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Thursday 12.18.14

« Monday Links | Main | Ntvty V »

Thursday Topics

It's a slow time of year and I'm making my final "avalanche push" on the mountainous Guenther piece with several other interviews, a year end piece and reviews also already in the works. Here are some excellent posts to consider:

Brian Libby has done a great job covering this early part of Snohetta's James Beard Public Market design process. The egalitarian spirit seems to fit Portland... and it needs to because this is going to be a public space... perhaps the most significant one to be designed in the Northwest since Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park. Hopefully the mandated public art will be of similar caliber as Jorge Pardo's streetcar stop on the other side of the river? Instead of just plonking down some moderately ingenious metal form in front of the building the art should be a kind of brilliant amenity (a Portland sentiment).

8 museum directors choose their favorite art... fine idea but honestly why not ask curators? Perhaps because they are more specialized they would choose from their department?

Police killings lead to a more overtly political art? Well, yes but I believe there is a deeper wave of discontent moving through the art world that comes from the real world. It put Obama in the White House with one word, Change. I feel like the Occupy Movement, police killings, continued violence/silence towards women and broadening income inequality are all just indicators of a tempestuous 2015. Art should be a part of the discussion not just an island floating on a buoyant market and games of certainty. These themes are so pervasive that Art can address them without losing its ability to speak to the ages.

Art by Dan Webb and Christine Bourdette deinstalled from Seattle's tallest building.

The Portland Art Museum has announced the winners of the 2015 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards: Victoria Haven (Seattle), Lead Pencil Studio (Seattle),Dana Lynn Louis (Portland), Helen O'Toole (Seattle), Akio Takamori (Seattle),Willem Volkersz (Bozeman), Samantha Wall, (Portland). Congrats to all, quality solid artists. I especially like the the inclusion of LPS and Volkersz because the award has had difficulty being truly contemporary and generally being more "Northwest" (wood, figuration and fog... or simply more material/craft than conceptually oriented). Those two selections might give the exhibition a slightly different complexion. Still, is there enough shock of the new that we see in Portland spaces all of the time? This is a solid but very familiar list in many ways. Remember just this week a Nike executive recently left because Portland wasn't exciting enough (they clearly wanted more ego-stoking pandering and Portland thankfully doesn't do that, still Portland is drowning in interesting). PAM can be both solid and provocative like Richard Mosse and Folkert de Jonge but I'm not certain this list has a similar effect and it is absolutely what the CNAA's could do because its format reaches out into the region. Obviously, we have to wait to see the show... the curatorial install/work choices alone could tip it from routine to something exciting. The main criticism of all of the CNAA's so far is that they have been too safe. The first one was the most adventurous and had a lot of installation/new media work and even that had major (cluttered) install problems, which quashed its effect somewhat.

RACC's latest individual and institutional grant lists are out as well.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 18, 2014 at 12:12 | Comments (0)


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