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Kara Walker Lecture at Reed
Darkness and light this weekend
Timberline at 75
Fall Opportunities
Wednesday Events
Isabelle Cornaro at PICA's TBA Festival
Vicky Lynn Wilson's Cumulus at PCC Sylvania
Industry and Art
2 Talk Tuesday + Cuba on Alberta Thursday
Monday Links
The Tharp Effect: figuring Tharp, Fidler and Wall
David Hockney and the Brothers Grimm

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Sunday 09.30.12

Kara Walker Lecture at Reed

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Kara Walker, (still) Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, 2011, Video, 17 min., Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. (c) Kara Walker.

Kara Walker's lecture and reception at Reed on Tuesday will be one of the highlights of the Fall season. My best advice, get there early as it will fill up even faster than other Osterow Distinguished Visitors in The Arts lectures have. Afterwards, there will be a a public reception for her solo show More & Less at the Cooley Gallery.

The exhibition features Walker's most recent film, Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale (2011). I caught the film last year in New York and it should have a lot of crossover appeal to Portland's edgy alt-puppet theater goers as well as the art crowd.

The show also features a, "body of prints and multiples from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation."


More & Less | September 4 - November 18, 2012
Public artist talk: October 2, 7PM | Vollum lecture hall
Public reception at the Cooley Gallery follows the lecture
October 2 gallery hours: 12 to 9 p.m.

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
Reed College | 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Regular Hours | Tues - Sunday 12-5PM

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 30, 2012 at 22:00 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.28.12

Darkness and light this weekend

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Still from Torse,USA, 1977, HD resotoration of 16mm double projection, color, sound, 55 min. Image courtesy of Cinema Project.

This weekend, Cinema Project kicks of their yearlong residency at Yale Union(YU) with a screening of Torse by Charles Atlas. YU has built an impressive theatre on their second floor for the film and video curation of Mia Ferm, Michael McManus, and Heather Lane. Torse is a dual-screen rendition of the dance original choreographed by Merce Cunningham, the prolific avant-gardist keen on collaboration. "Shot at the University of Washington with three 16mm cameras - two mobile and manned by Cunningham and Atlas to capture close-ups and a third stationary - Atlas edited the piece to appear on two screens side by side. This strategy allows viewers to see the dance from various vantage points at once. From Einstein's theory of relativity, Cunningham took the idea that there are no fixed points in space, therefore no intended perspective point, no preferred seat from which to watch." With two night time screenings, you'll be able to check this out despite your plans to attend the Stock Dinner this Sunday.

Torse | Charles Atlas
Curated by Cinema Project
Sep. 29 + 30 | 9 PM
$7 Suggested Donation
Yale Union (YU) | 800 SE 10th Ave


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This Saturday, Appendix Project Space presents This New Ocean by Chicago-based artist Daniel Baird. "Daniel Baird's sculptures treat contemporary objects and materials as items of myth, rendering them into linked symbols of light, passage, and stasis. Removed from their original role as component pieces they approach their core purpose, a transaction of energy and attention."

This New Ocean | Daniel Baird
Opening Reception | Sep. 29th | 8 PM
Appendix | the south alleyway off Alberta St. between 26th and 27th Aves.

Posted by Tori Abernathy on September 28, 2012 at 15:54 | Comments (0)

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Timberline at 75

Today, that masterpiece of WPA era arts and crafts movement architecture, Timberline Lodge turns 75 years old. Located 4,000ft below the main crater of Mt. Hood, Oregon's tallest active volcano... everything about Timberline is epic and sublime. I've always been a huge fan of "Parkitecture" and Timberline with its massive wooden and cut stone supports is among the best of the breed. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to let the art and architecture speak for itself?

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The stunning central spoke fireplace was never depicted in The Shining. That film only used a few exterior shots at a distance but one can see how Stanley Kubrick... an aficionado of repeating radial symmetry of the first order would have been drawn to this place. Obviously, it's a bit too warm and inviting for that kind of movie but that's why it works so well as a lodge. (all photos Jeff Jahn)

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 28, 2012 at 12:59 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.27.12

Fall Opportunities

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The Ford Family Foundation has announced a partnership with the Ucross Foundation Residency Program of Wyoming and Djerassi Resident Artists Program of Northern California to provide month long residencies to eight Oregon-based mid-career visual artists. Mid-career artists must have evidence of sustained commitment to your medium over a minimum seven year period, not be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and be at least 30 years of age. You can find more information about the application requirements here. The postmark deadline for all application materials is October 1st.

(More... Art takes Miami and Cascade AIDs Project)

Posted by Tori Abernathy on September 27, 2012 at 15:00 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.25.12

Wednesday Events

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Cynthia E. Smith

If you are interested in sustainable design catch Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum speak about the Museum od Contemporary Craft's excellent exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES. During the talk Smith will provide, "a global overview of the design, thinking, approach, and frontiers of invention aimed at serving the urban poor in connection with the exhibition.

After curating the first exhibition in Cooper-Hewitt's series on humanitarian design in 2007, Smith spent a year of field research in 15 different cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, focusing on successful design solutions to rapidly expanding informal settlements. Join us for a behind-the-scenes lecture on this groundbreaking exhibition series."

Museum of Contemporary Craft
CraftPerspectives Lecture: September 26 6:30PM
The Lab
724 NW Davis St.
Portland, OR, 97209



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Zefrey Throwell, Swiss Ghost in a French Nightmare, 2012, digital C-print, 16 x 24 in.

Dan Gluibizzi & Zefrey Throwell's There is no finish line opens September 26th at Ampersand. Both artists will be in attendance & Ninkasi is providing beer. Here's the PR:

"We are pleased to welcome back Ampersand regular Dan Gluibizzi for a second exhibition at the gallery, this time in collaboration with New York artist, Zefrey Throwell. As with their previous two-man exhibition at By and By Gallery in Brooklyn titled I'll Tumblr 4 Ya (2010), the photographs & paintings in There is no finish line are invitingly erotic & directly engage the disorienting plethora of web-based imagery that defines much of our daily experience. The existence of a finish line not only predicts an end to something, it also implies an awareness of one's current position in space-time &, by extension, the meaning of one's relationship to culture, reality & society at large."

Preview Reception: September 26 from 6 to 9PM
Dates: September 26 to October 21, 2012
Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books
2916 NE Alberta St., B, Portland, OR 97211
503.805.5458

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 25, 2012 at 20:17 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.24.12

Isabelle Cornaro at PICA's TBA Festival

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Isabelle Cornaro's Reproductions (all photos Jeff Jahn)

Of all the Time Based Art festival's visual art offerings under the End Things umbrella, Isabelle Cornaro's large scale solo show comes off as the most satisfying, probing and relevant to the curatorial theme this year. Perhaps it is because the Washington High School venue just feels inherently didactic or full of provisional festival strategies, but it is also because Cornaro's very large and sustained exhibition at PICA's downtown headquarters is so wholly consumed with zen-like circular logic... which I'd argue is the real theme of the End Things suite of shows. In fact, all of the process oriented exhibitions explore how objects don't really have a beginning or an end as much as a moment of inertia in the mind of the viewer.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 24, 2012 at 18:40 | Comments (1)

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Sunday 09.23.12

Vicky Lynn Wilson's Cumulus at PCC Sylvania

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Vicky Lynn Wilson's Cumulus

It has been a long time since weve seen a large scale installation from Vicki Lynn Wilson. Now consider how PCC's Northview Gallery has been doing some of the most adventurous large scale University gallery exhibits of local artists in the area lately. The combination of Wilson and the Northview Gallery results in Cumulous, which opens Monday. The exhibition is influenced by domestic interiors and natural disasters so Im expecting something both epic and familiar.

According to the PR: "Cumulus is a sculptural installation comprised of Paper Mache, pattern drafted cardboard, sewn and cut paper, carved Styrofoam and other mixed media forms and structures. Several human forms traverse the monochromatic brown space of an implied flooded plane. Their postures are bent to the domestic objects which rise from their arms and backs. 'I began with an idea of wanting to transform the space. I decided to use cardboard and paper as a practical matter. The gallery is large so I needed inexpensive and plentiful material. It was the disposability and transience of the material that led me to the subject of the installation.' Taking a 'waste not' approach, the majority of the materials were collected from the recycling of Widmer Brewing Company, Rose City Upholstery and the PCC Bookstore. Even the coffee cups and trash of the artist and visitors to the space are being incorporated."

Cumulus: September 24 - October 26
Northview Gallery: 12000 SW 49th Ave. Portland, OR 97219 CT Building, Rm 214
Hours: 8-4pm Monday-Friday and by appointment
Artist Talk: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2-3pm
Closing Reception: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 3-5pm
Special Performance: Friday, October 26, 2012, 8-8:45pm

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 23, 2012 at 16:50 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.21.12

Industry and Art

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Want to get your proletariat on this weekend? The annual Industry&Art "Celebrate the Worker" expo down at the Swan Island shipyards has some special events this weekend, including the 30 artist show (perhaps the theme is a little too literal to take too seriously but the uber industrial location is incredible). There's the "fully restored steamer Portland, the last steam-powered, sternwheel tugboat to be built in the United States." Also there's a World War II PT boat on hand. Artists like Christopher Rauschenberg, Jordan Tull, Henk Pander, Ryan Pierce, Mark Smith and Michael Brophy etc. all give this annual event a some pedigree but considering the outstanding location things could really be ratcheted up if they wanted to. A lot of the work simply illustrates the worker... what if it explored what that means a little deeper? Check it out and contemplate a cool site that has much much more untapped potential.

Industry&Art
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, Sept 22-23 | 11AM - 6PM
Friday sept 21st 12 - 6PM Tours 2PM & 4 PM
Vigor Industrial Shipyard, Swan Island
5555 N. Channel Avenue

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 21, 2012 at 11:07 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.17.12

2 Talk Tuesday + Cuba on Alberta Thursday

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Reynier Leyva Novo

Catch celebrated Cuban artist Reynier Leyna Novo's talk "Public Art at the Margins" at Reed on Tuesday at 4:30 PM.

The PR: "Leyva Novo explores the graphic and material history of revolution and political activism, fusing the social and the sensual in deeply engaging forms. His project 'The Smells of War,' was featured in the fifty-fourth Venice Biennale.

Leyno Novo's visit to Portland was organized by the Art, History, Latin American Studies, Hispanic Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Memory Studies Institute at Lewis and Clark College, with collaborative support from the Reed College Art Department and PNCA.

Reynier Leyna Novo visits Portland for a series of academic talks accompanied by the exhibition Novo Anniversary Collection, opening this Thursday, September 20, at "The Best Art Gallery in the World," 1468 NE Alberta, 6-8 p.m."

Artist talk: "Public Art on the Margin"
Tuesday, September 18, 4:30 p.m.
Studio Art Building, Reed College campus


Opening: Thursday | September 20 | 6- 8 PM
The Best Art Gallery in the World
1468 NE Alberta



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Collider (install view) Victor Maldonado (Left), Nathanael Thayer Moss (Right)

Later Tuesday night at 7:00PM take in a panel discussion for Collider, an exhibition I curated to explore impure or accretive abstract painting in Portland. The panel features 5 of the show's 6 artists: Amy Bernstein, Jesse Hayward, Victor Maldonado, Nathanael Thayer Moss and Eva Speer, moderated by yours truly. It should another rigorous and energetic discussion worth attending. (Look I hate those typically dull panel discussions and I promise this wont go that route). The Littman Gallery will be open from 6-7PM for extended viewing as well.

Panel Discussion | 7:00PM | Tuesday September 18th
Portland State University | Shattuck Hall Annex
1914 SW Park Ave.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 17, 2012 at 17:33 | Comments (0)

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Monday Links

Oh, not another Portland travel article... but it is good to see that The Guardian doesn't believe the myth of Portland as a place of young retirees. That's BS, in fact the young and old alike work very hard and inventively just to survive here. The Guardian's latest article reports, "Portland didn't become the US capital of cool overnight....If a hipster is a person who wants to seem creative without actually creating anything, there's a serious lack of hipsters in this city. The music and art being made here are world-class." The question is, are Portland's funding and presenting institutions acting in a way that presents that world-class reality? (The survey shows, major awards etc. seem very mid-late career and education career heavy or just plain second rate... and there is widespread annoyance over this.) When artists continually reach out to major institutions and funding sources outside of Portland just to do internationally relevant things it should set off alarms... The artists here are extra resourceful (and simply sidestep the local politics) but I'd like to see Portland's arts infrastructure keep up with the talent and new media/genres.

Get to know a little bit about influential, yet little known Mid-Century Italian designer Bruno Munari.

And last but not least the LA Times published this detailed anatomy of why good feelings are so important to cultivate amongst MOCA's board of Trustees.

*Update: I've always agreed with the viewpoint that Christopher Knight just published; Eli Broad isn't trying to take over MOCA's collection. He needs a strong MOCA next door to his personal collection museum to give it more Elan. The conspiracy theories just don't add up. The real problem is that Dietch is a gadfly who thrives on controversy when MOCA needs steadying... not troublesome tilting at windmills with a phantom intellectual elite that somehow doesn't get pop culture. Trust me, post graduate education gets subcultures and popsploitation.

Oh yes and the clock is ticking, Real Clear Arts wonders where Deitch's promised MAJOR announcements are?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 17, 2012 at 0:14 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.13.12

The Tharp Effect: figuring Tharp, Fidler and Wall

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Installation view of Storm Tharp's Holding a Peach (works on paper) All photos Jeff Jahn

Over the years, certain artists make technical and conceptual breakthroughs that connect so profoundly with others that it opens career possibilities for other practitioners with even tertiary similarities. I call it the boat and the wake. Coincidentally, the wake gives an indication of the speed and draft of the boat. Historically there have been boats like Claude Monet's Haystacks, Matisse's Fauvist paintings, Picasso and Braque with Cubism, Warhols soup cans, Jackson Pollock's action painting, Judd's 1964 solo show, Andreas Gursky's photographs and the Royal Art Lodge's dark little cartoons on paper. All of which ushered in new eras of appreciation and collecting patterns.

In 2007 Storm Tharp had his breakthrough show We Appeal to Heaven (which I was inspired to write the defining review for... 5 years later it still gets a lot of traffic). At that time figurative works on paper were already common due to the Royal Art Lodge's own boat effect but Tharp's show did something different than their more illustration driven work. Tharp's show went from cartoons to portraits and seemed to encapsulate the fragile fiction that is mortality without being an illustration and wet on wet techniques were part of it.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 13, 2012 at 16:06 | Comments (0)

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David Hockney and the Brothers Grimm

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David Hockney (British, born 1937), Rapunzel Growing in the Garden, from “Rapunzel” in Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, 1969, etching. © David Hockney. Used with permission.

If you're looking for an excuse for a summer road trip, Maryhill Museum in Goldendale is opening "David Hockney: Six Fairy Tales" this Saturday. They'll be screening David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at 2PM followed by a discussion. The exhibition features 39 sketches Hockney produced to illustrate, or rather, accompany, Grimm's fairytales. "Hockney especially enjoyed the elements of magic in the tales, and his images focus on his imaginative response to the descriptions in the text rather than attempting to concentrate on the most important events in the narrative. As a result, the etchings are more than simply illustrations: they stand on their own as images, independent of the stories."

David Hockney: Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
Opening Reception & Screening | September 15th | 2PM
Maryhill Museum of Art | 35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale, WA

Posted by Tori Abernathy on September 13, 2012 at 14:24 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09.12.12

Specific Turn opening at OCAC

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Sorry Powells but Monograph is my favorite bookstore in Portland for a good reason and it is great to see the shopkeepers curate a show called Specific Turn at OCAC. Here is the PR:

"Acting as curators, artists John Brodie and Blair Saxon-Hill present a selection of books on art, craft, architecture and design including rare, out-of-print and small press publications. As booksellers and artists, the pair will exhibit a selection of books exploring current and re-emerging ideas in the contemporary study and practice of art and craft. Concepts explored will include, among others, the changing notion of the book, an interest in the tactile, and Utopian architecture and craft.

Available at the opening reception and through the end of the exhibit will be a free Selected Bibliography broadside (28" x 22.5") in an edition of 500, produced by John and Blair of Monograph Bookwerks."

Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 13 from 4-7pm
Specific Turn: September 6-30, 2012
Oregon College of Art and Craft

8245 SW Barnes Road, Portland, OR 97225
Exhibit open daily, 10am-3pm

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 12, 2012 at 10:41 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.10.12

Monday Links

There will be a review soon but till then take in some links.

Tyler Green considers how the fact that 60% of MoMA's visitors are from over seas is driving up their very high $25 admissions fee.

Photographing a Ken Price retrospective is fascinating. It reminds me how in many ways the images generated for a retrospective are one of the most important components of any survey. They become the perspective of the catalog.

Peter Blake chooses his list of 10 best paintings. My list would have some similarities (here's my list in no particular order of importance & off the top of my head):

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Clyfford Still's, '1957-J-No. 2', 1957 (this is my personal fave if I were forced to pick... it has elements of everything else on the list)

Paul Klee's Ad Parnassum

Velazquesz's Las Mininas

Rembrandt's self portraits... any

any of Ellsworth Kelly's curves

Goya's Black Paintings

Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Matisse's The Red Studio

Jackson Pollock's Lucifer


Andy Warhol's Sixteen Jackies



List your own if you'd like...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 10, 2012 at 10:21 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.07.12

Weekend Openings

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The Next Seven Minutes of Your Life, Myndwyrm @ The Gnome Dome in Minneapolis

After a year of exhibitions in the Oregon Brass Works building, RECESS celebrates their anniversary tonight which doubles as a meet & greet with 2012 artist-in-residence Myndwyrm + The Wild Plan. Their work draws from artist walks (derivés), audio-theatre, performance studies, and live gaming, to activate cities as centers of creative resistance. During their stay, they'll be sharing user-activated performance pieces (termed 'autotheatre') and creating new site-specific pieces in PDX. This Sunday RECESS will formally introduce MW + WP with an artist talk, their autotheatre sketch The Next Seven Minutes of Your Life, and other in-process projects.

Myndwyrm | Artist Talk & Performances
September 9th | 8PM
RECESS | 1127 SE 10th
[MORE! The Portrait Project @ FOCO & Social Landscapes @ Linfield]

Posted by Tori Abernathy on September 07, 2012 at 12:24 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09.05.12

The first Wednesday and Thursday of September

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Tint by Von Tundra @ PDX Window Project, Photo Courtesy of the artists

Von Tundra is an underrated Portland-based design collective comprised of Dan Anderson, Chris Held and other collaborators. They're work ranges from functionally a la mode furniture to pragmatic interventions into mobility and space. For their occupation of the PDX Window project, Tint, they explore the specific conditions of the gallery's shop window space compared to the commercial context of those nearby. "The issues of scale, function, association and intention are conditions that Von Tundra has challenged themselves to engage and counter. Tint shifts between direct and indirect references to both any window and this particular one."

Tint |Von Tundra
September 4 - 29 | 24 hours a day, viewable by sidewalk
PDX Window Project | 925 NW Flanders Street


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Alex Cecchetti, Summer is Not the Prize of Winter. Photo: Robertas Narkus.

The primary reason that programming amps up around here in late Summer is the arrival of the annual TBA festival. Of course, an internationally-renowned festival centered around time-based works carries with it a heavy dose of theatre, dance, and performance-based works. The opening reception this Thursday, however, unveils the festival's slightly more visual side with installations in the classrooms at Washington High School and other locations under the heading "End Things". As always, The Works hosts a careful balance of projects from local, emerging artists and internationally relevant figures. This year, many of these new projects have been evolving through time - the result of residencies and commissions for those represented. Visual Art Curator, Kristan Kennedy writes, "[End Things] is a play on the eschatological preoccupation that surrounds 2012. As we head towards the predicted 'end of all things,' perhaps the world will not end with a cataclysmic reckoning or a fireball from outer space, but rather when we no longer view the world as a round floating object and instead a flat space that we scroll over until we reach the edge. I ask us to become occasional animists and to believe that each thing has something to tell, maybe even something that could save us all." That's a worthwhile call to arms, if you ask me. Also, the sounds of Venus X will surely carry you into the wee hours of the night.

Summer is Not the Prize of Winter | Alex Cecchetti
Field of Debris | Erika Vogt
Monument to Another Man's Fatherland | Van Brummelen & De Haan
Understanding Witches Now | Morgan Ritter

TBA Festival | PICA
Opening Night | September 6th | 10-late
Washington High School | Between 12th and 14th on SE Stark St.


(MORE: John Cage's birthday @ PNCA & Colliders @ Littman)

Posted by Tori Abernathy on September 05, 2012 at 14:35 | Comments (0)

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Collecting Ellsworth Kelly with Jordan Schnitzer

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Jordan Schnitzer

Interested in finding out how a true art collector shares his passion with the public? Tomorrow's conversation with Jordan Schnitzer is probably your best chance to understand what is an essentially esoteric process.

The Ellsworth Kelly Prints exhibition at the Portland Art Museum is a very satisfying summer show (very similar to the recent Letters to Ellsworth at LACMA, also culled from Jordan's collection) but for those artists who love Kelly or are simply curious about collectors... I suggest you catch the conversation tonight with Jordan and PAM's director Brian Ferriso. If you haven't met them, I'd describe them as two of the most engaging people in the Portland art scene. Jordan in particular, is passionate about the forms and multiples in Kelly's process and it's always great to see how much respect and appreciation he has for the artist. That kind of respect is a rarity in the often investment driven art world today. Instead, Jordan collects in depth, as a way to gain understanding... in much the way a true artist like Kelly creates as a function of exploring life's finer moments of observation. It is a kind of personal development that Portland is lucky to share in.

Portland Art Museum
Conversations: Collecting Ellsworth Kelly, Sept. 6 | 6:00 PM

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 05, 2012 at 14:28 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.04.12

Trust:: PNCA Alumni Show

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Still from Samuel Rowlett's Landscape Painting in the Expanded Field project

Though recent institutional survey attempts of the Portland art scene have been less than satisfying or even interesting, PNCA's first try at an alumni show titled Trust PNCA may have learned from the mistakes of others (too diffuse, not contemporary enough, dead energy). PNCA describes Trust as offering, "the viewer the opportunity to become an institutional archaeologist, to dig down through the accumulated strata of object, image, and idea to get at the cultural DNA of the College. For alumni, it is an appropriate homecoming or completion of a circle."

With 44 artists it still doesn't include everybody (who would want it to) but it sure tries.... these sorts of group shows are all about the institution ingratiating itself and or re-connecting after all. Still, it looks like it will bring out some new names (another problem with recent surveys).

... ( Link for full list of artists and more)

Trust Opening Reception: September 5th | 6-8PM Trust: Srptember 6 - October 21 PNCA | Swigert Commons 1241 NW Johnson

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 04, 2012 at 10:54 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 09.02.12

Last day for impressive Bacon at PAM

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Francis Bacon 1977, Figure Witing Reflected in a Mirror,(c) 2012 Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / ARS, New York / DACS, London

It is your last day to catch what many (including myself) believe to be the best painting Francis Bacon ever painted, "Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror," at the Portland Art Museum. I'll have a major essay for you soon to ahem "reflect upon," but to give you short summation why it is so important;

1) The painting depicts George Dyer, Bacon's former lover who committed suicide on the eve of his first major museum retrospective in 1971.

2) Considering the difficult subject matter the paint handling is superbly confident yet conflicted. This gives it a revealing personal quality you don't get with the screaming popes even or even with the self portraits.

3)This painting marks a maturation point in his career. The composition was bolder, more poetic and introspective for an artist who up until his 1978 show prized obfuscation above all else. In many ways this double portrait of his former lover set the stage for Bacon's more more introspective later self portraits.

4)Bacon was a wordsmith of considerable gifts and this is his only painting that actually depicts a figure writing (I'll expand this history considerably in the essay).

If you enjoy Storm Tharp's work you will have missed and incredible opportunity in not seeing this painting... so go.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 02, 2012 at 9:47 | Comments (1)

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