Obligatory selfie, yes State of Wonder's Green Room is actually green
As part of my 15 year anniversary of coming to Portland
I'll be guest curating OPB's State of Wonder radio program at noon today
. Here is a preview interview (I was trying to use approachable language in that preview but on the show I don't pull any punches)
, numerous artists and interviews are part of the program.
You can tune in or check this page for links to the archive so you can stream at your leisure after it airs
. I'll also include links below to topics we referenced during the show as well as expand some ideas that were tossed about. (I'll post the Andrea Geyer review sometime after the end of the program... doing the show has me running behind schedule and it's a major review. BTW Geyer's show is the most extraordinary thing on view in Portland right now and internationally significant).
Now that State of Wonder has aired all of the late mid career artists will be furious with me... but if they do they miss the point, Portland should have institutional awards and exhibition milestones at every age and carer stage. Also, I wished I had addressed the issue of excellence, which many in Portland do find threatening... but all of the discussion around challenging work might get the point. Difficult work is rarely an accident and takes a strong critical climate.
That strong critical climate leads to a better collector base which Chris Johanson
did a great job of bringing out in the show. I'd also like to add that our awards and "state of the art" and milestone shows need to do a better job of highlighting new talent at all stages of their careers... there are always reinventions, rediscoveries and late bloomers in the mid to late career zones too. Still they should make a point of striking out and find new ground... especially amongst those artists who have helped literally reinvent Portland (mostly people who burst onto the scene from 1999-2009. The new crowd (2010-2014) deserve attention as well and shouldn't have to wait till their main alternative space or spaces close to get recognition.
Johanson touched a little on one problem, the Portland fetish of arty and creative vs. excellence and achievement. Portland tends to fear high level achievment, this can be easilly seen by those long standing Portlanders who deny Mark Rothko had any relationship to Portland. This is in denial of basic facts like; he grew up here, had his first solo show (at the Portland Art Museum), took his first art classes here and repeatedly painted Portland in his earlier years. One og his high school friends from Portland was actually key to his later success in New York.
I think a collection of those artists who have changed Portland over the past 15 years would be a good project to undertake, most already have national and international careers underway.
Link to the OPB audio
A link to the Portland Tribune OpEd declaring Portland a Capital of Conscience
for the USA
Wall Street Journal article on Portland's Alternative Spaces
, some no longer exist, some are threatened
Essay on who and what we support in Portland's art scene
and an even more pointed essay on the subject
Review of Sean Healy's last exhibition
Interview with Kengo Kuma
Review of Damien Gilley and Jordan Tull's work
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