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Friday Links
Terry Toedtemeier's Skies
Amjad Faur at Archer Gallery
Monday Links
Provocateurs at Place
Stumptown Coffee Roasters As Art Patron
Oregon Arts Commission & Trust Survey Results
Thursday Openings
Patricia Failing on Francis Bacon at PAM
Best of the worst links
Fred Wilson Lecture
Art Couples

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Friday 02.28.14

Friday Links

The story of the week: should artists and their estates receive a cut of resales in the USA the way they do in France?... you bet. Why? consider all the artists whose work goes for millions at auction when their estates don't have the funds to care for and promote the understanding of the work. It keeps the work in what I call, "the market orphanage," where objects only have monetary value but have no custodianship and no one looking out for the integrity of something that has value.

Embattled museum director Malcolm Rogers steps down in Boston.

Sol LeWitt in Australia.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 28, 2014 at 8:01 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 02.26.14

Terry Toedtemeier's Skies

It has been a little over five years since photographer and curator Terry Toedtemeier passed away and though many of us still think about the man we haven't had much chance to take in his full legacy as an important photographer. PDX Contemporary's current show, Skies gives us all a tantalizing preview, which will lead up to a full retrospective at the Tacoma Art Museum. Though the title Skies, might make one think first of Stieglitz’s groundbreaking Equivalents series the show is more rooted in landscape and in particular, the way Toedtemeier engaged other landscape photographers as if they were part of the atmosphere in which he breathed as the Portland Art Museum's curator of photography.

In fact, only one photo seems to be chiefly of the sky, which makes sense since Toedtemeier's photos are never just about the subject in view. Instead, they infer and reference the mechanisms of geology, art history and human nature as a part of nature... never separate.

Untitled (Screen at Golf Course Near Hillsboro)

Thus, the exhibition's standout image of "skies" as seen through the torn netting of a golf course isn't just that... I remember him describing the netting as like runs in fishnet stockings or film grain. The point being that the filters revealed the way points of pigment coalesce on our rods and cones, which are then reassembled as an image. In fact, it is a fantastic image... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 26, 2014 at 7:08 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 02.25.14

Amjad Faur at Archer Gallery

Amjad Faur

Today there is an opening reception for Palestinian American Photographer Amjad Faur for his current show, Liban, at the Archer Gallery. Faur's photos have a dense personal feel that belie a longing for Arab self-determination when outside interests always seem to be pulling the strings. In a way they retake the put upon and borrowed exoticism of Dutch still lives and reevaluate them as cultural patrimony. It should make the panel discussion on March 5th a lively one.

"The title of this exhibit, Liban, (French for Lebanon) pertains to the impermanence and elasticity of the physical, social, cultural, and psychological spaces in the Middle East. Lebanon is just such a brutal example of what happens under colonial rule that utterly negates the identity and interests of native populations."

Amajad Faur | February 18- March 15
Opening Reception: February 25, 3 - 5PM
Panel Discussion: March 5, 7 to 8:30PM
Archer Gallery | Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver WA

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 25, 2014 at 9:10 | Comments (0)


Monday 02.24.14

Monday Links

One of the designers behind sex in a box a.k.a. Twister, discusses the game that at one time raised an uproar.

Roberta Smith on the Futurists and their tarnished but intriguing past. It is rarely ever good when artists attempt cozy up to the offices of power.

The Structure sensor (3d sensor for Apple products) is just the sort of thing many artists and designers have been dreaming about. Turn your iPad into a tricorder!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 24, 2014 at 9:58 | Comments (0)


Saturday 02.22.14

Provocateurs at Place

Still from Paul Clay's Parking Lot Dance

Tonight, Place's White gallery presents Paul Clay's Parking Lot Dance, Shit Balloons by John Dougherty and The High Improbability of Death: A Celebration of Suicide with the ever quixotic Michael Reinsch. Should be an interesting evening with three of Portland's most promising provocateurs.

According to the PR: Paul Clay's "Parking Lot Dance" is a 4 minute, surround-projected, 4-channel video loop. Filling a strip mall parking lot, thousands of duplicated dancers march, shoot guns, wave flags and writhe to a dark dance club beat. The video is a dream sequence and a response to our over-the-top, self-infatuated American shopping culture. One part ceremony, one part protest, one part broadway chorus line - the parking lot is reimagined as a surreal video canvas for digitally generated choreography."

John Dougherty's "Shit Balloons" is an installation that utilizes waste materials and celebratory aesthetics to seduce viewers with tricks and humor. Also, there will be brownies.

"For "The High Improbability of Death: A Celebration of Suicide," Reinsch will place a noose around his neck, read an epic suicide note poem, and attach helium balloons to the end of the rope in order to lift himself into the air. Reinsch will engage in an act of performance art in which risks are mitigated. This is not a suicide attempt."

A wake is a celebration of death and Reinsch likens this to a one man wake where he is in no danger.

"Parking Lot Dance" - Paul Clay
"Shit Balloons" - John Dougherty
"The High Improbability of Death: A Celebration of Suicide" - Michael Reinsch
Opening: February 22 6-9PM
700 SW 5th Ave 3rd Floor

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 22, 2014 at 12:35 | Comments (0)


Friday 02.21.14

Stumptown Coffee Roasters As Art Patron


Throughout the years Stumptown Coffee has made a point of curating their coffee shops and creating venues that are a step above most cafes in the city as art venues. They also have employed many of Portland's best and brightest over the years. To celebrate such ongoing activity they are putting on an exhibition at their headquarters for the 10 visual artists on display right now. Artists included are; Emma Barnett, Amy Bernstein, Patrick Driscoll, Hickory Mertsching, Karl Ramentol, K Scott Rawls, Tim Root, Michael Rutledge, Anna Shelton and Bradley Streeper. Stumptown deserves some of the credit for making Portland such an attractive place for artists.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters HQ
Reception Friday, February 21 6-8 (Ninkasi beer, wine and snacks)
100 SE Salmon Street

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 21, 2014 at 12:20 | Comments (0)


Thursday 02.20.14

Oregon Arts Commission & Trust Survey Results

The Oregon Arts Commission and Trust (director search) stakeholder survey results are in and fascinating to dig through (especially all of the write ins, just scroll down).


1st thing, there has been no statement describing why Christine D'Arcy was let go... though some of us were tipped off that something was odd months before. I'd prefer the state would just be transparent before I go publishing off of what scraps I and many others know. Not knowing this crucial bit of information makes attracting good applicants more difficult. There is a widespread transparency problem that any new director will need to fix, but who fixes the state run oversight?

Communication was easily the highest ranked category

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 20, 2014 at 16:04 | Comments (0)


Thursday Openings

Photo Richard Gehrke

Dutch & European Mid 20th Century designs, especially ceramics continue to have a lasting appeal today and collector Curt Shaffstall has curated a vintage collection for OCAC's shop. All proceeds go to support students at Portland's most focused art and design school, the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

Mid-Century Dutch & European Ceramics | February 20 - March 30, 2014
Opening Reception: February 20, 4 - 6PM
Shop @ Oregon College of Art and Craft
8245 SW Barnes Road

FalseFront presents 3 nights of performances with Future Death Toll titled 3 X 3 H R. Each is a one-off performance. Generally, FDT creates works centered around existential constrictions and other constraints. These performances are supported in part by the Precipice Fund.

3 X 3 H R | February 20 - 22, 7-10 PM
4518 NE 32nd Avenue


PCC Sylvania's North View Gallery is one of the nicest spaces in Portland and its latest show Surrounding Visability looks like an excellent reason to trek up the west hill in this idyllic sylvan setting. Surrounding Visibility is an exhibition by the Worksound Incubation artist's collaborative including installations by Erin McComb, Modou Dieng, Micah Hearn, Ethan Homan, Tim Janchar and Judith René Sturdevant. The collaboration is an experimental group, which began as the Work Sound alternative exhibition space. We miss Work Sound but this new collaborative effort seems promising.

Surrounding Visibility | February 17 - March 22
Opening Reception: February 20, 3-5 PM
North View Gallery, PCC Sylvania, CT 214 Building
12000 SW 49th Ave.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 20, 2014 at 12:26 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 02.19.14

Patricia Failing on Francis Bacon at PAM

Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) installed at PAM (photo Jeff Jahn)

Francis Bacon's triptych of Lucien Freud is a fantastic act of painting (don't let anyone tell you otherwise), the man could paint and every inch of these works proves it. Go ahead compare them to the Monet up the stairs at PAM. To dig a little further, figurative painting fans and scholars alike should catch Patricia Failing's lecture, Bacon's Bodies: Trapping the Convulsive Figure at the Portland Art Museum tomorrow.

I've always found Bacon's earlier pieces like Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion and the screaming Popes to be a touch derivative or hokey (Bacon himself agreed) but his more mature portraits excel in their tension and poise... and thus, very and quite gravely British. This Bacon triptych is one of the best and I'm curious what Failing has to say, here are some of her thoughts on Geurnica for context for something related to the disquieted flesh in a Bacon.

Patricia Failing Lecture | $5, free to members
20 February, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 19, 2014 at 15:12 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 02.18.14

Best of the worst links

Vito Acconci (whom PORT interviewed here) declares Marina Abramovic's performance at MoMA as the nadir of performance art. I tend to agree, though I also agree that some of her earliest works especially with Ulay are the best (the Great Wall was such a mature reckoning). Why? Because the MoMA project complicitly feeds the queue of the museum... making the wait a kind of institutional kowtow and moment of fealty. The implications are incredibly lame, kinda like The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Central Park had a kind of cultural imperialism about it... de democratizing a typically less structured space.

Then this joker had to destroy an Ai Weiwei (whom we interviewed here). The issue with this is the self centered vandalism of this bitter artist destroying another artist's work. When Weiwei destroyed an artifact he was making a statement for his own people and history... this fellow simply built a temple to his own bitterness and ignorance. The institution in question even did a locals show last year, thus completely undermining the vandal's attempt at critique. Hopefully this doesn't prompt venues to cordon off work... which would be a shame and strengthen the artifact vs. art paradoxical divide.

Is Frank Gehry the worst living architect... hardly, though he does take chances and any essay that compares architecture to a C.C. Deville guitar solo that goes on and on gets points from me.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 18, 2014 at 15:20 | Comments (0)


Monday 02.17.14

Fred Wilson Lecture

Fred Wilson: The Silent Message of the Museum

Every year Reed College puts on a major art lecture for their Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts Program. This year it will be Fred Wilson, who represented the US for the 2003 Venice Biennale. His lecture, The Silent Message of the Museum, should touch on the themes of visual power his work has always interrogated. Organized by Sarah Gilbert, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art. These are always very well attended to arrive early (*note this lecture is in the much larger and newer Kaul Auditorium not the older venue).

Fred Wilson | February 18, 7:30 PM
Kaul Auditorium
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 17, 2014 at 10:58 | Comments (0)


Friday 02.14.14

Art Couples

The history of the visual arts is littered with significant couples. True, Donald Judd and Yayoi Kusama dated a bit but one could see why that would never last. Frankly, any time a particularly driven person (like a serious artist) is in a relationship it becomes a complicated situation... sometimes more so when it is two artists.

Steiglitz & O'Keefe, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Some relationships are more complicated than other and perhaps Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keefe are my all time favorite. NPR did an in depth post on their history here. What I find so interesting was the way they were soul mates more than anything else. They didn't even need to be near each other.

The Jackson Pollock / Lee Krasner marriage was similarly complicated but far more volatile with Pollock being a bit of an incomplete adult trying to fill in psychic holes. Still, it is pretty safe to say there never would have been a Pollock without a Krasner. She certainly steadied him and helped focus his thinking. Her own aesthetic discoveries were buried at first to make his seem more like an act of isolated genius. It reminds me of... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 14, 2014 at 13:53 | Comments (1)


Thursday 02.13.14

Linda Hutchins at the Governor's Office

Linda Hutchins

I feel like Portland doesn't get to see enough of Linda Hutchins' mix of performance and kinesthetic mark making these days. It is akin to both minimalist drawing and Yves Klein. Though one person, Governor Kitzhaber will get to see plenty of it because her work will be in situ at his office in Salem into April. Also, for the Valentines day opening Hutchins will participate in a TaKeTiNa performance, a physical discipline which involves rhythmic; step, clap and chants that allow participants to fall out, then fall back into synch.

In and Out of Rhythm | February 14 - April 16, 2014
Opening Reception: February 14, 3-4PM with a TaKeTiNa performance
Governor's Office | Capitol Building
Salem, Oregon

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 13, 2014 at 19:54 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 02.11.14

John Brodie at Linfield


John Brodie is one of those unsung pillars of the arts community in Portland whose highest profile projects are often collaborations or feature him as a proprietor of businesses like Today Art Studios, Le Happy and Monograph Bookwerks... but he has always been an excellent visual artist full of deft moves. In fact, I've been nudging him to do a major solo show ever since his Store project way back in 2009. Well, this week the wait is over and it is at one of the region's finest spaces, at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Titled, Versus Artifacts, Brodie takes is anthropological and poetic approach to digging through that great mound of stuff all Americans seem to accumulate. Besides, after being cooped up for the last 4 days I think Portlanders are ready for a short road trip to wine country.

Here is his statement (the fact that is worth reading is noteworthy itself):

"This is an exhibition of domestic cultural signifiers chosen, edited and remixed, attempting, once again, through painting, sculpture and the built object, to generate transcendence over everything for the author and observer, and everyone else. History makes an appearance like a stone that has not moved for 1,000 years. Dispersion is forthcoming momentarily. Dedicated to those who come into contact with the moment after the fact." - John Brodie 2014

Versus Artifacts | February 10 - March 22
Opening Talk and Reception: February 16, 3PM (Talk), 4PM (Reception)
Linfield Gallery | Linfield College
900 SE Baker st., McMinnville, OR

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 11, 2014 at 10:19 | Comments (0)


Monday 02.10.14

Monday Links

This is an excellent piece on the state of the Dia Foundation with and without Philippe Vergne, whom I consider a better fit for MOCA than the Dia. The Dia was once the country's premier experimental art institution and they championed site specificity better than anyone before or since. It was rooted in the most surprisingly supple aspects of Donald Judd's philosophy, which acted as an antidote to market driven art... providing a patronage platform for integrity driven work. It really hasn't gotten its groove back since Michael Govan left. Frankly, civilization needs an active and relevant Dia that can exist without deacessioning and the new director will need to repair some damage done by such activity.

Michelangelo the forger. Interesting about the way forgers were considered back in the day.

No big surprise, the Oregon Arts Commission has lost another 3 officers. Something complicated is at work and there is something in this earlier article. What is missing is transparency at every stop along the line here, especially the composition and mechanisms for being added to awards panels. You can fill out your criteria for the new director here.

There was a mention of Portland visual arts in the New York Times this past weekend. It is nice that Portland was being portrayed as an edgy art adventure rather than simply some quirk fest or other regional stereotype (you can find whatever you are looking for here). As I've mentioned before the Crystal Bridges Museum's State Of The Art project is interesting. Will it be a conservative World's Fair type event where regional stereotypes are trotted out? If it is critics will eat it alive but I do believe that the US could benefit from a survey that isn't based in New York, more voices would be healthy when so many cant see beyond the Hudson.

The question will be if they can bring out work that has an edge? Does it reflexively interrogate, negate and transcend, rather than merely illustrate genre? ... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 10, 2014 at 10:28 | Comments (0)


Friday 02.07.14

First Friday Picks

Though a number of venues like the 811 Building and PLACE are not doing their openings tonight (PLACE is rescheduling for Sunday) both Gallery Homeland and Eutectic will be open if you feel like you can safely make it. BTW PAM just closed early and PNCA/MoCC are both closed for today.


Working Title is an exhibition devoted to the volunteers who make Gallery Homeland happen, Emily Kosta, Zac Kosta, Marc Roder and Reese Kruse. Should be a fun opening to celebrate the micro community that celebrates the art scene so well. A huge # of artists live within walking distance of this SE Portland stalwart so it should be a good opportunity to get out if cabin fever is setting in.

Working Title | January 17 - February 21
Opening Reception: February 7th 6-9PM
Gallery Homeland
2505 SE 11th


At Euctectic Gallery their latest show, BOTH/AND, features the work of Chris Baskin and Dan Schmitt.

BOTH/AND | February - March
Openingf Reception: February 7 6PM -?
Euctectic Gallery
1930 NE Oregon. St.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 07, 2014 at 13:44 | Comments (0)


Thursday 02.06.14

First Thursday Picks

Though the snow has lead to many cancellations two galleries earn the "TOUGH" award, conferring the right to mock all other Portland gallerists as "snow wusses" for the rest of the year. But seriously, these are two great shows you should see soon if you aren't already downtown... perhaps when things get less blizzardly.

Untitled (Screen at Golf Course Near Hillsboro)

The late Terry Toedtemeier would have really enjoyed the fact that his show Skies was opening to such dramatic atmospheric circumstances. We all miss him but it is a beautiful thing to actually get to know more of his work as an important photographer. His photo, Untitled (Screen at Golf Course Near Hillsboro) is a masterpiece. Terry was an intrepid and rugged adventurer and never would a little snow deter him.

Skies | Feb 4th - March 1st
Opening Reception: February 6, 6-8PM
PDX Contemporary Art
925 NW Flanders

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 06, 2014 at 17:02 | Comments (0)


First Thursday Cancellations and Openings

Due to the snow many First Thursday venues are cancelling. I will update as they come in.

List of cancellations:

Littman Gallery PSU (rescheduling Thursday Feb 13th)

All Desoto Building Galleries (Bluesky, Museum of Contemporary Craft etc.)
Autzen Gallery, PSU Ditch Projects reception(rescheduling on
a Friday soon)

White Box at the University of Oregon, Portland

Duplex Collective (rescheduling February 13)

Elizabeth Leach Gallery




Laura Russo Gallery


List of venues open:

PDX Contemporary (Terry Toedtemeier wasn't afraid of a lil snow)

The Portland Art Museum plans to keep the Museum open till 5PM.

PIFF's opening night at PAM and the screenings and opening party will go on as planned.

HAP Gallery

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 06, 2014 at 13:20 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 02.05.14

MoMA swamped?

Katherina Fritsch at MoMA's sculpture court

The New York Times had another article on the rightly and much maligned MoMA expansion today. It is a complicated issue, how to make the museum more a citizen of the street it lives on while protecting the art experience? This issue is crucial because MoMA sets the tone for all other museums and the overcrowding of the sculpture garden would end the last great refuge for contemplation in an already overcrowded museum experience. Thus, MoMA's preoccupation with traffic flow sacrifices the art experience in all corners of the museum already, instead of creating eddies and pools of contemplation. Basically, if MoMA were a wetlands this ever more quickening stream would sacrifice the beaches and nesting grounds we more devoted art goers are most interested in! Sometimes good fences make good neighbors... and having very intentional and varied boundaries can succeed where monogenic strategies cannot.

Let's look at perhaps the most successful modern and contemporary museum in the country, the Menil.

Barnett Newman's Broken Obelisk at the Menil

The Menil was designed to create similar vistas and private nooks of contemplation one found at... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 05, 2014 at 12:06 | Comments (0)


Monday 02.03.14

Emily Ginsburg at Pacific University

Emily Ginsburg

Way out there in Forest Grove Pacific University is putting on some very interesting shows and the latest, "Mixed Feelings" by Emily Ginsburg looks like another one worth the trek to wine country or on the way to the coast. Featuring works in glass, animation and sound the show purports to examine, "simultaneity and distinctiveness in the physical, spoken, contemplative and emotional levels of experience through a collection of visual and audio scores."

Mixed Feelings | February 4 -28
Opening Reception February 5th 11:30AM | gallery talk 1:00 PM
Kathrin Cawein Gallery of Art | Pacific University | Harvey W. Scott Hall
2125 College Way, Forest Grove

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 03, 2014 at 12:22 | Comments (0)

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