Many art scenes shut down in the summer, Portland's doesn't. There are several
high profile shows like Ai
that everyone should make a point of catching but part of the fun of
summer is just walking around so here are some very worthy lower profile shows
that deserve some attention.
Laura Hughes' Passed Presence at the Portland Building
Laura Hughes (a recent PNCA grad) has the potential to be one of the most exciting
new artists on the Portland scene. Consisting of faux shadows in Michael Graves
infamous Portland Building, Passed
is Hughes first project after graduation and the work is considerably
sparer and more subtle to what I saw from her prior thesis work. It also somewhat
rehabilitates the not entirely effective postmodern design with a somewhat modernist
reductive move that reintroduces the referent. But the strength in this project can be found in the way she
simply shifts and redraws the site specific shadow of a Michael Graves designed
stair railing, creating a perceptual puzzle. It is related to the work of Damien
Gilley (who debuted in this very same space), Jenene Nagy and Robert Irwin,
though less demanding and more ephemeral than Gilley. That it is more digestible
is perhaps a good thing allowing us to focus on subtlety rather than designy
faux perspective details (which Gilley and Nagy have a greater flair for). Ultimately,
it's the immateriality of a fleeting perception that strengthens the viewer's
sense space here. Also, the focused consideration for a somewhat under appreciated
but important building ups the ante for this outing and it will be interesting
how Hughes' further develops in the the near future with and without collaborators.
Hughes is worth watching.
Andre Kertesz Paris (man on bicycle), 1948
Bicycle Photographs from Then to Now
at Charles Hartman Fine Art is probably
the most perfect summer group show Ive ever seen in a Portland Gallery.
From masters like Andre Kertesz to Elliot Erwitt and vintage press photos of
Gary Cooper to young hotshots like Corey Arnold there are a lot of memorable
moments. Kertesz is a master of compositional geometry whetting our appetite
for his solo show here next month while Corey Arnold's odd scene of two peopl
(one a mime) on a single bike displays his keen eye for existential humor. Portland
is Americas most bicycle friendly city at a time when bicycles are once again
surging in popularity. What many people dont know is that Bicycles were
all the rage at the beginning of the 20th Century just before the automobile
took over the middle class imagination at the same time photography was becoming
widespread. The net result is that bicycles both today and in the past held
a kind of metaphor for self sufficient progress in process. Catch this show
before it ends next weekend.
Calvin Ross Carl at Half/Dozen
Half/Dozen Calvin Ross Carl's Purple Mountain Majesty
feels like an introduction.
In it Carl reduces mountains, paintings, chairs and rags to linear graphic elements and standard hazard colors.
The strategy resembles several artists from Sean Healy to Anne Truitt as well
as being a staple technique of the design industry. Individually, the works
that blur the floor to wall relationship are the most successful but as a show
it suggests that Carl is looking for a subject. Luckily, the limited edition
print which reduces the housetops from a photo of the Vanport Flood suggests
that Carl could use design techniques to reduce, flatten and schematize the
way we record historic events and possibley create more than prints from disaster source material.
Tony Hix's The Frog Queen Contemplating Passion and Compassion
's Ask The
Lonely show there are several worthy pieces Like Tony Hix's The Frog Queen Contemplating
Passion and Compassion, Troy Briggs extra tall table setting or Rachel Muldur's
skeletonless and gutless lion skin. A good effort from curator Mark Janchar
whether its the shadows from Briggs' piece about memory or the flies comprising
the shadow of Hix's frog queen there is a poignant sense of isolation and smart
installation used to maximize the impact of the pieces.
18 x 24 by Linda Tross
Linda Tross' The Frame is the Fiction at
is full of those droll jokes about painting that artists were
making during the 70's and late 60's. It's almost a time machine, except that
the commentary still work today. Everything on the wall here delivers exactly
what the title advertises. For example, an 18 x 24 is an 18 x 24 inch painting
and Art history quiz is comprised of famous paintings etc. Maybe it's art's
way of constantly digging up it's own history and mannerism for contemplation
that allows it to remain semi autonomous... as a lexicon of its own moves and