Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Openings Tonight: Team Kristan vs Team Holly
2013 Hallie Ford Fellows
Openings & Events | May 29th - 30th
Tuesday Links
Friday links
Openings & Events | May 23rd - 25th
Interview with Critical Art Ensemble
Monday Links
Folkert de Jong at Portland Art Museum
Openings & Events : May 16 - 21st
Congrats to Alex Mackin Dolan
Monday Links

recent comments

Griffith Holder
Sam Marroquin
Event Horizon



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License


Friday 05.31.13

Openings Tonight: Team Kristan vs Team Holly

Often the art world pulls us in opposite directions. For example two of Portland's most popular art personages have rival openings in two very different cities making one choose between Team Kristan and Team Holly. I really should be at both... and you should too. Actually you will see the work better if you go during the day Saturday.


At Fourteen30 Kristan Kennedy is opening Sleeper and people will go just to kiss her ass and try to get a show at TBA. Kristan of course is the Visual art curator at PICA but everyone knows she's at heart a working painter. She's smart, one of the brightest people in the scene but there has always been a push/pull between her two roles and it always seemed like she was deliberately learning from every artist she worked with as a curator. You could see it most clearly with Jesse Hayward's work at PICA's 2009 TBA but other TBA artists like Charles Atlas, Storm Tharp and Jessica Jackson Hutchins are all in the mix. Lately in group shows Kristan's work has come alive... most recently when very passive, almost apologetic wall based pieces like N.T.N.L.M.R.R.D.R.P. were reconfigured as a shawls covering some furniture in upstate New York art fair. It was a breakthrough. Instead of passive, it seemed to actively wield a silencing of forms and a sense that something was awakening. For that reason I'm very excited about this show and the possibility of Kristan finally fulfilling her potential.

Sleeper | Fourteen30 Contemporary
Reception: May 31, 6 - 8PM
May 31 - July 7, 2013
1501 SW Market

The Deconstruction (2011)

At the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Holly Andres is opening her first retrospective The Homecoming. She has become a hot commodity in fashion and commercial photography and her fine art work has started to emerge from the influence of Gregory Crewdson and Justine Kurland in exciting narrative ways. It will be great to see so much of it in one place from such a young artist.

The Homecoming | Hallie Ford Museum
Reception May 31 | 6 - 8PM
June 1 - August 4th

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 31, 2013 at 10:21 | Comments (2)


Thursday 05.30.13

2013 Hallie Ford Fellows

Congratulations to Mike Bray, Cynthia Lahti and D.E. May who are this year's Hallie Ford Fellows. Seems like the Ford Foundation heard some of the criticisms we brought to light this year.

For example, Bray is a multimedia artist and both May and Lahti (in addition to Bray) are actually producing the best work of their careers. I don't think of any of them as being academicians at all though Bray does teach at the U of O (a criticism I and many others noted). One should also note that all three have gallery representation... something the first three fellows did not have but has become typical in the last 3 cycles. Lastly, one could debate Bray being a mid career artist (I sat on his thesis review panel) but that's always an incredibly tricky distinction.

Looking at the press release "craft" was once again a major criteria, nothing wrong with that but craft does not define all contemporary art and the little bit about Bray from the jury, "There is fine craft aesthetic underpinning his work, something often underplayed in the digital field." seems like they were trying very hard to justify a multimedia artist who actually uses digital media as craft.

My position is that there is craft in practically all good, object based work and digital mediums have a great deal of craft in them as well.

Panelists included: Dr. George Baker, Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); Lawrence Fong, recently retired as Associate Director & Curator of Regional Art, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art / University of Oregon (Eugene, OR); Clara Kim, Senior Curator of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); Lawrence Rinder, Director, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA); and Prudence Roberts, Art History Professor, Portland Community College, and independent curator (Portland, OR).

The Lumber Room will showcase a selection of work by the 2013 Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts. A public viewing of the work will be held one weekend only, June 28 and 29, from 12 - 5pm, located at 419 NW 9th Avenue.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 30, 2013 at 10:25 | Comments (2)


Tuesday 05.28.13

Openings & Events | May 29th - 30th


The PSU MFA Studio Lecture Series brings together artists from different disciplines to explore the subjects of their own work before a live audience. Lectures are FREE and open to the public. This week esteemed artist Richard Jackson will be talking.

Based in Los Angeles since the early 1970s, Jackson, with his wildly inventive & exuberant "action" paintings, has expanded the definition and practice of painting more than any other contemporary figure. Exhibited widely internationally and nationally, his paintings are slightly performative, sculptural, and concern themselves with the art of everyday experience.

Richard Jackson | MFA Studio Lecture Series
May 29th | 7 PM

& there's more . . .

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 28, 2013 at 17:13 | Comments (0)


Tuesday Links

Here are some straight forward answers about what can and cannot happen to works that are owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Once again, selling works of art held in trust for the public to make token stabs at financial obligations is just a bad idea. Detroit's problems are larger than any art sale could satisfy.

Also in Detroit, MONA is putting on its own Documenta in an attempt to "void" all museums and "prove" them "invalid". Good luck with that, I think most institutions struggle to validate themselves rather than invalidate others. Nice to see some pretty ballzy language from an institution for a change though...

Brian Libby interviews Sergio Palleroni on the creation of PSU's groundbreaking Center for Public Interest Design. This sort of advocacy/think-tank program is precisely what Portland had been missing for the past 50 years and it could become incredibly important for the next 50.

Jerry Saltz makes a great case for Jeff Koons as an artist. Dont let the success fool you... Koons is for real and that is the part that is worth freaking out about.

Christopher Knight on James Turrel's retrospective at LACMA. Don't get me wrong, I think Turrel is a great artist but his woo-woo religious overtones always put me off. It comes off as a salesman's spiel... and not unlike Wilford Brimley talking about oatmeal. Basically, Turell always seems to be selling you something. That and I seriously doubt a crater of a volcano can be improved upon... for those reasons I'll always prefer Irwin and Wheeler. When you talk to Robert Irwin, he isn't trying to sell you a bridge... you've got his full attention.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 28, 2013 at 10:44 | Comments (0)


Friday 05.24.13

Friday links

Detroit puts everyone on "don't sell the collection to pay city debts" watch. I don't think that is what is happening here but everyone IS on watch.

Tracey Emin on getting older in the NYT's. Her confessional work is JUST as influential as Hirst's and moreso than say Gary Hume. It's largely responsible for the crafty confessional trend in contemporary art since the 90's. Actually, I'm a huge fan, though I don't want to be.

You have probably heard that Paul Schimmel joins the mega gallery challenge to the role of non profit museums. That might sound like something new but onetime it was the gallerists like Viginia Dwan, Leo Castelli, Kahnweiler and Betty Parsons whose advocacy created the context that are now the life blood of museum blockbusters. Perhaps mega gallerists are returning to that role? What's more Schimmel is staying in LA too, which is such a win win for that city.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 24, 2013 at 13:00 | Comments (0)


Thursday 05.23.13

Openings & Events | May 23rd - 25th


In the Bathroom with Barry, An Introduction

The walls of the hall that I stood in were white.
The ceiling was white, and the floor was white.
The Christmas lights strung along the hall and the sink at the end were white.
On the sink was a white candle inside of a red jar in front of a mirror.
I was waiting by the sink for the bathroom.
I was first in line and under the impression that the door with the light coming from underneath was the bathroom.
That the door with no light coming from underneath was the closet.
The man who was soon to be second in line tested the door with the light and found it to be locked.
He declared that it must be a closet.
I posited that the light suggested an occupant locked in the bathroom.
He tested the door with no light and found it locked.
We had reached a stalemate.
That is until we heard the flush of a toilet and the lock clack.
I offered to let the other man go first and he locked the door behind him.
Two more joined the line and the man in the bathroom opened the door.
"Would you like to come in? There's two in here."
I stepped past the other man and the urinal, past the small wall to the bowl next to the window in a white room.
He locks the door, and we both begin our independent study of the porcelain forms before us.
"Hello, I'm Barry."
"I'm Justyn."
"Are you an artist?"
I had been thinking, lately, about the need to work on my elevator speech.
The one where in a couple of sentences I neatly encapsulate a description of my work that is both accurate and, with any luck, interesting.
Here was a captive audience, but all I could say was that,
"I am a painter, are you an artist."
"No, I am a writer. What kind of painter?"
Another chance and it was a good question.
I have been trying to figure this out for myself.
At the best of times I am sitting at home with books and tea considering the ideas of other artists.
Provisional, Casual Abstraction, these are the shorthand signifiers that reduce my approach within critical discourse.
I wanted to say that I was an "abstract genre painter."
But this felt clunky and like it needed explaining.
It also made me think about how the term "genre painting" was considered demeaning when it was first used. So why not Casual Abstraction?
All this while pondering the appropriate duration for a conversation that involves two men holding their penises, divided by a wall.
"Small/abstract. What kind of writing do you do?"
"Non-Fiction. Where did you go to school?"
"I didn't."
"What about you?"
"I teach."
There was a pause, I imagine, as we both attempted to determine, from either side of our wall, whether the other was done.
The door rattled and I anticipated the faces of those in line as the lock turned and the door opened in.

Justyn Hegreberg creates small paintings as quiet disruptions, breaks in the noise of life and daily thought. They allow space for one to pause and step outside one's self, to follow the material trajectory of another person.

Authentic Travel | Justyn Hegreberg
Opening Reception | May 25th | 7-10 PM
May 25 - June 16 | Saturdays and Sundays | 12-3 PM
FalseFront | 4518 NE 32nd Ave. | Portland, OR 97211

There's more for the 23rd & 25th . . .

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 23, 2013 at 11:01 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.22.13

Interview with Critical Art Ensemble

Critical Art Ensemble's Acceptable Losses (detail) at PNCA's Feldman Gallery

On March 15th around Noon, I spoke with Critical Art Ensemble members Steve Kurtz and Lucia Sommer.

Tori Abernathy: You've been in the planning stages for Acceptable Losses over the past four years now, but the show seems strangely appropriate in light of recent happenings. What led to focusing on themes of death and suicide in this location, Portland, or in the Feldman Gallery?

Steve Kurtz: Current events. The original idea was to talk about human sacrifice in relation to war-what's acceptable and not acceptable. It took years to get this show organized (mostly due to funding problems). Fortunately, by the time the show was finally possible and the budget appeared, it seemed even more appropriate in spite of one of the wars being "technically" over. Newtown had just happened, and the VA announced that the military was facing its most significant public health crisis ever, given the soaring suicide rate among veterans. For the first time we are losing more combat vets to suicide than we are to the enemy. Just presenting the numbers related to suicide gave us an avenue to talk about the war, to talk about military service, and in some ways to talk about the political economy of war. So all the elements just fell into place. We took the edge off with the block party, though.

TA: Which is hopefully going to be a lot of fun... (more)

Posted by Tori Abernathy on May 22, 2013 at 23:16 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.20.13

Monday Links

Anish Kapoor thinks Britain is "fucked" because it spends so little on Art and education. He also shoots his cannon off in Berlin for his latest show.

Why the market isn't the best judge of Art. This is also why we require art critics who cover a beat and write reviews that are critical, not just better executed restatements of the press release. We do that here at PORT and it is quite rare.

Tyler Green has 10 thoughts on the new David Chipperfield addition to the Saint Louis Art Museum. I like Chipperfield's work but Ive never been that impressed with his museums. Somehow they seem to play it a bit too safe (which probably isn't so much a reflection on his firm's work as the boardroom of his clients). However, his library in Des Moines is fantastic and understated while retaining an exciting rawness.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 20, 2013 at 12:37 | Comments (0)


Saturday 05.18.13

Folkert de Jong at Portland Art Museum

Detail of Folkert de Jong's Operation Harmony (all photos Jeff Jahn)

Believe it or not, the edgiest exhibition in the city of roses is at the Portland Art Museum. For the record this does happen from time to time and the exhibition in question by Dutch artist Folkert de Jong in the Miller-Meigs series space at PAM definitely eludes most easy definitions. With its mutilated bodies, whimsical materials and Dutch post colonial conceits, I'm still uncertain if I find it disturbingly provocative or yet another over-calculated international art farce, strategically designed to titillate and disgust? Ah, but such is the... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 18, 2013 at 14:22 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.15.13

Openings & Events : May 16 - 21st

Photo : Ursa Waz

Mike Daisey, hailed by The New York Times as "the master storyteller," returns to Portland with the world premiere of his new work. In a single night, Daisey takes us on a fantastic journey through the sprawling landscape of journalism right now touching on how it functions, how it fails us, and how it chooses to tell our stories. Using his own scandal as a jumping-off point, he illuminates how the myth of objective journalism weakens and manipulates us and has made our public discourse easy to manipulate. It is a love letter to journalism highlighting the struggle to tell a story that actually shows us the truth. click to buy tickets

Journalism | Mike Daisey May 21st | 7 PM
Tiffany Center Emerald Ballroom | 1401 SW Morrison Ave. Portland, Oregon 97205
$20 - $40 PICA Members | $25 - $45 General

& there's more happening before . . .

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 15, 2013 at 23:36 | Comments (0)


Congrats to Alex Mackin Dolan

Park Avenue Armory (photo James Ewing)

Congrats to Alex Mackin Dolan who was just awarded a residency at New York's immense Park Avenue Armory. In fact, he is the residency's first visual artist... others being mostly performance based. Once again, clear evidence that Portland's art scene is producing sharp new artists that one gets to see develop in very cool, low key alternative spaces... who then completely leap frog the very conservative local-ennials, institutions and awards to end up on the international stage. Dolan has also been curating Appendix, one of Portland's hippest alternative spaces (often Appendix is more experimental than fully realized but I like the risk taking it engenders).

Only just recently in the past year or so has Alex really found his voice... harnessing the design language and cognative projections accrued around the idea of purity (which should be a huge challenge to evoke in that space). In other words, local curators who are not going to alt-space shows are hopelessly out of touch with a scene that is among the most dynamic on the planet. Mackin is just one of perhaps 15-20 hard core like-minded artists in perhaps 2-3 interrelated cliques who harness, interrogate and redirect design's cognitive/perceptual implications. All have a very international outlook and Alex is one of the youngest. I keep saying it, use Portland as a rebel base.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 15, 2013 at 11:00 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.13.13

Monday Links

Paul Goldberger asks if the new World Trade Center construction can fill the void? He's right that none of the buildings being put up are all that noteworthy on their own and it is a shame that Libeskind did not get to do the signature tower. To me the failure to do something truly inspiring was the exact moment that I realized New York had lost its edge over all other cultural cradles. In fact, I think it is harder to be great there now... not that it isn't possible... just harder (which isn't always a bad thing).

Hyperallergic thinks that the NADA art fair has grown up. That sounds like a good thing but is it? That is just a question that I don't have an answer for yet, ask me in a few years.

Gavin Brown on why the art and fashion world do and don't "get" each other. My theory is that they are too close... almost like sibling rivals for cultural resources and attention. They often need a cousin like music stars as an intermediary (David Bowie would be THE greatest of them all).

Art Info on the success and failure of Gutai. The recently closed exhibition on the mercurial movement was the best thing I saw in New York last month. Why? It had a freedom and willingness to try new things that seemed utterly missing in most of the galleries.

Saul Osterow's excellent essay on Tedd Stamm and Alan Uglow's paintings is a good read. His focus on the importance of difference and intuition is key to understanding this sort of work, Stamm's show at Boesky was fantastic and one of the highlights of my recent visit to Chelsea.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 13, 2013 at 11:56 | Comments (0)


Friday 05.10.13

Unveiling a Carson Ellis mural in St. Johns

Rendering of what Ellis' mural will look like when complete

St Johns is getting a new mural by illustrator extraordinaire Carson Ellis and the first part will be unveiled tomorrow May 11th at 10:00AM on 7741 N. Lombard. Details can be found on RACC's site and for a little more critical context PORT reviewed Ellis' show at PCC a few years ago here.

RACC certainly has been busy lately with a very cool public art pavillion by Jorge Pardo and a disappointingly "Quirky" lantern installation being installed in Chinatown but Ellis is an excellent choice for St. Johns. Ellis has a flair for evoking that now rare childhood nihilism you find in Russian folk tales and fusing it with an air of not so anachronistic chivalry (that plays so well with the St. Johns bridge). There is a sense of honest discovery in the work and frankly I've always found it more compelling than the Decemberist's music, which it is often used to support... in fact if I were to pick the most accurate depiction of Portland as a city Id pick her work... not say Portlandia, Grimm, The Shins or Decemberists. She simply has more edge than the whole lot of em.

According to RACC: "City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek will cut the ribbon at the celebration. The mural will be one of the first things that people see upon entering St. Johns from the east along N. Lombard. Carson's design was painted by Whitney Anderson, an artist with 20 years of experience painting murals, carnival rides and other outdoor works. Then, stick around for the 51st Annual St. Johns Parade that begins at 12:00 Noon."

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 10, 2013 at 12:08 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.08.13

Openings & Events | May 9th - 12th

Jane Schiffhauer

Jane Schiffhauer's installation created by handmade undulating nets, ropes, foliage, human hair, and found objects explores the intricacies of our being in relationship to our surrounding environment. Body of Knots highlights the anxieties between what it means to be human and live in contemporary society. Schiffhauer seeks materials that are often contradictory in their nature as well as their purpose in order to comment on gender and the body. For example, ropes may bind as well as create a way of escape and nets may be used as a trap or to offer security.

Body of Knots | Jane Schiffhauer
May 9 - 29, 2013
Reception | May 9th 6-9 PM
Littman Gallery | PSU Smith Hall, Room 250. 1825 SW Broadway. Portland, OR 97201

Fern Wiley's minimal & nuanced drawings are a meditation on the passage of time and energy. Art making for Wiley is a product of her grappling to understand and conceptualize human experience. Currently, Wiley is working from more abstract points of reference, to examine our experience of time and space.

Accumulation | Fern Wiley
May 9th - 29, 2013
Opening Reception | May 9th | 6-9 pm
White Gallery | PSU Smith Hall, Second Floor. 1825 SW Broadway

click through for more art !

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 08, 2013 at 23:11 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 05.07.13

The Henry announces The Brink finalists 2013

The Henry just announced the finalists for The Brink Award, which is "designed as an award for emerging artists 35 and under in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia on the "brink" of a professional career." Of all the art awards and "spotlight shows" in the region it is the only one that is focused on early career, progressive art in a setting that actually highlights the small # of artists chosen... something other awards seem to eschew for mid career work and a blind eye for new media and installation art (often with a taste for cluttered installations of the work when exhibited).

There are 3 Portland area artists nominated (Saxon-Hill, Halverson and Warren)... far better than the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, which for the past 2 cycles has focused on mid-career, traditional material Portland artists (which is strange considering that Portland arguably has the most dynamic art scene in Oregon/Washington bringing new names with international reach all of the time. Another plus, The Brink includes British Columbia, acknowledging that Cascadia is an international art zone that crosses borders rather than an insular regional self congratulation society.

The 2013 finalists are:

Raymond Boisjoly, Vancouver, B.C.
Anne Fenton, Seattle, WA
Rob Halverson, Portland, OR
Sylvain Sailly, Vancouver, B.C.
Blair Saxon-Hill, Portland, OR
Nell Warren, Washougal, WA

"For the 2013 award, 47 nominations were received from a group of art professionals across the Pacific Northwest. The 2013 Jury is comprised of Vancouver artist Althea Thauberger, Pacific Northwest College of Art MFA Program Chair Arnold Kemp, and Henry Deputy Director of Art and Education Luis Croquer. The jury completed the review of artist submissions in early May.

Jurors will conduct studio visits with the finalists late this spring. The winner will be announced on June 7, 2013.

The Brink Award was established with the generous support of longtime Henry benefactors and Seattle philanthropists John and Shari Behnke. In partnership with the Behnkes, the Henry will confer this biennial prize of $12,500 to one of the above artists. The recipient will also be given a solo exhibition at the Henry, a publication, and a work of his/her art will be acquired for the museum's permanent collection.

The Brink is in its third biennial cycle. In 2009, the Brink was awarded to Isabelle Pauwels, Vancouver, B.C. and in 2011, to Andrew Dadson, also of Vancouver, B.C.

The Brink Award complements the Henry's role as a catalyst for the creation of new work, while simultaneously demonstrating the museum's commitment to artists working in our region."

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 07, 2013 at 15:13 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.06.13

Monday Links

Artist statements are generally the absolute worst application of written language imaginable and Hyperallergic looks into this linguistic quagmire. Thing is writers are just as guilty of buying into their own words, it is just that their peers will actually read and ridicule them for their crimes against communication. Let's face it writers are like piranha. Not so for artists, even the ones who can write generally find a supportive group of friends who want to applaud their rare linguistically gifted ally. Thus the bar is simply very very low. Hell, even curators seem to have about a 60/40 chance to producing vocabulary in search of insight. Yet, in defense of artists actually making statements, most of the greatest artists and curators were masters of the words they employed. Judging from; Picasso's one liners, Kandinky's aspirations, Judd's specificity, Smithson's slyness and Komar & Melamid's comedy all hold up even if you dislike their art. Generally the biggest problem with artist's statements are they are forced, tortured wraiths of ideas that telegraph their intended targets (hidden behind favorite vocabulary) rather than proffer any insight into what they have presented. (Smokescreens!) Generally it is better to let the statements come from the process and not let a word lead the work... it makes you sound like a recent MFA grad, which is SO art school. Tip, distill a few very short stock epithets you can whip out and develop an essay around them only after using them for a long time in social settings.

Drama over Munch Museum in Norway... of course.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 06, 2013 at 11:54 | Comments (0)


Friday 05.03.13

Interview with Matt Kirsch, Associate Curator of the Isamu Noguchi Museum

Isamu Noguchi Portrait.jpg
Isamu Noguchi, Image Courtesy of Pace Gallery

"Isamu Noguchi: We Are the Landscape of All We Know" is on view at the Portland Japanese Gardens until July 21.

Isamu Noguchi was a brilliant sculptor and ideological innovator who pushed and challenged the notions of space and form into unprecedented territory. His oeuvre extended from freestanding sculpture into public parks and industrial design. To Noguchi, all of his work was art, and all of it maintained the inherent potential to shape the way we live and think. His legacy reverberates infinitely in today's art and design world as we endeavor to continue efforts to raise consciousness and pique the intellect through the shape of our created environments. I had the chance to talk with Matt Kirsch, the associate curator of the Isamu Noguchi Museum, the other day about Noguchi's art and life. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on May 03, 2013 at 10:19 | Comments (0)


Friday links, California architecture edition

PORT has a large backlog of interviews and other articles for you real soon (starting this afternoon) but till then here is a glance to the South.

It looks like A New Sculptualism, a show about recent California Architecture at MOCA is on the verge of cancellation. (check out Thom Mayne's courthouse in Euguene for an example) It also puts Deitch back under the microscope, one which has pretty much paralyzed the past 12 months of his directorship. Sure it looks like MOCA is getting out from under the funding quagmire it has faced for over a decade but it also highlights how reliance on outside curators due to a depleted staff has truly gutted the West Coast's most important contemporary art institution. Put it this way, if a curator isn't tied to the minute internal plumbing of an institution, weird things like this happen... especially if the director has been heavy handed. Though I admire him as a gadfly gallerist, I still expect Deitch to leave MOCA around June 30th. Also, because we are all sick of this I'm calling it Deitchwatch and it is a lot like watching Hasselhof run in slow motion in the sand, only the Hof puts on a better show.

(c) SO-IL, UC Davis Art Museum design

In more upbeat news UC Davis has unveiled a truly exciting new art museum design by SO-IL. Where else but the stomping grounds of the light and space movement should there be an art museum that looks more like a garden than a concrete, metal and marble bunker? They have been doing a lot of similar things down in South America but this is the first art museum I've seen with this kind of scheme. I think everyone is pretty sick of the traditional white box that shuts out the world.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 03, 2013 at 6:22 | Comments (0)


Thursday 05.02.13

First Weekend in May 2013 | Openings & Events

Philadelphia Wireman
Untitled (wire, paper, plastic), c. 1970-1975
wire, found objects
4 x 2 1/2 x 2 inches
PW 1019

Vaginal Davis' paintings of women on re-purposed surfaces are made using glycerin, tempera, watercolor pencils, food coloring, mascara, nail polish, & other beauty products. Her small works are self-portraits which also show her respect and admiration for movie stars, and imagined women of the past. According to Davis, they depict "women trapped in the bodies of women."

Davis' works will be presented along with wire and found material assemblages by the Philadelphia Wireman. Wireman's bundles consist of different gauges of wire wrapped around everyday objects and materials. Their maker, who has always remained unidentified, was able to communicate such power and energy through his transformation of ordinary materials. The pieces are often compared to African power objects and other ritualized traditions, but the works resonate equally with art practices. So intriguing.

May 3 - June 1, 2013
Reception | May 3 | 6-9 pm
Adams and Ollman | 811 East Burnside #213. Portland, Oregon 97214


For her show at Nationale Aidan Koch has appropriated the anthropologist's distanced lens, threading together, rearranging, and questioning fixed history. Her exhibit carries on her interest in form and storytelling which come from observing carefully rendered human forms from long ago. Once idolized and idealized she sought out to see if these works still contain power and attraction.

I want to travel only on the curve of an arm... | Aidan Koch
May 2 - June 2, 2013
Opening | Friday, May 3 | 6-9 PM
NATIONALE | 811 E Burnside. Portland, OR

. . . more !

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 02, 2013 at 23:04 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.01.13

May 2013 : First Thursday (& one for Wednesday too!)

Cynthia Lahti's Surprise, 2013

The artwork included in Cynthia Lahti's exhibit Elsewhere consists of drawing, collage, books and sculpture created during an 11 week artist residency in Berlin Germany in the fall of 2012. The artwork is influenced by the powerful feeling studying even the smallest artifact can evoke.

Through these works she is focusing on the way various materials affect the conceptual intent and impact of each piece. Elsewhere uses a slew of source material which is then altered, manipulated, and combined. Paper is used quite a bit, introducing an element of fragility, while also making historical references to Dada and Surrealism. At the heart of Lahti's works lie the potential of each material to evoke a different emotional response.

Elsewhere | Cynthia Lahti
April 30 - June 1, 2013
Reception | May 2 | 6-8 pm
PDX Contemporary Art | 925 NW Flanders, Portland Oregon 97209

Matt Leavitt, Remove / Taxonomy in Blue, 2013

Matt Leavitt created Curio after being inspired by representational archetypes he observed in commercials, scientific imagery and art galleries. He uses these archetypes to critique the isolation they suggest and is fueled by the harmonization of rational thought and direct experience.

CURIO | Matt Leavitt
April 27th - June 1, 2013
Opening Reception | May 2 | 6-8 PM
PDX Contemporary Art - Window Project | 925 NW Flanders, Portland, OR 97209

! ... continued ... !

Posted by Emily Cappa on May 01, 2013 at 0:09 | Comments (0)

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee