from left: Robert (Bob) Alexander, John Reed, Wallace Berman, Unknown Female and Walter Hopps at Ferus Gallery LA 1959
The NW Film Center will be screening Morgan Neville's Cool School. The documentary explores the rising influence of the west coast - more specifically, Los Angeles - on the American art scene after the 1950s. Featured figures include Walter Hopps and Irving Blum, John Altoon and Billy Al Bengston, Frank Gehry, and Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell.
NW Film Center | Whitsell Auditorium
Screening Friday, November 2 & Saturday November 3 at 7 & 9pm, and Sunday, November 4 at 5 & 7pm.
The cultural heavy hitter of Portland's fall visual arts season isn't at PAM,
Reed or PNCA.... it's William
Kentridge at Lewis and Clark College. I've been aware of Kentridge
forever but have never been able to take in a large exhibition of his work, which
though rooted in 90's identity politics seems to remain very valid today... showing
the way for current hotshots like Raymond Pettibon, Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig, Cecily Brown and even
Germans like Daniel Richter and Neo Rauch's psychedelic/contemplative figuration.
The fact that Kentridge does it all mostly with charcoal is impressive and pretty much
outclasses all but Pettibon
as a preeminent existential figurative artist.
Here's what L&C has to say:
Wiliam Kentridge: WEIGHING...and WANTING is a solo exhibition of the
internationally recognized South African artist William Kentridge in charcoal
drawings and video projection. In the film, Soho Eckstein Johannesburg, one
of the recurring characters who inhabit Kentridges work, looks inward,
with MRI scans of his brain representing a conceptual terrain of loss, regret,
and reconstruction. The landscape drawings are those of the derelict mining
areas outside of Johannesburg.
A truly interdisciplinary artist with a background in political science, philosophy,
theater, and fine art, Kentridge funnels the conceptual and aesthetic concerns
of these disciplines into his installations, which combine the projected and
Quality Pictures has scored the first Northwest exhibition of German artist Oliver Boberg. He will be showing large-format photographs from his Seiten/Pages series in their west gallery, as well as films from his Nacht-Orte / Night Sites series in their rear project space. Boberg draws inspiration from comic book traditions in his use of multiple-image layouts that explore how the very meaning of an image is altered by its relationship to other imagery. Boberg forces the viewer to draw connections between the images in each piece, creating an alternate reality through his careful construction of object, scene, and perspective.
Don't miss his lunchtime lecture at noon on Friday, November 2 at the Weiden + Kennedy building. This lecture is a free PICA event.
Fritz Haeg's Edible Estates project for Tate Modern
Ok there are tons of lectures in Portland but the one tonight at PSU looks like a keeper.
Fritz Haeg recently
completed a vegetable garden for Tate
Modern and generally I'm impressed with his desire to push art students
outside of traditional studio practices and the gallery system. Besides
he has a
genuine manifesto attacking my least favorite western tradition, the front lawn.
I love the idea of radical gardening, and practiced a bit of it as an undergrad
at Illinois Wesleyan Univeristy (planting swiss chard in the flowerbeds). Also, it looks
like Haeg has as show tentatively scheduled for October 2008 at Reed's Cooly gallery
too (sorry Stephanie I just can't stop paying attention, this is another winner..
and this just HAS to happen).
Kurt Weiser's Eden Revisited opens at Museum of Contemporary Craft
Kurt Weiser, from "Eden Revisited"
The Museum of Contemporary Craft is showing a retrospective of Kurt Weiser's ceramics since the 1970s. Weiser builds and paints traditional vessels to build elaborate and beautiful narratives. This is the first stop for Eden Revisited on its national tour.
Drawn of the Dead: Jessie Rose Vala at Motel Gallery
"My Sinews Take No Rest" 2007 Jessie Rose Vala
For those of you with a penchant for the undead and the inner workings of their lost souls, head to Motel, and quickly, to see the remnants of Jessie Rose Vala's solo show "The Torturous Veil" which goes down this weekend. These large scale graphite pieces are delicate emanations of flesh and symbol, vivid and rotten, and rich with a contemporary mythology. These large drawings defy our age in a way, ...(more)
Spaghetti: A Rhinestone Studded Suburban Dream and the Plastic Afterlife Rodeo Show opens this weekend at Rererato. The Western themed group show and performance features a wide range of local and national artists and their multitudinous media, as well as special performances by the Plastic Afterlife Rodeo Show.
It's happening tonight: Satisfy your belly and your eyes, and come down to the Portland Slideluck Potshow. The concept is that everyone brings something delicious to eat & drink, and once libations have been consumed, you're treated to a slideshow of local and international artists. Check out their website for details.
Here's an interesting article about Wilhelm
Schurmann on Art Facts (Salvatore Reda pointed it out to me). In particular
I like how Schurmann confounds those who try to categorize his activities and
it reminds me of all those shortsighted people who seem to complain about how
disciplines like curator, artist, collector, critic, historian, gallerist, philanthropists
or board member are blurred together. We live in a true era of pluralism
so all of this boundary blurring shouldn't come as...(more)
Noah Nakell's installation Lightship is on view through November 9th at the Portland Building. As you approach the space, the viewer faces with a window mostly covered by a blind. Peering through the gap, one sees a night time scene featuring ocean swells and a small home, and a simple domestic scene is visible through the windows of the home. Presented by the RACC, the project explores the way that screens and mediated experience are increasingly substituted for meaningful interaction in modern society.
Portland Building | 1120 SW 5th AVE | Open M-F, 7am-6pm
Also ongoing through November: Upper Playground presents Mike Maxwell's Memories for Memoirs in associated with Fifty24PDX. Maxwell's paintings explore "human ancestry and learning about your past as a way to better understand ones self." He strives to present us with the notion that the past is an integral part of our selves, and our present.
Clearly the Pacific Northwest
College of Art is very interested in the property as they currently rent
their space, which does nothing for their financial stability. Being denied
the opportunity to build equity they are subjected to the market forces of condo
development in the Pearl and the situation needs to be addressed soon...(more)
Finally, an art magazine has addressed the varied world of art blogging and PORT was lucky enough to be included in a wide-ranging roundatable discussion put together by Peter Plagens. Besides myself, the cogent voices of gallerist Edward Winkleman, Seattle PI critic Regina Hackett, Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon of Philly as well as that art blogging machine Tyler Green are present (who once again had the scoop). It is a great article and I'm pretty proud of everyone involved as it presents a whole new world of cultural coverage to some who might not already be aware. I think it also dispells a lot of myths and persues the potential of the format. Most of the panelists seemed to go out of their way to point out other worthy sites as well... (more)
Robert Irwin's Primaries and Secondaries in San Diego
Robert Irwin's Primaries
and Secondaries retrospective, which opened yesterday at the San Diego Museum
of Contemporary Art may very well be the best show of 2007. More substance
than flash, each of the mature works is a pragmatically transcendent experience
and everything is nearly perfectly installed, he did after all have something to
do with the development of the spaces he's using. Instead of the problems even a successful retrospective
often produces, it seems as if no aesthetic and ideological compromises were made and no museum hype or baggage been put in front of the art. In fact, part of the reason Irwin is so good is because his work is not merely being accommodated by MCASD. Instead, he has developed an ethical, aesthetic, philosophical and spatial rapport with the institution. This connection spans decades and it makes both he and the institution look better. It also underscores how radical Irwin is... institutions don't merely take his work into account, they evolve to establish a more meaningful sonority, which is completely different than focusing on ticket sales.
Arcy Douglass will have an in depth review of the show shortly, till then enjoy these images: ...(more)
In the spirit of the season, we bring you Zombie Invasion 2007. The lovely people from DrunkenRampage.com, who brought you Plunderathon, are looking for the creepiest creatives in Portland to break out their best zombie gear and invade the 2007 Portland Erotic Ball. The ball is on Saturday, October 27th, and the invasion will be preceded by the ZombieWalk. Go over here for more details.
Want to jump straight to Christmas, or just feeling a little more cookie than zombie? The Rip City Gingerblaze 2007, a citywide gingerbread house/candy sculpture contest and exhibit at PNCA, is looking for artists to produce imaginative and well crafted work that brings gingerbread "into the new millennium." Contact email@example.com for information about participation. The registration deadline is Monday November 5. Learn more at their website.
Portland institution Tom Cramer is speaking this Saturday at the Laura Russo Gallery in conjunction with his exhibition, New Work. This is a rare opportunity to see the artist lecture about his work - you can get a preview with PORT's podcast of his introduction to these new paintings.
An art show and silent art auction are being held this weekend at the Ace Hotel to benefit Bitch Magazine, which recently relocated to Portland. Hosted by Marie Fleischmann, the event features the art of Hannah Stouffer, Eva Lake, Shannon Wheeler, Amy Ruppel, Nikki McClue, the Guerrilla Girls and more, as well as great local music and drinks. Tickets are sliding scale $15 - $45, and can be purchased at brown paper tickets.
The Cleaners @ the Ace Hotel | Saturday, October 20th, 7pm | 403 SW 10th | 503.546.8520 | 21+
Also happening this weekend: The Crumpacker Family Library Art Book Sale at PAM! Need to bolster your art books, or just looking for that perfect coffee table adornment? Thousands of used and new art books and exhibition catalogs will be on sale this Sunday from noon to 5pm at the James F. & Marion L. Miller Gallery. Proceeds benefit PAM. Click here for more info.
(L to R) works by Philip Taaffe, Andy Warhol, Agnes Martin and Damien Hirst (photo by Dan McLaughlin)
The universe is stuck in a rut, be it the motion of the planets, the behavior
of subatomic particles, the cycle of life & death or the ebb and flow of
freeway traffic everything tends to follow some predictable patterns.
Yet the patterns of life, be it the movements of the sun or the coordinated
acrobatics of flocking birds are so pervasive that they often become invisible
to us unless something provokes a pause rendering them visible once again.
Art can achieve that perceptive pause.
How poetic is it then that this small show at the Portland Art Museum with major
works (many on loan from the Broad Art Foundaion) exploring the use of pattern in Post WWII art is called Camouflage?
Damien Hirst's The Kingdom of The Father gets Scout Niblett's undivided attention
With works by Agnes Martin, Christopher Wool, Philip Taaffe, Damien Hirst and
Andy Warhol it is small but heavy hitting sampler of a major trend in postwar
As part of their special screenings series, the NW Film Center is showing a double feature this weekend: director James Crump's Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe will be accompanied by director Esther Robinson's A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Andy Warhol Factory. Both films place their often infamous subjects within a fascinating cultural context, exploring the social world that made these artists difficult - and great. The films will be screened October 19-21 at various times - visit their website to learn more.
Last month Carl Diehl put out a call for the crypto-zoetropical, and this weekend he'll be screening the results. Come down to Rererato this Friday, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the "infamous Bigfoot filmstrip," to see the showcasing of Diehl's collected film project, accompanied by live experimental music and performance. The show is $4, and begins at 7pm, Friday, October 19th, 5135 NE 42nd AVE.
Kojo Griffin, "Death of an archetype: the trajic mullato in Barrack Obama"
Kojo Griffin's An Acausal Connecting Principle is opening this week at Quality Pictures. These paintings break away from his former, more cartoony style to create a more traditionally painterly body of work flush with darkly humorous references to contemporary pop-culture and politics. Griffin, a participant in the 2000 Whiteny Biennial and the 2006 Seville Biennial, is a major coup for Quality Pictures, and not to be missed.
Frankly, such a generous gift is the only way such a painting by van Gogh could
enter the museum's collection and it's worth many millions (in today's market
5-10 is my conservative guess, but that's rational thinking, at auction it maybe
could have hit approached 15 or more). The Rijksmuseum has the other version
of this work, which features a red ox instead of the black one here. Basically the money doesn't matter, it is the fact that its an important piece for the premier public collection in the state... (more)
Allan McCollum, "Natural Copies From the Coal Mines of Central Utah"
Allan McCollum is speaking tonight for PSU's Monday night lecture series. McCollum's work is deeply engaged with shape and form, and how that affects the identity of objects and individuals. In 2005, he began the Shapes Project, which seeks to create a unique shape for every individual in the world, aiming for the peak population in the mid-21st century.
Mixed-media textile artist Wendy Huhn will be lecturing this weekend on her work. Huhn was one of the participating artists in the Museum of Contemporary Craft's CRAFT IN AMERICA: Expanding Traditions exhibition, which closed a few weeks ago.
Jerry Saltz is the kind of critic who cares about his art scene, he doesn't
just exploit it and his latest piece on the
health of New York's scene is an interesting read. He doesn't just present
the situation as pure doom though, he points out some bright spots and simply seems tired of the lack of radical
ideas.... hardly a problem exclusive to New York. The piece also seems to wish
for many of the things that Portland has (yet the Oregonian's coverage is a
tad over obsessed with our liberating lack of money without pointing out its benefits... there is a middle ground of course). No New York's scene isn't
dead and no Portland isn't the center of the universe but there are lessons
to be learned from both. The secret is simply how to be fresh or even innovative,
then get the credit for it? The words are so simple but the task is daunting.
Proposed pedestrian and light rail bridge as designed by ZGF
Also, what does everyone think of the ZGF design proposal for a
new bridge over the Willamette that was in the Oregonian a bit ago? I think
it is a decent design but top heavy, slightly unoriginal and a little inelegant,
besides the nearby Marquam Bridge is a terrible design and the
reason the Fremont Bridge is so good. The Marquam's bad design almost begs
for something so good that that it is rendered invisible. Besides is "decent"
really good enough for something that bridges OMSI with the South Waterfront
Aerial Tram?... we have a design reputation to uphold and there needs to be a serious design competition. Why not invite
Corker Marshall, shop,
and maybe Norman Foster to take a shot at this? Besides we have one of the best
bridge collections in the the world, but it needs the highest quality addition. This just doesn't cut it.
Rake Art is holding a benefit for artist Michael Wilson, who lost both his studio and his home in the tragic Brophy studio fire two and a half weeks ago.
Rake will be serving a Cajun luncheon for $25/plate this Sunday to accompany a sale of Wilson's works. 100% of the proceeds go to Wilson's rebuilding fund. The RACC has also set up a rebuilding fund for Wilson - visit their news page for information on how to contribute (donations are tax deductible).
Overall, the list is heavy with perceptual experience artists like Ehlis, Jackson,
Fritz, McFarland and Diehl. While Renwick and Slappe tend to create narrative
tableaus with their video installation work. McCormick, Ennis and Lommasson
are more traditional to their medias which are painting, drawing and photography
respectively. Norris, McCormick and Lommasson are represented by NAAU but if
shows and this list are any indication, the gallery wont look anything like
a sales gallery.
Now all that matters is how the actual shows deliver.
Conkle's The La La Zone Expedition, Haze Gallery (2004)
It isn't news that a Portland artist is having a New York solo show, Dan May and
Fletcher (among others) have done so recently. The difference is the way the
The Pelican Presents, is promoting Bruce Conkle's show... as part of a visual
arts renaissance in PDX. Old news to us of course, but it's nice they noticed.
We probably have have as many artists as Williamsburg but it's different because
Portland's scene is lifestyle and value driven (eco sustainable & measuring man by something
other than man)... not money or fame driven. Portland is the US city where America's "conscience"
seems to be most active and well developed.
The gallery is also right that Conkle (who spent years in the late 80's working
for Leo Castelli etc.) is awfully good. Conkle's 2004 exhibit at Haze gallery,
The La La
Zone Expedition, is one of the best solo shows I've seen anywhere in the
last 10 years and it managed
to address genocide, exploration, conquest and ecology. It did so in a way
a that a lot of Brooklyn artists can't do without a stunting sense of a city
slicker gone camping irony. Conkle, being half Swiss, half Portlander and probably
half goblin... has no problems presenting the ridiculousness of Western Civilization's
ecological, militaristic and humanistic dilemmas. One of Conkle's existential
snowmen in a freezer got a bit of attention in Miami last year even.
Here is part of what the gallery press release is saying: "Bruce Conkle...
De facto king of the Pacific NW eco art geeks and self-styled 'misfit at the
crossroads,' he creates 'Lament for Middle Kingdom Earth,' a quirky eco-absurd
installation that restages contemporary ideas about nature and community in
a pre-modern world of fairytale landscape."
Conkle, like a lot of Portland's best artists is not represented in Portland
and we tend to see his work in numerous
group shows where he has been woodshedding his ideas. Here's
an interview we did years ago. All I can say is, Bruce you better make us
Opening reception • 7-10pm • October 12 Jack The Pelican Presents • 487 Driggs Ave. (at 9th), Brooklyn New York • 718.782.0183
The Tacoma Art Museum is looking for artists for their Woolworth Windows project to "create installations that will activate the window spaces." The installations take up over 100 feet of window space in downtown Tacoma, and will stay up for 3 months, including two cycles of Tacoma's Third Thursday art walks. The application deadline for the 2008 season is midnight, November 1, 2007. Click here for a description of the project, and application instructions.
The Portland Art Center is soliciting submissions for their 2007 holiday exhibition/fundraiser, PDX Panels. The concept is simple: Grab a 24"x24" panel from PAC before October 14, put almost anything you want on it, and drop it off by December 1st. PAC will display the panels from December 6 - 22, with 75% of sales going to benefit the gallery, and 25% to the artists. Click here for more details. Update, 10-13: Due to overwhelming interest, they added 100 more panels, available until they run out, so if you thought you missed your chance, go get 'em!
Ever wanted to be on TV? First Tuesdays, a local cable talk show, wants to give you your 15 minutes of fame. For no cost (other than an investment of your time), First Tuesdays will help you promote your latest project, exhibit, performance, etc. The program provides a forum for discourse on local art, as well as a chance to broadcast your display or performance. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 503-667-8848 ext. 300. You may view the producers online at www.MetroEast.org.
Just a remider to everyone, it's the last weekend for Wes Mills' Apex show at PAM. Here is Arcy's excellent review. A subtle show but one of the most rewarding exhibitions Ive seen since moving here 8.5 years ago...you just shouldn't miss it. It even plays well with the Ursula von Rydingsvard show.
Yeah, there is a new Chuck Close print show at PAM too that I'm not very excited about.... he was Mr. early 90's and by that time was pretty much coasting on a reputation he had cemented in the late 70's. Still, if you are there why not see it too?
Mary Henry- Metaphor, Acrylic on canvas 1995.
Image courtesy of PDX Contemporary Art Portland, Oregon
I wasn't sure what I was expecting as I drove up to Seattle with my wife on an early on a Saturday morning in June. I knew that I was traveling to meet with one of the great painters of the Northwest, Mary Henry. I was familiar with her paintings with their beautiful colors and meticulous craft. The paintings have such a remarkable clarity that they ring with a distinctive tone, not unlike hitting a bell at a Japanese temple. Perfect, complete and clear. More...
For the month of October, Newspace will feature the top three photographers from their 2006 National Juried Exhibition, which was juried by Christopher Rauschenberg and Jennifer Stoots. Although the artists are exhibiting separate shows, their images are united by an obsessive deconstruction of their environment. In his series The Garden, Todd Stewart attempts to share the wonder that he observes in his young children's experience of the natural world. With his rich, green imagery, Stewart invites the viewer to feel this same simple pleasure, as he attempts to explore the relationship between individual creativity and the "natural" process of creation. Paul Yurkovich's Along the Road takes us into the world of the American road trip. Rather than picture the "sights", Yurkovich seeks to capture the dreamlike roadside visions that rush past, lingering only as "sustained afterthoughts." Finally, Rishi Singal's Condition of Urbanity takes us back into the city, documenting his investigations into the forms and (dis)order with which we build our cities. From Western Europe to New Delhi to New York City, Singal has documented his patient exploration of the development of the modern urban world.
The Cusp (from Indianapolis) gives Portland some feedback regardig my
follow-up post regarding the Tribune's big arts special section last week.
Yes, scene-wise I think OTC is right about us being ahead but Midwestern cities
always seem to have better museums and more established non-profits. I'm glad
he picked up on my "focus" argument it is crucial. I hope it catches
on here more.... (more)
Solid as ever and always changing, Tom Cramer is a bit of a Portland institution (with all the murals, cars, gallery shows and set designs) and after writing reviews and an essay 2 years ago I felt Tom himself might be the best one to introduce his latest show at his new gallery, Laura Russo.
At this point in Tom's career a museum survey is about all the more he needs, the work is still jaw dropping, still selling like hotcakes to collectors (for more than before) and still evolving. As an artist he's shown no signs of running out of steam and he's an important bridge between the old Portland art scene (Milton Wilson, Clifford Gleason, C.S. Price) and the newest version streaming in from all parts of the globe.
That said, just another review or yet another chat with Tom interview seemed less interesting than this little introduction to what is different and new in his latest work.
The first exhibition of the academic year at Clark College's Archer Gallery opens tonight. DRAWN: Explorations in Line is an investigation into the tradition of drawing and its potential for expansion through technology. The show features work by Northwest artists Cat Clifford, Heidi Preuss Grew, Robert Hanson, Linda Hutchins, Naomi Shigeta, Keith Tilford, Samantha Wall, and Jacqueline Will.
Archer Gallery | Wednesday, October 3, 4-6pm | Penguin Union Building, Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA | 360.992.2246
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.
Hickey's students are only part of his legacy. Beau Monde's basic premise was
that visual pleasure (and the viewer's experience) was still important to art, DUH... but
back then POMO theorists had their heads so far up their council-of-trent-like
asses, somebody had to remind them. Hickey's ideas though widely debated at the
time have been pretty much adopted and run with by in shows like, Paul Schimmel's
Ecstacy show at MOCA, Olafur
Eliasson at the Tate...(more)
Corin Hewitt, from "Toad in a Hole (Portland, OR)"
Tonight marks the beginning of the 2007-2008 PSU Monday Night Lecture Series. The first lecture is by Corin Hewitt, who's also currently exhibiting at Small A Projects. Hewitt's credentials include participation in a group show at the Whitney, and a place in their permanent collection, as well as exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe. His work addresses memory and the interplay between loss and replacement (an admittedly ubiquitous subject these days), through photography, performance, and the use of cheap, ephemeral materials.