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Burkheimer & Antoni
Get on it
Monday Links
PNCA's New 511 Home Part 2
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Jonah Porter's Kiasmus
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Carl & Sloan and the new gallery scene
Michael Graves Dies at 80 | Changed Portland
Monday Links
Part I PNCA's New 511 Home
First Thursday Picks March 2015

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Monday 03.30.15

Burkheimer & Antoni

Burkheimer is at Linfield

Karl Burkheimer's ambiguous architecture for "Not It" will be the final show curator Cris Moss curates for the Linfield Gallery... one of the very best spaces in the region so let's hope his replacement is up to the task (the U of O likely snagged Moss as a way to compete more effectively with PNCA, which now has a vastly enhanced profile with the 511 building). Burkheimer is at his strongest when he's more of an architectural gadfly and less sculptural, yet still not architecture( he has strayed into both areas lately so I sense this is a return to form/unform) and Linfield's soaring gallery is one of the few in the region which presents a lot of room for such fugitive interlocutionary spatial experiences. The fact that this trickster is opening this on April 1st is another good sign to go see "Not It"... both Burkheimer and Moss enjoy a smart prank and sometimes that strategy works wonders.

Not It | April 1 - May 6
Reception and Talk: Wednesday, April 1, at 5:30PM (artist talk) Delkin Recital Hall, 6:30PM reception in gallery
Linfield Gallery | Linfield College 900 SE Baker st., McMinnville, OR

Janine Antoni Ingrown, 1998

7 years ago Reed used to have the best college art programming/shows in the region... That isn't true anymore but their Ostrow lecture series remains one of the best bets. What's more, it has been over a decade since PICA was the last to bring Janine Antoni to speak to Portlanders. Antoni's work presents the body and its functions as a kind of aesthetic intelligence made manifest in the tradition of greats like Ana Mendieta, Chris Burden, Richard Long and the once great Marina Abromovic. There is a current crop of younger practitioners like Tino Seghal and Rossana Martinez (whose work I brought to PNCA in 2010) to name a few. Considering the popularity of such physical intelligence work it will be interesting what she has to say about not jumping the shark.

Janine Antoni | Ostrow Lecture Series
Artist talk: March 31 7:00PM
Reed College | Kaul Auditorium

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 30, 2015 at 12:09 | Comments (0)


Thursday 03.26.15

Get on it

"Intent to apply" for RACC's career opportunity grants is April 1 (and not because they have a sense of humor). Basically, these grants are one of the best ways to help you make the most of exhibitions and opportunities outside of the area and to cover myriad opportunities locally that are not directly applied to producing a work here (those would be project grants). Deadline 4|1|15

Submit your subversive design ideas to the Jonald Dudd exhibition in NYC's LES with emphasis on objects that blur boundaries between art, design and craft (Fee is $50 if you get in but there is a Portland connection). Deadline 4|15|15

Last but not least, the Prequel juried exhibition opportunities designed for recent graduates (made possible via the innovative Precipice Fund) are worth a look. Deadline 4|6|15

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 26, 2015 at 19:10 | Comments (0)


Monday 03.23.15

Monday Links

Zumthor's latest LACMA design crystalizes into something more than a blob. I think Los Angelenos were mostly reacting to an outsider simply reiterating the stereotypes about LA being shapeless and image conscious above all else. Though true it goes over about as well as an outsider producing a building or art about Portland being rainy and quirky. Sure, but can't we dig deeper? I Love Zumthor so I have faith he will continue to refine this into something special. MoMA in NYC looks like the Mall of America in so many ways comparatively.

Richard Diebenkorn's 10 guidelines for himself in and about the studio. I like #10 best (strong artists interrogate themselves and test their assumptions). Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Diebenkorn was born here in Portland Oregon. Unlike Rothko, he spent virtually no time here and had not other significant history with our fair city.

Because it is a season of bashing authority... it is now Klaus Biesenbach's turn at MOMA for the Bjork retrospective. One bad show, review etc. can't be grounds for dismissing people but it does hint that NYC is rightly concerned about losing its cultural edge and long-view relevancy/seriousness... especially at a time of tension between the haves and have nots is at a boil. There is a sense that many museums, MOMA in particular have jumped the shark by seeking short term popularity at the cost of other more crucial things (this is being played out in the rancor over MoMA's expansion designs).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 23, 2015 at 22:08 | Comments (0)


Friday 03.20.15

PNCA's New 511 Home Part 2

PNCA's massive new skylight and helix-like cable system (all photos Jeff Jahn)

So how will PNCA's new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design change the school and Portland? That's what I want to focus on for this second part of my review. Part 1 can be found here.

First and foremost it definitely will have an effect because it solidifies PNCA's relationships, both to the Pearl District galleries as the cultural anchor of the city as well as formalizing it's own structures into a new cognitive map that is more vertical, historical and at the center of the district rather than the fringe. ... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 20, 2015 at 12:44 | Comments (0)


Friday Links

Brian Libby has a wonderful piece on the Feldman house remodel... yes the same Philip Feldman whose name once graced PNCA's Feldman gallery in the old Goodman building.

Review of Alfredo Jaar's latest in the New York Times. Jaar is one of those artists who seeks out the most difficult subject matter and frequently pulls it off with deft poetics involving, space, mood and conflicted cognition.

Google is to create a database of street art.

The unlikely push from major museums like LACMA an MoMA to protect the land around Michael Heizer's city.

More handwringing over museums and Millennials... look it isn't just an app that is a magical meaning-making bullet (though I support the move). I've worked with them and myself am part of the Gen X wave that was the first to experience total integration of computers into our lives. I think a deeper more soulful approach is required, something my generation has been asking for as well. The world changed and museums + other arts institutions need a more savvy outlook that is based on the way people use museums not just one app. Notice how few tech people are involved in the arts? That has to change. It isn't a generational problem it is an anthroplogical understanding issue. The Walker Art Center has taken steps but sometimes they come off as ploys that aren't any different than just an app which is just a surface reaction to an endemic rift. Put it this way it takes far more than clickbait.

25 women curators... a good list but let's not forget that though female curators are plentiful female artists are valued for significantly less in the market and are under represented in myriad ways for their crucial contributions culturally. Not certain what to make of that cultural dissonance. Too few female directors as well.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 20, 2015 at 10:58 | Comments (0)


Thursday 03.19.15

Jonah Porter's Kiasmus

Sqlit-Liqs from Kiasmus

In a gallery free of explanatory texts, price tags and an official name, we find four paintings by local artist Jonah Porter. We see vellum, mesh fabric and fiberglass in support of black ink, latex and spray paint. Everything is on the wall. Everything is black, dark blue, grey or white. Everything is bleak and magical, lush and sparse.


Posted by Jesse Hayward on March 19, 2015 at 12:46 | Comments (0)


Monday 03.16.15

Monday Links

The racially charged debate over the Kehinde Wiley review in the Village Voice is the talk. Overall, the critical shots rely too heavily on archetypes (predator/prey)... which doesn't work because it is obvious that Wiley is all about personalizing archetypes and giving them the kind of projected confidence that provokes viewers. It is the the intellectual equivalent of critiquing an insult comic for being insulting. Or to use an art world equivalent it is kinda like criticizing Warhol's interest in celebrities. Of course of course he is and it works because it is a little uncomfortable with their bold but deliberately obsessed/hyperfocused opening moves.

Technically, it is what Wiley and Warhol do after the opening "obsession move" that keeps them relevant and complex. I'd argue that all interesting art... and people for that matter make you a little uncomfortable with their presence at first because of their intensity (quiet or loud). The problem here was the editor not going back to the critic and telling them, "too facile an argument, it will be branded racist." Personally I like Kehinde Wiley's work... it is bold and personal as Amy's review of Wiley's show at PAM explored. Portraiture thrives on conflicted characters and chutzpah that mocks itself a little. The reviewer focuses too much on the audacity of Wiley's success to actually undermine it and it comes of as someone who rightly or wrongly seems like they cant effectively see past the forms. Racism is everywhere... it is common because it relies on established forms and archetypes that remain unexamined (yet that reliance on archetypes is something criticism is supposed to examine).

Conversely, professional art criticism is actually quite rare because there aren't many editors that really understand how to cut close to the bone (at the right time) and still remain valid. Perhaps the main reason journalism and criticism aren't natural bedfellows is a true critique isn't a blunt instrument it is a scalpel and with the gutting of expertise in generalist publications they have shot themselves in the foot. I've always seen PORT as a trade journal dealing in expertise, not journalism, which at some point tries to separate itself from its subject. That "objectivity" is an impossible thing when it comes to art criticism and a crucial distinction always needs to be made... is it criticism first? In the VV's case it is but the lack of editorial savvy hangs them out to dry...

Adrian Searle on Bruce Nauman's latest.

The Critic pens an open letter to Gardner Museum thieves.... ???

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 16, 2015 at 11:06 | Comments (0)


Saturday 03.14.15

Carl & Sloan and the new gallery scene


Portland is in the midst of another major sea-change in its gallery scene with the appearance of Upfor, Hap, Adams & Ollman and the reappearance of Soho veteran Jeffrey Thomas after a 20 year absence. Add Carl & Sloan to the list. As an artist run space it is different but in the past similar spaces like Tilt, Soundvision and Nil helped reseed what was happening here... though it is way up in North Portland. Their first show Testable Predictions, featuring Perry Doane, Michelle Liccardo and PORT's own award winning Amy Bernstein should be lively. These sorts of projects are labors of love... and perhaps naivete but let's remember that Dan Graham was the first to show Sol LeWitt and group shows for Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson (Testable Predictions sounds like a Dan Graham Title BTW as it implies an empiricism).

Testable Predictions | March 14 - April 12
Opening Reception: March 14, 6-10PM
Carl & Sloan
8371 N Interstate #1

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 14, 2015 at 13:40 | Comments (0)


Thursday 03.12.15

Michael Graves Dies at 80 | Changed Portland

Portland Building (photo Jeff Jahn)

Michael Graves has died at 80 years old today. I wrote about his complicated relationship with Portland and his career making Portland Building here. Suffice it to say he changed the city of Portland and influenced the world of architecture with that building and the effects will be felt as long as there are humans who study design.

First and foremost Graves was an innovator in what he called, "Humanistic Design" and the Portland Building as designed was a way to relate big buildings back to the human scales and aspirations that make up a city...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 12, 2015 at 14:54 | Comments (0)


Monday 03.09.15

Monday Links

Local artist is arrested for forging Mark Tobey paintings by the FBI. I'm interviewed and not really surprised as Tobey fakes have always surfaced. One should always go through a reputable dealer + check with the estate or authenticating authority before buying works. If it seems too good... it probably is. Authentication should never be rushed either, that's a red flag. What I am surprised about is how they never once mentioned how valuable Mark Tobey's authenticated works are? We did discuss it (along with a lot of other art historical background) so I suppose they will get the dollar signs in there eventually. As it is now it is kind of refreshing how they didn't make value the main thrust of the story. I mean he doesn't exactly look like someone who should have a trove of Northwest Mystic works to sell. The good news is you can go to the Portland Art Museum and see a real Mark Tobey on display. *Update: the alleged forger was released but it looks like he was forging an extensive # of Northwest Mystic works and has a history of this sort of activity. The question is did he have any conspirators beyond the FBI informant?

The Guardian does a nice piece on Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is an innovative curator because he dares to generate his own discussion, taxonomies etc. through cultural activity... not simply an essay published as a show opens. What I like about HUO is he creates his own weather or at least hitches sails to winds that aren't always prevailing and lets them run a course. I also like the way in which he is one of the few curators today that openly admits that groups of artists who cull together themes and trends are ultimately more substantial than curators who gerrymander theme shows to fit their thesis.

Last week, while people were distracted by Jerry Saltz being kicked of Facebook (he's back now) the gadfly critic published one of his best pieces ever on the New Museum's latest triennial. It is the way he gets the need for fresh new tangents in these shows and the way the internet doesn't exactly drive this trend... it enables it. A great and versatile tool for keeping things fresh and not pre-approved. As far as Facebook goes... Jerry is a gadfly, he tests the limits but mostly because those limits are so narrow and reactionary. Some critics strive to never offend but others make a point at getting to the tension of the age and yes Facebook and many other social media does quash dissent by avoiding anything that might seem offensive. You just cant please everyone... I love social media but that is its achilles heel. We understand each other through patiently exploring views different from our own... consensus can be even more stifling than loud dissent.

Basquiat's notebooks, look... the original clickbait before the internet existed.

Robert Storr on the hilarious and horrifying that is Guston.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 09, 2015 at 22:41 | Comments (0)


Thursday 03.05.15

Part I PNCA's New 511 Home

PNCA's new home the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design (photos Jeff Jahn)

It has taken a long time for PNCA to finally move into the 511 building, officially called the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design but Portland's "flagship" art and design school has finally settled in enough after moving in January to invite the public for First Thursday. For quite some time PNCA has been the anchor institution for Portland's renaissance from sleepy lumber and industrial town to an art and design player on the international stage. Over 7 years ago PORT was the first media outlet to grasp just what the 511 building could mean to PNCA and Portland. Time for a critical review and tour.

ample light in the amphitheater space


Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 05, 2015 at 13:46 | Comments (0)


First Thursday Picks March 2015

It is one of the strongest First Thursdays in years for Portland. Here is where you gotta go. (Liz Leach, Adams & Ollman and Portland's newest major gallery Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art all have shows that were up last month but worth a look). Here is what is new:

Gathering Autonomy: Justseeds Artists' Cooperative at PNCA's new 511 Gallery

Obviously the opening of PNCA's 511 building is a crucial part of Portland's visual art scene and the school is throwing a First Thursday Festival from 6-9PM. Explore the building, which will be filled with multimedia art installations, even outdoor projections upon the building. Check out the new 511 gallery, which presents Gathering Autonomy: Justseeds Artists' Cooperative.

First Thursday Festival | March 5 6-9PM
511 NW Broadway

Gate E at Muscle Beach

Muscle Beach has taken over a great space in Morgans Alley for Gate E a group show featuring, Erika Ceruzzi, Zack Davis, Lali Foster, Heather McKenna and Rebecca R Peel.

Gate E | February 20-March 25
First Thursday open til 7PM
Muscle Beach @ Morgan's Alley
515 SW Broadway
... (More)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 05, 2015 at 12:08 | Comments (0)


Monday 03.02.15

Cynthia Lahti Bonnie Bronson Fellow

Cynthia Lahti, Frau (2012) photo Jeff Jahn

Congratulations to Cynthia Lahti who was announced as the latest Bonnie Bronson Fellow today. Ever since a residency in Germany in 2012 the subseuent work that explores the frisson of photography and sculpture as a kind of visual/material dissonance has been intriguing... akin to surrealist collaboration between Alberto Giacometti and Man Ray... but definitely made by a woman. It has edge and she even has a new show that opens tomorrow at PDX Contemporary.

The Bonnie Bronson award is different than most regional awards in that it primarily goes to mid career female artists (male academicians in traditional media tend to win most other major awards around here) and it is nice that this one is going to an artist who is making the best work of her career. Generally, the Bronson award goes to academics or someone who is extremely visible in the community but Portland needs to turn a corner and reward those who are doing not simply good work but that which has a keen edge and is the strongest of their career.

True, some will complain that so many awards go to a small pool of the same artists (David Eckard unfairly was targeted for angst after... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 02, 2015 at 11:09 | Comments (0)

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