Paige Powell: The Ride at the Portland Art Museum (photo Jeff Jahn)
A lot of people don't realize that the Portland Art Museum is free from 5-8PM the First Thursday of every month and they should take the opportunity to catch Portland native and one time NYC "It Girl" Paige Powell's photography and video exhibition at PAM. Titled, "The Ride" the opening last night was one of those rare moments where the crush of people overrode the museum's climate control in very localized areas to create the sweaty human mass you normally only get in smaller private galleries and warehouses. Everyone you suspect like her onetime boss at Interview magazine Andy Warhol to Keith Haring, Madonna and former beau Jean Michel Basquiat is here. There is also a fun Kenny Scharf installation called Cosmic Cavern. It makes every blacklight exhibit I've seen by younger artists seem timid by comparison. It's an 1980's zoo of activity that emphasizes the way proximity and ladders to climb allowed some to gain reknown and take Powell and her camera along for the ride.
The Ride & Cosmic Cavern| November 5 - February 21st
First Thursday: November 5 5-8PM
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park
Admittedly, Tom Cramer is a close freind of mine but its good to see his latest show of New Wood Reliefs at Augen. Ive called him the artist laureate of Portland in the past but that's debatable. What isn't deabatable is that no artist acts as a bridge between a historic group of 20th Century artists like Milton Wilson and Clifford Gleason and the hoard of Gen X and Millennials who have re-imagined Portland as a vibrant art city. His new work, bourne of one of those tough moments where you watch a loved one pass on... and far too young has a new intensity to it.