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First Thursday Picks July 2009
Links of perception
Last chance for Green Oregon
in a dream of free space
calling: photographers and local artists
floating world animation festival
The Strategy of Sur-Distinction
Entropy is good for art links
Bridging some gaps in the discussion

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Tuesday 06.30.09

First Thursday Picks July 2009

Michael Brophy, "Start"

Michael Brophy presents Silence, an exhibition of recent paintings at Laura Russo.

Opening reception • 5-8pm • July 2
Laura Russo Gallery • 805 NW 21st • 503.226.2754


Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 30, 2009 at 9:02 | Comments (1)


Monday 06.29.09

Links of perception

The NYT's takes on the Walker/MOCA developed Dan Graham show now that it has hit eastern shores.

Sanford Wurmfeld's very interesting painting/installation.

Eva Rothschild's work reminds me of this months show at Tractor.

Needless to say perceptual/kinesthetic experience art is everywhere again. Arguably, the three artists mostly responsible for this renewed interest are Robert Irwin, James Turrell and Olafur Elliason. A lot of interest in Portland for this kind of work as well.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 29, 2009 at 10:21 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.26.09

Last chance for Green Oregon

There are a lot of smart shows coming down tomorrow like Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulson's Pearl District debut and the Lesbian Art Show, but Green Oregon at PNCA's Izquierdo Gallery deserves special mention.

Green Oregon on opening night

What's more, Green Oregon is a tightly curated show in a interesting space with some excellent artists like Robert Adams, Patrick Rock, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison, PORT's own Ryan Pierce, Marne Lucas and the region's dean of eco art Bruce Conkle, etc. For me Bailey Winter's painting is the standout. It is anguished over the environment, just plain weird... conjuring both David Lynch and John Wesley and most likely extremely stoned. The effect is troubling, frank, omnipresent and a bit overwhelming... which is exactly like having a discussion about ecology and art the related to it in Oregon. Check it out.

The Manuel Izquierdo Gallery is located in PNCA's 3D Building (825 NW 13th)
and will be open Thursday - Sunday, 1pm to 5PM or by appointment. (hint ring the buzzer)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 26, 2009 at 12:31 | Comments (1)


in a dream of free space

From Jeremiah Zagar's "In a Dream"

This weekend, the Northwest Film Center presents the first of their summer artist spotlights. They're screening In a Dream, a film directed by Jeremiah Zagar about his father, artist Isaiah Zagar. They'll be showing it twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.

Film screening • July 27 & 28
NW Film Center • 1219 SW Park • Whitsell Auditorium

Varnithorn Christopher

Varnithorn Christopher presents Free Space at PSU's MK Gallery. The project is "is a non-curated gallery experiment by based on the belief that everyone is an artist. From Monday, June 29, 2009 to Thursday, July 9, 2009, Christopher invites anyone to come and exhibit their artwork at the MK gallery." A complete catalog will be created at the end of the exhibition.

Exhibition • M-F, 9am-5pm • June 29 - July 9
MK Gallery • 2000 SW 5th Avenue • Art Building, 2nd floor rm 210

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 26, 2009 at 9:52 | Comments (1)


Thursday 06.25.09

calling: photographers and local artists

Newspace is seeking submissions for their first juried members exhibition, showing in September 2009. Current Newspace members working in any photographic theme or process can submit work until July 17. More details can be found here.

Updated: Becca Bernstein is seeking submissions for her new project, the Emerson Art Observatory. For one year (start date TBA), she'll be showing rotating works in a location that is now also TBA. All mediums and formats will be considered. Works can be for sale, but they don't have to be. Proposals are due by September 30. Get more info here.

Added: Seattle's Crawlspace Gallery is seeking submissions for solo exhibitions, group shows, or curatorial projects. Their current deadline is August 1. Directions and details here.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 25, 2009 at 11:12 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 06.24.09

floating world animation festival


Floating World Comics presents the 3rd annual animation festival at the Holocene, featuring "mind melting video art and psychedelic animation from the secret world of motionography." Visit their website for more info on the 3+ hour line up of Flaspar, Deelay Ceelay, Show Cave Best of Videocation and more.

Animation festival • 8pm • June 25
Holocene • 1001 SE Morrison

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 24, 2009 at 11:07 | Comments (0)



I really liked Michael Kimmelman's piece on the Elgin Marbles in the Times... for once having New York's supposedly chief art critic in Europe pays off. What's more the writing is sharp, with the kinds of critical angles he seems to soften when writing at home.

Lisa Radon's excellent review of Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulson's Pearl District debut speaks volumes to Portland's sizable booklovers crowd.

Jerry Saltz describes a Portland-esque art experiment... 'cept we've been developing this way for years. Here it isn't a single site, it's the way our scene operates and it is different if the art develops this way instead of an episodic situation.

MoCC's Call and Response website gives everyone a chance to respond to the changes we've seen in the Portland art scene over the past decade. I'll be making a presentation on this at another museum this summer as well, so my response was quite brief.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 24, 2009 at 10:28 | Comments (2)


Tuesday 06.23.09

The Strategy of Sur-Distinction

The ever-changing art at Store for a Month

The final week of John Brodie's Store for a Month is kicking off with a lecture by Philippe Le Blanc. "The Strategy of Sur-Distinction: building a cathedral inside the megastore" is loosely based on Le Blanc's work for sale at The Store, I Win, You Lose: The art of Art in capitalist culture. If you haven't made it down to the store yet, don't miss your chance - its last days are Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 12-7pm.

Artist lecture • 7pm • June 24
Store for a Month • 1216 SE Division • 503.235.8029

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 23, 2009 at 11:36 | Comments (0)


Entropy is good for art links

Things are tough for art galleries and The New York Times chronicles the shift to a market that favors collectors vs speculators. When I was in New York last March I noticed a vulnerability I've not noticed before... frankly this might be a good thing because though the art market boomed during the past 7 years it has produced little art of consequence. At least Portland galleries have lower rents and aren't used to selling unknown artists for 10K+.

Edward Winkleman discussed the NYT's gallery woes article from his own very personal angle.

In Venice Bruce Nauman surprised no one by being top of the heap.

Jerry Saltz discusses how a phase of art that is dying in Venice might be a good thing.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 23, 2009 at 11:36 | Comments (0)


Monday 06.22.09

Bridging some gaps in the discussion

Architect Donald MacDondald's "Refined" Cable Stay design, up for review today

Once again, discussion of the Willamette river transit bridge has heated up in anticipation of today's meeting for the final choice of bridge type. In my opinion it isn't bridge type that matters... it is the detailing of whatever design chosen that will determine how usable, environmentally sensitive, pride inducing, and ultimately successful the design will be. To bring everyone up to speed... PORT pretty much started the civic discussion over this bridge with our totally unofficial design competition, later we broke the images of the rather nice hybrid design that now seems out of favor with the committees. Frankly, I like pure cable stayed designs, they have generally cleaner lines and can span longer distances which can make for a smaller environmentally footprint... but the details have to be good and the discussion around them needs to be relevant to produce sensitive designs.

The stakes for this project are huge. In many ways Trimet and Portland's alt-city reputation as a green, civically progressive oasis in America is on the line. It's understandable but should Trimet really try to come in way under budget on what will likely be their most visible project ever?... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 22, 2009 at 11:00 | Comments (0)



Elizabeth McClellan

Appendix presents Sediment, a collection of indoor/outdoor drawing environments by Elizabeth McClellan. Due to size and showing constraints, Outdoor works will be up through June 27th.

Opening reception • 6-10pm • June 25
Appendix Project Space • South alley b/w 26th & 27th on Alberta

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 22, 2009 at 9:48 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.19.09


Justin Gorman

Justin Gorman's ThirtyThousandSecons opens this weekend in Milepost 5's MP53. "This photo documentation project derived from an increasing interest in pedestrian patterns on eight-second avenue and the responsibility of local government to stop or control these patterns..." Work by Anthony Conrad, Kalina Torino, Jessica Weitzel, and Luke Heinrich will also be opening in the Hallways spaces.

Opening reception • 7-9pm • June 20
Milepost 5 • 900 NE 81st • 503.998.4878

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 19, 2009 at 11:36 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.18.09

Links of renown

The Tribune has a nice piece on MoCC's Call and Response... with a lot of smart stuff quoted from curator Namita Wiggers. But, define renowned? ...in my book only Chris Johanson qualifies, though many more international artists are getting set to move here... (being international isn't enough either, we have lots of internationally active artists in Portland now, for me it's the probability of a solo show at MoMA some day that is the litmus test).

Jessica Stockholder's park installation shows just how good she is. Local artists like Jenene Nagy, Stephanie Robison and Jacqueline Ehlis are all quite influenced by her... and she's actually from the Northwest... so will we ever get a solo show of hers here in Portland?

If there is a critic in Portland who is more interested in sexualized identity politics than... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 18, 2009 at 11:43 | Comments (1)


Call + Response


Gorm Studio

MoCC presents Call + Response: "Drawing on the musical concept of 'call and response,' this exhibition provides a platform for artists and art historians to engage with each with other in dynamic conversation. This multi-layered exhibition features works by eight pairs of art and art history faculty members from colleges and universities who have taught in Oregon for roughly ten years or less. Through multimedia content, contextual writing, the presentation of studio works and public programs, this project celebrates and provokes the recent influx of ideas [on craft] brought to Oregon by these faculty members..."

Exhibition • June 18 - October 31, 2009
Museum of Contemporary Craft • 724 NW Davis • 503.223.2654

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 18, 2009 at 10:12 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 06.17.09

PNCA names new chair of MFA program

At PORT we've all known for a while that our pal MK Guth was stepping down as PNCA's MFA chair, especially after being in the last Whitney Biennial. What wasn't clear is if they could get some similar star power to replace her, yet they needed it. Now with noted curator (SF's Yerba Buena) and artist Arnold Kemp, it looks like they have the star hire they needed. In fact, Portland's professional portfolio of leaders just continues to improve... here's PNCA's release:

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) announces the appointment of Arnold J. Kemp as Chair of the Master's of Fine Arts in Visual Studies program.

"We are so pleased to appoint Arnold Kemp, with his great strengths in so many spheres of the art world," said Greg Ware, Provost, PNCA. "We feel confident that he will bring diversity, richness and depth of experience not only to our MFA students, but to Portland's art community... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 17, 2009 at 13:03 | Comments (0)


Rothko's Portland

The view from SW Terwilliger Boulevard looking east toward Mt. Hood in the neighborhood in which Rothko spent most of his time in Portland.

"(I spent my) youth in front of the endless space of the landscape of Oregon lying covered by wintery snows, in front of the monumental emptiness that is nothingness and at the same time part of it 'all.'" -Mark Rothko

Marcus Rothkowitz arrived in Portland, Oregon in early September 1913 with his sister Sonia and his mother Kate. They had been in the United States for less than a month, having arrived in Brooklyn, New York on August 17, 1913 from Libau, Russia's main emigration port. Marcus, who would later change his name to Mark Rothko, was just a few weeks shy of his eleventh birthday. He was born on September 25, 1903 in Dvinsk and was, with his mother and sister, looking forward to starting a new life with his father, Jacob, and his two older brothers, Albert and Morris in Portland. The family had not been together in nearly three years.

Portland marked the end of a long journey. It was a place that this family, like most immigrants, believed that their hard work would pay off and they could start anew. The Rothkowitzes were not alone in Portland. Jacob's brother, Samuel Weinstein, was already here and owned a successful wholesale clothing business called N & S Weinstein. The Weinsteins were important to the Rothkowitzes on both the West and East coasts. When Kate, Sonia and Mark arrived in Brooklyn, their first stop was to visit the Weinsteins in New Haven, Connecticut. It must have been a way for them to recharge their batteries after the long boat trip across the Atlantic and enjoy the comfort of family in an otherwise unfamiliar land. More...

One of the my all time favorite photos of Rothko. If you wanted to know what Portland meant to Rothko, this is it. The photo was taken in 1968 and he his hugging Dorothy Reiter, Morris' daugther and his niece. They both look radiant, happy and absolutely content. The photo is very different than any comparable photo of Rothko taken in New York during the late 1960's. Portland remained a source for him until the end of his life.
Image courtesy of the Oregon Jewish Museum.

Posted by Arcy Douglass on June 17, 2009 at 9:13 | Comments (3)


summer show


Continuing the tradition of slightly fluffy summer group fun, Fourteen30 presents Summer Show, featuring Mike Bray, David Corbett, Hamlett Dobbins, Alex Felton, Corey Lunn, Jenene Nagy, Devon Oder, Nicholas Pittman, Patrick Rock, Jennifer Shimatsu, and Nick Van Woert.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • June 19
Fourteen30 Contemporary • 1430 SE 3rd • 503.236.1430

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 17, 2009 at 9:00 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 06.16.09

John Wesley's Battle of Przemysl at PAM

John Wesley's Battle of Przemysl, 1969, 34 x 96 inches

One of my favorite works in the Portland Art Museum's permanent collection is John Wesley's simultaneously hilarious and wickedly dark painting, Battle of Przemysl. It's a sphynx like painting that may or may not be making a strange comment on; military expectations, conformity, homoeroticism, politics, the weird ideals of war, wartime music and historical head scratching all in one neat package with a thick black border. That border is not unlike...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 16, 2009 at 9:12 | Comments (0)


ArtSpark: Icebreaker

This month's ArtSpark is presented by local art collective Nowhere at Rontom's. The theme is Icebreaker: "an easy way to meet new people involved with Portland arts."

Art social • 5-7pm • June 18
ArtSpark at Rontom's • 600 E Burnside

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 16, 2009 at 9:00 | Comments (0)


Monday 06.15.09

Archer Gallery anounces new director

Over the years, the Archer Gallery has become one of the more daring college spaces in the metro area and I was saddened last year when Marjorie Hirsch made it clear it would be her last year as director. Her efforts like Ellen George's impressive solo show and the recent Considered Space put the Archer Gallery on the map... but there's always more room for a risk-taking and professional curatorial program as Portland's institutions continue to catch up to all the very worldly artists who have moved here in the past decade or so. I also wondered, what would the Archer be like without her?

We are about to find out, since Clark College has announced that the new Director for the Archer Gallery is Blake Shell.... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 15, 2009 at 15:10 | Comments (1)


Papergirl in Portland

From papergirl-berlin.de

Hoodturkey is bringing Papergirl to Portland. This annual Berlin-based event "is an art project which, in the style of American paperboys, distributes rolled art pieces by bicycle to random passers-by in the streets. It consists of an exhibition, the action (distribution of the art), a bike workshop and a party." The result is a 100% non-monetary exchange & distribution of art to the community. Artists who would like to participate should submit work by September 14. Hoodturkey is also seeking volunteers to help distribute, organize the party, and photograph all related events. For more details on the process and getting involved, visit the Portland Papergirl website.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 15, 2009 at 10:48 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.12.09

anything's possible


PSU & Disjecta present It's Possible, an exhibition by graduating students in the MFA in Contemporary Art Practice program at PSU. Exhibiting artists include Katy Asher, Steve Baggs, Vanessa Calvert, Varinthorn Christopher, Damien Gilley, Bethany Hays, Avalon Kalin, Laurel Kurtz, Sandy Sampson, Rebecca Shelly, Cyrus Smith, and Eric Steen.

Opening reception • 4-8pm • June 14
Disjecta • 8371 N Interstate • 503.286.9449

Amar Kanwar, from "A Season Outside"

The Cinema Project is screening a series of films by New Delhi-based filmmaker Amar Kanwar. His films "exist at the crossroads of documentary, visual poetry and philosophical meditation; linking legends and ritual objects to new symbols and public events, which trigger emotional and intellectual disturbances in the viewer." The first night features two mid-length films, the second night features several shorts.

Film screening 1 • 7:30pm • June 17
Film screening 2 • 7:30pm • June 18
Cinema Project • 11 NW 13th AVE 4th Floor • 503.232.8269

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 12, 2009 at 10:19 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.11.09

Ben Young at Tractor

Group shows often act as social mixers or reconnectors and thus provide an important opportunity to tease out trends and renew friendships... but for me it's the solo shows that provide the more satisfying art viewing experiences.

Ben Young's Platonically Imperfect at Tractor

This June was short on new solo show excitement with, DE May at PDX and the interesting and well hung debut of Joe Bartholomew ... but overall the solo offerings seemed very minimal, pun intended. Then I came upon Ben Young's Platonically Imperfect at Tractor, probably the most surprising, almost magical...yet rigorous debut I've seen in years at the Everett Station Lofts. Tractor is a space to watch... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 11, 2009 at 15:59 | Comments (1)


Kevin Yates @ Ditch Projects

Kevin Yates

Ditch Projects presents Kevin Yates' Alluvium. Yates "uses photorealistic miniature sculptures to intricately render a delicate disaster, creating a destroyed suburban landscape and the solemn reflections of the flood that ruined it."

Opening reception • 6-9pm • June 13
Ditch Projects • 190 S. 5th St. Springfield, OR • info@ditchprojects.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 11, 2009 at 9:17 | Comments (1)


Tuesday 06.09.09

PAM Artist Lecture: Randy Gragg

Portland Art Museum

Editor-in-chief of Portland Spaces Magazine Randy Gragg is lecturing at PAM for the next installment of the Artist Talk series. He'll be discussing the museum's main building as a work of art, exploring the collaboration between architect Pietro Belluschi, Museum Curator Anna Belle Crocker, and Harry Frederick Wentz, a teacher at the Museum Art School, which brought the building to fruition in 1932. The talk meets at 6pm in the Hoffman Lobby.

Artist lecture • 6-8pm • June 11
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 09, 2009 at 12:28 | Comments (0)


The deal with John Wesley

John Wesley at Chinati 2009

John Wesley confuses the hell out of people but I really like his work, the Times has a piece on him here today. Of course Donald Judd liked his work too and upon a recent viewing of his installation at Chinati I could see why. He was also an excellent addition to Robert Storr's 2004 Site Santa Fe Biennial on the grotesque, fitting right in with R. Crumb, Carroll Dunham, Robert Gober and Tony Oursler. Wesley's work certainly does create a kind of "Soul Dizzyness" Storr described in the biennial's text.

So what is it about Wesley that keeps him an insider's favorite? For me its his clean clear fugal forms of composition, his blurring between the private things we all notice but don't speak about and bland things we always seem to discuss... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 09, 2009 at 11:41 | Comments (3)


Monday 06.08.09

Aloïs Godinat

Aloïs Godinat, "Déchirure (Tear)," 2007

Swiss-born artist Aloïs Godinat is exhibiting at Pied-à-terre from June 11 - July 2, 2009.

Opening reception • 6-8pm • June 11
Pied-à-terre • 904 SE 20th Ave Apt 5 • info@pied-terre.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 08, 2009 at 8:41 | Comments (0)


Saturday 06.06.09

STORE For A Month

Taking a page from Claes Oldenberg, artist and local businessman John Brodie gave a large crowd of Portland artists and collectors reason to celebrate a little, despite the down economy with STORE For A Month. The work was affordably priced with some real gems. Works by Paige Saez (the gold cutouts) and PORT's own Arcy Douglass (the stark black and white paintings) were some of my favorites.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 06, 2009 at 8:42 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.05.09

old & new worlds

M.C. Escher, "Relativity," 1953

Virtual Worlds: M.C. Escher & Paradox is opening tomorrow at PAM. "Printmaker Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972) created visual puzzles that astonish with their mathematical rigor and their patent absurdity. This exhibition traces the development of the artist's work from his early stylized depictions of landscape and architecture to his later use of repeated geometric patterns..."

Exhibition • June 6 - September 13, 2009
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Louis Bunce, "Harold Street #4," 1974

Also opening at PAM tomorrow: PNCA at 100, a retrospective of the the artist-faculty, students, and alumni of PNCA, formerly the Museum Art School, since 1909. "Ranging from portraiture and regional landscapes to modernist abstraction and postpainterly idioms, the artists of the school introduced ideas from the larger world of art to Portland and made them part of the vocabulary of Northwest art."

Exhibition • June 6 - September 13, 2009
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Attush ceremonial robe, Ainu textile, photo courtesy of Sanae Ogawa

Parallel Worlds is opening tomorrow in the pavilion at the Japanese Garden. Held in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, the exhibition features traditional ceremonial robes created by Ainu artists from Hokkaido and Native American artists of the Pacific Northwest.

Exhibition • June 6 - 28, 2009
Japanese Garden • 611 SW Kingston Avenue • 503.223.1321

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 05, 2009 at 11:50 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.04.09

First Friday Picks June 2009


John Brodie's much-anticipated Store for a Month is having its opening party for First Friday. This art project and temporary retail storefront is open from June 3 - 28, 2009, Wed-Sun, 12-7pm. Store for a Month features work by over 60 local artists made specifically for the store, and occasional fresh-baked pie.

Opening party • 6-10pm • June 5
Store for a Month • 1216 SE Division • 503.235.8029


Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 04, 2009 at 9:22 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 06.02.09

First Thursday Picks June 2009

D.E. May, "Marker"

D.E. May presents Black Page, new drawings at PDX Contemporary. All of the work is presented in thick, plastic archival document holders, which offer "a surprising tactile quality and a screen-like presentation: x-ray, film, radar." May was a finalist in PAM's 2008 CNAA's.

Opening reception • 5-8pm • June 4
PDX Contemporary • 925 NW Flanders • 503.222.0063


Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 02, 2009 at 16:03 | Comments (0)


Monday 06.01.09

backscratcher museum


Social practice artist Laurel Kurtz has collaborated with local unofficial street vendor Bill Harrelson to help realize his dream of a backscratcher museum. "Harrelson and Kurtz will debut the curbside museum in the gallery setting in order to highlight their collaboration and share Harrelson's collection with others. Also on display are nine drawings of Harrelson's 'imaginary' backscratchers that have been put onto paper by the artists Lori Gilbert, Mark Jondahl, Walter Lee, Ralph Pugay, Ben Rosenberg, Sandy Sampson, Amy Steel, Vicki Lynn Wilson and Jason Zimmerman." The exhibition runs at PSU's MK Gallery June 1 - 12.

Closing reception • 6-9pm • June 12
MK Gallery • 2000 SW 5th Avenue • Art Building, 2nd floor rm 210

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 01, 2009 at 8:30 | Comments (0)

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