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First Thursday Picks September 2011
Unfinished Business at PDX
Pre-TBA Talk with Claire Fontaine
Last Thursday August 2011
Defending Beauty?
Two Worlds = Same Universe
Snippets of life at MoCC
Joan Shipley PADA Visual Arts Award recipient
Plazm turns 20
Monday Links
Viande de Brousse

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Wednesday 08.31.11

First Thursday Picks September 2011


PNCA presents Bonnie Bronson: Works 1960-1990. A round investigation of the late Bronson's ouevre, it's her first major retrospective since the Portland Art Museum mounted a posthumous survey in 1993. Featuring nearly 60 works, including many drawings and paintings discovered in the archiving of her estate, the show notably unites two of the large Jas series (1979) and features a reconstruction of Kassandra, a towering cardboard wall sculpture shown only once.

Opening reception • 6-8pm • September 1
PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson • 503.226.4391

(More: It's All A Blur at PNCA, Stephen Scott Smith at Breeze Block, Cynthia Lahti at PDX Contemporary, Michael Reinsch everywhere, Changing Place at White Box.)

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 31, 2011 at 21:24 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 08.30.11


Ok, August is always an intense month of travel for me, so the Houston report will come later tonight or tomorrow... till then here are some links:

The Guardian interviews Gillian Wearing... whose confessional videos happen to be some of my favorites.

An Egyptian art collector founds a political party.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 30, 2011 at 11:41 | Comments (0)


Friday 08.26.11

Unfinished Business at PDX

Terry Toedtemeier, Untitled (Chaco Canyon)

I think Terry Toedtemeier would have been amused and proud that his Unfinished Business show at PDX Contemporary ends in just two days, but that is the recursively zen and improbable way the gregarious curator of photography rolled until his untimely death in 2008... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 26, 2011 at 9:48 | Comments (2)


Wednesday 08.24.11

Pre-TBA Talk with Claire Fontaine

Claire Fontaine, "Paris (burnt/unburnt)," 2011

PICA is warming up for TBA:11 with a toasty teaser by Parisian visual arts duo Claire Fontaine. ON SIGHT Salon features a discussion and sneak peak of their in-progress festival installation, which is an embedded matchstick map of the United States. The sucker may or may not be torched by Festival day, so don't miss this talk— like the work, it should prove combustible.

"After lifting her name from a popular brand of school notebooks, Claire Fontaine declared herself a 'readymade artist' and began to elaborate a version of neo-conceptual art that often looks like other people's work. Her practice can be described as an ongoing interrogation of the political impotence and the crisis of singularity that seem to define contemporary art today."

Lecture • 6-7pm • August 26
Washington High School • SE Stark between 12th & 14th • RSVP to rsvp@pica.org

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 24, 2011 at 22:01 | Comments (0)


Last Thursday August 2011


FalseFront presents Towards Omniscient Documentary, the first in an ongoing series by Dustin Zemel. "By building expanded audiovisual experiments that recount 'true' stories, it is my goal to shed light on the subjective, hybrid space that exists between objective reality and personal interpretation."

Opening reception • 7-10pm • August 25
FalseFront • 4518 NE 32nd Ave • 503.781.4609

Sanela Jahić, "Fire Painting"

Appendix Project Space presents Passengers from the Relative to the Absolute, by Sanela Jahić. "Distilling the essential powers claimed by various modes of creation— painting's living evidence of touch, or the power of the word to remake the past— Jahić creates situations of enhanced mechanical advantage."

Opening reception • 7pm • August 25
Appendix • south alley between 26th & 27th, off NE Alberta

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 24, 2011 at 12:39 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 08.23.11

Defending Beauty?

Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in Chicago (photo Jeff Jahn)

Tomorrow at Place the latest Praxis salon discussion presents Jason Brown's Paper "In the Defense of Beauty: The Guise and The Intangible." Grant Hottle's paintings will be on display as well.

Beauty was a hot topic in the mid 90's when Dave Hickey challenged the decades long bias against it in contemporary art with his essay, The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty. It was essentially an all out and ultimately successful attack on a lot of French postmodernism theory that had metastasized into a kind of academic koan, one which treated visual pleasure as a kind of intellectual failing. What Hickey most effectively assaulted was the academic conceit rather than the theoreticians themselves and suddenly it was fine to make beautiful things again and craft suddenly stopped being a dirty word... not that Anish Kapoor and Jeff Koons weren't already doing it and artists like Murakami, Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Josiah McElheny and Olafur Elliason eventually removed all doubt. Likewise, the resurgent interest in Ed Ruscha, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Robert Irwin and Judd ultimately solidified the argument that beautiful (or relentlessly visual/kinesthetic) work could be intellectually rigorous.

Overall, I'm interested in seeing where this discussion around Brown's paper hinges on and diverges from the art history of the past 20 years and hopefully some discussion of local examples will ensue (Storm Tharp, Jacqueline Ehlis (who studied with Hickey), Eva Speer, Arcy Douglass, Laura Highes, Jordan Tull, Laura Fritz, Midori Hirose, Adam Sorenson, the Appendix crew and James Lavadour are all germane). Lastly, does beauty still require defending and from whom?

Perhaps reading Arcy's essay from 2008 On Form (or from Polykleitos to Janine Antoni) might be helpful?

Place @ Pioneer Place
700 Sw Fith Ave. Third floor at settlement
August 24th
5:30 - 8:30PM

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 23, 2011 at 21:27 | Comments (5)


Monday 08.22.11

Two Worlds = Same Universe

Th Guardian looks at what happens when artists and scientists work together... a long time ago Da Vinci was at the top of both fields.

This just in, the small but increasingly impressive Oregon College of Art and Craft has just announced a partnership with Nike. This is significant as Nike designers will be in residence on campus and highlights the hands on Craft based design process the college has become known for. It's a great opportunity for students to see how things are done outside the art school bubble and great for Nike to do some woodshedding so to speak.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 22, 2011 at 10:30 | Comments (0)


Saturday 08.20.11

Snippets of life at MoCC

Nikki McClure, "Tonight," 2008

The Museum of Contemporary Craft presents two exhibitions. Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path showcases the 1996-2011 work of Olympia native Nikki McClure, who armed with spare tools of black paper and an X-acto blade creates intricate papercuts of daily life. Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-64 is a chronologic flashback of juried exhibitions at the Oregon Ceramic Studio. Debuting curator Kat Perez reignites the mid-century life of MoCC's institutional forebear using original artwork, ephemera and photographic reproductions.

Exhibition(s) • August 18 - October 29/ February 25, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Craft • 724 NW Davis • 503.223.2654

Jurors at Tenth Biennial Exhibition of Northwest Ceramics, 1962

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 20, 2011 at 8:22 | Comments (0)


Friday 08.19.11

Joan Shipley PADA Visual Arts Award recipient

Joan Shipley

The Portland Art Dealers Association Award for Service to the Visual Arts has been awarded to Joan Shipley.

Congrats are due to Shipley, an often behind the scenes arts force who along with her husband John is can frequently be seen out and amongst the galleries. I like the idea of the award as most awards are targeted towards artists who make a very public splash. On a civic level there is little recognition of less sexy things like; arts leaders, curatorial initiative, alt space management or fundraising activity in Portland (RACC, OAC, Mayor's office, Ford Foundation this is something to work on). Good on PADA to undertake this initiative.

Joan was a founding member of PICA, chaired the board during the capital campaign and is on the leadership council today. She is also active with The Bonnie Bronson Award and many, many other cultural institutions in Portland. In 2004-2005 she and her husband were recipients of the Governor's Arts Award.

The Portland Art Dealers Association Award for Service to the Visual Arts is given on occasion, but not necessarily on an annual basis. The recipient is chosen by vote of the members of PADA.

Julie Bernard and Laura Russo were the first and second recipients of The Portland Art Dealers Association Award for Service to the Visual Arts. Joan Shipley is the third recipient.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 19, 2011 at 18:49 | Comments (0)


Thursday 08.18.11

Plazm turns 20


It's the social event of the summer, Plazm leaves its teenybopper days behind on August 20th 6:30- 8:00 PM (VIP $75) and 8:00 PM - 2:30 AM for the release party ($5-15). Details here.

Yes, twenty years ago... during the first wave of high quality independent media publishing, magazines like, Plazm, Emigre, Ray Gun, and Mondo 2000 stepped up to provide intelligent design and cultural coverage from outside the major corporate media umbrella. Today, only the Portland based Plazm remains and with its current reincarnation, the "Born Again" issue featuring David Lynch, Bruce Sterling, Corin Tucker, Daniel Heyman, and Dan Attoe and Wangetchi Mutu, the publication looks better than ever. This issue new issue discusses, humanity, culture, and the death of print with Plazm editor Tiffany Lee Brown. Other participants include author and futurist Bruce Sterling, cultural critic Douglas Rushkoff, “What Technology Wants” author Kevin Kelly, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” author Nicholas Carr, and Sherry Turkle, MIT’s Technology Director for the Initiative on Technology and Self.

Of course there is a party celebrating this major 20 year milestone (when the average lifespan for serious cultural publications seems to be only 2-3 years).

Video and film is by Vanessa Renwick, E*Rock, Hooliganship, Lena Munday, Adrian Freeman, Shana Moulton, Duncan Malashock, Nic Chancellor, Bruce Bickford, Andrew Benson,
Andrew Jeffrey Wright & Clare Rojas.

Art: Laura Fritz creates a light and space installation for one night only, and Jason Kinney brings an elaborate and unusual photo booth.

A silent auction offering a Facebook post by Mayor Sam Adams, artwork from Michael Brophy and Storm Tharp, a gift certificate for eco sushi at Bamboo, and many other items happens 6:30 to 9 pm.

The VIP event featuring music by Eric Hausmann, a reading by Colin Meloy of the Decemberists and illustrator Carson Ellis, beer and wine, and a light supper by Tastebud is from 6:30 to 8 ($75 at the door). The main party is from 8 pm to 2:30 am, with a sliding entry fee of $5-15.

More party details and advance tickets here

@ Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate, Portland (MAX Yellow line to Kenton)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 18, 2011 at 11:04 | Comments (0)


Monday 08.15.11

Monday Links

The Guardian has images of the 9/11 memorial fountains... unfortunately the piecemeal design of the site including the forgettable Freedom Tower is just another reminder of how New York and possibly America can't get it right when the chips a really down. They are very big and very wet but somehow they leave me underwhelmed.

This book of wall photographs is extra cool.

Here are some photos of SOUTHERN/PACIFIC down in Houston (lots of Portland artists on a cultural rail riding show that travels).

Ai Weiwei debriefs the NYT's on his incarceration.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 15, 2011 at 11:07 | Comments (0)


Saturday 08.13.11

Viande de Brousse

Viande de Brousse out on the town

Tomorrow is your last chance to catch Viande de Brousse, the bushmeat food-cart installation by Roger Peet and Ryan Burns. "The severed hand has become a grim symbol of the world's cruelty and indifference to Congo... this project is an attempt to to describe the complexities of this dark knot of human need and greed."

PLACE presents concluding talks for Five, featuring Peet, Burns, Felicity Fenton, William Rihel, Stephen Kurowski and Marina Tait.

Closing reception and artist talks • 4-6pm • August 14
PLACE @ Pioneer Place Mall • 700 SW 5th • 3rd floor

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 13, 2011 at 21:33 | Comments (0)


Friday 08.12.11

New Digs at Newspace


Newspace Center for Photography celebrates its grand expansion with an open house. Curator Raymond Meeks leads a tour of the 7th Annual Juried Exhibition, and you can try your hand at a variety of photo processes while checking out the spankin' new darkrooms, digital labs and galleries. The opening also marks the release of Newspace's retrospective photography book, which looks back at nine years of artists and gallery exhibitions.

Opening reception • 11-4pm • August 13
Exhibition tour • 1pm
Newspace • 1632 SE 10th • 503.963.1935

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 12, 2011 at 17:45 | Comments (0)


Thursday 08.11.11

Pilose Crux

Elina Tuhkanen, from Pilose Crux

Nationale presents Elina Tuhkanen's Pilose Crux: Performative Sculptures from Finland. "Communing, prayer-like, behind heavy screens of fur, their hidden gesturing suggests a longing for symbiosis in a culture defined by its increasing disconnect from the natural world."

There's also a special screening of Tuhkanen's video works tonight, followed by a panel discussion featuring Tuhkanen, co-curator Emily Henderson, Finnish artist Alma Heikkilä, and Portland poet Alicia Coen.

Film screening and panel • 7pm • August 11 • $5
Hollywood Theatre • 4122 NE Sandy • 503.281.4215

Opening reception • 6-9pm • August 12
Nationale • 811 E Burnside Ste 112 • 503.477.9786

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 11, 2011 at 15:03 | Comments (0)



Corner_surv sm.jpg

If you are in Houston, stop in Friday for the opening installment of SOUTHERN/PACIFIC curated by Paul Middendorf at the Lawndale Art Center on Museum Row. Conceived as a cultural exchange the old railroad between Houston, and Portland, the show makes stops in all three cities (with respective artists in tow).

Artists: Camp Bosworth, John Calaway, Calvin Ross Carl, Joseph Cohen, Jillian Conrad, David Corbett, Arcy Douglass, Sean Healy, Hana Hillerova, Roxanne Jackson, Jeff Jahn, Terrel James, Jonathan Leach, Victor Maldonado, Ann Marie Nafziger, Alyce Santoro, Vontundra (David, Dan and I will be there, artist talks at 6:00)

Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main Street Houston, TX
Opening August 12 6:30-8:30

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 11, 2011 at 10:16 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 08.09.11


The New York Observer has obtained the revised plans for the MoMA tower by Jean Nouvel (it will add a lot more gallery space to the museum). Though the NYO doesn't like it I actually think this shard building looks better after the changes after complaints about its height. Before it seemed mechanical, now it is more crystalline (like the Libeskind Freedom tower that never got greenlighted, leaving us with the Childs fiasco instead).

Todd Eberle shoots pictures of a new John Pawson home. I'll be reviewing his Empire of Space retrospective in book form shortly.

The Guardian reports on a suspected Robert Motherwell forgery.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 09, 2011 at 12:57 | Comments (0)


Thursday 08.04.11

First Weekend Picks August 2011


Worksound presents Identity Paintings, "a new generation of painters in Portland who promise to impact the next decade." This is Worksound's last show before it begins a new residency program, which invites four artists in different media to engage in conversation with critics and audiences before culminating in a final exhibit.

Works by Katie Allred, Jeremy Okai Davis, Gavin Eveland, Luke Fuller, Dorothy Goode, Ruth Lantz, Chelsea Linehan, Elizabeth Malaska, Devon Maldanado and Alexis Sarah Rittenhouse.

Opening reception • 7pm • August 5
Worksound • 820 SE Alder • mojomodou@gmail.com

(More: Ellen Jane Michael & Megan Scheminske at Half/Dozen, Rebecca Steele & Modou Dieng at FalseFront, Body of Knowledge Part II at Gallery Homeland, juried photo exhibition at Newspace.)

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 04, 2011 at 18:04 | Comments (0)


Portland2012 Biennial at Disjecta


Disjecta has announced calls for its second biennial survey of Portland contemporary art. Prudence F. Roberts, who oversaw the Portland Art Museum's American art collection from 1987-2000, follows Cris Moss as curator. As in the inaugural 2010 exhibition, Disjecta will pair with satellite venues to display work. Visual, new media and performance artists who have lived in Oregon for at least two years are invited to apply. Small stipends are available for new work, and selected artists will be announced in the fall.

Entries are due August 12 online, find detailed info at the Disjecta website.

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 04, 2011 at 12:17 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 08.03.11

New York Nuggets

New York Nuggets.jpg
View of the city from the top of the New Museum, 2011, Amy Bernstein

The summer in the country's art capital is vibrant with some of the best shows of the year, despite being the typically slow season. If you happen to be heading to the other coast, these are some of the most vibrant and the most riveting shows in the city at the moment. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on August 03, 2011 at 22:40 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 08.02.11

First Thursday Picks August 2011

Louise Bourgeois, "What is the Shape of This Problem? (detail)," 1999

Elizabeth Leach presents its 30th Anniversary Exhibition, The Shape of the Problem. Nearly 70 artists who have shown at the gallery over the last three decades will return for a whizbang, three-day extravaganza "celebrating the past, present, and future of the gallery, the Portland art community, and their relationship to the art world at large."

Day One: A group exhibition highlighting prominent historical artists of the last century, and featuring emerging artists alongside longtime gallery artists.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • August 4
Elizabeth Leach Gallery • 417 NW 9th • 503.224.0521

Day Two: A multi-channel video projection of internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Dinh Q. Lê's The Imaginary Country.

Opening reception • 5:30-7:30pm • August 5
Reed College Cooley Gallery • 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd • Hauser Memorial Library

Day Three: A group exhibition featuring Robert Hanson, MK Guth, Ryan Pierce, Bonnie Bronson, Lee Kelly, Sean Healy, local curator Kristan Kennedy, and many other regional artists.

Opening reception • 5:30-7:30pm • August 6
PNCA Feldman Gallery • 1241 NW Johnson • 503.226.4391

(More: Terry Toedtemeier at PDX, Bill McCullough at Blue Sky, Jennifer Locke & Lucas Murgida at Rocksbox, Eva Lake at Augen.)

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on August 02, 2011 at 16:43 | Comments (0)


Monday 08.01.11

Monday Links

A new article suggests that the traditional gallery model is "structurally weak" and that a series of fairs and Internet based modes are supplanting the old walk-in model. This is partially correct, I can see galleries choosing smaller downtown spaces and cheaper/larger and less finished project spaces in the future. The trick is keeping collectors engaged and interested and simply scaling back (+ showing more conservative work) without coherent, large scale or adventurous shows won't create more excitement. You have to put collectors in the mood by impressing them and setting their minds at work. Fairs are so overwhelming it promotes buying but that doesn't work for everyone. I think there is a balanced approach that makes more sense by creating destination programming. Unless you are selling blue chip work a large downtown gallery doesn't make sense anymore.

The George Ohr Museum took a beating from Katrina, then the BP oilspill... now it is demographics on the so called "Redneck Riviera"? Honestly, I want this to survive, Im a big fan and at some point it is up to patrons to step up to protect culture... charging admission (now $25 at MoMA) isn't really viable in out of the way places with lower museum attendance. The have's must protect what is worth protecting so the have not's can enjoy culture as well. Culture isn't just for the rich who can buy up George Ohr's pottery.

Jean Nouvel's granite and vegetation monolith at the world's busiest fishing port is a new twist on harbor lighthouses?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 01, 2011 at 15:20 | Comments (0)

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