Time to start our string of end of the year posts, so here are our top 10 in terms of eyeballs (PORT is still the top ranked Google search for "Portland Art" and has already broken last year's record of 1.3 million unique viewers). It was an odd year where art history seemed to be on everyone's lips... almost as a balm against the market's corrosive effect on critical thinking.
Ryan Johnson and Dana Schutz (photo Victor Maldonado)
Dana Schutz and Ryan Johnson spoke to Victor at length about Portland and the odd ways their subjects find them
. A must for any working artist to read.
It surprised me just how much people allover the globe LOVED this interview with Michael Lazarus
... which reminds me I haven't seen him since last summer but I think of him every time I see signage in Portland. It is a thing.
Three Chants Modern at PICA was perhaps the most complicated art historical project Portland saw in 2014
and this review strove for a similar sense of scope. PICA took quite a risk showing this as Portland's audience and press (in particular) aren't always the most versed in art history. Perhaps that is why I loved this show? Nice to see this being so widely read.
Amy spoke with Luc Tuymans on the occasion of his exhibition at PNCA
Portland's art scene is constantly attracting new artists and churning out new alternative spaces
where artists refine their game... sometimes before hitting the international stage so it is important that we pay attention (that takes someone who is always looking coupled with the desire to dig for the newly sprouted the way PORT does). These posts are incredibly popular, have generally been the best early indicators of who to watch and at the same time create a tremendous amount of whining. Notably the whiners tend to go less far.
Victor interviewed Joel Shapiro in Portland
, telling us more about his large scale exhibition at the Portland Art Museum.
This short essay on the ongoing critical backlash against Zombie Formalism at least shows people have caught up with the critics who have been annoyed with this trend for half a decade at least
. There may not be very many true art critics roaming the earth but we do compare notes with each other frequently. Thanks to Jerry Saltz for prompting this line on, "dilettante tin-eyed zombie Greenbergs who want to believe that drop cloth or tarp paintings are anything but predictable rehashings of the late 60's and early 70's rendered with a very slight emo twinge of failure mongering and self pity." Yes the words are harsh and they sting a bit, but that's why they need to be written... it breaks open the blister and lets the healing begin. The best critics care enough to anger some and for that reason alone Jerry Saltz matters.
Terry Toedtemeier, Untitled (Screen at Golf Course Near Hillsboro)
Terry Toedtemeier is still much missed and this review of some of his least known work at PDX Contemporary
was a tantalizing way to remember how much he is still with us.
I truly hate discussing myself but 2014 did mark my 15th year of living in Portland and the post drew a lot of attention
. Personally, I'm predisposed to agreeing with my detractors who seem to expend a lot of energy explaining why I'm just a pain (having a good eye for the future is an VERY annoying gift) ... but the sheer # and quality of those who came up to me this year thanking me for what I've done is heartening. I simply didn't expect all the Love and I just don't dwell on compliments, it just isn't part of my makeup.
This post on the incredibly unpopular MoMA redesign
was also incredibly popular.
... coming up next is PORT's Best & Worst of 2014 review and finally our in-depth analysis of the Guenther era at the Portland Art Museum (so many images and links make that project a beast, somehow fittingly so).