Portland that really knows how to use the power of graphite.

And I admittedly know nothing about Mary Adzich, but I am always intrigued when an artist attempts to move beyond what has become the trite and cliche wolf (or any animal). But I am sure the fine people at TILT already thought of this.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 04:48 PM

Oops, maybe I should clarify. Jessie Rose Vala is the only artist SHOWING in Portland that really can really empower graphite.

I think she grew up in the area, but doesn't she live in Chicago or California? Who knows, I don't.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 04:53 PM

Jessie Vala grew up in Eugene, Oregon and studied at CCA in San Francisco. She lived in Chicago for a few years post-grad and now calls Portland home-base, though she spends a lot of time jet-setting.

Posted by: jenn [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 09:43 PM

Thanks for clarifying that Jenn. I think it's always important to know where an artist resides.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 11:20 PM

Isn't it a conflict of interest, for Tilt to have a pick. When the owner is part of Port? Port needs to broaden its scope a bit. Its pretty clear, that Russo, Pulliam, etc. Are good galleries, but what about the galleries that aren't that big? Portland, needs to acknowledge young curators/ galleries!

Posted by: artfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 12:06 PM

It would be a conflict of interest if Tilt wasn't one of the most consistently galleries in Portland. Their shows are always razor sharp. Therefore, they deserve to be on here. Just because Jenene Nagy is an occasional writer on PORT, doesn't mean PORT couldn't give Tilt a scathing review, but Tilt just never deserves one.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 12:35 PM

I have been by Tilt a few times, but I wouldnt say they are one of the most consistent galleries in Portland. They for sure aren't the best gallery in the Everett Street Lofts. I would give that award to the Sugar Gallery, followed by Genuine Imitation. When it comes to diversity, Sugar Gallery laps the field in my book.

Posted by: artfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 01:08 PM

Actually Tilt gets less coverage than it otherwise would from PORT because Jenene is a staffer (and just so happens to be tthe hottest new artist in the city, what can I say I prefer talented smart people for art and employees). Also she has no control over listings content. We seperated the content side from business last march as part of our growing pains.

As far as not so big galleries go we give them picks all the time:

How about our suggestions of Rererato, Rox Box, Sugar, Stumptown and Jace Gace etc?

This is simply what looked good this month.... had I seen Charles Hartman's gallery earlier I would have insisted he be added... it's a great show and he's new.

Your accusations just dont ring true.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 01:11 PM

I agree with Artfan, and feel that instead of discounting responses from people who read Port, please take other voices into consideration. Diversity is sparse in Portland in more ways than one.

Posted by: Norma Dee Plume [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2007 02:58 PM

His voice was heard

His stance is simply too narrow and not looking at the facts.... or even paying attention to the words in other posts.

There are plenty of sites on the internet where narrow or uninformed voices can fester. Not here. If you feel comfortable with artfan's views... then good luck to yah!

PORT has a rapidly growing and already large readership because people find it useful and informed. We provide diverse views and are hardly monogenic but we like to promote an informed atmosphere. Many highly trafficed art blogging sites like PORT no longer take comments for a reason.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2007 03:21 PM

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