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Wednesday 01.05.11

« new year, more opportunities | Main | Jeffrey Thomas named MoCC's acting director »

PORT's 2010 readers poll awards

Time for the results of PORT's annual readers poll (aka the popularity contest).

Storm Tharp (photo Marne Lucas)

Which Portland artist had the biggest 2010?

Storm Tharp was the overwhelming winner with 55% of the vote on the strength of his numerous local and national solo shows and appearance in the Whitney Biennial. He edged out Jessica Jackson Hutchins who was perhaps the lone break out star of the Whitney Biennial and David Eckard who won both the Bonnie Bronson and Ford Fellowships.

Ai Weiwei's Dropping the Urn at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (photo Jeff Jahn)

Biggest Comeback of 2010

With 59% of the vote the Museum of Contemporary Craft wins this category easily. Caught short with the recession and with a new building MOCC needed a merger with PNCA. With it they came back with an even stronger season including Ai Weiwei's Dropping The Urn and their current show Object Focus: The Book. Portland doesn't like being a one collecting museum town and if we could somehow get Peter Norton and Steve Jobs to spur Reed into building something for their collection we could have three.

Patrick Rock (photo Marne Lucas)

Portland Art scene MVP, an award for those who went above and beyond the call of duty:

With 42.5% of the vote Patrick Rock wins this year's poll. A big guy who is as self-effacing as he is omnipresent Rock curates shows in 3 PSU galleries plus his own home Rock's Box where he often does riskier shows. That is dedication. In second place was the Portland Art Museum's Chief Curator Bruce Guenther who curated an astonishing # of serious shows in 2010 starting with Cy Twombly then Disquieted, Leon Golub, Sanford Biggers, Sol Lewitt, Mark Grotjahn, Lee Kelly and Catherine Opie (covering for several open curatorial positions as well). Did PAM's votes get split? Christina Olson's votes when added to Bruce's would have given them 44% of the vote. Ohh the meaningless controversy. Everyone nominated did a great job this year and it's certainly absurd to pick just one... I don't think Bruce is going to get a Facebook account just to improve his showing next year.

Solo Show of the Year:

With 40.3% of the vote Storm Tharp's Hercules at PDX Contemporary wins. Funny thing is it wasn't even his best show, his break out 2007 show was absolutely perfect which is interesting because Hercules was all about perfection. Needless to say Storm has what it takes to go the distance. 2nd place with 18.5 % of the vote each was Bruce Conkle's Magic Chunks at Worksound and Ai Weiwei's Dropping the Urn at MoCC. With 16.9% of the votes Eva Lake's Targets at Augen Gallery took 3rd place.

Group show of the Year:

Ditch Projects at Rock's Box had a slight lead over A Dark Show to winter with Disquieted at PAM and Tropical Depression at NAAU tied for third.

A work by Melis van den Berg in Ontologue at The White Box (photo Jeff Jahn)

Best New Art Space:

The White Box at the University of Oregon with shows like Weegee, Ontologue and Donald Judd took top honors above the scrappy and now defunct Car Hole Gallery and PLACE in third place.

Gallery that will be most missed in 2011:

Fontanelle just narrowly edged out Igloo for the nostalgia moment prize.

Most disappointing show of 2010:

A perfect tie between Disjecta's attempt at a biennial, "Portland 2010" and PICA's TBA Visual Art's offerings. What they both share in common was a rambling layout, not always optimal presentation shoehorned into spaces and vague curatorial inclusiveness. More isn't always more. So are PORT's readers demanding tighter execution or are they just pissed that so many Portland artists were included in these two shows but they weren't. Either way these two were the antithesis of tight shows. Last year the Portland artists in the TBA show were this highlight, this year not so much and for "Portland 2010" a lot of the work was literally work from 2009, only presented in a less optimal setting. Next time insist on new work.


Breakout artist of the Year:

Laura Hughes narrowly edged out Matt Green and in third place Eva Lake. Neither Laura nor Matt is fully developed but they are doing everything right as new graduates. Eva Lake seems to have impressed everyone last year. Watch all three in 2011.

Cooley Gallery visitors watching Lynda Benglis' The Amazing Bow Wow at Scarecrow (photo Jeff Jahn)

Most consistently tight shows:

Reed College's Cooley Gallery with 50.4% . Makes sense this is one of the most consistently rigorous spaces in Portland.


Favorite space for challenging shows in 2010:

A tie between PICA's TBA offerings and Rocks Box for top honors (see PICA has friends too). Second Place Appendix and third NAAU. All four were separated by only a handful of votes.


MIA but overdue for a solo show in 2010:

With over 60% of the vote Patrick Rock wins hands down. His newfound standing as Mr. Popular might be difficult to accept.


Most Over Shown Artist:

Oregon Painting Society edges out Calvin Ross Carl with 37.4% of the vote. Sure they appeared in Vogue and the Tate's turbine hall but OPS seemed to be showing somewhere in Portland every month of 2010.


Best reason to look forward to 2011:

With 54.9% of the vote the YU Contemporary Art Center beat out PNCA taking possession of the 511 building by a large margin but it remains to be seen if YU can make the kind of impact that PNCA has. Either way 2011 is looking up.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 05, 2011 at 17:40 | Comments (0)


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