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Sunday 08.09.09

« Complete video of Incompletely opening | Main | PAM artist talk series: Jeffry Mitchell »

937 condo art on Street of Dreams tour

Lobby of the 937 condo (all photos Jeff Jahn)

Generally, I avoid Portland's annual Street of Dreams extravaganza as a decidedly middlebrow McMansion gawkfest (I'm for taste vs size). But this year it's in the Pearl District, making it an urban density showcase in Portland's chief arts district. In fact, it's this massive influx of bare walls that most Portland art dealers have found terribly interesting. Typically, real-estate and the art markets are intimately related and the bad condo market is hurting galleries and artists.

Now critically speaking, none of the art at Street of Dreams is edgy (much of it is tripe) but it is interesting to see some of the good work away of the more antiseptic gallery and museum walls in a home environment. Sadly, most never see collectors homes and these tours are designer choices so they don't have the same idiosyncratic variety of a real collection. Still it is interesting.

937 balcony view of North Park Blocks and Big Pink

Different than a gallery or museum setting a nice Dianne Kornberg makes this bathroom

Gabriel Manca's A Roof to Mend (After Vidor) in entryway

Vintage modern furnishings

Al Souza's Spunk (2004) above the dresser

Still, these condos are hardly empty and their presence in the Pearl constitutes a closer relationship between art and home life... in fact these condo dwellers can see into one another's homes and the absence of art would be telling. This raises some important questions... like, will this rear window awareness lead to the collection of more impressive large format works? Will taste and name recognition of particular artists become more important? To an increasing degree, I've already seen that kind of culture "recognition"shift in Portland during the past decade and its bound to continue with aesthetically higher profile projects like the 937, Metropolitan, The Casey and Waterfront Place etc. The 937 is currently the most aesthetically unique home address in the Pearl.

Installation of Froelick Gallery artists at 937 condo


Drake Deknatel painting on the right

Not surprisingly many local dealers placed work in the furnished show homes and surprisingly I overheard a great deal of gallery discussions while traipsing the halls of the 937, which is directly around the corner from Elizabeth Leach Gallery, PDX Contemporary, Chambers, Blackfish and Pulliam. From what I heard it seemed like the proximity of those galleries was a major plus for this Holst designed property (PORT recently visited their understated but excellent Ziba Headquarters just up the street. The wine red balconies, floor to ceiling windows and the fractal patterned skin where each interior unit is the same do make this a very appealing building, with a modern look that encourages an aesthetically tuned outlook.

937 from the street

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 09, 2009 at 20:13 | Comments (0)


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