Gilley's Plus Minus
at the Portland Building
Portland's art scene is host to pretty much every genre imaginable but spatially
concerned installation work has become a very
over the past 6 years. It's time to add Damien Gilley
to the ever-growing list of first rate to promising practitioners of the genre.
This focus on redefining space makes sense as Portland is currently reimagining itself as a city
(many would argue that it is a city state built on civics rather than corporate
at Michael Graves' history making Portland
makes use of vinyl tape to render and conflate the cityscape and
interior space on a wall based web. The effect isn't unlike a city planner's
PowerPoint slide manifested in real life by some giant graphic design obsessed
spider (it is so very Portland).
In this successful first attempt Gilley focused specifically on 5th Avenue
streetscape in front of the Portland Building as well as Grave's interiors nearby
the RACC run installation space. The resulting ghost world of outlines is simultaneously
disorienting while evoking the specific local of the installations immediate
For example, if the viewer looks around they can pick out details like Porlandia
in profile, the security turnstiles in the Portland Building as well as some
of areas where street workers have cordoned off construction sites. Some of
Graves' signature decorative embellishments also feature prominently. The city
as depicted seems friendly but strangely irradiated and the blue color reminds
me of some of Rauschenberg's x-rays.
In this case Gilley's rasterisation and displacement of linear outlines has an interesting
effect, essentially turning the gallery space into a Tron
-like alternate universe
not so much an inhabitable place as a kind of plan for space and the kind of
civic energy it exudes. It also reminds me of the way architect Daniel
or an artist like Julie
utilizes lines to indicate history or coordinates of civic activities.
This could become even more interesting if further installations could go beyond
describing existing nearby space and dealt with deeper histories and potential
future changes to the site.
Up close the vinyl tape acts like a model, reinforcing the blueprint like gestalt
of the whole installation. This is an interesting first foray into this type of installation
and could be improved if it took place in a larger space or possibly extended to
the floor and ceiling. As it stands now Plus Minus is a tantalizing hint at
what Gilley, a PSU MFA student and co-operator of IGLOO gallery, can do. We want to see more.
Also, April seems to be awash in strong space-related shows, here's
Nagy's s/plit at The Portland Art Museum
is a must see
As is The
Video Gentlemen's BYOTV
(not only is the gallery filled by a giant triangle but their short range TV
signal is a kind of invisible use of space.)
conjures space from stains like no other, he's the best living abstract landscape
artist on the planet in fact he's way better than Arthur Dove.
Hooper's uncanny photographs at Quality Pictures
are ultra tight explorations
of inhabitation and space.
Hayward + Jenene Nagy and Stephanie Robison (this is her break out show) at
The Art Gym
Held's Maya-like tower of microwaves
(another strong addition to the SE)
Scott Wayne Indiana's pretty damn funny Door Man at Ogle
InTensions at Worksound
has several spatially intensive works (an exciting new space in the SE)
Some deluded blond guy who hung out Robert
Irwin some and now thinks he is an artist at PNCA
Alex Fradkin's bunkers
at Blue Sky
Did every curator in Portland get together and decide by committee to put on fantastic shoes this month? The last few months had me questioning what the hell was going on in Portland, but this month has reignited my flame.
And hey, at least you are some deluded blond guy that actually MET Robert Irwin. I am just some deluded blond guy that thinks he's an artist because he knows of Robert Irwin.
Are you both joking. Jeff for throwing in that he met with Irwin and Calvin for thinking that matters AT ALL.
A very large part of my artwork is being purposefully derivative of the descendants of Modernism that came before me, and recontextualizing their work from a modern day American workers viewpoint. So Irwin's aesthetic has been extremely influential to my work. I would say that matters. So meeting Irwin would be rather inspiring to me.
To each his own though. You are what you eat, and I choose to consume other artists. Is there any artist you would love to meet JDavid?