Jerry Saltz, discusses what has become of Matthew Barney
... it reminds me why I find Jesse Sugarmann's work
a kind of lower rent version of Barney's car spectacles, it is fine... but it's quite clear who his daddy is right now.
Peter Plagens' puts his foot down and discusses his seminal book "Sunshine Muse" and the current Pacific Standard Time catalog
, which criticizes his 37 year old work on West Coast Art. Plagens is straight up about it being a period piece and pretty much POWNS the academics criticizing his primary source narrative. Even closer to home, where Plagens' states, "Mark Tobey and Morris Graves 'have possessed Pacific Northwest art to the point of suffocation.'" is right on. Reading that I realized a lot of what I've done up here (with the help of 10,000+ others) on the Northern Coast is break that suffocation
... in Portland at least. The thing about writing the first draft of history is you are allowed to bruise egos, make omissions and upset people's apple carts with a clear conscience... a pair of steel balls doesn't hurt either and Plagens' definitely has a pair.
Brian Libby discusses the CRC's ummmm progress
... and continued obfuscation/rubber stamp process. Still, the funding is so shaky on this poorly designed project that I welcome it's not so improbable demise at the hands of the Oregon and Washington State legislatures. Don't get me wrong I think the bridge is needed but the rushed and bass-ackwards way it has gone down means the current and very poor design should be scrapped and restarted with some truly innovative bridge solutions to justify the high price tag
. Governor Kitzhaber (who received a lot of campaign funding from CRC interests) is mostly to blame for this an it is perhaps his biggest mistake in an otherwise decent political career.
And in case you live under a rock you saw the NYT's article on PICA's 2011 TBA festival
. Sincere congratulations, now I'll do my yearly dead-on critical assessment because what was new to the Times isn't new to us. TBA's visual component's biggest flaw... is a certain let's throw stuff at the walls and see what sticks method (sometimes literally) and is also its strongest card. To me TBA makes the visual arts component
(what we cover) seem a bit token and scattered compared to the excellent permanent gallery space program they had from 2001-2004 and this year was no exception. It's a festival so I can't fault it for feeling fleeting... but the thing about festivals is the anonymity that often accompanies them and eventually breeds apathy. This year, felt like last year, which wasn't quite as fresh as the equally scattershot/opportunistic but more sparkling year before that. Hopefully PICA can evolve a little more distinctively with the threat of more year round programming and full-time in house direction. The real reason that PICA got the article this year was that for the first time since 2004 they've taken some concrete steps towards ending an institutional malaise and seem to be evolving again. No idea why it took them 7 years
? It is my hope that next year was worth the wait, I really don't enjoy this cranky yearly diatribe.