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A Case For Abstraction: No Boundaries
Renters on the move with Recess
Wendy Given speaks at PNCA
Kengo Kuma's designs for the Japanese Garden
First Thursday Picks July 2015

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Thursday 07.30.15

A Case For Abstraction: No Boundaries

"Warlpapuka" (Detail), Tommy Mitchell, 2012, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 40" x 40"

Forgive me.

In the middle of summer, this review is late. The heat this year is thick and heavy, wrapping around me like a needy lover. The days are long and drowsy, and the passing of time is difficult to feel. The ground beneath my feet is sharp and thirsty and flammable, while my body is the source of a river of sweat that makes a salty warm waterfall of my person. I am a waterfall person. . . (more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on July 30, 2015 at 9:44 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 07.28.15

Renters on the move with Recess

Last night PORT's Tori Abernathy was on Koin 6 news discussing the Portland Renter's Assembly and the idea of rent control and its something we have been following (check out this review). First of all, the Koin story conveniently cut out any mention of art but the "space" Tori discussed was Recess's old home with studios etc. It was a thriving hive for Portland's vaunted "creative class". I hate that term but it is true a lot of what has made Portland so desirable (artists re-imagining the world) has also pushed many artists out of their hives. The artists are still here (for now) but something should be done as artists are the canaries in Portland's realestate coalmine. Is rent control the answer? Probably not, but it is worth exploring... perhaps 1 year residencies built into new residential projects? What about Vancouver BC's style of Community Amenity Contributions, which I've brought up many times? The simple % for art that such building projects generates isn't the kind of cutting edge art it is displacing. It is tame in many ways and I think of the difference is analogous between that between wild and hatchery salmon when I consider Portland's artist ecosystem and the type of art that is produced in undeveloped vs developed spaces.

With all that in mind Recess is renting from Air BnB for two events in Portland's Alphabet District. The first will be a series of talks on Wednesday then an exhibition on Friday.

Air BnB rental for Recess' latest.

A Good Place To Live: Talking Summary by Steve Kado
When: Wednesday, July 29th 7-8:30PM

Kado's talk is "is an effort to transplant the central issue of classical philosophy, the goal of understanding what would in both material and ethical terms constitute 'a good life.'"

Capacity is limited so RSVP info@recessart.com to reserve a space and address

The second part of the program is an exhibition titled Modern Apartment in Alphabet District. It takes place July 31th, 2015 from 3-7PM with hour long appointments starting and ending on the hour (space is limited to 15 so contact info@recessart.com to get your time and location)

Artists include: Will Elder, Steve Kado and Rebecca Peel and their "Interventions, both architectural and sentimental, agitate the uncanny viscosity of our unknown host's personal brand." It sounds intriguing.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 28, 2015 at 12:06 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 07.21.15

Wendy Given speaks at PNCA

Part of Wendy Given's Creatiio exhibition at Hap gallery in 2014

Tomorrow Wendy Given will discuss her work in the brand new Mediatheque hall at PNCA. Given is one of numerous local artists who explores the way nature creeps into our consciousness via the way it disrupts the sense of what is contemporary. In fact, it is often pagan and sci-fi at the same time... making the genre an heir to surrealism in some important ways. Basically, animals have a way of taking viewers out of time and creating an empathetic and or fight or flight present (some bright curator could do a challenging survey with her Malia Jensen, Vanessa Renwick, Vicky Lynn Wilson, Ellen George, Laura Fritz, Paul Clay, Paula Rebsom, Julia Oldham, Melody Owen, Rick Bartow, sometimes Heidi Schwegler and Seattle's Jeffry Mitchell exploring animal in the contemporary art ecosystem but our institutions don't really look all that hard at trends regionally, even though nearly all of these artists show outside the region in major institutions). Maybe it is the fact that most of these artists are women? We tend not to value empathy/nature in art, especially when it is existentially unsettling. Which is a great lead in to checking out Given's talk.

Artist Talk: Wendy Given
July 22, 6:30 - 8:00PM
PNCA (Mediatheque)
511 NW Broadway

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 21, 2015 at 13:28 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 07.14.15

Kengo Kuma's designs for the Japanese Garden

Well, I've enjoyed my little vacation (a working one and my 1st in 10 years) from PORT but it is time to hit the beat again.

Cascading ponds and ticketing pavilion at the new entrance for the Japanese Garden.

The Portland Japanese Garden just released more developed designs for its expansion by Kengo Kuma. For an important reference in 2013 PORT spoke extensively with Kuma San and he discussed how a new type of Shoji screen as well as an ambitious plan to make the Portland's Garden a new model development in the tradition of the Japanese Garden balancing the traditional garden with enhanced visitor engagement in the living tradition of the Japanese Garden. Something that requires new buildings outside of the garden area.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 14, 2015 at 10:30 | Comments (0)


Thursday 07.02.15

First Thursday Picks July 2015

It is a hot one for the Portland art scene this First Thursday, here are what look to be the coolest shows (hint they all involve mandala-like symmetry):

Honour Mack,Emerging, oil and acrylic on canvas

Yale trained Honour Mack is the visiting artist for PNCA's Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies and her exhibition Resolving Chaos should be a good introduction to students and the art scene alike. Her work traffics in the fascination with spirituality that some ascribe to the younger so-called millenial generation (it is sometimes true, as a gen-xer I reject the rule of stereotypes... for example I'm not cynical and it is obvious neither is Mack). It should be of interest to many Portland artists, though one has to ask, why would one want to resolve chaos if it is the natural state of flux for the universe?

Resolving Chaos | July 2 - August 8
511 NW Broadway


Nathaniel Thayer Moss's Incision at Hap Gallery marks his debut solo show in the Pearl District. Becausehis work challengs perception and draws on uber-geek/design source material, Moss was the first name I gave when this newish gallerist wanted some leads to check out. I've worked with him and he shows immense potential that doesn't really translate in photographs.

Incision | July 2 - August 1
Oprning Reception: July 2 6-8PM
Hap Gallery
916 NW Flanders

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 02, 2015 at 15:24 | Comments (0)

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