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It's Immaterial
2009 PORT Readers Survey
Help bring public art to Pittman Addition
Last 24 hours for PORT's 2009 readers survey
Looking back at PORT posts in 2009
Major exhibition announcements from PAM
wintry opportunities
2009 survey update
Brian Gillis at PCC Cascade Gallery
What a pair!
The Shape of Time
PORT 2009 reader's survey

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Thursday 12.31.09

It's Immaterial

In the current pair of exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, curator Namita Gupta Wiggers dives headfirst into one of the big questions that plague "marginalized" artistic disciplines. The shows resurrect that classic query: If it's not "fine art," then what is craft?

Ethan Rose & Andy Paiko, "Transference," 2009, installation view


Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 31, 2009 at 8:47 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 12.30.09

2009 PORT Readers Survey

The results of our first ever Portland art scene reader's poll are in and it definitely confirms that 2009 was an extremely interesting and active year. Overall, these things tend to favor young emerging artists whose social networks (formed in art school) tend to rally round popularity contests like this. Still, it's a worthwhile exercise and the results do reflect quality as well as popularity. In some cases the margins were so overwhelming that it forms a kind of art scene consensus.

Ruth Ann Brown

Art Scene MVP 2009: With a commanding majority of 68.2% of the votes Ruth Ann Brown ran away with this category. Her successful Couture Series at NAAU channeled and funded one of the scene's biggest strengths, installation art. I guessed this would be the result but the voting margins were even more heavily stacked than expected. Sure there were lots of write ins and grumblings about this category but facts were 2009 was RAB's year.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 30, 2009 at 19:32 | Comments (0)


Help bring public art to Pittman Addition

The Portland Water Bureau is forming a Public Art Advisory Committee for Pittman Addition HydroPark and they're looking for members: "The committee will work to develop guidelines, fundraise, and solicit works of art for temporary installations at this new public open space in North Portland. It will be an opportunity to join with neighbors to create a place where community and culture converge. The committee will meet approximately bimonthly, and we are asking community volunteers to serve a two year term. If you are interested in serving on the committee, please submit a 'letter of interest' by email to Darcy Cronin by January 25th." Lots more details here.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 30, 2009 at 10:52 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 12.29.09

Last 24 hours for PORT's 2009 readers survey

Ok, I'll shut down the polls and tally the results at noon tomorrow so you have less than 24 hours to get in your final votes. It is an entertaining series of horse races now.

Will it be Jordan Tull or Midori Hirosi? Can Hirosi and Kermiet beat out PAM's China Design Now? Will it be Ethan Rose or Oregon Painting Society? What is wrong with a world where Tim Dalbow trails Patrick Rock for fashion? (neither is currently in the lead) Then there is the race between Rock's Box and Gallery Homeland. Lastly, the Portland Art Museum, Art Gym and Cooley Gallery are all currently in a three way tie for third place.

There is still time for a big come from behind victory.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 29, 2009 at 12:14 | Comments (0)


Monday 12.28.09

Looking back at PORT posts in 2009

I think 2009 was PORT's most in-depth year to date and though traffic isn't our primary concern our most detailed and critical articles tended to be our most popular... it is why PORT is less like a typical blog or newspaper (which favor; money, scandal and generally ingratiating oneself to the scene) and more like a critical journal or ongoing symposia. In other words, we are primarily interested in comparing ideas, execution and history.

By far, Amy's April interview with Okwui Enwezor was the most popular piece on PORT in 2009. Even now it gets over 1000 readers a day.

Other consistently high traffic posts from 2009 were (in no particular order):

Arcy's excellent research into Mark Rothko's crucial Portland years was an important post, gathering scholarly interest at the very highest levels.

In April, I posed a piquant question regarding which discipline is working with the most interesting spatial ideas, installation art or architecture?

Alex's excellent interview with the V&A's Glen Adamason even featured some nice iphone images of Adamson's personal collection.

Ziba gave us an early tour of their new HQ, and we gave the world their first look at the Holst designed space. You saw it on PORT first.

...(much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 28, 2009 at 12:06 | Comments (0)


Saturday 12.26.09

Major exhibition announcements from PAM

Mark Rothko, 1961 © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / VG Bild Kunst, Bonn 2008

The Portland Art Museum has just announced their major exhibitions for the next two years. The most important announcements are the second Contemporary Northwest Art awards in 2011 and Rothko in 2012. Finally, Portland hosts a homecoming for its most famous son, Mark Rothko. It is a critical acknowledgment that is LONG overdue. As part of Portland's cultural contribution to world history it is arguably the most important show to hit PAM since the Armory (or Rothko's own solo show in 1933)... (more details)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 26, 2009 at 12:25 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 12.23.09

wintry opportunities

Triple Canopy is seeking proposals for projects in one of five areas: Research Work (to facilitate art-related research projects outside of academia), Internet as Material (to support emerging and mid-career artists who've never before made art specifically for the Web), Thinking Through Images (to "foster conversations about images and videos of cultural, political, and social relevance"), New Media Reporting (to provide journalists an outlet for in-depth, critical reports executed in multiple media), and New Programming (to support the development of exhibitions, panel discussions, performances, film screenings, and other public events that examine the intersection of culture, politics, and technology). They'll be sponsoring 10 total projects, and proposals are due February 15, 2010. Get way more info here.

The Oregon Arts Commission has announced a new public art opportunity at the Western Oregon University Health & Wellness Center. They're seeking proposals for site-specific work that promotes "healthy attitudes, a strong sense of place and the commonality of [the building's] diverse functions, physically and conceptually." The application deadline is January 29, 2010, and you can get the full scoop here.

NYC-based group Artists Wanted has announced "The Power of Self: An Image Competition" focused on self portraits. The juried winner will get either a huge cash prize or six months free rent at The Edge in NYC, and the public choice winner will also get a pretty good cash prize. Submissions are due January 14, 2010, and you can read all about it on their website.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 23, 2009 at 9:26 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 12.22.09

2009 survey update

PORT's 2009 Portland art scene survey has been popular and still has over a week to go. Honestly, these things are in large part popularity contests and tend to be busiest amongst emerging artists whose social networks get activated... yet there is quality apparent here.

For instance both Oregon Painting Society's Radiant Dream Face at PSU and Joshua Orion Kermiet & Midori Hirosi are both currently in the leads for solo and group show of the year, respectively. It might seem trite but having relatively new names like Ethan Rose, OPS, Midori Hirosi, Jordan Tull and Damien Gilley all vying for leads in their respective categories bespeaks just how interesting a year 2009 was and how active the scene is. PORT will also do our much less democratic critic's picks before the end of the year.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 22, 2009 at 11:54 | Comments (0)


Friday 12.18.09

Brian Gillis at PCC Cascade Gallery

Brian Gillis' …On Wednesday at the PCC Cascade gallery is an enigma wrapped in a cloak of over-familiarity and inconclusive evidence. It consists of several pallet loads of 2x4's, a giant bulbous black form and... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 18, 2009 at 15:43 | Comments (0)


What a pair!

Roberta Smith discusses Bruce Nauman's latest installations in Philadelphia.

Glass Tire discusses the "kinetics" of Susan Rothenberg... I believe this interest in what I call "existential kinesthetics" is part of this couple's connection.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 18, 2009 at 12:26 | Comments (0)


Thursday 12.17.09

The Shape of Time

From "The Shape of Time"

As part of the inauguration of their sprawling new space, the Oregon Jewish Museum presents The Shape of Time: accumulations of place and memory. Invited artists chose a sampling of images from the museum's extensive archives of historical photographs and will present photographic responses to the images, creating a historical juxtaposition of past and present. The exhibition hopes to "go beyond historical comparisons of familiar locations or architecture... initiating a dialogue about the specifics of Jewish history in Oregon as it is tied to spatial location and public memory... [and exploring] how a photographic response to archival images might augment, shape or replace an eroded group memory." The Shape of Time is guest-curated by Tim DuRoche, featuring work by Bobby Abrahamson, Jeff Amram, William Galen, Stu Levy and Carol Isaak, David Lanthan Reamer, and Sika Stanton.

Exhibition • December 20, 2009 - April 30, 2010
Oregon Jewish Museum • 1953 NW Kearney • 503.226.3600

Editorial note: Jewish history has also played an important role in Portland's artistic heritage - see Mark Rothko.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 17, 2009 at 11:21 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 12.16.09

PORT 2009 reader's survey


Well, the year is almost at a close and for 2009 we thought it would be nice to create a reader's survey for their favorite Portland shows and personalities".

Results will be tallied on December 30th and I've set up most of the categories so you can make multiple selections and write in anything I didn't already include.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 16, 2009 at 15:13 | Comments (2)


Museum hairdos & don'ts

The proposed Diller Scofidio + Renfro addition to the Hirschhorn is an interesting move but some of the rhetoric around it like needing "a dome" to be taken serious in DC is intentionally hilarious (is that a good idea?). Tyler Green has a lot to say about this bulbous addition that reminds me of Olive Oyl's hair. It is interesting and it's temporary but is that really the best move? Promoting dialog through defacto public sculpture is fine but this temporary structure seems noncommittal in relation to it's proclaimed goals. (BTW, I really regret not being able to see this Truitt show at the Hirschhorn.

In a related story last week the NYT's did this story on bigger not necessarily being better for museums. It's true, a museum is judged mostly by the quality of its collection and its program. The trick is to meet the needs of the community in terms of making top quality work outside of private collections and activating discussion around it. Generally Portland institutions like PAM and PNCA are not guilty of grandstanding via their physical space. Instead, expansions at PAM , OCAC and PNCA have been programmatically driven... mostly by the fact that artists and arts minded people continue to find Portland an attractive place to live. That said, Portland is generally still underserved by institutions.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 16, 2009 at 11:58 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 12.15.09


Artist Glen Larsen is working with Portland developer John Beardsley to find a creative solution to recession-induced blight. For "Project Expose Yourself," Larsen is curating monthly exhibitions in the windows of rotating empty downtown storefronts. Current work can be seen in the Yeon Building at SW 5th & Alder and the corner windows at SW 3rd & Stark. Artists interested in participating in the ongoing project can contact Glen Larsen at ghl1369@gmail.com.

South Seattle Community College has put out an ongoing call for submissions, noting that shows are scheduled one year in advance. They're looking for diverse programming from national artists working in any mediums, with an emphasis on new and emerging artists. Interested artists should contact Tracy Cilona at tcilona@sccd.ctc.edu for more information.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 15, 2009 at 11:23 | Comments (0)


Monday 12.14.09

Sacred Geometries


This month, Deep Leap Microcinema presents Sacred Geometries, an evening of "thematically curated video art, experimental film and new media works... Expect mesmerizing shapes, critical engagement with the seductive ideas of Sacred Geometry and slow burn brain melts."

Cinematic evening • 7:30pm • December 15
Deep Leap Microcinema at the Waypost • 3120 N Williams • jesse.malmed@gmail.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 14, 2009 at 10:20 | Comments (0)


Thursday 12.10.09

Tharp and Hutchins in the Whitney

Congratulations to both Storm Tharp and Jessica Jackson Hutchins who will take part in the 2010 Whitney Biennial curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari.

For more information check out PORT's in depth interview with Storm Tharp and my review of his breakout show in 2007.

For Jessica Jackson Hutchins check out my review of her show in 2008.

After having Portland artists represented in 4 of the last 5 biennials it is telling that new top level talent can be found here whenever people look. Yes, there is that much going on here.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 10, 2009 at 19:38 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 12.09.09

OPS at PSU's Autzen Gallery


It may be the last month of 2009 but make no mistake Oregon Painting Society's latest show Radiant Dream Face at PSU's Autzen Gallery is one of the year's best.

A year ago OPS burst onto the scene with a hodge-podge trippy aesthetic that was more Victorian natural history museum full of heraldry (ala group member Jason Traeger) and an exciting amalgam of the various members who each kinda did their own thing. It was an exciting opener but after a year of wood shedding they have come out with a strong unified group aesthetic, something they call, "a starship fashioned from the dreams and detritus of late-20th century West Coast America." And yes, despite their name they are more of an installation art/performance group than painters... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 09, 2009 at 15:54 | Comments (0)


Forth Estate

Matt Keegan, "Handmade Shoes"

Fourteen30 presents an exhibition of recent print editions of New York-based Forth Estate. "Founded in 2005 by Luther Davis and Glen Baldridge, Forth Estate produces editioned works by emerging artists using both traditional and technologically innovative approaches to printmaking." Featured artists include Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Will Yackulic, Eddie Martinez, Glen Baldridge, Joseph Hart, Phil Sanders, Ruby Sky Stiler and more. Note: There's an associated artist lecture at OCAC today.

Artist lecture • 12pm • December 9
Oregon College of Art & Craft • 8245 SW Barnes Rd • 503.297.5544
Opening reception • 6-9pm • December 11
Fourteen 30 Contemporary • 1430 SE 3rd • 503.236.1430

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 09, 2009 at 10:20 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 12.08.09

Arcy Douglass @ PAM

Albert Bierdstat, "Mount Hood"

This week, PORTstar Arcy Douglass is speaking at PAM for their ongoing artist lecture series- read Arcy's excellent essay on art and nature here, or check out his full PORT catalog here. Arcy will lead a walking discussion about the painting above, Albert Bierdstat's Mount Hood. Meet at 6pm in the Hoffman Lobby, then return there after the talk for happy hour until 8pm.

Artist lecture • 6-8pm • December 10
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 08, 2009 at 11:17 | Comments (1)


Monday 12.07.09

Maimi Art Fairs 2009 Part II

MK Guth's work at Pulse (Elizabeth Leach Gallery)

More from ABMB, Pulse, Nada and Aqua

Posted by Guest on December 07, 2009 at 18:39 | Comments (0)


Monday Links

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 07, 2009 at 9:54 | Comments (0)


The GIF Economy

Weird Fiction, "The GIF Economy," installation view

Local arts collection Weird Fiction presents The GIF Economy, both "an instantiation of the "gift economy" and a call to action within the economy of expression roused by the humble parameters of the Graphic Interchange Format," at Tractor. "As 2009 expires, Weird Fiction exhumes a curious collection of GIF animation, curating items conjured up from a year's worth of trolling in the deep dark dungeons of the internets. Denizens of the World Wide Web are encouraged to contribute GIF animations to this exhibit over the next three weeks. In-coming GIF animations will be classified taxonomically and will continue to accumulate on networked monitors displayed in the gallery space. GIFS can be sent to: weirdfictiongifs@gmail.com." The exhibition will continue through December 18th.

Closing reception • 6-9pm • December 18
Tractor Gallery • 328 NW Broadway #114 • charles@tractorpdx.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 07, 2009 at 9:16 | Comments (0)


Friday 12.04.09

Miami art fairs 2009: Part I ABMB


There is something reassuring about the fact that Art Basel Miami Beach continues to happen... and by all accounts this years polyglot of fairs is 100 times better business-wise than last year when the full measure of the financial apocalypse was yet unknown. Certainly, the work looks more pensively existential... and maybe a little more self-conscious of its fragility but that was to be expected. Maybe Miami isn't as all important as it was in the past (that's probably a good thing)... but it's obviously still important. My question is, "are the works displayed and the eyes of the collectors up to this moment in history... is the art at the top the best spokesperson for now?" -jeff jahn

Here's part one of Jordan Tull's photoblog of the Miami art extravaganza;


...(much more)

Posted by Guest on December 04, 2009 at 16:18 | Comments (1)


Halprin book unveiling

Halprin's Ira Keller Fountain, November 2009 (Photo Jeff Jahn)

Tomorrow writers Randy Gragg, Janice Ross, John Beardsley and one of my favorite architectural photographers Susan Seubert are releasing their long overdue book, Where the Revolution Began Lawrence and Anna Halprin and the Reinvention of Public Space. It is a celebration of Portland’s world-renowned plazas—Keller Fountain, Pettygrove Park, Lovejoy Fountain, and the Source Fountain—and the life and work of their designer, the late Lawrence Halprin. There will be a lecture/performance by Ron Blessinger, violinist at Third Angle Ensemble, and dancers Linda K. Johnson, Tere Mathern, Cydney Wilkes, and Linda Austin as well as the video premiere of the September 2008 performance The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin.

December 5 at 2 p.m.
Ziba World Headquarters Auditorium | 1044 NW Ninth Ave
Admission: Free | Please RSVP at rvsp@portlandmonthlymag.com

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 04, 2009 at 12:53 | Comments (0)


Locker on Velata

Raphael, "La Velata (Woman With a Veil)," (1514-1515)

PSU art history prof Jesse Locker is lecturing this Sunday at PAM on La Velata in the context of "the rich tradition of female portraiture in the Renaissance."

Art historian lecture • 2-3pm • December 6
Portland Art Museum • 1219 Sw Park • 503.226.2811

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 04, 2009 at 11:07 | Comments (0)


Thursday 12.03.09

First Weekend Picks December 2009

Evertt Beidler, still from "The Business of Staying the Same is Always Changing," 2009

Worksound presents In Vicinity, a place-based show curated by Amy Harwood, Josh Pavlacky plus PORTstars Jeff Jahn and Ryan Pierce. The exhibition explores how an artist's immediate environment informs and contextualizes the work, framing the environment as the Portland area from Mt. Hood to the coast. Participating artists include Nicole Mark, The Enemies of the Proposed Palomar Pipeline, Tia Factor, Evertt Beidler, Sandy Roumagoux, and a collaborative installation by Julia Calabrese, Jill Campoli, Zack Davis, Josh Pavalacky, and Claire Staples.

Opening reception • 7-10pm • December 4
Worksound • 820 SE Alder • mojomodou@gmail.com

(More: Ann Ploeger at Pushdot, Molly Roth at Gallery Homeland, Action Art at Rocksbox, and Flight64 at False Front.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 03, 2009 at 12:21 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 12.02.09

The Figure Idealized at PAM and Reed College

The language of the Nude (installation view) Reed College (ends December 5th 2009)

When I entered the Cooley Gallery at Reed College on a dark Tuesday evening I was accosted by a hauntingly intrusive TV set. Antoine Catala's "Portrait of a Curator" captured me convincingly unto undulating surfaces and psychedelic glitches. Thereafter, a distortion of melted profiles sank in and out of focus conjuring images of expressionist portraits.

Dissected like a set of Muybridge's motion photographs, the faces contained by Catala's screen brought questions of psychological content, of the ghost within the machine, and the very nature...(more)

Raphael's Woman with the Veil (1514-1515) at the Portland Art Museum

Posted by Jascha Owens on December 02, 2009 at 11:56 | Comments (0)



Sandow Birk

Happening this afternoon: Artist Sandow Birk is speaking at PNCA in conjunction with his ongoing exhibitions in the Feldman Gallery, Depravities of War and American Qur'an. "With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of Birk's work include inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, and prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding."

Artist lecture • 1-2pm • December 2
PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson • 503.226.4391

David Rosenak

Meet local artists: The historic Troy Laundry building is having an artist studio open house this weekend. Participating artists include: Andrea Benson, Donald E. Brown, Bob Conklin, Sarah Cruse, Dave Tinman Edgar, Deborah Einbender, Leah Faure, Maryann Fielder, Julia Gardner, Chris Haberman, Rosco Hall ll, Cathy Harrington, Martha Hull, Scott Johnson, Patrick Kelly, Joanne Kollman, Jennifer Lanphier, Lisa Laser, Pippa Miller, David Rosenak, Adam Sheppard, Caryn Siegfried, and Lily Witham.

Open studios day 1 • 5-9pm • December 4
Open studios day 2 • 11am-6pm • December 5
Troy Laundry Building • 221 SE 11th • 503.913.8374

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 02, 2009 at 8:59 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 12.01.09

Andy thanks Amy, congratulations!


Congratulations to PORT's Amy Bernstein, one of this years' Warhol Foundation Arts Writer's Grant program winners. Amy always brings incredible depth, poetic sensitivity and an admirable sense of responsibility to her reviews and interviews, which you can check out here. To get a sense of her work, here is her impressive interview with Okwui Enwezor and her most recent review of Broadcast at Lewis and Clark College.

She could have transcribed just a couple thousand words of the Enwezor interview but I remember discussing it with her and she felt very strongly that he really had something to say and should be able to say it in full detail. That's what Amy brings. It is amusing though that PORT doesn't qualify as a blog ...but it's telling too.

Congratulations also to two other area writers, John Motley and the Stranger's Jen Graves... arts writing is often difficult, thankless and rarely pays much. I know about a third of the grantees and it is an impressive group, looks like Creative Time has made adjustment from the experience of previous cycles.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 01, 2009 at 21:03 | Comments (2)


First Thursday Picks December 2009

Richard Serra etchings at Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Elizabeth Leach presents Richard Serra's Etchings 1999-2007. The exhibition explores Serra's lesser-known printmaking practice, featuring the 2007 Paths and Edges series. The works in the series "feature thick arcing lines, which stretch beyond the boundaries of the sheet, creating a palpable sense of continued movement and weight. Even on paper, these monolithic, looming forms have a physical, three-dimensional presence, which captures the same sense of spatial domination created by Serra's internationally renowned and monumentally scaled sculptures." UPDATE: It has come to our attention that Elizabeth Leach will not be having a First Thursday in reception. However, this is still a top pick show for the month.

Exhibition • December 3, 2009 - January 2, 2010
Elizabeth Leach Gallery • 417 NW 9th • 503.224.0521

(More: China at Ziba, Mel George at Bullseye, Reiner Reidler at Blue Sky, Kristen Miller at PDX, Charles Siegfried at Blackfish, Work|Progress by the Dill Pickle Club, OPS at Autzen, and the New Video Gallery.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on December 01, 2009 at 17:25 | Comments (0)

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