2016 still isn't extremely active with no major statement solo show in the elite venues. To be fair only Portland's elite artists ever do a big January show... remember this statement maker anyone? Still, things are waking up and these two exhibitions are worth planning your Sunday around:
Taj Bourgeois' work is more than a little in the fluxus tradition and has the penache somewhat like an early Charles Ray or a young Tristan Tzara, while filtering all of his poetic absurdism through social media. This artist weaves a lot of life into his situations and rather worth checking out (the show began last year but is opening in 2016... another good sign). Nice to still have coffeehouses acting as a legitimate place to check out new talent, part of what makes Portland "Portland."
Dreams | December 16, 2015 - January 28, 2016
Opening Reception: January 10, 4 - 6PM
Stumptown @ 3356 SE Belmont St
Pat Boas, Three Triangles and Three Colors, Sumi ink on paper, 2015
The latest group show at the Art Gym is a look at abstraction titled, and from this distance one might never imagine that it is alive. Painters included are; Pat Boas, Calvin Ross Carl, Jack Featherly, Ron Graff, Robert Hardgrave, Grant Hottle, Amy Bernstein, Michael Lazarus, Michelle Ross, and Amanda Wojick so it should be a good discussion primer. It needs to be because Portland is where the Clement Greenberg Collection lives and the city does have a very strong abstract painting scene. That said, institutionally Portland tends to do fairly conventional surveys of its genres (Art Gym probably being one of the most conventional). One interesting twist here is that many of the artists in "aftdomntisa" are less pure abstractionists and more semioticians or proto linguists being somewhat abstract. Check it out to see if that's just the conventional expressing itself or perhaps an interesting angle?