Between Heaven and Earth: The Work of James Lavadour
Star House, 2008
oil on panel
24" x 30
"My main interest has always been about the properties of paint, what paint does. One of the things that paint does is that it is organic and does the same sort of things that dirt does, anything in the natural world does. It has the same processes: erosion, sedimentation, flow... I saw in that microcosm of a landscape. I saw the same processes in watercolor settling in on a piece of paper as rivers and mountains. That was the first principle that struck me early on and I realized that ever since I was a child I was fascinated by those particular processes.
I realized that I had two basic things that I work with in my paintings: the first is organic flow which is the landscape. The second was an architectural grid or abstraction which is based on the human perception or response to the natural world. Those two ideas have always been my right hand and my left hand. They were polar opposites of one another. I used to do either abstracts or landscapes. At this point, they intersected in this collision. After that I had no idea what was going to happen then. The abstracts became more like landscapes and the landscape became more like architectural structures with a cellular structure that had spaces within spaces within spaces.
When I experienced that microcosm of the cosmos, everything else just fell away. (More)
The 19th Annual CAP art evening and auction is happening this Saturday. The auction, which features artist Katherine Ace amid many wonderful works, benefits the Cascade AIDS Project. This year's theme is Cirque (whimsical), and the event will also feature the finest in Portland food and entertainment.
Cauduro scholarship for PNCA, Portland invests in the future but loses a Warhol
Oregon's single best art collector, Ed Cauduro... and arguably the best eye
north of San Francisco has given PNCA
a 1 million dollar scholarship endowment. When he was active he tended to collect early and presciently
and his collection has included the likes of Warhol, Judd, Schnabel, Terry
Winters, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons and Basquiat (who even did a portrait
of the elusive collector). Cauduro has given many important works to PAM (like
Young etc.) but none of the listed heavy hitters are currently in PAM's
gap-filled collection. Cauduro also owns Short
Stop, John Chamberlain's first crushed car sculpture... something every
art museum on the planet is interested in (Cauduro is 81 and must be slightly
annoyed with the dynamic sets up). In response he's been setting up a lot of
charities, including this incredibly generous scholarship endowment for PNCA.
I've known about this for a while and it's a major benefit for the college and
the art community. PNCA is on a roll with its 511
Ford gift (FIVE program) and MK
Guth in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.
The Ed Cauduro Fund for Pacific Northwest College of Art of The Oregon Community
Foundation (OCF) will provide up to four $10,000 annual scholarships, beginning
with two scholarships for the 2008-2009 school year and one in each of the following
two years. The endowment will also provide approximately $5,000 annually for
students to use in purchasing art supplies and materials they would otherwise
be unable to afford. Having a scholarship like this helps PNCA compete with
other schools for particularly promising students... many might not realize
this but it is a competitive advantage they have been lacking....(more)
Psilo Design is soliciting entries for the third edition of the Portland Funbook. The Funbook (which will be oversized at 11x17 this year) features clever "entertainment" by local artists and musicians, as well as quirky articles on Portland heritage, and proceeds go to charity. The deadline for submitting a page is June 25. Go here to learn more and download submission guidelines.
There are lots of interesting solo shows coming down this weekend and a few of them deserve a little more critical attention. Conveniently all are within 2 blocks of eachother:
Satushek's Puddles (2005) at Rake Gallery
One exciting discovery is Adam
Satushek at Rake Gallery. His large format photographs of decay, debris
and human activity comprise one of the tighter solo shows in Portland for the
month of March. It satisfies my need to see photography do more than just depict
the more pleasant aspects of civilization and nature and much of it is unintentional earth art...
Jenene Nagy will be lecturing on her APEX show at PAM this Sunday. The talk will explore "her working practice, its history, and inspirations."
Artist talk • 2pm • March 30 • Free to members, or with cost of admission to the museum. Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park AVE • Andrée Stevens Room
Coming up at PAM: The next Miller Meigs show will be Ed Ruscha - on loan from the Broad collection. As PORT pointed out when everyone was all in a tizzy over the Broad revelation, LACMA's loss is already turning out to be our gain.
LaDuke has been getting a lot of attention lately from Tyler
Green and other museums and his work first appeared in Portland in PAM's
New In Town exhibition back in 2002. The thing that has always struck me about
LaDuke's work is how there is always a phantom presence... (more)
Opening on Last Thursday is Brittany Powell & Jill Bliss's project Califoregon. Powell is a native Oregonian and Bliss is a native Californian. After meeting at CCA and both finding themselves landing in Portland (it's the northern expansion!), they decided to unite their native aesthetics and bring us this collaborative exhibition of drawings, cut-outs, screen prints, and more - all celebrating the growing hybrid that is Califoregon.
Opening reception • 7-10pm • March 27 Office PDX • 2204 NE Alberta • 888.355.7467
If you like what you read, come down to NAAU this week for the following Week One transmissions: "From infomercials to local news, genre westerns and classic sitcoms, familiar forms are aflutter. Amplified to the point of distortion, these audio-visual vernaculars are rewired by: Linda Austin, Lili White, Nerve Theory, Jesse England and Taly & Russ Johnson. This week's offerings also include abstract illusions from Marchi Wierson and elusive allusions from Ryan Dunn. And don't miss Bosko Blagojevic's typo-corrected rendition of Richard Serra and Carlotta Fay Schoolman's famous media critique Television Delivers People."
Also last week, More Ways to Waste Time did her own art
tour of Portland, and managed to find way more nooks and crannies in the
art scene here than say the New York times has in their frequent stalkings of
Portland. She ate
a lot of stuff too... (more)
Elegy to Analog: BYOTV at The New American Art Union
SuperPaint System in 1973 Image Courtesy Computer History Museum
Dear (Video) Ladies and Gentlemen,
The death of an era is upon us. On February 17, 2009 the FCC will terminate the broadcast transmissions of analog signals in favor of an entirely digital broadcast system. To receive these new signals, one must own either a digitally receptive television or purchase an analog converter, for which the government has issued coupons and for which may be applied through various FCC websites. Such a change will mark. . .(more)
This weekend marks the last for the Museum
of Contemporary Craft's The Living Room, which ends March 23rd. With
a novel cutaway layout, the show has had 3 different iterations, Mid-Century
Modern, Ornamental Modern and the current Eco-Modern. My favorite is the current
Eco-Modern, which sports a great 1970's weaving by Mike Walsh and an excellent
Lately with Dwell, Ikea, Design Within Reach and the mass appeal of Target's
ad campaigns, modern design has enjoyed a pretty amazing resurgence. One of
my favorite baristas refers to Dwell as yuppie porn but I think curator Namita
Wiggers is going beyond the "simplify your hectic life" dream that
seems to be fueling the interest. Instead, she looks at the links between craft
and modernist furnishings and how the modernist aesthetic was mostly a "truth
in materials and production" movement. She also mixes the new with vintage.
Here are two of my favorite living rooms: ...(more)
Congratulations to Portlander Michael Patterson-Carver who is one of the recipients
of the 2008 Altoids
art prize, he gets 25,000 and a joint show at the New
Museum. Previous recipient Harrell Fletcher was one of the *nominators. The award
is somewhat unique in contemporary art as artists select other artists for the
award, hence the reason the award doesn't have the musty and necrotic smell that
most art world prizes have... that and Altoids sponsors it. Carver is represented
A where you can see more of his work.
PAM's latest contemporary acquisition: Batura + some guests
Tanya Batura, Sourire en Bois, 2007. Clay and acrylic. 10 in x 17 in x 10 in. Portland Art Museum.
The Portland Art Museum's latest contemporary acquisition, Tanya
Batura's Sourire en Bois is on now display on the 4th floor of the
Jubitz Center for Contemporary Art. The title translates as, "to smile
out of wood." The double entendre is probably intended, but it also references
how the sculpture has a wooden texture where the torso normally would start... (more)
U of O is seeking submissions for their Pacific Northwest Art Annual. The exhibition has been happening for forty years, and each Annual culminates with the "Best in Show" being purchased for their permanent collection. They're only interested in NW artists, and work must have been completed in the last five years. Submissions must be postmarked by April 1. For more information, and to download the submission form, visit their website.
The Living Room Theater is launching Art Spark: Every third Thursday, interested parties gather in their lounge to chat about art. It's a private business looking to break into the art scene, but it sounds like it could be a promising event. Each month there will be a different host from the local art scene, who gets "6@6" - 6 minutes at 6pm to say or do whatever they want, followed by open discussion. March's host is Arts & Culture Commissioner Sam Adams. The event is free, but space is tight, so they ask that you RSVP.
Creative discourse • 5-7pm • March 20 (and every 3rd Thursday) Living Room Theaters • SW 10th & Stark
In conjunction with PNCA, the Museum of Contemporary Craft presents a lecture by Ellen Lupton. Theorizing that design is a form of creativity that is accessible to all, Lupton's The Design-It-Yourself Revolution "explore(s) how technology is combining with social movements to create greater access to design tools and creativity."
Excellence in craft lecture • 7pm • March 20 • $5 PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson St. • The Commons
There are a million opportunities for artists right now, so make sure to "Read More"!
Henri Cartier-Bresson, "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare" (1932)
Newspace is asking for entries for their 2008 Juried Exhibition. The theme this year is inspired by Bresson's famous description of his photography capturing "the decisive moment." They're looking for entries that explore fleeting environmental moments that "change our perspective slightly... [as] we become witnesses to the gestures of time." Artist and curator TJ Norris is running the exhibition. Selected entries will be shown in a group exhibition, and the winner will have a solo exhibition and receive a $500 award. Entries from anywhere in the world, made within the last two years, will be accepted. The deadline is May 2nd. See their website for more details on how to enter.
Carson Ellis, original artwork for the The Decemberists' The Long and Short of it Tour (detail)
It is no secret that Portland has an impressive music scene nor is a secret that
the art scene is equally robust, what isn't talked about much is how often they
are entwined in each others affairs. The two have grown up alongside and supported eachother. Take for instance one of my favorite local
artists, Carson Ellis
and her work for The Decemberists.
Way back in the old days 2001/2002 (before Portland actually believed something
was going on) Ellis got my attention for her sure hand and novel wit. Later,
her ghost ship painting was used for The
Decemberists Castaways and Cutouts album and the rest is history. Soon she'll
have a show in Chelsea, but till then there is small but wonderful retrospective
of her The Decemberists work at PCC
Rock Creek up for the month of March.... (more)
The first exhibition in NAAU's Couture series opens next week with The Video Gentlemen'sBYOTV. The show is in response to the U.S.'s decision to end all analog television broadcasting in February, 2009: "Pre-empting the scheduled program of obsolescence, The Video Gentlemen's BYOTV network launches a six-week season of special reports engaged with this technocultural turn." The signal will be broadcast from NAAU, and visitors are encouraged to "Bring Your Own TV," or borrow one from the gallery, "intercepting transmissions from their immediate airspace."
Exhibition • March 19 - April 27 Update! Opening reception • 5-8pm • March 22 New American Art Union • 922 SE Ankeny • 503.231.8294
If you're looking for a little more action this weekend, check out these events:
The Pancake Clubhouse presents local designer K Sims' recycled fashion show. She'll be debuting designs that explore "deconstruction, luxury, reincarnation, beauty, and individuality," all accompanied by a saw and theramin performance.
Gallery Homeland will be hosting the United Church of America, a traveling political theater group, featuring the constitutional Prophet "BCG" and his newest political sermon "Make America." GH invites you to "Come celebrate your country with a Constitutional Communion!"
The Portland Art Museum
is host to yet another distinguished guest, in fact it's a work painted in Portland
by our most famous local artist, Marcus Rothkowitz (aka Mark Rothko). The painting is currently
on display in the third floor of the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art. The ca. 1928 oil painting "Landscape (View of Portland)" was made long before
his signature style of the late 40's and depicts the then new Ross Island Bridge
from Pill Hill, a moody grey sky and Mt Hood. Overall, it is most strongly influenced
by Cezanne... (more)
-Big new Brad Cloepfil project in the architect's home town... we were just discussing his Clyfford Still Museum last week. Im about 99.9999999% certain Cloepfil will get the job, he's the campus' master planner. Hell his office even overlooks the 511 building a lil.
-More public galleries on the North Park Blocks giving Portland an opportunity to extend the Park Plocks in the future into a world class cultural enclave.... (more)
Ok, the typical Whitney rigmarole has given New York something to talk about
again (though it seems quieter and less engaging than usual, the Whitney needs
to radically change the show to increase its relevance). Frankly it doesn't
excite me at all, but so far Ben
Davis on Artnet has done the best job of capturing the issue at hand. His
best summary, "the whole thing does seem to represent an interest in homeopathic
medicine! That is, it offers to simulate a negative effect to cure the larger
disease; as if to fend off harsh critical attacks, the show embraces a defensive
self-abasement. It is willfully half-baked." Though his Neo-Hippie tag
isn't quite news...truth be told the last 4 (including 2008) have all been Neo-Hippie
late 60's and early 70's fests. One could point to the adoption of Devendra
Banhart into the art world as making it rather official (and therefore dead).
That nostalgia also underscores why people aren't that whipped up over this
Biennial show, there is no real shift at work here.
Despite that, Portland's own MK Guth is racking up all sorts of critical notice
doing the important thing in any group show, standing out (Davis and the New
York Times single her out as a favorite). Though Holland
Cotter's Times piece labeling of her work as "new agey" seems
like a New Yorker projecting funny expectations on a Portlander. Truth is MK
pisses a lot of Portlanders off because she isn't very dippy-hippy newagey,
she's often hard core but romantic with an eye for entropy and not new agey
at all.... (more)
Portland has a very active art scene that continues to expand... blah blah.. you know this already.
I also think last weekend was the first time in recent memory that First Friday/Saturday competed on all fronts with First Thursday. Here were some highlights.
The second iteration of FWD: Dudes Night Out at Gallery Homeland (here's a review of #1) was yet another sprawling group show... it's forgivable since it was a last minute addition when March's orginal show needed a bit more time. These shows are mixers for the artists more than anything else and allow them to debut new ideas and get critical feeback (from one another). They are generally good for taking the pulse of things but solo shows are where the big statements are made...(more)
Anissa Mack's The Last Full Weekend Each September is opening this weekend at Small A. The show collects pieces from Mack's Durham Fair and Durham Fair (10th Anniversary Edition) series. Having grown up attending the Durham Fair, for these projects Mack created pieces to enter in all 73 craft categories at the fair, exploring and interrogating American craft rituals and traditions. This show is the first time these pieces have been exhibited outside the fair.
Opening reception • 6-8pm • March 8 Small A Projects • 1430 SE 3rd AVE • 503.234.7993
In conjunction with the exhibit, Mack will be speaking for this Monday's (March 10) PSU lecture series at 7:30pm at the 5th Ave Cinema, SW 5th & Hall.
Pushdot Studio is celebrating the gallery's official reopening in their new location with Ann Ploeger's In Between. The series reinvents the self-portrait, exploring "uninhabited spaces... in which stillness lends itself to the specificity of being there." The photographs encourage the viewer to reflect on how these images represent moments in the artist's life and self, while using light and color to create a sense of location that invites the viewer into the moment.
QPCA will be unveiling their fourth "Qproject."Interspace is a "fully immersive" video installation by Laura Fritz. The installation continues Fritz's exploration of what happens inside the viewer's mind as expectation and perception are manipulated by a "purposeful and provocative vacuum."
Mark Hooper, "Untitled (from the series There:Here)"
Also opening at QPCA: Mark Hooper's There:Here, an exhibition of large-scale photographs that "use metaphorical events and tools to address enabling and predicting change on the physical, psychological or spiritual level."
It's true some worship the WB as some sort of art career Deus ex Machina
while the show's overall importance has waned as of late. Still, some 2-5 artists
seem to emerge from each iteration and artists like David Altmejd, Forcefield,
Chris Johanson and Harrell Fletcher have all gone on to make more serious contributions
after the show. My point is the Whitney B in itself isn't as important as the
follow through after. In many ways Portlanders are simply over being excited
about The Whitney but we love the fact that MK gets to do her thing. I also
keep thinking that a west of the Mississippi Biennial might be in order some
day as well.