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Tuesday 12.04.07

« A better bridge design | Main | First Thursday Picks December 2007 »

Guide to Portland In Miami 2007

Still from Vanessa Renwick's Trojan #2 at ABMB

Portland's art scene will be well represented during this week's Miami Art Fair madness with greater visibility than ever before. Portland galleries and artists are seeminly everwhere this time. Sure, Portland artists, curators and galleries are already veterans of such fairs but after years being stalked by the media in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Art Forum, Modern Painters and Art in America etc. it now seems Portland has buzz for being different and it shows in the art. In fact, art is central to Portland, no other large metropolitan West Coast city can claim that. Portland is simply a parallel art world, not removed from the rest but definitely different. The scene does produce a lot of very strong video, installation and other work that disregards the difference between sculpture and painting.

Beyond that the "Portland thing" is difficult to define but without a hyper inflated but active local art market, tons of recent MFA's, lots of new alt spaces and a crop of artists making international headway Portland is good a making art for all the right reasons. Besides our gallerists tend to be some of the more enjoyable art personalities one could hope to run into.

When other scenes seem artificial in terms of prices, careerism and style de jour Portland's thing is more about living a better life… better coffee, better food, better communities and better art. Sure, like any good scene we have thousands of derivative or bad artists but some of our best are better than anything similar elsewhere… in some cases there aren't any comparables.

Here's a guide on where to find Portland spread out in Miami (all galleries Portland based unless otherwise noted)

Art Basel Miami Beach:

In the main event fair you can find Portlanders Jo Jackson, Chris Johansson, and Harrell Fletcher at Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco).

Also the ABMB video lounge SAM curator Michael Darling has assembled a survey of Pacific Northwest video art that showcases Portland well in the botanical gardens. It features Miranda July's Portland era work as well as that of Vanessa Renwick, Harrell Fletcher, Matt McCormick and Terry Chatkupt.

Aqua Wynwood:

MK Guth's Kelly and Dave (lenticular photograph 2006)

Elizabeth Leach Gallery: will be showing 2008 Whitney Biennial selectee MK Guth, Matt McCormick whose work had a big year with Uncertain States of America and Moscow Biennial, Sean Healy whocompleted a project for Thom Mayne recently and has a show at Contemporary Art Museum Houston next year as well. Other arists include Mark Smith, Joe Thurston and Melia Jensen etc.

Lisa Dent Gallery (San Francisco) will be showing PORT's own Ryan Pierce

Flow Fair:

Storm Tharp at PDX Contemporary Art

PDX Contemporary Art: Featuring the virtuosic Storm Tharp, the in-demand Ellen George, the fresh paintings of Adam Sorenson, and Vanessa Renwick's video art. PDX has been doing fairs forever and always has a good booth. This time out they particularly feel like they have some of the best work they've ever shown at any fair... that probably means something rather than the typical gallerist hype.

Aqua Hotel:

Laura Fritz's Section 1 at QPCA

Quality Pictures Contemporary Art: Besides showing paintings by Elizabeth Huey and Kojo Griffin QP will be showing Portlanders; Bryan Shellinger (paintings on paper), collaborative neon work by TJ Norris & Scott Wayne Indiana and a critically noted video installation by Laura Fritz, Section 1.

Matthew Picton's Jerusalem 1938, 1962, 2007

Howard House (Seattle): Matthew Picton's city series just keep getting better. His "Jerusalem 1937, 1967, 2007" maps the various and politically contested versions of the city corresponding to the years.

Red Dot:

Tom Cramer's Golden Dawn at Laura Russo Gallery

Laura Russo Gallery, known for representing historical Northwest artists and blue chip work the gallery is showing Tom Cramer who is very popular with collectors, Michael Brophy, Gregory Grenon and onetime Portlander Robert Colescott are all likely bets too.

Deim Chau at Pulliam Deffenbaugh

Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery: Will be showing Laurie Reid (SF), Hildur Bjarnadottir (Iceland), Deim Chau (Korea), Yoshiro Kitai and one of my favorite Portland artists Linda Hutchins

Butters Gallery: A family run gallery and ealy chinatown pioneer, they show the likes of Margaret Evangeline and local artists like Stacie Chappell


Scott Peterman, Imbaba at Charles Hartman

Charles Hartman who is consistently doing the tightest exhibitions in Portland OR will be showing wonderful work by Scott Peterman from Portland Maine, thereby achieving the confusing bicoastal bermuda triangle of Portland-Portland-Miami.


Jessica Jackson-Hutchins at Small A

Small A Projects has pulled off a coup by getting into NADA, showing Portlanders like Dana Dart-McLean, Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Michael Patterson-Carver. Sure most NADA artists are trying too hard to look like they aren't trying too hard but something tells me this is the year NADA has to grow up or become synonymous with early 21 trendiness (aka deer, horses, unicorn, lumpy things, ironic hipster words, rainbows, self conscious drawings and collage that never wants to grow up)


Bruce Conkle will have a small snowman sculpture at Jack The Pelican Presents(Brooklyn)… I hear tell it's loaded with electronics and probably some existential environmental chagrin. Ahhh I remember being at the very first Scope Fair, back when sattelite events weren't so expected.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 04, 2007 at 13:34 | Comments (0)


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