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Get All That Is Coming To You / the reclamation of Lafe Pence
Artissima 2014: Travelogue by Merridawn Duckler
Monday Links
Laura Hughes at PSU
Monday Links
Kazumi Murose at Portland Japanese Garden
Weekend Picks
Growth: multimedia art in Director Park
News Links
Richard Mosse at PAM
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Sunday 11.30.14

Get All That Is Coming To You / the reclamation of Lafe Pence

Gabriel Liston, Get All That You Have Coming To You

The history of Portland is fraught with fits and starts, arbitrary decisions and long term planning. Still that history is just a construct of illustrational tales we tell ourselves about the path to now. The reality is far more complicated tales. Then there are history paintings, which can be fictional folklore reflecting civic ideals and neurosis and/or it can be embody some degree of accuracy. Also, unlike the History Painting of the past, today's artists aren't held up as verified illustrators projecting onto the present.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 30, 2014 at 13:12 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.26.14

Artissima 2014: Travelogue by Merridawn Duckler

The Italian artist Maurizio Cattalan "non-curated" Shit and Die, a scatological sub-element of the 2014 art fair in Turin, known as Artissima. I went to the commercial fair wondering if this septic spirit seeped over. Cattalan's aesthetic of theft, effigy and atavism are deeply modern. His kneeling Hitler's and suicidal Pinocchio's suggest an idealist's bruised notion of the world and the schoolboy's bravado; he exposes hypocrisy, but claims to start with himself.

Lingotto Fiere, Torino Italy

But Artissima, in Oval Lingotto Fiere, built to accommodate the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, is unabashedly beautiful—both the gorgeous Italians wandering the stalls and the gorgeous art hung inside them. Floor-to-ceiling glass is more palazzo than cathedral; made to impress humans, not gods... (more)

Posted by Guest on November 26, 2014 at 19:21 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.24.14

Monday Links

It is Thanksgiving week and we will have that big Bruce Guenther piece (never has there been such anticipation for a post) and we will have several other things for you on this over stuffed holiday. Till then here are some links:

26 female artists on Lynda Benglis 40 years after her uproar raising Artforum ad. I called it earlier this year, 2014 has been the year of reassessing women in art but I'm pretty sure it will be just as important in 2015 and 2016. This issue isn't going away.

Wired explores Facebook's corporate art collection... Side fact: not many know that Mark Zuckerberg has a home in Portland's Pearl District.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 24, 2014 at 11:35 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.21.14

Laura Hughes at PSU


Laura Hughes has taken on an unenviable task in visual art... somehow trying to find a way to carve out something new while building on the careers of light and space artists Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin, James Turrell and Doug Wheeler. Later today she will speak about this challenge and her latest show at PSU's excellent Littman Gallery, a space which typically has one of the best programs in the city (it is run by students). This exhibition has more Flavin in it than I've seen from her before and the use of sequencing and stations points in a new direction for the artist.

The Lines Along Which Anything Lies | through December 4
Artist talk: November 21 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Littman Gallery (Smith Center)
Portland State University

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 21, 2014 at 10:24 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.19.14


It is nearing the end of the year, time to apply yourself by applying for these artist opportunities:

With its fantastic setting and facilities OCAC's Golden Spot Residency is one of the most interesting for Oregon residents. Deadline: November 30th

Seattle's Scott Lawrimore is curating the 2015 Bellingham National Art Exhibition and Awards at the Whatcom Art Museum. Open to all artists working in the USA. $35 Deadline February 9 2015


Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 19, 2014 at 20:48 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.17.14

Monday Links

Jerry Saltz asks, "When did the art world become so conservative?" I was in NYC recently and noticed that the galleries on the whole have never been so toothless, formulaic and predictable. So why so conservative? Partly it is because art is being treated as "investment grade", which it has always been... just it used to be only for those very few who cared about art and ultimately there was a sense that the good was the enemy of the great. Today, as a market (like any other) good performance on all levels is generally preferred to the Great, which is a historical construct... (more)

Don Bacigalupi leaves Crystal Bridges for George Lucas' museum of narrative art in Chicago. Not surprising as State of the Art at Crystal bridges came off as a somewhat too narrative tour of art in the USA. Instead of picking the outliers that make art weird and difficult to pigeonhole it came off as critic Peter Plagens described as, "the worlds largest university faculty show," which I interpret as very easy to digest into narrative discourse.

Mass MOCA takes on the Dia model (which is adapted from Donald Judd's Chinati model).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 17, 2014 at 14:25 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.15.14

Kazumi Murose at Portland Japanese Garden

Kuzumi Murose "Hyakka" (one hundred flowers), 2012 (photo Jeff Jahn)

It is your last weekend to catch it but Urushi: Masterpieces of Lacquerware featuring the work of Kazumi Murose is an exceptional reason to visit Portland's stunning Japanese Garden. The ice from the cold with the Fall colors are also auspiciously in full effect.

Lacquer is an ancient and painstaking way to create incredibly strong yet delicate objects from the resin sap of sumac trees and Portland is lucky to have Kazumi Murose, a National Living Treasure of Japan. That designation is given to fifty craftpersons working in a medium with an ancient tradition in Japan... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 15, 2014 at 14:46 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.14.14

Weekend Picks

Portland just had what passes for a Winter storm here and perhaps people want to get out. Here's what I suggest for those who like a little adventure:


Last Summer Tony Chrenka was one of those newly minted artist/curators that I felt should be watched closely. Today he's having a solo show titled Slow Grow at S1. Chrenka's practice is a hybrid of design and millennial zeitgeist and the press release is promising. In it he states, "I am attempting to break away from Earth. Every day would be a new start. Each would be a first day of a bright life on a long summer solstice, with a body unrestricted. The Earth restricts us by providing us with limited the amount of space and material, and if we keep using them at this rate humans would surely need more than one Earth. It would be better to not have 4 or 5 Earths, and instead abandon our reliance on this planet all together. I have lowered my consumption of limited resources to become more sustainable. Zero emissions vehicles and LEED Platinum architecture help me lower my consumption of these resources. I am slowly starting to transcend. I spend less of the Earth's resources through each of my actions, and since I am affecting less I am less worried with what I am doing. I can tread in any direction without leaving a trace of destruction, and so I do. My path is my own, uncompromised by the bounds of Earth." It sounds ambitious if slightly obstruse.

Slow Grow
Opening Reception: November 14, 6 - 9PM
4148 SE Hancock

Dana Lynn Louis' Clearing

A visit to Lewis and Clark College is always a bit of a treat so consider a conversation about Dana Lynn Louis' show Clearing at the Hoffman Gallery. On Sunday there will be a, "facilitated dialog" on the exhibition, featuring a panel discussion, "followed by small-group discussions in which you are invited to participate."

Conversation: November 16 2:00PM | South Chapel
Lewis and Clark College

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 14, 2014 at 14:41 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.12.14

Growth: multimedia art in Director Park

Sporting a geodesic dome in Director Park, Umpqua Bank presents a series of interactive art experiences assembled an exhibition titled, Growth. Artists include digital artists; Fake Love and The Mill with sculptural works from Portlanders Aaron Rayburn, Blaine Fontana, and Blair Saxon-Hill as well as work from visitors Huy Bui, Michael Murphy and Tofer Chi. I've often wondered why there aren't more pavillion-style multimedia popup shows in Portland's parks (the Buckminster Fuller-esque dome seems like a predictable prerequisite) so this attempt will have Portland's attention. The holiday shopping season seems like an auspicious time to attempt this but as always the curatorial voice and integrity of execution for artists who aren't usually found in urban parks will ultimately determine how well this works (remember Levi's Station to Station project?). The exhibition tours to; Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento Spokane and Eugene.

Growth | November 14- 23
11AM - 9PM Daily (free, with a slight wait)
Director Park at SW Yamhill and Park

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 12, 2014 at 12:30 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.10.14

News Links

We currently have 3 major interviews, two essays, reviews and my historical piece on Bruce Guenther in the works (all coming soon) till then here are a few links:

A young curator's button shop in NYC is just another example of the hybrid gallery model that has become popular in many places, including Portland.

Big architecture news in Portland... the James Beard Public Market will be designed by Snohetta. With Kengo Kuma doing the Japanese Garden and PNCA set to open the 511 building by Brad Cloepfil architecture in Portland is getting increasingly serious. Any institution seeking to expand in the next 10 years has a very high bar to meet these days in Portland.

World's biggest art collector dies at a rather young age of natural causes.

An interesting article on Zumthor's blob (or not) design for LACMA. Clearly MoMA made mistakes though I can't agree with the article's assertion that the stakes are somehow higher in LA... they just aren't. Still, the idea that a new building should put the viewing experience above all else is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Somehow I missed my friend Liz Obert's article in Slate (my excuse was I was traveling). Always nice to see an article on Portland that isn't some quirk-hype fluff piece. Portland is a busy cauldron of humanist ideals and Liz is stirring the pot. She will have an exhibition at Linfield soon.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 10, 2014 at 12:07 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.08.14

Richard Mosse at PAM

Richard Mosse, Film still from The Enclave, 2012-2013, showing a rebel from Mai Mai Yakutumba posing in Elephant Grass in Fizi, South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,

Richard Mosse's documentary film Enclave represented Ireland at the 2013 Venice Biennale and was a standout for bringing the relentless humanitarian disaster in Congo back into public view in such a compelling, even sublime way. Mosse describes the situation as a, "Hobbsian state of war," and over 5.4 million have already died in the conflict since 1998. This weekend, the Portland Art Museum is bringing both Mosse and his work to Portland with a talk Sunday November 9th at 2:00 PM. The exhibition runs through February 15.

For this visually stunning project Mosse used the now discontinued Kodak Aerochrome III infrared film, which was created for military surveillance purposes. The intense colors create a psychedelic/sublime effect while depicting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo in greater contrast. *Update: this is an excellent, engaging exhibition and should not be missed (interview on the way).

Enclave | November 9 2014 - February 15 2015
3rd floor Jubitz Center
Artist Talk: Sunday November 9, 2:00PM
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 08, 2014 at 12:01 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.07.14

Friday Links

Eskenazi Gallery out-maneuvers the art fair at Frieze.. is there a paradigm shift in the works? I don't think it is an isolated event though I don't think it actually threatens the art fairs either.

Was Van Gogh shot? An article in Vanity Fair makes a stronger argument... As often with history that becomes legendary first the facts get muddled and conveniently shuffled towards an easy soundbite description of what happened. If true it would go some distance in de-tigmatizing the act of being an artist as a pathological condition with inevitably fatal consequences. For those interested in Van Gogh is creates a more complicated picture of the man and for that reason alone, even if proven untrue is worthwhile.

Pompidou President wants a design and architecture space ASAP. In many ways this is where the applied arts mediate between museums comprised of traditional objects and the ever expanding education departments. All major museums are going in this direction if they are looking forward.

OCAC and The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation (both PORT sponsors) explored a weekend retreat called The Art of Possibilities to explore how OCAC might expand "existing internal and external programs for K-12 age students in the area. It is something we want to keep an eye on as... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 07, 2014 at 10:13 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.05.14

First Thursday Picks November 2014

November is an odd month in the Portland art scene where shows are either truncated to a few weeks or extended through December and often into January. It also means the shows sometimes take a few more chances or explore broad themes that resonate with the holidays. Here are my picks for First Thursday:

Originally from Italy, Eva and Franco Mattes present Breaking Banality: The Dysfunction of Remediation at PNCA's Feldman Gallery (the clock is ticking on this important space once the 511 building opens). The exhibition's title was created by an online random exhibition title generator and will restage, "ten reiterations of one performance from their series 'BEFNOED - By Everyone, For No One, Every Day,' for which they commission anonymous workers to realize webcam performances." Related to Fluxus events and the general way in which instructions manage computers of all sorts it should spark further discussion of the quirk-core performances that are popular on youtube and amongst recent art school grads these days.

Breaking Banality: The Dysfunction of Remediation | November 6 2014 - January 10 2015
Artists talk: November 5, 6:30 - 8PM
Feldman Gallery
1241 NW Johnson

Jesse Mejia

Light Wash by Jesse Mejia presents itself as, "an immersive, interactive audio-visual installation," and its great to see the Everett Station Lofts coming alive again with some ambition and taste. Featuring 5 channels and several related performances on November 28th... there is a theme developing this month.

Light Wash | November 6 - 28
Opening Reception: November, 6 7-10PM (performance 8:30)
Performances: November, 28 7-10PM
#102, NW 6th and Everett

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 05, 2014 at 14:37 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.03.14

Monday Links

I'm back from NYC and I'll be posting images from the two people we had at Prospect 3 in New Orleans in the next few days (yes the Guenther post is still coming). Till then here are some links:

ArtFCity felt Prospect 3 had a weak curatorial compass.

Roberta Smith on Chris Ofili's Night and Day. Jerry Saltz on the same show. Overall I found it inherently theatrical... which is something that most painters have a hard time achieving.

Chris Ofili, set design model at the New Museum

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 03, 2014 at 13:51 | Comments (0)

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