I went to the Picasso exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum two days in a row. There was a lot to see. The work is from the Musee Picasso in Paris and will eventually travel to San Francisco and then to Virginia. It is always a little strange to finally confront work that you have looked at for years in books and magazines. Like most people, I feel like have a relationship with almost all of the paintings in the exhibition even though I was seeing them in person for the first time. Somehow every time we have been in Paris we have never made it to the Picasso Museum.
For everyone out there who is not planning on going to Paris any time soon, seeing the work in Seattle or San Francisco might be a once in a lifetime experience. So ignore the lines, the swarms of school children and the constant fragments of narratives spilling from the omnipresent audio guides practically howling through the galleries and queue up. It is worth it.
When we are talking about Picasso, it is never clear who we are talking about. Are we talking about the man? The artist? The father? The husband? The lover? Whenever I think about Picasso, I think about the Tibetan word Tulpa whose closest translation is "thought form." According to Wikipedia, it is a physical manifestation of psychic energy. When I am walking through the exhibition, there is Picasso as an artist and then there is the Tulpa.
Tlignit, Yeil X'eenh (Raven Screen) circa 1810-1910 at the Seattle Art Museum
Because PORT's readers like to know what is up and because I like to keep score
of sorts... The Score will be a new semi-monthly regular feature on PORT.
It gives me a chance to do very quick reviews and or comment on things that
I haven't been able to work into larger articles and reviews. What's more, because
sometimes very worthy shows get completely ignored The Score gives me the chance
to go back a month or so and note the notables that fell through the cracks.
Past Craft (fg) Star, Canadian Print Job (2), Space Junk (bg, left to right)
Reminiscent of structural engineering and material entropy
David Corbett's New Work at Linfield College finally allows area viewers
the chance to take stock of an interesting artist who till now has been relegated
to too many group shows. Without the distractions of other artists we can now
survey works like Tower, Canadian Print Job, Space Junk and the intentionally
less remarkable Bore. You gotta love the counter intuitive idea of making one
little brown sculpture purposefully duller than the others. Nice move... (more)
In collaboration with Disjecta, False Front presents Sonny Smith's 100 Records. For the project, Smith created names and song titles for 100 different fictional bands, and asked 100 visual artists to create the album artwork for each 7" record. Smith then wrote and recorded 200 songs (A sides and B sides) for each imaginary musical act. The project culminated in an interactive exhibit of all 100 pieces of art, biographies of the imagined musicians, and a restored jukebox playing all 200 songs.
The last shows of the season in the Alberta alley ways: Appendix Project Space presents Israel Lund's Trubl(e), Matthew Green will be hiding in the bushes at Hay Batch!, and Little Field presents Tim Mahan's Big Field, "an amalgamation of the artists, past installations, and physical elements that make up the Little Field space."
Openings • 6pm • October 28 Appendix Project Space • South alley between 26th & 27th off Alberta
Hay Batch! • South alley between 26th & 27th off Alberta
Little Field • North alley between 28th & 29th off Alberta
The Often Monochromatic, Sometimes Off-Color World of Jacques Flechemuller at PDX Contemporary
It is an assumptive thesis based more on memory than research that proposes
color television brought about the demise of a perfect world. There was a time
when movie theaters showed newsreels and film shorts, and newspapers had fewer
photos and more illustrations. This was in the black and white world before
and after World War II. Oh, there was color in some media, but it was a rarity,
yet more of a harbinger. Technicolor, Kodachrome and other similar technologies
aided to the end of a wonderful, simpler era.
What would a perfect world look like? It would have young children sitting cross-legged
on the floor watching a small, 1955 television screen, laughing with glee. Chimpanzees
in dresses do tricks that make them look more human, and old Laurel and Hardy
films make monkeys out of everyone. It is a formative world for those children.
Sixty-five years later, chimps neurotically masturbate in real-world captivity
and, for Jacques
Flechemuller, Laurel and Hardy are naked and fairly well endowed.
How can one not chuckle?... (more)
This week, Cinema Project presents Harun Farocki's In Comparison, along with an older short film, Workers Leaving the Factory. "Shot on 16mm, In Comparison revisits issues explored in an earlier installation piece, examining work and social structures via brick production sites. Various traditions of brick-making are brought as examples - from cutting-edge European factories to wall builders in Burkina Faso, and semi-industrialized mouldings in India - as a way to compare, rather than incite competition of these cultures and their work processes."
Installation view with Memory 99, Cor-Ten 1999 (background), Maquette for Gate F, Candlestick Park 1973 (far right)
The Lee Kelly exhibition currently on view at the Portland Art Museum contains a balanced mix of early, mid, and later works while featuring a broad spectrum of Kelly's language. From his first oil paintings at the Museum Art School to his more recent colored steel sculpture, Kelly retains a playful yet inspiring approach to art making.
The inclusion of Kelly's larger scale sculpture Memory 99, as well as a video interview with Kelly on his life and process, strengthen the retrospective. They provide the viewer greater intimacy with the work of Kelly and a better understanding of it's origins, in particular, pointing out the influences of his formative years in rural farmland... (more)
Natalie Jeremijenko, director of the xdesign Environmental Health Clinic, is speaking next Monday for PMMNLS.
Artist lecture • 7:30pm • October 25 PSU • Shattuck Hall Annex • SW Broadway & Hall Room 198
Marta Maria Perez
Disjecta presents Contemporary Art in Cuba, a (free) lecture and slide show by Julia Portella on Cuban Contemporary Art in the Cultural Diaspora. Portella is director of the Department of Theoretical Studies of Art at the University of the Arts Cuba.
Art historian lecture • 6pm • October 25 Disjecta • 8371 N Interstate • 503.286.9449
PICA presents Destricted, a series of short films that "turn the lens on controversial issues about the representation of sexuality in art, [re]opening the question of whether art can be disguised as pornography or whether pornography can be represented as art." Not a new question, but always an interesting one. 18+, $7 non-members.
UO's White Box presents Ontologue, an exploration of "the intersection between the awareness of being for the artist and the audience." In this installation-based exhibition, the artists "confront cinema, the material properties of objects, time and semiotics, thus opening a dialogue about phenomenology and consciousness." Artists Benedict Youngman, Joshua Kim, Melis van den Berg and Sepideh Saii "create a metaphysical demonstration of being." The show is curated by Joshua Kim and runs October 19 - November 20, 2010.
Opening reception & artist lecture • 5-7pm • October 22 White Box • UO White Stag Building • 70 NW Couch
Children of Humanity
The Ye New Dill Pickle Club is leading two tours of African American public art in conjunction with the Oregon Historical Society's upcoming Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride exhibition featuring African American murals. The first tour is a leisurely 10-mile loop on bike, rain or shine. The second tour is by bus. Advance tickets are required for both.
Bike tour • 10am-4pm • October 22 • $10
Bus tour • 10am-4pm • November 12 • $25 Via the Dill Pickle Club • Meet at Mallory Avenue Community Enrichment • 126 NE Alberta
Fourteen30 presents Devon Oder's Ashen Glow, black and white prints and cyanotypes inspired by ashen light - the faint glow seen emanating from the night side of Venus.
The Linfield Gallery presents new sculptures by David Corbett. The artist writes: "This work looks at the way structures are built. Planning a building and the construction process often ride a fragile line of practicality that sometimes exposes elements that cannot be controlled. The idea of building something that will stand the test of time is often compromised and contradicted by many factors. These factors act as contradictory beacons that signal to our unpredictable relationship we have with nature." The exhibition will October 18 - November 20, 2010.
Opening reception • 6-8pm • October 20 Linfield Gallery • Linfield College Miller Fine Arts Center 900 SE Baker St. McMinnville • 503.883.2804
Grand Detour is guest-curating SOUNDabout at the PSU Video Gallery. The show features new work by Jesse Malmed, Tyler Wallace, David Bryant, and Jeffrey Von Ragan. The show will run October 15-29, 2010, with nighttime window viewing from dusk til dawn, Mon-Sat.
Opening reception • 5-7pm • October 21 PSU Video Gallery • Art Building Lobby • 2000 SW 5th
In conjunction with their almost-over (go see it!) Ai Wewei exhibition, the Museum of Contemporary Craft & PNCA present a Craft Perspectives lecture by Philip Tinari. In Postures in Clay, Tinari will discuss the practices of Jingdezhen porcelain production in the context of Ai Weiwei's approach to contemporary Chinese ceramics.
Craft lecture • 6:30-8:30pm • October 19 PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson Swigert Commons • 503.226.4391
For their PNCA+Five Ideas Studio series, PNCA presents Navigating Scripted Spaces: the Moving Image Since 1550, a lecture by Norman Klein. Klein is "a cultural critic, urban and media historian and novelist" whose "work centers on the relationship between collective memory and power, from special effects to cinema to digital theory, usually set in urban spaces; and often on the thin line between fact and fiction; about erasure, forgetting, scripted spaces and the social imaginary."
Art ideas lecture • 6:30-8:30pm • October 21 PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson Swigert Commons • 503.226.4391
Interesting article on Roxy
Paine in the NYT's yesterday. what I like about Roxy and his work is that
there is a very idiomatic and autodidactic method to what he does. He considers
systems and finds a place between the natural and unnatural and there is something
refreshing about an artist of his stature who is both original and without
an MFA... although there is nothing wrong with art schools I do think it is important to note there are "other ways" . Here's PORT's review of Paine's
show in Portland many years ago.
Check out Jean
Nouvel on the CBS morning show. Kinda sad how New York tends to stunt major architectural statements like the MoMA tower or create terrible things like the Freedom Tower. Besides, cutting off 200 feet from the Nouvel tower seems a tad arbitrary in Midtown.
Tyler Green considers a rather unexciting apocalypse... where Miami
Beach comes to Palm Beach. The real story is how uninteresting the whole
concept seems on a curatorial level.
Alicia Blue Gallery and Designform Studio presents NW Modern, an exhibition of modern art and design. "For two weeks [the Twombly House] will be transformed into an ephemeral museum....The exhibit [includes] a complete spectrum of collections - fine art, product design, and home deecor. Design curators Giovanni Castillo (Designform Studio) and Trisha Guido (Relish Design) along with fine arts curator Alicia Johnson (Alicia Blue Gallery) will join forces to orchestrate this uncommon exhibition." The show will be open Tue-Sun, October 16-28, 2010.
The Murdoch Collections presents Maro Vandorou's Vertical Time: Persofóneia, the second installment in a trilogy. The exhibition, which was funded in part by RACC, "is an installation of original images that references transformation. The images, in accordance with sacred geometry will form, within the gallery space, a circle of fragile platinum prints. In a parallel space, projected images and echoes of the spoken words of poems will engage the visual and auditory senses." Vandorou uses photographic and printing methods that span 3 centuries.
PAM invites you to "rethink what can happen in a museum" with Shine a Light. Local artists have re-imagined the galleries, lobbies, courtyards, and other museum spaces, inviting "Museum-goers to touch - and even tie the knot with - works of art, enjoy break dancing and music in the galleries, and see nude wrestling performances." There will also be food and special beers brewed just for the event.
Night time museum extravaganza • 6pm - midnight • October 15 Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811
(More: Culture Machine @ Disjecta & Pecha Kucha Night @ the Architecture and Design Festival.)
It's PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series season again! Tonight's PMMNLS speaker is Mel Chin, a multi-disciplinary artist from Houston known for work that "requires multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas." Examples include Revival Field, a "green remediation" project that uses plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil.
Artist lecture • 7:30pm • October 11 PSU • Shattuck Hall Annex • Corner of Broadway & Hall Room 198
(More: Summer Squash via Grand Detour & Jeanne Faust via Cinema Project.)
Nice to read Barry Johnson taking a
swipe at the idea of the arts as being Elitist. A bit ago there was
a flap over this with Bob Hicks in the PORT comments but somehow I think
we both came to a better understanding between us. The point being generalist
news sources should really get over the idea as culture as some kind of pet
of the rich. Fact is, providing cultural offerings is an essentially egalitarian
and often thankless form of enhancing a diversified civic outlook that is its
most healthy when it is cosmopolitan in nature. The Greeks called the inherent
contention over such things Eris. Basically, in the visual arts a few
artists, art dealers, curators and yes patrons work and often sacrifice to make
art available to anyone who might appreciate it. It's a true case of a few serving
the many something that is otherwise out of reach. It's just another form of
education and I arts providers deserve the same respect as teachers. The thing
with the arts is you don't stop being called a charlatan of some sort until
you've done it for maybe 20+ years.
Herzog and de Meuron's Hamburg Concert Hall now has a fascinating video mixing
it's current state and the computer renderings... probably a good fundraising
Nationale presents Soluble, new sculptures by Genevieve Dellinger, Melissa Gorman, Midori Hirose, and Elizabeth Jaeger. "Inspired by the comfort, minimalism, and nurturing aspects of the [textiles] used in this exhibit, the artists find here a common ground to further explore themes important in their individual work."
Opening reception • 6-8pm • October 8 Nationale • 811 E Burnside Suite 112 • 503.477.9786
Worksound presents Bruce Conkle's Magic Chunks. "Bruce Conkle loves snowmen, coconuts, fairy tales, crystals, burls, and meteorites. He is interested in creating work which combines art and humor to address contemporary attitudes toward nature and environmental concerns."
Installation of Untitled (Dancing Black Butterflies) at the Portland Art Museum
Mark Grotjahn's Untitled (Dancing Black Butterflies) is currently on display at the Portland Art Museum until October 17, 2010. The exhibition includes a series of very large drawings with a remarkable tactile and material quality. Mr. Grotjhan is represented by the Gagosian Gallery in New York and Blum and Poe in Los Angeles.
What was it like growing up in California? Did you go to LACMA in Los Angeles or SFMOMA in San Francisco?
I was born in Pasadena, but we moved to the Bay Area when I was nine months old. In terms of museums that formulated, shaped or exposed me to art, it was SFMOMA. Having said that, I did see the first King Tut exhibition at LACMA in the '70s.
Was there anything about growing up in the Bay Area that continues to influence your work today?
I grew up in Marin, and I'm sure being in the redwoods and fresh air was probably good for me. I played baseball.
Were there any artists who were influential to you growing up? What about California artists like Robert Irwin or John McLaughlin?
In my late 20s, McLaughlin became important to me because he made rigorous abstractions and was the first California artist to break out and have an international career. But I read Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual In Art at age 15, I liked Paul Klee, and looked at my grandfather's books on Picasso.
Michael Knutson, installation view, Blackfish Gallery October 2010
Blackfish presents a solo show by Michael Knutson. The show includes paintings from two bodies of work: The recent Translucent Fields, which explore illusions of transparency and degrees of opacity, and Cubic Knots, an earlier series of octagonal paintings that have never been shown before.
GW: Lets start with a brief synopsis of your work.
CA: I started out doing media dance combining dance with video or film. I worked
Cunnigham for years. I have done feature length documentaries, multi media
video installations, I've done live electronic performances and since 2003 I
have been mainly focused on exploring different ways of using live video with
performance or as performance or in installation.
Charles Atlas Tornado Warning, TBA install (photo Jeff Jahn)
CA: I had a retrospective and I realized that I wanted to show recent work.
But all my recent work is live so there is nothing that exists. The last two
pieces I have done have not been live - no live elements - but are influenced
by the work I did in live video - so I could install something and then leave.
Which was good. This piece - I made the first version of it in 2008 and I showed
it in a gallery in London - It's called Tornado Warning. It was conceived as
a two space piece, for two adjacent rooms... (more)
OCAC student using the Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting and Photography Building's custom locker/counter top built-ins (all photos Jeff Jahn)
For starters, the 100+ year old Oregon College of Art and Craft has done something startling for such a small quiet school. Along with soaring enrollment that all art schools in Portland have experienced lately, they have raised 14.6 million dollars and hired international architects Charles Rose (of Boston) and COLAB (of Portland) to create the organs of change that will begin to fill out their ambitious 15 year campus building campaign. This signals the end of Portland's self imposed exile from commissioning outside design firms (a gun shyness resulting from the horrible ergonomics of Michael Grave's Portland Building) and this critic couldn't be happier... (more)
Lee Kelly, a retrospective of the 50-year career of "one of the Pacific Northwest's most distinguished artists" opens this weekend at PAM. The exhibition will feature some 30 sculptures, paintings, and works on paper, along with photographic documentation of Kelly's major public works. This Sunday, chief curator Bruce Guenther presents Lee Kelly: An Intersection of Matter, a lecture discussing Kelly's artistic career.
Exhibition • October 2, 2010 - January 9, 2011
Curator lecture • 2pm • October 3 Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 206.226.2811
(More: Third Crow Biennial @ Hallie Ford, Lynne Woods Turner talks @ the Cooley, Young Audiences' Artist Showcase @ Buckman Elementary.)