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Infiltrating the holiday
Saving MOCA Tonight
Revisiting Michael Heizer's Double Negative
Get Higgzy
MOCA & Broad recap
The Eye of Science: Brought to Light at SFMOMA by Bean Gilsdorf
Before the weekend
Curators Speak
Artists Speak

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Friday 11.28.08



This Monday, come to the Holocene to celebrate the release of Psilo Design's 3rd Portland Funbook. The last two were fabulous proof that art and music in Portland are fun, and this year's is even oversize. Monday's release party will also be a benefit for Amnesty International.

Funbook3 Release Party • 9pm • December 1
Holocene • 1001 SE Morrison • $9


Orlo, publisher of the Bear Deluxe magazine, is celebrating their 15th birthday this Wednesday at the Someday. Exploring a variety of methods to "use the creative arts to explore environmental issues," Orlo's primary recent focus has been on Bear Deluxe. They'll release issue 28, their special contemporary arts issue (featuring images by PORT's own Ryan Pierce), at the party. The party will also feature cupcakes, cake, games and a placard-drawing contest. Free to Orlo members, or $5-$10 donation.

Orlo Birthday Party • 6:30-10pm • December 3
Someday Lounge • 125 NW 5th AVE

Hamza Walker

Before the Funbook party, don't forget PMMNLS! This week's lecture features curator Hamza Walker, interviewed a couple of years ago on PORT here. Since 1994, Walker has served as Director of Education/Associate Curator for The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, a non-collecting museum devoted to contemporary art, and has received the 1999 Norton Curatorial Grant and the 2005 Walter Hopps Award for curatorial achievement.

Lecture • 7:30pm • December 1
PSU • 1914 SW Park • Shattuck Hall Room 212

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 28, 2008 at 10:33 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.27.08

Infiltrating the holiday


I always enjoy it when an artist sucessfully finds a way to infiltrate more mainstream events and Keith Haring's balloon, (Untitled) Figure with Heart, in today's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gave me reason to watch a little bit of the otherwise very top 40 spectacle. It continues Macy's Blue Sky Gallery Series of contemporary balloons, you can watch it here.

Often, I find post-mortem work like this problematic but Haring had expressed an interest in this before his untimely demise. Also, someone like Paul McCarthy would make it a parade to remember for sure!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 27, 2008 at 14:49 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.26.08


Still from "Zidane"

This weekend, work off the holiday madness from the perspective of famous soccer player Zidane. The NW Film Center is screening Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Pareno, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can learn more about this ground breaking experimental film from Arcy's September review. Check out showtimes, and buy tickets online, at the NW Film Center site.

From "Wild Beauty" at PAM

In conjunction with PAM's ongoing exhibition, Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, the NW Film Center will present three film series that reflect the history of the Columbia River and the enormous changes the river has undergone. The first is happening this Sunday, and features three short films: The Columbia River Gorge: A Natural History, Sagebrush Sailors, and Singing Waters: Where Rolls Oregon. Visit the NW Film Center for showtimes and more information, and keep an eye on their site for the next two installments, on December 14 and December 28.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 26, 2008 at 11:04 | Comments (0)


Saving MOCA Tonight

Tyler reports that MOCA's board is gonna gather tonight with the purpose solidifying MOCA's vulnerable position. They may dine together as a group, but the whole affair is about not eating crow.

Here is an online petition so you can voice your support for MOCA.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 26, 2008 at 9:50 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.25.08


Dave Hickey amusingly addresses the excesses of 2007's Freize and Art Basel Miami Beach art fairs in Vanity Fair.

Jerry Saltz discusses the latest from Cindy Sherman.

The recently unveiled Powell's redesign isnt that good. cmon... a building housing that many architecture and design books just can't look like a suburban strip mall in Northbrook Illinois!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 25, 2008 at 13:40 | Comments (1)


Monday 11.24.08

Revisiting Michael Heizer's Double Negative

Double Negative in the late afternoon

Like most things in life, it always takes you a little longer to find it than you had anticipated. I was driving across the top of Mormon Mesa, outside of Overton , Nevada, looking for Michael Heizer's Double Negative. Double Negative was conceived in 1969 and completed in 1970. Incredibly, Heizer was only 24 years old when it was completed. I had been to Double Negative a couple of times about ten years earlier. I lived in Las Vegas at the time and experiencing the work changed my life. I suppose in some way, I still I am trying to coming grips with what I had experienced during those trips.

When Heizer went out to the edge of Mormon Mesa in 1970 his tools were a bulldozer, dynamite, probably a survey kit and a crew talented and brave enough to be able to make his conception a reality. He received funding for the lease of the land and support for the construction costs by the gallery owner Virginia Dwan. At the time the cost of the work was about $9,000. The work itself is two channels cut into opposite sides of the mesa. Each channel is approximately 9 meters deep and 10 meters wide. The western cut is about 230 meters long while the west cut is shorter, 100 meters long. Approximately, 244,800 tons of sand stone and rhyolite were relocated to make the work. The work is so large that there is not really an equivalent in the history of Western Art. It is longer than the Empire State Building is tall. When I was looking for the work and I was examining some of the valleys on the road to Double Negative, I was impressed with the fragility of the edge of the mesa. The edges are, after all, in a constant state of erosion. After the work had been marked, it must have taken an extremely brave person to make the first cut, maybe 6" or a 1' deep, and push it off the edge of the mesa. The drop off is extremely steep. There was no guarantee that the bulldozer would not just the follow the material off the edge of the mesa if the edge had given way and fallen down toward the river below. Everyone must have been holding there breaths because there would have been no way to know if the edge could support the weight of the bulldozer until they tried it. As work progressed it probably got a little easier and any large rocks that could not have been removed by the bulldozer would have been dynamited. After approximately, two weeks the excavations of the cuts were complete and the Heizer's initial conception of the work was complete. More...

Double Negative soon after completion

Posted by Arcy Douglass on November 24, 2008 at 10:45 | Comments (2)


Get Higgzy


Matthew Higgs, tonight's PMMNLS speaker, will be following his lecture with a dance party at SE industrial night club Branx. Sponsored by the PSU Art dept., "Art is to enjoy disco" features Matthew Higgs on the decks, and a last chance to shake your tailfeathers before weighing them down with turkey.

Dance Party • 10pm-2am • November 24
Branx • 320 SE 2nd

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 24, 2008 at 10:19 | Comments (0)


MOCA & Broad recap

In case you missed it Eli Broad tabled an offer to save MOCA, frankly the LACMA idea just never made any sense.

Tyler digested Broad's offer here. Eli broad takes a lot of heat but he has done a lot of good for LA and for that matter Portland too.

It is interesting that board members of a very important institution are being held to task.... also a heads up, PORT's Arcy Douglass was out at Double Negative (part of MOCA's collection) a few weeks ago and his post on it will be up in an hour.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 24, 2008 at 9:57 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.21.08

The Eye of Science: Brought to Light at SFMOMA by Bean Gilsdorf

Hermann Schnauss, Electrograph of a brass wire gauge,
1900; Albumen print; 6 x 4 5/16 in.

Imagine this: the world is new again. Photographs report the actuality of a novel universe, revealing truths about the environment heretofore unimagined. A formerly skeptical population is now awed, and hungers for images of phenomena previously hidden from sight, because seeing is both knowing and believing.

One could ask why a modern art museum would exhibit a group of scientific photographs from the mid- to late 1800s, but Brought to Light answers with an unusual exhibition that highlights the power of curiosity and experimentation... (more)

Posted by Guest on November 21, 2008 at 11:47 | Comments (2)


Before the weekend

Pipilotti Rist's Pour Your Body Out (7,354 Cubic Meters) @ MOMA

It looks like Pipilotti Rist is the first artist to fully make use of MOMA's newish atrium's scale. That figures, it isn't a major step forward for her in scale but it is an exciting step for MOMA... whose atrium has dominated formerly enormous Monets etc.

Tyler is focusing on the singularity of MOCA's superb collection and he also points out there is now a facebook page for the saving of MOCA.

Here is Artnet's coverage of MOCA's excellent Kippenberger show.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 21, 2008 at 10:37 | Comments (0)


Curators Speak

François Boucher, "Portrait de Madame de Pompadour," 1756

Patrice Marandel, Chief Curator of the Center for European Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is speaking this Sunday at PAM. Marandel will explore Madame de Pompadour, trendsetter in 18th century French culture, in a special advance lecture for PAM's February exhibition, La volupté du goût.

Curator Lecture • 2-3pm • November 23
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Matthew Higgs, "What Goes Around Comes Around"

Next week's PMMNLS features NYC-based curator, critic, and artist Matthew Higgs. Since the early 1990s, Higgs has sought to explore the overlapping connections between the three practices, developing an ongoing, inter-generational dialogue between artists through exhibitions and his own work.

Lecture • 7:30pm • November 24
PSU • 1914 SW Park • Shattuck Hall Room 212

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 21, 2008 at 8:50 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.20.08

Artists Speak

Rae Mahaffey, "Fig. 704 Brackets"

Rae Mahaffey and Sherrie Wolf are speaking this weekend at Laura Russo. Mahaffey's Engineering, an exhibition of painting, prints and glass, and Wolf's Animal Life paintings are on view at the gallery through the end of November.

Artists Lecture • 11am • November 22
Laura Russo Gallery • 805 NW 21st • 503.226.2754

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 20, 2008 at 10:08 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.19.08

MOCA's troubles & uncertain fate


Tyler's post on MOCA's fate is the must read art news post of the month. He's right, in my mind MOCA has supplanted The Walker, The Guggenheim and The Whitney as the world's most cutting-edge art museum programmatically. Speaking of cultural mergers, I don't think the Guggenheim is in any position to merge with them as their LA satellite.

Overall, with a dwindling endowment and no recent expansion or capital campaigns one wonders at the strange lack of ambition in LA (a place with no shortages of such). Here's the LA Times on the subject. I might add more to this later today, but it is uber-odd that such a major institution would be facing such last ditch decisions... of course cultural institutions should raise alarms when they are in trouble but if they look confused it doesn't help. It does help that MOCA's progamming warrants saving.

*Update: Christopher Knight's "seething" open letter says quite a bit of what needs to be said, earlier this year PORT's look at PAM showed the alternative strategy. The lesson.... endowments protect museums and more specifically, the nature of the endowment (not merely its size) often defines an institution.

The talks of a merger between LACMA and MOCA also seem terribly strained to me... MOCA losing its excellent collection also clips its wings for any future growth, branding it as a failed experiment. Like Knight stated, the first steps are a staff reduction as a good faith move then they need a bridge loan and a smart capaital campaign. Punting on MOCA is bad for LA, and the entire US... how about a bridge loan from the city rather than a weakened (merged) MOCA?

*Updated reactions:
Jeremy Strick's initial response

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 19, 2008 at 10:17 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.18.08

Long Term Thinking

Finally, there will be a new Sol LeWitt wall drawing retrospective... which will be on display for 25 years.

PNCA has a new Vice President for College Advancement (fundraising), Deborah Hopkinson. With 20 years of experience with OSU etc. she is a smart move. In 2 years PNCA takes over the 511 building from the government and their 32 million dollar centennial campaign will need a very steady hand using long range planning for major gifts during these difficult financial times. The campaign should be in overdrive by the time the economy is crawling out of the anticipated slump for the next year or so.

Skylab's Root Award's winner (office space) for North

Portland Architecture discusses Portland Spaces Root Awards for design. Sorry, but I can't help making some weak pun about how design has been putting down ever deeper roots in Portland. See the first Root Awards here. Overall, I'm still mulling over my reaction to the awards... they were a lot like the first Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, not bad... but not a revelation either. The important thing is that awards enhance a sense of achievement by spotlighting it, that is what cities do... they give talent a platform. Awards are a type of recurring platform. Now if only the O would stop turning editors into writers and hire an achitecture and design critic... the single most important writing job in the city can't be left to freelancers because follow-through is key!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 18, 2008 at 10:50 | Comments (0)


Lots of Opportunities

Starting with MERGE at the University of Oregon. Their Adell McMillan Gallery is seeking submissions for a combined film and art exhibition exploring mixed and/or multi media genres. In addition to the month-long show, the gallery will feature a one night screening to give audiences the chance to "experience and interact" with new experimental film. Submissions of film or mixed media work (very broadly defined) are due by December 17, and you can get the full lowdown here.

(A whole bunch more under the cut, including a deadline in two days.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 18, 2008 at 10:00 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.17.08

Bamboo Art

Jiro Yonezawa, "Araumi"

Jiro Yonezawa's Dream Weaver is on view in the pavilion at the Japanese Gardens through November 30. Traditionally trained in bamboo arts in Beppu, Japan, Yonezawa lived and worked for many years outside of Portland before his recent return to Japan. His bamboo basketry and sculpture combine a mastery of traditional forms with a unique, elegant contemporary sensibility.

Exhibition • November 15 - 30
Japanese Gardens • 611 SW Kingston Avenue • Garden Pavilion

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 17, 2008 at 10:55 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.14.08


Allora & Calzadilla, still from "Under Discussion," from "Beyond Green" at Lewis & Clark

Next week: Stephanie Smith, director of collections and exhibitions and curator of contemporary art at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, will speak at PSU. Smith, who has published and curated widely on issues of art and sustainability, curated Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art, originally exhibited at the Smart Museum, currently on view at Lewis & Clark's Hoffman Gallery.

Lecture • 7:30pm • November 17
PSU • 1914 SW Park • Shattuck Hall Room 212

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 14, 2008 at 8:55 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.13.08

Open Studios


The Boxlift Building artists are having their annual open studio. Come by this weekend for music, refreshments, and work by 16 artists, including Eugenia Pardue, Mark and Rae Mahaffey (who has a show up at Laura Russo this month).

Open Studios • 4-10pm • November 15
12-5pm • November 16
Boxlift Building • 333 NE Hancock St. • boxliftbldg@gmail.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 13, 2008 at 9:04 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.12.08


Nayland Blake's The Big One (fg)

The current show at Linfield College entitled .meta, is curated by TJ Norris and the finale in an unofficial trilogy of shows including Grey|Area and invisible.other. This very ambitious and diversified show consists of twenty works by eleven artists all completed within the last five years and range from sound sculpture to photography. What's more, .meta is organized in a tersely subtextual manner for the viewer - so much so that the exhibition as a whole has ceased being implicit and has become a curatorial affectation. Luckily, on an individual level some of the artworks are able to speak for themselves...(more)

Posted by Alex Rauch on November 12, 2008 at 13:16 | Comments (0)


Asmundur Asmundsson


Icelandic artist Asmundur Asmundsson's The Good Works opens this weekend at Rocksbox. Asmundsson "creates a subterfuge," believing that "our foundation as a civilized people has eternal possibilities and is despite (or because of) the dreadfulness of contemporary tastelessness, based upon freedom seeking the genuine." Asmundsson will also be lecturing this Friday at PSU.

Artist lecture • 6-8pm • November 14
PSU • 2000 SW 5th AVE • Room AB200, 2nd Floor Art Building

Opening reception • 7-11pm • November 15
Rocksbox • 6450 N Interstate AVE • 971.506.8938

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 12, 2008 at 9:38 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.11.08

Linking and thinking

The similarities between Michael Heizer's Rift and Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin are striking... though it is a somewhat fractal form and the commonalties shouldn't surprise us, fractals repeat even when we think its human creativity at work.

Peter Schjeldahl looks at both Franz West and Mary Heilmann. I'm continually impressed with West but Heilmann (whose show I saw at OCMA) is frankly pretty uneven and not that surprising. Throw in Chris Johanson, Rachel Harrison and Carol Bove and there is a real case for a Paul Klee fanclub revival going on as of late.

The Oregonian gives more details on the downsizing at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (a PORT sponsor). All of this just seems like prudent preparation much like the direction the Portland Art Museum undertook last year (another PORT sponsor). One big problem though is the lack of an endowment, it's tough to be a true museum without an endowment. Only once they have an adequate endowment can the MOCC transition fully from a sales gallery with an exhibition program into a full museum. It is also worth reminding everyone that the MOCC's supporters still have significant means and the museum shouldn't water down great programming like the Natzler show or the more contemporary lexicon in Manufractured. Still, MoCC needs both types of shows (classic and experimental) to remain valid... Our Garth Clark interview makes that necessity as plain as can be.... and it is also why curator Namita Wiggers is the most necessary person at the institution. She brings their programming to the museum level, now they need an endowment that matches the curatorial seriousness. Wiggers is simply one of the best curators in her field and key. Ill have something on Portland's creative economy soon, there are sobering facts that everyone already seems prepared for as well as some serious opportunities. In general, Portland typically gains a lot of entrepreneurial talent during recessions.

The Portland Art Museum finally has a new website. It might not win awards but it is a step up from the vintage 1998 look.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 11, 2008 at 11:09 | Comments (2)


Monday 11.10.08

Jens Hoffmann Lecture

Jens Hoffmann

Jens Hoffmann, international curator, art critic, and author, will present "What is a Curator? From Exhibition Maker to Author" this week at PNCA. Curating is difficult business, and this lecture should be an interesting exploration of questions of contemporary art.

Curatorial lecture • 6:30pm • November 12
PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson • Swigert Commons

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 10, 2008 at 10:09 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.08.08

Even Greener: Beyond Green at Lewis and Clark's Hoffman Gallery

"Excerpts from the Universal Lab (travelpod 1, 2, and 3)" 2005 Dan Peterman

Welcome to the now. In a pluralist, industrialized, and deeply technological society we exist in an ecosystem of shift and flux. Our heterogeneous DNA strengthens and challenges us, and in a characteristic, historic note of progress evolution has now transitioned us to the next step of our survival : responsibility.

Posted by Amy Bernstein on November 08, 2008 at 8:43 | Comments (1)


Friday 11.07.08

Museum Special

Don't miss this: For the holidaze, PAM is offering two for one admission every Thursday night, 4-8pm, through January 8, 2009 (the end of the Wild Beauty exhibition).

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 07, 2008 at 17:30 | Comments (2)


Weekend Openings


Dan Gilsdorf's Interiotrope is opening at Disjecta tomorrow. Gilsdorf "creates subtle and mysterious narratives from simple mechanisms." With Interiotrope, he has transformed the exhibition space, "infiltrating the gallery and breach[ing] surfaces which normally delineate interior space."

Opening reception • 6-10pm • November 8
Disjecta • 8371 N Interstate Avenue • 503.286.9449

(More! And PMMNLS.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 07, 2008 at 9:10 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.06.08

First Friday Picks November 2008

LEFT: Nick van Woert, RIGHT: Nicholas Pittman

Nick van Woert and Nicholas Pittman are bringing New Construction to Fourteen30. Responding to changes in technology and contemporary life through invention rather than reflection, the artists attempt to create a sense of order out of our times through abstract works of relief construction, sculpture, and painting. It's good to see Fourteen30 bringing this space back to participating in First Friday.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • November 7
Fourteen30 • 1430 SE 3rd AVE • 503.236.1430


Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 06, 2008 at 10:03 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.05.08

Interview with Storm Tharp

Storm Tharp in the studio, October 2008 (photo Jeff Jahn)

"We Appeal to Heaven," Tharp's last solo offering in Portland, in 2007, caught the artist at his most consistent: a gallery of uniformly sized ink portraits and some peripheral text pieces. It was a successful cementing of his promise, and many speculated that he'd found 'his thing.' At a solo show that closed last month at Galerie Bertrand & Gruner in Switzerland, as well as a two-person show at Nicole Klagsbrun in New York this month, Tharp has continued to develop and display this tangent of his work. But in "Arm & Arm," Tharp ventures into other realms, exploring a newly intimate and familial conceptual terrain...(more)

Posted by Ryan Pierce on November 05, 2008 at 9:39 | Comments (2)


(Sexy) Opportunities

Michael Graves' Portland Building, ca. 1983, from Portland Online

The RACC has posted two RFPs for installation space in the Portland Building. One opportunity is aimed at students enrolled in an Oregon college or university, to build a one month installation in the lobby (there will be three student shows in 2009). The second is aimed at Oregon or Washington artists to install work in the lobby space, also month long shows, for six shows during the 2009-2010 season. Both deadlines are December 1. Learn more here.


The annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival is seeking submissions for SEAF2009. In addition to submissions for the festival's main exhibition, they're seeking a multimedia artist to design a centerpiece for the stage, and they're also seeking interactive installations. The deadline is January 30, 2009, and you can learn all about it right here.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 05, 2008 at 8:37 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.04.08

First Thursday Picks November 2008

Storm Tharp, "Twins at a Funeral"

Storm Tharp is exhibiting ARM & ARM at PDX Contemporary. This new body of work continues his "lengthy investigation into the relationship between human nature and artfulness, form and function." Nine major works will be featured, exploring portraiture, painting, film, and one ambitious sculptural piece. Tharp, who was reviewed by PORT last year, named this exhibition such that "in all forms of its meaning, 'two' is revealed. 'Two' and what it conjures, is the basis by which the work for this exhibition was made."

Opening reception • 6-8pm • November 6
PDX Contemporary • 925 NW Flanders • 503.222.0063

(Many more - updated!)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 04, 2008 at 11:00 | Comments (1)


Monday 11.03.08

North Coast Seed Building Open House 2008

Last Saturday night the North Coast Seed building held its anual open house for its many artist studios and creative workspaces (one of several important studio buildings owned by Ken Unkeles), here's a little photo tour:


Cynthia Lahti...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 03, 2008 at 17:55 | Comments (0)


College Openings

Chang-Ae Song, "MASS - Black Disaster"

Pacific Currents opens this week at Clark College's Archer Gallery. The show features nine contemporary artists of Asian heritage working in a broad range of mediums to explore Asian historical traditions through modern issues and experience.

Opening reception • 4-6pm • November 5
Archer Gallery • Penguin Union Building, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA • 360.992.2246

Roxanne Jackson, "Soft Spot"

Clay As Sculpture is currently showing at the Alexander Gallery at Clackamas CC. The exhibition, which explores the use of ceramics in sculpture, features work by Roxanne Jackson, J.D. Perkins, and Micki Skudlarczyk. It is open through November 19.

Reception • 3-5pm • November 6
Alexander Gallery • Niemeyer Center, 19600 Molalla AVE, Oregon City

Posted by Megan Driscoll on November 03, 2008 at 10:15 | Comments (0)

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