Opening the book on a new era, OCAC hasn't wasted any time in finding outgoing president Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson's
successor. Their choice, Denise Mullen signals some very important directions.
As a practicing artist and collector it insures that the school will continue
to have a very close to the art approach... so it looks as if concerns that they
would go in a more corporate mass-enrollment driven approach have been effectively
quashed. Yet, the school needs to grow and expand its national profile. This is
incredibly important as the school is in the midst of an ambitious 15 year campus
building program kicked off by the soon to open the architecturally
significant, Charles Rose designed Drawing Painting and Photography + Studios
building. OCAC is already Portland's most focused art school but that's a
tricky balance to maintain while growing the way OCAC has planned. Mullen's decisions
will prove crucial to the success of that plan. It's a very competitive environment
and all of Portland's art schools have been experiencing record enrollments in
recent years as the city has become so popular as an art center (built primarily
through the initiative of those artists). At the same time, I can't think of a better way for an art school to distinguish itself than being focused.
Here's the press release:
Randy OConnor, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Oregon College of
Art and Craft (OCAC) today announces the appointment of Denise Mullen as president
at OCAC. Her position will begin effective August 23, 2010.
As a practicing artist, gifted college administrator, highly respected
Blue Sky presents Laurie Lambrecht's From the Studio of Roy Lichtenstein. "Photographer Laurie Lambrecht was Roy Lichtenstein's part-time assistant from 1990 to 1992... Encouraged by Lichtenstein, she began taking photographs in his studio as they worked together. The two artists grew close over this period of time as Lambrecht's photographic project became a collaborative one. Lambrecht's vivid color images give us a rare glimpse into the working studio of one of the twentieth-century's most iconic artists."
I've noticed a thread of furniture art in Portland over the last decade.. and
while it's by no means unique (artists like Robert Rauschenbeg, Rachel Harrison,
Donald Judd, Anne Hamilton, Roy Mc Makin, Damien Hirst, Carol Bove, Inigo Manglano
Ovalle, Kiki Smith, Tom Sachs, Vito Acconci, Ed Keinholz, Jessica Stockholder
etc. all use/design furniture) it bears taking a closer look... (more)
Here's the latest on the Columbia River Crossing from the
Mercury. It's a step in the right direction... i.e. asking intelligent questions
but it's too limited a discussion (how many lanes) and still doesn't tackle
the need for a much more radical
rethink using the best design and engineering minds the world has to offer.
For perspective, saving 50 million on a 4 billion dollar project isn't any kind
of real shift. What it does mean is Portland's mayor is looking to create traction
amongst the two state governors who really control this wayward project. My
initial take on the Columbia River Crossing still stands. We should also
figure out how to get more than a half billion in federal funds for what could
be a showcase project for a new energy relationship.
What I'd almost like to see happen is something similar to... (more)
Though they are probably mortal enemies (and certainly rivals), I like the fact that Portland has
two alternative weeklies that regularly practice art criticism. In support, read these reviews
so their publishers know people care about art criticism.
Matt Stangel at the Mercury takes on Storm Tharp's latest.
Half/Dozen Projects presents Children Get Stuck Places Underground, an opera by poet, performance and installation artist Bethany Ides, modeled in the vein of those composed by the late Mister Rogers: "When memory is rendered make-believe, specters take shape. A dark hole's hollow form animates as snake; its ability to shed its skin becomes infectious. Processed traumas wend a trail through one creature's digestive track into another, moving from mouth to mouth. Four guises (played by Ides along with David Weinberg, Morgan A. Ritter and Devin Lucid) represent the four Greek humors, figured within the two sides of a single, shadowy figure: O/Doe, whose perispirit inhabits other well known children who've spent time singing to themselves below the surface."
Appendix presents Cruisn', an installation and performance by Oregon Painting Society featuring "collectively built instrument-objects, composing a witchy scene with uncontrollable synth action." Little Field presents FUTURE_DEATH_TOLL: "Mysterious, ubiquitous, and eminently destructive, the agentz of blaze orange utilize vintage electronicz such as rotary pwnz, synthesizerz, and drum padz to perform back alley open-heart surgery on their most enthusiastic patientz."
Alleyway Performing • 8:15pm • June 24 Appendix • South alley b/w 26th & 27th off Alberta Little Field • North alley b/w 28th & 29th off Alberta
(More: Michael Iauch at False Front and Rites in Passage at Alicia Blue.)
Ixia, a "public art think tank," is requesting papers from "academics, artists, curators, art historians, and theorists" for their new journal, Art & the Public Sphere. The theme of the first issue is the "Intersection of Politics, Art and Urbanism," but they "also invite contributions for future issues on any aspect of art and the discourses related to the public sphere, such as 'public', 'publicness', 'making public' and 'publishing'." Submissions for inclusion in the first issue are due July 16, but interested parties could always submit to later issues as well. Get the details on their website.
The Northwest Film Center is asking Northwest filmmakers to submit their recent work for consideration for the 37th Northwest Film & Video Festival. In addition to critical recognition and an "enthusiastic" regional audience, participants are eligible for over $15,000 of Production Service Awards provided by sponsoring companies with valuable production resources. Entries are due by August 2. Get more info here.
When is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? Bailey Winters tackles narrative head-on.
Let me tell you a story: A human hand picked up a tool, dipped it in pigment, and made an image. Over time, the hand learned to perfectly replicate the world with its brush. But it soon grew tired of imitation, breaking down the image further and further until it dissolved into impenetrable shapes and colors. And then it was declared dead, over, done, deceased, obsolete. But the human spirit persists, and with it the urge to layer pigment into image. So the hand soldiered on, ignoring accusations of theatricality, embracing somber color fields alongside seductive figures, creating and recreating, and always, forever, painting.
Title: As a result of his relationship with the press, the outside world viewed Matias as the TDA's leader. However, within the organization, Matias and Melissa were seen as equal ranking officers - each determined to steer the party in opposite directions. He wanted the group to increase in numbers, begin non-violent operations, and become more involved with left-wing student movements. She believed in presenting the TDA as "a militant group who demanded equality and basic rights for all people." While Matias felt comfortable speaking freely to the press and negotiating deals with businesses for food and supplies, Melissa consistently refused to work with anyone she felt was a part of the capitalist system. In 2001, Melissa's influence over the group strengthened and The Tiger Den Association changed their name to The Tiger Den Army.
Painting in this century is inevitably laden with generations of artistic and theoretical baggage. To apply paint to canvas is to recall the entire canon of Western art history, with all its conflicts, anxieties, and overwrought arguments. Yet, in his current show at the New American Art Union, Bailey Winters manages to inject new life into the tired history of painting. He brings near-perfect technique to a balls-out embrace of narrative (and narrative art forms) in a series that manages to enchant, entertain, and engage. In other words, these are paintings that you can really sink your teeth into - and enjoy chewing.
The Right Brain Initiative is hosting a Show + Tell next week to commemorate the end of its second school year: "As Right Brain's biggest community event of the year, complete with live music, Show + Tell 2010 is the best opportunity to see the impact of the program on area school systems and on the artists who lead these classroom arts experiences." The event also features an advanced viewing of Right Brain's new traveling exhibition, with samples of student work, evidence of impact on the communities served, and a spotlight on the mechanics of the program model.
Arts education showcase • 4:30-6:30pm • June 21 Left Bank Annex • 101 N Weidler
Gabe Flores and Gary Wiseman are opening Place in the Pioneer Square Mall this weekend. "Place is a fluid space that is constantly in flux. There will be an ongoing flow of people and disciplines through Place, which will play host to performances, installation, events and beyond...Transitional spaces allow us to imagine and think of what might come next even if we've been there before. Sometimes we make a transition and we want to be there for awhile because, like a city, it is always offering something familiar and new." Special guests for the opening reception include Avantika Bawa, Palma Corral, and Brennan Novak.
Opening reception • 2-6pm • June 19 Place • Former Pottery Barn in Pioneer Place Mall
(More: Netsuke carvings in the Japanese Garden and PSU's New Video Gallery.)
In a month with some serious talent on display, Eva Lake's Targets show at Augen Gallery easily speaks the strongest. It possesses a clear, personal voice that can only come from hard won experience and self-knowledge, melding Robert Indiana style Pop constructions and Richard Hamilton collage with the power/fragility of Hollywood's glamour factory. Rather than mere pop-mongering or simple Hollywood fetishism, Targets feels like the product of a long relationship between fashion, art, glamour and the perils and use of power of being in the public eye... not unlike Lake herself who has been a longtime stalwart of the 80's east village scene and Portland's renaissance in the past decade or so. This is a woman whom most people in the scene have a strong opinion about and they should... because she's good.
With its visceral college materials viewing Targets is almost like paging through a bunch of old an new fashion magazines at a vintage clothing store and it's mobius strip like quality feels like Fritz Lang meets Man Ray (classic Hollywood was built upon the langugages of surrealism and the mid-century German film making with the added allure of American-style glamour).
What's more it manages to make the sociological discussions around famous women more than some statistical chart or TMZ style exploitation (art is good at unpacking Hollywood without rendering it dull) ... (more)
RACC is seeking proposals for 2011 RACC Project Grants. The organization "invites nonprofit organizations and individual artists in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties to submit proposals for artistic projects and cultural events planned for calendar year 2011." Proposals should address "artistic focus" or "community participation." There's about $440,000 up for grabs this year, and awards can range from $1000-$6000 each. Intent to apply forms are due August 4, the grants page is here, and tips on how to submit a successful application can be downloaded from their website here.
(More! PSU Art Alumni show, bSIDE6 via Project Cityscope, and 3-minute films.)
We have a great many in-depth pieces for you this week but before we get to those let's catch up with the weekend:
Sigmar Polke has passed, Roberta Smith has the obit. During the 90's he was undoubtedly the most copied artist in art schools but I noticed how he had somehow fallen off the map lately... accept no imitations, though it is a sign of his success. Here is the website for his 1999 works on paper show at MoMA. Expect a major retrospective.
Then there's this long piece on PAM's excellent education director Tina Olsen in the Oregonian. It's worth reading despite the cringe inducing line, "Olsen seems like a mother gently chiding her children..." Now Tina is a lot of things but just because she's the only woman in the room doesn't make her motherly. Few mothers use the word "agenda" when being motherly. Frankly, that just sounds like someone who means business simply getting down to business. I mention this because several women were a bit incensed by this and have always felt a kind of lurking sexism in David's writing (though more benignly he's really just pandering to the O's demographics). To give him some credit though... he's right, Tina will be a museum director some time in the future (if she wants to be) and Portland is very lucky to have her for now... PORT singled her out last year in our new faces to watch list.
Last but not least The Hallie Ford Foundation has announced their first visual arts fellowship recipients; David Eckard, Daniel Duford and Heidi Schwegler. Each receives 25,000 and those three are surprisingly "not stuffy" choices... each being in the prime of their careers. Also, none of them has representation despite the fact that Eckard and Schwegler have produced some of the most adept show's in recent history. Eckard recently won the 19th Bonnie Bronson fellowship and Schwegler was THE biggest breakout star of the Portland changing 1999 Oregon Biennial (nothing like 11 years for overdue recognition). Duford is a darling amongst a few curators (he's bright) but his work hasn't really gone to the same levels of originality that Schwegler and Eckard's work has. I characterize them as a series of ok attempts at comic books and graphic novels transposed to the art world (a subculture that curators are anxious to tap). They don't stand up that well against the world class comic book talent in Portland but maybe this award will help him reach his potential?
Cinema Project presents three fillms by Palestinian-born independent filmmaker Kamal Aljafari, who will be in attendance at both screenings. Port of Memory will be screened Tuesday and The Roof & Visit Iraq will be screened Wednesday. "These works demonstrate Aljafari's thoughtful but not overly formal compositions of half-inhabited houses and damaged neighborhoods, which reveal the strained co-existence of past and present and the complicated layers of history that help construct (physically and psychologically) such places."
R. Crumb, "The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb, Chapter 1"
Classic comic artist R. Crumb spent the past five years illustrating every word of the book of Genesis, which has since been released in book form. The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb's Book of Genesis presents all 207 individual black-and-white drawings incorporating every word from all 50 chapters of Genesis. "Illustrated in his signature bawdy style, Crumb's version puts an entirely new twist on the Bible."
Peter Paul Rubens, "Male nude after Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican," 1871
A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum also opens this weekend at PAM. The exhibition presents 57 rarely seen works dating from the late 15th through the 19th centuries by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Fra Bartolommeo, Peter Paul Rubens, François Boucher, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
Artists in the North Coast Seed Building are holding open studios tomorrow, "in a night of art, process, and performance. Participants range from Illustrators to Painters to Visual & Product Designers to Wood Workers to Photographers and Performers."
Gallery Homeland presents Doing It To It, a group exhibition that highlights the day-to-day actions that create works of art that are both subconscious and intentional. Focusing on individuals and groups working within a network of people and communities to make "a final wonderful outcome," the show features Patrick Collier, Per Schumann, Rudy Speerschneider, Amy Steel/Brian Drowns, Lisa Radon, Nim Wunnan, Malte Zacharias, and Dustin Zemel, as well as several groups, including Entwurf Direkt (Germany), Gartenstudios (Germany), Research Club (Oregon), and Grand Detour (Oregon).
Storm Tharp is speaking at PAM this week for their ongoing artist lecture series. He'll discuss Agnes Martin's Untitled #15 and Shirakura's four-paneled literati painting, Visiting A Mountain Recluse. "Considered a Minimalist in the canon of art history - suggesting a contemporary intention of formal reduction and essentialism - Tharp rather romanticizes [Martin's] practice to be 'reminiscent of a master Chinese calligrapher from the 12th century.'" As usual, the talk will meet in the Hoffman Lobby, be guided to the two pieces, and finish back in the Hoffman Lobby for "happy hour."
Now there is a coherent video Columbia Crossing: What does it mean?, which makes the case for renewed design phase for the Columbia River Crossing from March's PDXplore symposia and exhibition at PNCA. This new so
called independent review panel for this co-governor "time-out" on
the project has no design professionals on it... only transit insiders (which
isn't a good thing). I'm thinking the design and developer communities need to
organize a concerted response. There is a need for the bridge but we should
only build a good solution. The main point of the PDXplore think tank being that the process up to now has explored one way of thinking (traditional transit) to it's breaking point and we simply need to restart by building on what we have learned wont work with some new ideas... that mean's new design ideas. Design isn't a dirty or even expensive word here, it means fresh thinking that can actually seek to address the complex problems and opportunities of the project in a way people will get behind. Ramming it down the voters throats won't work in this economy. The voters must be convinced. Design can bring people together just as surely a lack of it has been divisive up to this point.
Sneak peek at OCAC's significant architectural coup
OCAC's new painting, drawing and photography building
Though it's over a hundred years old the Oregon College of Arts and Craft has been one of Portland's best kept secrets. So in a bid to reinvent the college they have boldly undertaken a 15 year, 3 part master plan by BOORA, and kicked it off with what looks like a fantastic new building designed by Massachusetts based architect Charles Rose + local/international firm Colab with landscaping by Murase Associates. It's a new center for painting, drawing photography... with studios. Also, much more than simply a cool building; it asks the school and Portland in general to live up to even higher ideals of art, design and ecology. Great architecture and design challenges us and Portland as an innovative, high quality human scaled city deserves to be challenged.... (more)
For their final show in the Booth Kelly Gear House, Ditch Projects presents Two Serious Ladies, a collaborative experiment in sculpture and photography by Eve Fowler and Anna Sew Hoy: "Embracing an aesthetic of chaotic feminism, the pair wrestles the clutter of daily life into submission, gleaning new messages and meanings from the hidden underbellies of everyday objects. Using a combination of photographic materials, Neanderthal technologies, and live light actions, Fowler and Sew Hoy reject the reason found in illumination, opting instead for open, interpretive possibilities for visual understanding." The reception features a musical performance by Jackie-O Motherfucker.
As part of their ongoing Critical Voices lecture series, PAM presents "Color Embodied in Space," a lecture by Mari Carmen Ramírez: "In this lecture, Ramírez, curator of Latin American art and director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will discuss the radical approaches to color in Latin American art of the past fifty years with a special focus on the work of Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, the late Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, and their contemporaries."
This Sunday, Portland Stock is celebrating their one year anniversary of Stock Grants with a dinner at Disjecta. In addition to the usual dinner, discussion, and voting, they'll be exhibiting all of the proposals they've ever received in conjunction with the Grown Ups exhibition. RSVP required to email@example.com.
Artist grant dinner • 6-8pm • June 6 Disjecta • 8371 N Interstate
NAAU presents Bailey Winters' Ambush: The Story of the TDA. The exhibition "depicts a fictionalized revolutionary group living on the West Coast of the United States in the early years of the twenty-first century. Winters' paintings, and their accompanying narrative titles, explore the personal dynamics at work in the underground political party. In particular, Winters examines the organization's final decision to refuse a non-violent alternative and instead continue with militant reaction."
Viewers watching Lynda Benglis' The Amazing Bow Wow
Reed College's Scarecrow
is a fantastic presentation of unconventional art that investigates the
complexities of inhabiting our human bodies. Inspired by Russian philosopher
Mikhailovich Bakhtin, and his works on the grotesque, Scarecrow gathers
art that forces us to reevaluate our relationship with the uncommon and abject.
Through the presentation of works such as Warhol's Screen Tests and Rauchenberg's
performance Pelican, the multifaceted body is revealed while previous notions
of corporeality are undone... (more)
There's a new art space in the ground level of the music venue the Artistery in SE. RECESS's mission is to "encourage collaboration between the artists, curators, and attendees at each event...the space will showcase work that invites the audience to be a direct and fundamental participant in the process." The first show, aptly titled Recess, opens this weekend and features work by Nim Wunnan, Gary Wiseman, Rachel Montgomery, Abraham Ingle, Justin Flood, Ally Drozd, and Crystal Baxley. Live music starts at 9:30pm.
Avantika Bawawith friends at her Columbian building installation, photo by Dene Grigar
Artist K.C. Madsen has launched a new program in Vancouver (Washington) called "Windows Into Art." For a month, seven downtown Vancouver buildings will host the work of 19 artists in 18 storefront windows. Featured artists include Janice Arnold, Avantika Bawa, Anne John, Yoshihiro Kitai, and Crystal Schenk, as well as many other emerging and new media artists. The program hopes to engage viewers who might not walk into a typical art viewing space and engage people in a dialogue about "art space." None of the work is for sale.
Augen DeSoto presents Eva Lake's Targets. Inspired by the nostalgia craze of Hollywood glamor, Lake's "Babes in the Target" are a conversation about "what a woman artist's life [is] like - she makes objects but she's also the object. The conversation is as much about her, her body, how she looks and how sexy she is - as it is her work."
Opening reception • 5-8:30pm • June 3 Augen Gallery • 716 NW Davis • 503.503.546.5056
(More: Storm Tharp at PDX, "Wid B. Vicious" at Chambers@916, Brad Adkins at PDX Across the Hall, Pop Coochie at IGLOO.)
Today is the 5th anniversary of PORT: portlandart.net and I'd like to use the occasion
to draw attention to all of the excellent writers who have helped make this
ground breaking publication what it is. PORT is much less a business (barely
a business) and more of a community service as a venue for cogent, decisive
information and critical discussion. With over 135,000 unique readers in April
alone the site is infinitely more popular than we ever imagined it would be
Armbrust, Katherine Bovee and I started it back in 2005. With notice from
in America, The Walker, Andy
Warhol Foundation and The
Whitney... PORT is arguably the most influential art publication in the
history of the Pacific Northwest. It's been pivotal in the discussion of the
I-5 and Willamette Bridges, new art groups that suddenly end
up at the Tate Modern and even the recent Donald
Judd conference/exhibition. Like any publication PORT's success puts demands
on everyone, asking our institutions, other publications and galleries to step
it up a notch or two... (why I shut down Organism as its mission was more narrow
than PORT and my own curatorial
scope had become). Somehow PORT evolves fast enough to stay at the bleeding
edge of where Portland's art scene and the international art world mix (kind
of like the treacherous Columbia bar). Maybe PORT stays supple because each writer is encouraged to pursue their own particular interests rather than a series of assignments? It's an approach that engenders a core-level of integrity and passionate interest since it's hardly a lucrative endeavor. Overall, we all try our best and everyone
involved makes sacrifices to make it happen, so feel free to give an attaboy
to any of our writers in the comments (though arts writing is inherently thankless).
Check out some of what I consider to be our best posts:
Overall, it's career
defining reviews that I
enjoy the most though... PORT isn't about ingratiating ourselves to the
scene or heckling it from outside, we simply care about relevance, critical
ideas and how the entire arts ecosystem can thrive through excellence. To put
it bluntly, if there's a problem worth fixing we will do our best to point it
out and if there is a moment of real excellence we will be there too... thank
you readers and sponsors for counting on us. We do our best to earn that trust, without pandering (something rare in the art world).