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Thursday 03.01.12

« Rupture: Reed Arts Week vis art picks 2012 | Main | First Weekend picks March 2012 »

First Thursday March 2012 picks

March is always a funny month for shows in Portland (this year it's pretty good though). In fact, at least two of the very best shows from last month by Joe Thurston at Elizabeth Leach Gallery and the current show with B. Wurtz at PNCA's Feldman Gallery are still up for the month of March. Also, if you don't already know about the Rothko or Nauman shows either... well it's good timing to emerge from your hibernation cave. Here's what's new:

James Lavadour's Rose (2012)

PDX presents James Lavadour's Interiors, which I'm pretty sure constitutes the fieriest show of paintings I've yet to see from this Northwest icon. Also, for the first time on exhibit, a new sculpture work cast at the Walla Walla Foundry.

Opening reception • March 1st • 6 - 8PM
PDX Contemporary • 925 NW Flanders • 503.222.0063

Jesse Hayward's Sailor Song in the PDX Window Gallery

Jesse Hayward is perhaps the Northwest's most adventurous abstract painter... so it is interesting to see this artist (who studied with Karl Benjamin) do a rather mainstream abstract painting on a wall. It's a back to basics move that probably means Hayward is about to do something really idiosyncratic next... sometimes people forget how grounded in good fundamentals he is.

Opening reception • March 1st • 6 - 8PM
PDX Contemporary • 925 NW Flanders • 503.222.0063

Allen Maertz at Chambers@916

Chambers@916 presents Allen Maertz's Encylopedia. It is a continuation of Maertz's fascinating photos of museum displays. This artist never disappoints with his fantastic eye for architectural composition and his innate grasp of the sometime poetic, sometimes odd logic behind the displays.

Opening reception • 6-8:30pm • March 1st
Chambers@916 • 916 NW Flanders • 503.227.9398

Portland2012 at PDX across the hall

When pretty much everyone is in a biennial survey show, and it takes place in multiple venues the resulting effect is diffuse and ghettoizing... in short it doesn't mean any more than any other group exhibition and an artist or two will gain some traction (the rest will notice their careers are exactly the same as before the show). The winners this year though are Ben Buswell Akihiko Miyoshi because they have best location with the nicest and most concentrated space at the extra confusing Pulliam/PDX Across the hall gallery. It's essentially a dual artist show, with Buswell's low to the floor pieces literally "shining" on the chic metal floors. It reminds me of the days when the then Pulliam-Deffenbaugh gallery always signed the hottest young artists from the now defunct Oregon Biennial at PAM. Those debuts were greatly anticipated with buyers cuing up at previews just to get the latest thing. I miss that, since no commercial Portland gallery harnesses that kind of energy any more. Now, back to the show at hand, though this is a nicely executed installation I think using a commercial gallery space for a supposedly noncommercial biennial is also a minor no-no. Still, go see it because even if it is yet another theme less, over inclusionary (a social event with no statement) and thus somewhat institutionally weak attempt at surveying the scene THIS is at least a decent stand alone dual artist introduction show that highlights why such a fractured move isn't the best idea. Why do you think PAM decided to dump the biennial? It's very difficult to do decently and takes years with a devoted full time curator to do something that will actually be ballsy or at least positioned and selective enough to matter. Choosing a lot of artists is inherently ALL about the institution trying to ingratiate itself, not the survey. Fact is, Portland has good and ok group show every month already so another one doesn't stand out.

PDX Across the Hall venue for PORTLAND2012
February 28 - March 31
Tue-Sat, 11 am to 6 pm
Opening reception | March 1, 11 am to 8 pm 929 NW Flanders | (503) 222-0063

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 01, 2012 at 0:50 | Comments (0)


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