In April, Blue Sky is featuring Early Work by Terry Toedtemeier. This body of work comes from around 1975, when he co-founded Blue Sky. In the midst of a "brief, intense investigation of the possibilities of infrared photography," Toedtemeier was still interested in capturing gestures and the human, or sometimes animal, figure. This subject distinguishes these images from his later work, when he turned primarily to landscape. Blue Sky will also be exhibiting shows by Alexis Pike and Andy Freeberg, as well as select images by Abelardo Morell, who is in town as keynote speaker for the upcoming Photolucida conference.
Opening reception • 6-9pm • April 2 Blue Sky Gallery • 122 NW 8th • 503.225.0210
Image of the New St, Andrews bridge, an uninspired design but interesting eco-concrete (seen in bad sculpture) has potential
The New York Times has a fascinating article on green minded, pollution
scrubbing cement being used on the St. Andrews Bridge in Minneapolis. Yes
it's the replacement for the one that collapsed...but might it have an application
for our Columbia River Crossing on I-5? Mayor Adams has made a promise of A Better Bridge and his political future rests on delivering it. The St. Andrews project only uses the
cement on sculptures but a Portland bridge design could possibly incorporate it more
Right now the two mayors are the leading voices
on the design issues and frankly that's just wrong. What the politicians need
is an architect whom they can torment into being on time and on budget while
the architect can create designs that do more than simply speak to one issue
or group. A design competition gives people a visual, till then the discussion
is about lanes, dollars, concrete, wind turbines, bridge heights, where people live and other red herrings
that only see part of the picture. A good design has to address all of those
things and much more, a politician can duck or steamroller issues but a bridge
embodies them and I think the two mayors should avoid their current situation. Let the
designs embody the discussion so the politicians can politic.
Sponsored by the RACC, Michael Reinsch presents a temporary installation at the Portland Building that examines notions of labor. "The project will start with piles of materials and tools and will change and develop throughout the month as he explores his relationship to his art as work, the ways in which others think about work, how his job affects his art process, and how all of this is informed by current events. Reinsch states "My work is never done.'" Reinsch is launching the project with a full 8 hour shift today (March 30), and can be found working in the Portland Building from 8-10:30am Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the duration of the exhibition.
What should be noted is that Pulliam
Deffenbaugh is an
essential core gallery and founding PADA member, but of all the main Portland
galleries, I've been most concerned about them. For the past year the gallery
has been doing mostly group shows (some stellar but red dot sales have been noticeable
slower than many other PADA galleries). It's been a long time since they had
a blockbuster solo show sales-wise too. *Disclosure I showed in one of the better selling group
exhibitions last year.
For more background, a few weeks ago MaryAnn Deffenbaugh announced she would
be leaving the daily operations of the gallery to work in development for OCAC.
Like a lot of Portland galleries, a large portion of their sales in recent years
have came from outside the city (now likely effected by the economy) and yes
some key local collectors have been hit hard in the financial crisis.
*Update Rod Pulliam and MaryAnn Deffenbaugh have yet to figure out what the new business arrangement will be... so basically this whole story broken by the Oregonian's doom patrol seems a tad premature.
Helen Altman's dead eyed zombie goldfish simulacra at DCKT
contemporary seemed to capture the lingering mood of vulnerability in New
York City recently. It was also a hilarious update on Damien Hirst's shark which
rocked the art world in 1992 from London (version 2.0 is at the Met, I'll touch
on that later in this post).
If we are talking trends, zombie-like figurative art and prismatic crystalline
aesthetics have been big in the art world for years and New York in March 2009
mostly gave us more of the same. It isn't bad but there was zero surprise from young artists and I do see more energy and less
group think in LA and sometimes yes...episodically better shows in Portland
(our best shows... every month or two are as good as or even more original than
NYC's current standards). What was consistently better in New York was the presentation,
which beat out LA spaces and generally had less of that annoying overcrowding
I often find in Portland spaces (in all but our best shows by mature, fully
developed artists). In New York even immature artists try to emulate mature
artists by not overcrowding. Maybe it's just that presentation is more important
when you have 400 plus serious galleries in one city and the gallery staff insists
on uncluttered presentations from young artists?
The other thing I noticed was a general drought of installation art in New York
galleries this month. It wasn't until I hit The
Sculpture Center that I was happy to find a lot of installation art by younger
artists... (much more)
MK Guth, "Ties of Protection and Safe Keeping," final installation, NY Park Ave Armory
Local artist MK Guth, who works in video, sculpture and performative social exchange projects, is lecturing this week for PMMNLS. Guth's project Ties of Protection and Safe Keeping was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and subsequently installed in the APEX gallery at PAM. Guth is also a founding member of the Red Shoe Delivery Service.
Artist lecture • 7:30pm • March 30 PSU • Shattuck Hall Annex Room 212 • Corner of SW Broadway & Hall
Mr. Shiro Nakane (left) & Dr. Makoto Suzuki
Renowned Japanese garden professionals Dr. Makoto Suzuki of Tokyo Agricultural University and Mr. Shiro Nakane of Nakane & Associates will lecture next Tuesday at the Japenese Garden. They will both present on the topic The Japanese Garden: Past, Present, and Future. Tickets are $10, space is limited, reservations can be made here.
Artisan expert lectures • 6-8pm • March 31 Japanese Garden • 611 SW Kingston Avenue • 503.223.1321
Today is the 95th anniversary of the passing of Mark Rothko's father Jacob Rothkowitz on May 27, 1914. Rothko was 11 at the time and had only been in Portland 7 months before his father passed. The house that they lived in at the time was in 834 Front Street in Southwest Portland.
Rothko spent "his youth in front of the endless space of the landscape of Oregon lying covered by the wintry snows, in front of the monumental emptiness that is nothingness and and at the same time part of it 'all'".
In case you missed White Noise or were there during the rock'n but impossible to see anything opening, here's your last chance to catch a nice warehouse show with a lot of energy and several standout pieces by Stephen Scott Smith, Damien Gilley (probably the most talked about MFA student in Portland) and the show's curator Jhordan Dahl (another must watch artist/curator combo, she's a got a great deal of verve).
White Noise closing reception • 7-11 PM • March 26 Worksound • 820 SE Alder
Megumi Sasaki's Herb and Dorothy is airing this weekend. The film documents the story of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, who came from modest means but still managed to put together "one of the largest and most important private collections of minimalist and conceptual art in the world... In an age of the commodification of art by wealthy 'investors,' Herb and Dorothy offer a rare and uplifting example of people for whom art is about love, not profit." Note PORT first broke the story that the Vogel's had given 50 works of art to the Portland Art Museum here.
First screening • 2pm • March 28
Second screening • 4:30pm • March 29 NW Film Center • Whitsell Auditorium • 1219 SW Park
Alice Neel, "Andy Warhol," 1970
The final installment of the NW Film Center's 2009 art film series screens next weekend. Alice Neel, Andrew Neel's documentary about his grandmother, explores the life of the portrait painter who was a "self-described collector of souls." She captured an amazing range of cultural figures, including Andy Warhol, Bella Abzug, Allen Ginsberg, and Annie Sprinkle, sacrificing much of her own life to pursue her art.
Film screening • 4pm • April 4 NW Film Center • Whitsell Auditorium • 1219 SW Park
SCRAP is devoting part of their new space to a professional gallery featuring "environmentally friendly reuse art." They're seeking submissions for their first show, a juried exhibition on the theme of New Beginnings. They're accepting any media, but each piece must be made from at least 75% reused material and measure no more than 36" in the largest dimension. The show will be in May 2009, and the submission deadline is March 31. Direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(More: Beefmaster online gallery, WSU is seeking an art history professor.)
David Horvitz's traveling box game is coming to the Pancake Clubhouse. What's in the Box! is "a multi-stage touring project, instigated by David Horvitz and Lukas Geronimas, in collaboration with Renata Christen, The Black Hole Space and curator Terri C. Smith, The Madiman Arts interaction Center, and all those that participate in the project." Breakfast will be served at 9:30 sharp.
The Canoe Group and the Portland Center for the Performing Arts are leading this month's Art Spark. They'll be discussing PCPA's new cultural video project, and director Robyn Williams will present new opportunities for artists and arts organizations. Art Spark's host rotates monthly. Snacks this month courtesy of PCPA.
Community conversation • 5-7pm • March 19 Art Bar • SW Broadway & Main
The Portland Art Museum currently holds quarterly Museum Family Days that feature hands-on art making activities related to the current exhibition. Thanks to a recent gift to the Art Access Endowment, PAM is now offering free admission on these days, starting Sunday, March 22.
Kasimir Malevich, Black Square, 1913 [1914-15]
The painted area of the Black Square is reinforced by the square canvas itself. The painted internal space of the square is removed and,at the same time,the painting takes on a three dimensional form by assuming the physical propeties of the canvas that exists in the space of the room. The result is that painting exists not as a window to somewhere else but as physical, tangible presence of the space of the viewer. Malevich created a new type of pictorial space that spoke as much to the space outside the boundaries of the painting as the space contained within it.
"A non-objective art, phenomenal art is about seeing-about seeing, "feeling," and determining its aesthetically. Yet it seems every time we get a glimpse of this power of our seeing, we quickly give it away by attributing to it someone or something outside ourselves. We act as if we've seen a mirage or had a visitation; we make a mystique or a religion of it, instead of accepting the responsibility for what it is-that we perceive. It doesn't just happen to us- we make it happen, we participate directly in the forming of that envelope of the world and our being in it, and we do so at every moment of our lives. There is nothing more real, more interesting, more powerful, more informative, more important, or more beautiful"
-Robert Irwin, Being and Circumstance: Notes Toward a Conditional Art , 1985
After I wrote in Art and Nature, I realized that there was something else there that placed the idea of process into context. It is the link that connects the artist to the viewer's experience and I think it is intention. What does intention mean? How could that change your experience of art?
When Malevich paints a square, it is deliberate. It is something that he knows we are all familiar with. He is using a shape that we are all familiar with to establish a direct connection to the viewer beyond the edges of the painting. It is the vehicle and not the subject. It might not be clear at first glance, but Irwin was right, the subject is the viewer. This is why Maelvich changed what was considered to the potential of painting. The painting exists as much in the space of the room as it does in the boundary of the canvas. Malevich's intention to make art was to establish a direct connection to the viewer's experience of their own awareness. The viewer is the subject of the Black Square.
Robert Irwin, Varese Scrim, 1973
One of Irwin's early scrim pieces and was installed in a dedicated room in Panza's villa in Varese. Like many of the works that we have been discussing, the experience of the work is not the experience of the srim, it is the relationship between the scrim and the space. They work together and are inseparable. Like the zips in Newman's paintings, the scrim defines the room and the room defines the scrim. The scrim is the material but the art is the experience of the entire space.
Robert Irwin, Installation at the Chinati Foundation, 2006-7
The scrims are freestanding in the spaces of the barracks. The frames are exposed so you are more aware of their edges. Some are painted white while others are black. Both challenge and redefine your perception of walking down the rooms. The works can't exist independently of the rooms in which they are placed.
The NW Film Center's ongoing art film series continues this weekend with Vincent Gérard and Cédric Laty's By the Ways: A Journey with William Eggleston. The film explores the life and creative history of photographer William Eggleston. The crew tracked him from Memphis to Rome and beyond over the course of several months, "building an incremental portrait of the world as seen through the artist's eyes."
Beidler has lived in Portland on an off for several years and after finishing
his MFA in the Midwest has returned as a real force to watch. I liked his earlier
show at Gallery 500 years ago but this is a whole other animal... (more)
Basil Childers, photo of the Museum of Contemporary Craft
We've all been closely following the acquisition of the Museum of Contemporary Craft by PNCA (see PORT's in-depth analysis). PNCA and MoCC will be hosting a series of conversations to promote community dialogue and transparency. The first talk, Towards a New Future: Embracing the Vision is happening at MoCC this Wednesday. Follow-up talks will happen throughout April, you can view the full schedule and details of each talk here.
Sculptor Mel Katz and painter Roll Hardy are speaking this weekend at Laura Russo in conjunction with their ongoing exhibitions. Keep an eye on this space for a very special Mel Katz interview, coming soon...
François Boucher, "Conspiration de putti (Cupids in Conspiracy)," c.1740
Heather MacDonald, curator of European art at the Dallas Museum of Art, presents A Seraglio of Men: Female Patrons and Male Artists in the Age of Madame De Pompadour at PAM. MacDonald will discuss "how female patrons shaped the development of the visual arts in France during the 18th century." Of course, part of the ongoing La volupté de goût exhibition.
I've been wrestling with this new cable stay suspension bridge hybrid across the Willamette River for several weeks now and the
designs went public last week. Im not exactly excited about this design but it's an intriguing alternative to the two pure cable stayed
designs, both of which seem generic. Still, the effectiveness of the design varies
depending on the view.
detail of hybrid bridge
In profile from the middle of the riverr it looks very european and elegant, except that's not how most
would experience the bridge....(more)
Tim Colley presents I Remember Everything at Rocksbox. Colley's books and videos focus on the "collection, hording, and re-contextualization of contemporary media, pop-culture imagery, and mass manufactured objects re-processed through manic, tireless re-construction."
Opening reception • 7-11pm • March 14 Rocksbox • 6540 N. Interstate • 503.516.4777
Gallery Homeland presents TransFixed, a group exhibition curated by Victor Maldonado. Inspired by "mapping the diversity and fusion of contemporary culture," Maldonado selected artists he worked with at PNCA whose work "aided [him] in understanding the value of contemporary Fine Arts practices now." Featured artists include Sara Nyquist, Laura Hughes, Danridge Geiger, Calvin Ross Carl, and Rainbow Ross.
The Oregon Department of Kick Ass presents Hunker Down to Rise Above, a series of short films curated by Vanessa Renwick. The films "focus on folks taking matters into their own hands, be it within bike culture, hobo culture, kitchen culture or just plain ol' falling in love." Admission is $5.
Films screening • 7pm • March 13 The Waypost • 3120 N Williams • 503.367.3182
"The Right Brain Initiative, a partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community, is seeking experienced teaching artists and arts education organizations to support the goal to make arts education accessible to every K-8 student in the Portland tri-county region." Applications for the 2009-2010 school year are due April 20. Materials will be available March 16. Learn more about the project and download the call for artists here.
(More! Froelick, Crawl Space, Lane CC. Updated with Vantage Art projects.)
Richard Serra, from Tappeiner's "Thinking on Your Feet"
The NW Film Center's art film series continues this week with Maria Anna Tappeiner's Richard Serra: Thinking on Your Feet. This film portrait depicts Serra speaking articulately on his monumental sculpture, influences, historical context and public controversy. The next two installments in the art film series are: Wendy Keys's Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight on March 14 and a double-billing of Adam Kahan's Andres Serrano and Lucy Allen's Damien Hirst: Addicted to Art on March 17.
Local artist, curator, and writer TJ Norris will speak this Thursday at PAM on Incomplete Cube by Sol Lewitt and Marcel Duchamp's Boîte-en-valise, Series F. This is the second in PAM's new series of artist talks. The talk will depart from the Hoffman entrance and continue in the museum café after the tour for happy hour until 8pm.
House of Sound NAAU opening 3-7-2009 An excerpt of the Winter Solstice Puppet Collective's performance last night for the packed opening of Vanessa Renwick's House of Sound. The Evolutionary Jass Band is providing the live soundtrack.
Yale professor of art history Alexander Nemerov is speaking and leading two workshops on the practice of art history at Reed College this week, all free and open to the public. On Monday, he'll lead a workshop based on his essay Seeing Ghosts: The Turn of the Screw and Art History, from Michael Ann Holly and Marquand Smith, eds. What is Research in the Visual Arts: Obsession, Archive, Encounter (2008). On Tuesday he'll present the lecture Helen Keller: Making Contact, asking "What is the relation of Helen Keller to the visual arts in America? Which artists from her time perceived the world in the way she did? What would their work look like if they did share her views, and why would this matter to us now?" And finally, on Wednesday he'll present another workshop, this one guided by his essay Fragments of the Home Front, from of Icons of Grief: Val Lewton's Home Front Pictures.
Monday workshop • 4:45pm • March 9 • Vollum 110
Tuesday lecture • 7pm • March 10 • Vollum lecture hall
Wednesday workshop • 4:45pm • March 11 • Library 41 Reed College • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
(More: Kathleen Dean Moore at PNCA, Book signing for MoCC at Powell's, J. Morgan Puett for PMMNLS.)
reGeneration, a sprawling group exhibition, opens with an ambitious promise: These "photographs of tomorrow" will be known in twenty years. Curators William A. Ewing, Nathalie Herschdorfer, and Jean-Christophe Blaser from the Musée de l'Eysée solicited submissions from the world's top photography schools, selecting work by fifty photographers whose portfolios showed the skill, creativity, and ambition not only to endure, but to become major representatives of their generation.
PSU's Autzen Gallery presents: I Hope This Finds You Fearless in the Wilderness, an installation by Evertt A. Beidler. The exhibition brings Messages From the Middle of Nowhere to the viewer: A code of ethics, a belief system, and the resolve to act upon them that was developed in isolation; where no one was watching.
Artist reception • 6-8pm • March 7 PSU Autzen Gallery • 724 SW Harrison Street • Neuberger Hall, 2nd Floor, rm 205
Fourteen30 presents Under a Vanishing Night: New Work from L.A., featuring Kim Fisher, Sayre Gomez, Richard Jackson, Brian Kennon, and Natascha Snellman. Deeply connected to the city of Los Angeles and its many venerable art institutions, the artists work from the palpable energy of LA's light-polluted "vanishing night."
LA-based artist Martin Kersels is lecturing this weekend for RAW. Kersels works in sculpture, audio, photography and performance, and is co-director of the Program in Art at the California Institute of the Arts.
Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Les Attributs des arts et les rècompenses qui leur sont accordèes (The Attributes of the Arts and the Rewards Which Are Accorded Them), 1766
New Yorker art critic Adam Gopnik is lecturing at PAM this Friday. In Madame De Pompadour In The Age Of Voltaire, Gopnik will discuss "the world of luxury, wealth, and leisure reflected in the art of Mme de Pompadour's time and the growth of radical new ideas about man, nature, and liberty that began in the era." There will be a book signing following the lecture, and a parent discussion on Saturday.
In conjunction with his exhibition tend to forget at Elizabeth Leach, artist Michael Lazarus will lecture Thursday afternoon at PNCA.
Artist lecture • 12:30-1:30pm • March 5 PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson • 503.226.4391
Now more than ever we need to support arts education in public schools: Portland's only primary art school, Buckman Elementary, is having their annual art show & sell this Friday and Saturday. The event features food, kid-friendly entertainment, and lots of art for sale, with 30% of proceeds going to benefit the school.
Art Show & Sell • 5-9pm • March 6
Day 2 • 10am-5pm • March 7 Buckman Elementary • 320 SE 16th Ave • 503.916-3506
Mel Katz presents Aluminum Sculpture at Laura Russo. After 50 years of practice, Katz's work has stayed modern and clean. His sculptures have become progressively more flattened, exploring the silhouette and positive and negative space.
Opening reception • 5-8pm • March 5
Artist lecture • 11am • March 14 Laura Russo Gallery • 805 NW 21st Ave • 503.226.2754
Barry Johnson discusses Portland's
Coraline economy. One correction... Portland's is the same as the Warhol
economy, only Portland has less cocaine and better coffee than New York version (ie more supportive
than inherently status driven). Essentially, Portland is analogous in the global creative
economy... there is no one center but there are popular centers. During the last few recessions Portland has typically gained a lot
of new talent fleeing San Francisco, the Midwest and Seattle. PDX is also appealing to those
New Yorkers who want to concentrate more on the work than the rat race. You
can definitely network here but it's even better if you already have a network. Also, with
creative efforts following the New York or LA style "quick buck" style of project development doesn't always lead one to something lasting
and new... as we hope Laika will be. Lastly, Coraline economy doesnt work as a term... because they are hardly the only game in town, Portland's creative economy is actually more centered around small businesses, but Laika is a welcome change. Ziba, W+K, Nike, Addidas etc. are at least on par with Liaka if not moreso so lets not act like this is a new thing with only one major player.
Project Chaboo, a collaboration between fifty artists and designer Ken Tomita, will be exhibiting reinterpreted furniture at Gallery Homeland. "Chaboo was designed with the intention of creating an affordable piece of furniture made of high quality materials that is also attractive, simple, and highly versatile."
Multimedia and video artist Cliff Evans is exhibiting Empyrean, a digital installation, at PCC Cascade. Using appropriation and photomontage-based animation, Evans draws from pop/Internet culture to create images that are "as mesmerizing as disturbing, as unassuming as complexly beautiful, and as mechanical as organically decomposed or rotten." Art historian Christine Weber will speak next week on Evans work in the Moriarty Arts Humanities Building (MAHB 222).
The Linfield Gallery presents 21st Century Iconographic Clayworks. Curated by Nils Lou, the exhibition features 24 of "some of the most masterful and influential artists working with clay in the United States today."
Opening reception • 6-8pm • March 4 Linfield Gallery • 900 SE Baker St. McMinnville • 503.883.2804