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

recent entries

Jorge Pardo talk and dedication today
Different worlds, Eric Stotik and Alex Mackin Dolan
Friday Links
Last Thursday Alberta September 2013
News for Tues
2013 CNAA's and the winner is
Contemporary Northwest Art Awards 2013 Preview
Friday Links
Premier Weekend
Monday Links
Interview with Jeff Fleming of the Des Moines Art Center
Weekend Events

recent comments

Jane Beebe
Sam Marroquin
Event Horizon
Sam Marroquin
Sam Marroquin



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
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
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


Monday 09.30.13

Jorge Pardo talk and dedication today

Jorge Pardo's newest public art piece, to be dedicated in North Portland (photo Jeff Jahn)

Public art is perhaps the thorniest of all fine art forms but sometimes it really works. Today the internationally renown artist Jorge Pardo will be in Portland to dedicate his first such municipal commission at 11:00 at the triangle of Wheeler and Weidler streets in the Rose Quarter.

The functional sculpture on the new streetcar line consists of, "Fabricated of steel, wood and fiberglass, the new shelter measures 35' long by 18' wide by 16' tall. The multi-faceted structure includes over 300 individual panels in vibrant shades of orange, yellow, red and grey." It functions as a rain shelter but within it creates a kind of sunshine that we sometimes have very little of around here in the Pacific Northwest.

Pardo will also be speaking at 6:00 at the nearby Left Bank Annex (101 N. Weidler). Both events are free and open to the public.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 30, 2013 at 2:25 | Comments (0)


Saturday 09.28.13

Different worlds, Eric Stotik and Alex Mackin Dolan

Portland's art scene is full of schism's and divides (often generational) but two artists from two completely different universes Eric Stotik (a 1990's standout) and Alex Mackin Dolan (a 2012 PNCA grad) happen to be exhibiting 7 blocks from one another. To add some urgency, this is the last weekend for their shows.

As artists Stotik and Mackin Dolan's universes (circles of fellow artists, collectors, curators and critics) likely never intersect but what they each share is a hermetic zeal for their obsessions. Both are deep alchemists combining visual minutiae that seem to exist as as a kind of global existential unconscious.

Eric Stotik, Untitled LR233 (bird, octopus, horn), 2013 (detail)

Alex Mackin Dolan's Sun Table

Stotik works with the darkness and secrets which humanity keeps... Dolan with the existential sunshine of blotting out the world and turning to pursuits within.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 28, 2013 at 10:50 | Comments (0)


Friday 09.27.13

Friday Links

Legendary art dealer Virginia Dwan gives 250 works (Smithson, Heizer, Andre etc.) to the National Gallery.

Mass MOCA and the Hall art foundation open a 10,000 sq ft space dedicated to Anselm Kiefer.

Carrie Mae Weems (who grew up in Portland and had a great retrospective at PAM this last Spring) gives her current hometown Syracuse NY an indication of what winning a MacArthur will mean to her. A while back I participated in an article discussing why no Portlander had ever won a MacArthur? Technically this might not count but it is a moot point since nobody worthy of the award ever actually aims for winning it (keeping it from the political intrigues of practically all other awards).

Portland Architecture discusses the minor miracle of saving a historic Portland home.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 27, 2013 at 9:33 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 09.25.13

Last Thursday Alberta September 2013

Even though Appendix is having their last exhibition next month we have noticed how Alberta Street's scene has been becoming more serious as of late. It doesn't hurt that the city's two best art book stores Monograph and Ampersand have set up shop! Here are 3 picks for Alberta street tomorrow.

still from Lucas Cook's Welandedonthemoon

For this month's video installation Living Room Realty is presenting Portland based Lucas Cook's work. Wine and snacks are courtesy of LRR.

Lucas Cook | September 26 through October
Opening: September 26, 6-8 PM
Living Room Realty
1455 NE Alberta St

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 25, 2013 at 11:30 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 09.24.13

News for Tues

The karma wheel is turning as the artists who resigned from MOCA's board (John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha) in protest of Jeffrey Deitch's leadership have been added to the committee to select Deitch's replacement. This is a good move but no replacement for similarly high profile artists on the museums governing board. It does however reiterate why MOCA is different than every major contemporary art museum in the country, it was artist initiated. It is a tradition worth upholding.

Sol LeWitt's music collection gets its own show.

Jen Graves has noticed that the "Dudes" have been getting all the awards lately... what gives? Jen is putting together a more comprehensive piece on this and I do think there is a bias... but it come from the surprising way these panels work (mostly on personal connections, give me a jurors list and I can be pretty accurate as to who might win an award).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 24, 2013 at 10:04 | Comments (0)


Saturday 09.21.13

2013 CNAA's and the winner is

Trimpin (L), Burkheimer (R) at the 2013 CNAA's

The winner of the 2013 edition of the Contemporary Northwest Art awards is... Trimpin (officially it is called the Arlene Schnitzer Prize and comes with 10K). It's a bold choice, in that the work is somewhat unremarkable (even compared to his other work) and the rest of the show holds some very solid if safe work overall. I'd say the show is mostly handsome if safe and narrow.

Another view of the 2013 CNAA's, (L to R) Nyland, Miller and Layman

I'll have a more formal review out soon but let's just say this is the best CNAA to date (to paraphrase Jim Winkler's accurate statement)... even if it still doesn't feel like a true sampling of what it means to make contemporary art in the Northwest. It is a step in the right direction and very well installed (which no other Northwest survey show seems to be able to pull off).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 21, 2013 at 20:05 | Comments (0)


Friday 09.20.13

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards 2013 Preview


Regionalism is a tricky paradox, one which I explored at length in this essay on PORT a few years ago. Simplistically, in a very global and connected art world, regionalism exists asa matter of stereotypes and conveniences but upon further examination these always seems like a red herring.

With that in mind, the third version of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards opens this Saturday at the Portland Art Museum (there is a private reception/award ceremony Saturday night...BTW the 1st one was quite public).

For background, the last CNAA's were an unmitigated critical disaster (because it fit so completely within NW stereotypes prompting many to call it the Conservative Northwest Art Awards). It wasn't just critics either... everyone from major patrons to artists who were friends/fans of those in the show to other Northwest museum staff made a point of telling me how much they "did not like it" at the opening. In the rather polite Northwest this simply does not happen. Let's just say there may not be a "Northwest" style of art but there is apparently a stereotype of Northwest curation that a most under 60 are anxious to move beyond. The question will be, "does this one deliver?"

This time around the 6 artists chosen: Anne Appleby (MT), Karl Burkheimer (OR), Issac Layman (WA), Abbie Miller (WY), Nickolas Nyland (WA), and Trimpin (WA) should avoid a complete repeat but not act an antidote as I explained here in this link when the list was announced. Still, let's see the show before fully judging it? It is a conservative list, perhaps even moreso than 2011's but it also seems to understand that installation art, relational aesthetic and digital imagery are crucial to the discussion today... Overall, survey shows at institutions are often more about the institutions themselves than that which they survey!

What I and most people who enjoy contemporary art will be looking for is...


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 20, 2013 at 12:25 | Comments (0)


Friday Links

Iranian art is everywhere in the news these days, check out this review Barbad Golshiri's latest show in NYC. Sounds like an interesting show and an interesting role for art in an era with no formal diplomatic ties...

Portland Architecture goes looking at facades for its design symposium.

Leo Berk is this year's Betty Bowen Fellow.

In the top art non-news of the week, Eli Broad doesn't plan to keep giving 3 million a year to MOCA... which will take him off the top of the list as MOCA's top patron. There is no shock to this as that 3M per year life support was a 5 year arrangement now closing in on its 5th year. It also removes him from his perennial role as puppetmaster in the press... gee why would he not want to continue that??? Broad has his faults but being stupid is not one of them... he saved MOCA and in doing so shouldered responsibility for all of its failings while highlighting his own (not fun and kinda like the USA invading Afghanistan). This marks a new era when perhaps LA can support its best institutions without asking Broad to do more than his fair share? It was a thankless job, but necessary and hopefully everyone has learned from the mistakes.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 20, 2013 at 11:34 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 09.18.13

Premier Weekend

Even though Fall hasn't officially started we are already well into the beginning of the season with far too much to choose from. Here are two moving premiers to consider this weekend.

So perhaps you need something to renew your faith in art and the murky process of collecting? Here is the one and it is only for this weekend. At the Northwest Film Center is the Portland premier of Herb and Dorothy 50 x 50 by Director Megumi Sasaki. In case you haven't been tracking it, Herb and Dorothy Vogel became some of the world's greatest art collectors on a small time budget. Then they gave 50 works to 50 museums in all 50 states. You can see most of the works given to the Portland Art Museum here. As examples of the best that collecting art can achieve, the Vogel's are legendary.

Northwest Film Center
Fri, Sep 20, 8:30 PM | Sat, Sep 21, 4 PM | Sun, Sep 22, 4:30 PM & 7 PM


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 18, 2013 at 13:23 | Comments (0)


Monday 09.16.13

Monday Links

Glafira Rosales, a former art dealer pleads guilty to selling fake Jackson Pollocks and other artists to the formerly ultra respected Knoedler Co. art gallery.

The Dallas Morning News actually ADDS an art critic. A retired museum director no less. Question is whether anyone can actually start their career as an art critic and remain one for decades anymore?

Of course Pacific Standard time was flawed... as Christopher Knight points out. It had to be. In many ways all surveys are a portrait of the institutions that put them on (not news but it is worth repeating).

I like the idea of a fake archeological dig as art very much. This could be taken a great deal farther.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 16, 2013 at 16:25 | Comments (0)


Saturday 09.14.13

Interview with Jeff Fleming of the Des Moines Art Center

In Portland, the artists as a scene create most of the civic art energy but there is a lot we can learn from other places, especially even smaller cities that do things exceptionally well. Des Moines Iowa is one of those places, they don't just have community... they have one that insists on excellence. The Des Moines Art Center with its world class architecture and contemporary collection is certainly their crown jewel so (disclosure) when my significant other had an exhibition there earlier this year I took the opportunity to speak with their director Jeff Fleming.

Fleming has a real passion for art that is coupled with a great deal of connoisseurship and discretion, which is why he is one of the most admired museum directors at one of the most admired (and focused) art museums in the country.

Jeff Fleming, Director of the Des Moines Art Center

Jeff Jahn: What a pleasure to finally get to speak with you, a lot of museum directors that I have spoken to over the years really admire what happens here. From the first time I visited this museum I was really struck with just how good the collection was, even how consistently good and fresh the pieces felt in the galleries. It brings up questions about smaller cities in so called flyover states.... if you have something good how do others find out about these gems that are frankly hidden right out in the open? In particular, so many Midwestern cities have such great things... they aren't New York or on the West Coast yet these museum have a serious value set that might be somewhat of a dieing breed. Sometimes on the West Coast I sense more emphasis is placed on just getting people inside the doors and selling tickets. Whereas here you've done away with the admission fee and I am interested in how something so excellent and accessible came into being in a small but still important city like Des Moines. Are there lessons we can learn on the coasts?

Jeff Fleming: There are many questions, so we'll just target some of them. One of them, I don't think this community takes us for granted. They do appreciate us, at least as far as I can tell and they do acknowledge that this is a place of quality and they are very proud of us. It is a wonderful thing. We have both been in several communities and I have lived in a place where the community did not necessary appreciate the institution. I see this as a very very different place.

JJ: How did that occur?

JF: Well from day one there was and continues to be the very best you could be in order to participate on a global scale.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 14, 2013 at 0:30 | Comments (0)


Friday 09.13.13

Weekend Events

Yes TBA opened this week, go see that (Alex Mackin Dolan and AL Steiner and Anna Craycroft are three good vis art bets) but while you are out and about here are some other events that are also worthy of attention.

Katie Steinberg

Friday the 13th couldn't be a better day to have an opening reception for Feardom by Colin Manning and Katie Steinberg at Gallery Homeland. Steinberg creates weapons rendered in delicate even precious materials. For example the show features a 4 foot long pearl cannon and uzi's rendered in a Frank Lloyd Wright-ish stained glass prairie style stained glass. Seems incredibly appropriate as Syria's civil war threatens to involve the rest of the world. Manning applies collage and filmic techniques to create unsettling transparent layers that have a nightmare-like quality. Both artists are based in Portland part of the time.

Projection performance by Colin Manning as well.

Opening Reception: Friday the 13th | 7-11PM
Gallery Homeland | 2505 SE 11th


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 13, 2013 at 9:41 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 09.10.13

69/11: Trading Places


Because everything and everyone in Portland IS interwoven and cross pollinated PSU's Littman and White Gallery staff is trading places with Recess in the Central Eastside Industrial District on Wednesday. The opening should be epic as it looks like it is on one of the nicest nights of the year as Portland's Summer season winds down. Artists are; Missy Canez, Gage Hamilton, Fletcher Meisenberg and Katie Yancey. There will be music by IBQT and American Material Culture as well.

Opening Reception: September 11 | 7:30 - 11:00PM
Recess Gallery
1127 SE 10th Ave, Portland OR, 97214

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 10, 2013 at 11:20 | Comments (0)


Monday 09.09.13

Monday Links

"The system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the System. The visual aspect can't be understood without understanding the system. It isn't what it looks like but what it is that is of basic importance." -Sol LeWitt

Happy Birthday Sol LeWitt... born this day in 1928 thank you for bucking "the system." BTW 1928 seems to have been a particularly good vintage as other artists like Robert Irwin, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd were also born in that year. Perhaps it was the resourcefulness that comes from growing up in the Great depression as your earliest memories?

Chris Burden is going to have a retrospective at the New Museum this Fall. We interviewed Burden a few years ago.

Artists grapple with technology and surveillance.

Moscow Biennial curator tries to rationalize why Russia should not be culturally boycotted for draconian anti gay laws. I agree there is a danger in isolating a country completely but at the same time I wholeheartedly agree that the international community should hang it like an albatross every time Russia is mentioned. Will it hurt Russia culturally... YES. Not certain how I feel about the curator's description of the 21st Century as not being about provocation... if anything it seems less tolerant of intolerance.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 09, 2013 at 10:05 | Comments (0)


Friday 09.06.13

First Weekend September 2013

It is the beginning of the new art season in Portland and this weekend is full of options, here are my three picks:

Installation view of Josiah McElheny's 2012 exhibition at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Zena Zezza (a Sandra Percival project) is kicking off its Artist Project Season with Josiah McElheny at Lumber Room this Sunday. McElheny is one of my favorite living artists... successfully blurring boundaries between design, history, science and experiential art. The work is masterfully crafted but it succeeds through its intense conceptual ambitions, which turns the beautiful finished work into something interrogative rather than vain. In fact it addresses the vanity of science and modernism.

"I began exploring the history of modernism through ideas around exhibition, display and education. Those things are interrelated to me. My first works were quasi-educational museum structures. The first artwork I ever made—and I didn’t consider it a work at the time—was a museum that you would find in the forest by accident. It had both originals and fakes in it that I made myself." -Josiah McElheny

Josiah McElheny | September 12-December 7, 2013
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 8 3-5pm
Open Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 1-6pm
lumber room | 419 NW 9th Avenue


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 06, 2013 at 6:14 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 09.04.13

September 2013 ! First Thursday !

Memory of Line: Grids, Templates and Miniatures

D.E. MAY is a Salem based artist who has been working for forty-one years. He uses materials collected from "Island Salem" in his work. These discarded materials, weathered from time and the elements, desire nothing more than to evoke the feeling of his native land. In his upcoming exhibition, Memory of Line: Grids, Templates and Miniatures he will be exhibiting new templates, miniatures, and large-scale grids.

Memory of Line: Grids, Templates and Miniatures | D.E. MAY
September 3 - 28, 2013
First Thursday | September 5 | 6-8 PM
PDX Contemporary Art | 925 NW Flanders Street, Portland, OR 97209

Michael Lazarus, ON, 2012 acrylic paint, and found material on wood 29 x 31"

The paintings in Michael Lazarus' Recent Works are created from found materials, clean lines, graphic pattern, and intense color. Many include commercial signage and lettering reconfigured to create statements or questions. His work explores the dualities of human existence; "anxiety and joy, hardship and pleasure, darkness and light".

Recent Works | Michael Lazarus
September 5 - 21, 2013
First Thursday | September 5 | 6-8 PM
Elizabeth Leach Gallery | 417 N.W. 9th Avenue Portland, OR 97209

Eva Speer
Game #4, 2013
Cast resin, acrylic, latex paint
15x15 inches

Alone Together is the newest body of work by artist Eva Speer. Speer's work concerns "the contradictory forces of a majesty and rawness outside language and a helpless dependence on the world that has already tamed it". Using industrial materials and mechanical processes, Speer creates compelling works that blends organic and mechanical to fashion something from "the haze of the everyday".

Alone Together | Eva Speer
September 4 - 28, 2013
Charles A. Hartman Fine Art | 134 NW 8th Ave Portland, OR 97209

& there's more !

Posted by Emily Cappa on September 04, 2013 at 13:16 | Comments (0)


Monday 09.02.13

Monday Links

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 02, 2013 at 21:42 | Comments (0)

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