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Friday 07.29.16

Weekend Picks

Ralph Pugay's Chicken Pox Orgy

Ralph Pugay's work is a bit too edgy for some of Portland's more conservative establishments (Seattle gave him a Betty Bowen Award though) but this hilarious artist is probably the most Portland of painters and he's developing a national reputation. His latest will be on display for only 2 days at Worksound International who is kicking of their new partnership with Upswell (Portland's artists find a way to make this exciting scene happen)... be there.

Ralph Pugay | July 29 - 30th
Opening Reception:​ Friday, July 29 from 6-8PM
​107 SE Washington Street, Suite 238


As part of the Converge 45 series of events (a kind of guided tour for visitors to the somewhat difficult to access but super vibrant Portland art scene three curators will discuss the topic of creative Migrations at the Portland Art Museum. This is interesting because PAM hasn't done a particularly good job of tapping one of the most active art scene's in the country. The panelists; "Kristan Kennedy (Visual Art Program Director/ Chief Curator at PICA) in conversation with Converge 45 Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds, Irene Hoffman (Phillips Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe), and Wallace Whitney (artist, curator, and co-founder, CANADA, New York) to consider creative migration within the United States, and the impacts and potentials presented to the Pacific Northwest." Converge45 seems to be a branding of what regularly happens in Portland every month but this is a discussion that should occur more often.

The subject of artist enclaves is near and dear to my heart and have written/tracked the phenomenon of Portland as an enclave more than anyone... I'll be there.

Discussion: July 30th 10:30AM - Noon
Portland Art Museum (Whitsell Auditorium)
1219 Southwest Park Ave.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 29, 2016 at 17:51 | Comments (0)


Friday 07.15.16

Weekend Art Occupation Picks

Karl Burkheimer at North View Gallery, PCC Sylvania

As an educator Karl Burkheimer is a Portland fixture but he has chops an artist and since I was one of the first to curate him into higher profile shows (VoLume back in 2008 at Worksound) I track his work closely. Myself and many others felt his work in the 2013 CNAA's was an 1980's throwback but lately he's been transitioning to more current work with a stronger built environment edge... one which channels the angst that rapid development is foisting upon Portland Neighborhoods. It is an important theme that isn't being explored curatorially in group shows in any sufficient way. Thus, it is great that North View's director Mark Smith has turned over this exemplary brutalist space to Burkheimer for such an extended time (His Erik Geschke exhibition last year also explored the theme). Stop in multiple times this summer to see how Burkheimer puts his skills to use in this evolving occupation.

Simulated Archetypes | July 16 - September 16
Opening Reception: July 16, 5 - 7PM
PCC Sylvania (North View Gallery)
12000 SW 49th


Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 15, 2016 at 12:51 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 07.12.16

Tuesday Links

The grotestque that is the art of Trump's hair. Ugh, this political season is gonna be brutal on anyone sensitive to aesthetics and meaning

Getting blue and naked for Spencer Tunick is a thing. The generalist press does love nudity, though there is a serious history of blue nudes in the art of Picasso and Matisse. Also, I suppose the blue skinned Smurfs have lost their cultural profile enough to make this project serious enough to undertake.

What does and doesn't make for good museums, the Art Newspaper asks around. First of all, museums rarely take real risks and the main thing they do is transpose egalitarian ideals in the context of often expensive and otherwise elitist objects. Where they usually founder is by seeing themselves as too much repositories, which they aren't. In fact museum's are vehicles for experiences (history, context and intellectual juxtapositions) rather than mere estate sales for the rich. That said because institutions require patrons they often cater too much to the act of pursuing them, blunting their intellectual and social edge. This is because curators as a class have been losing their voices within major museums. In fact, having strong curators dedicated to specific fields that act as ombudsmen and aesthetic chefs for all classes is what makes a museum different than more entertainment driven venues or smaller university spaces where the curator is expected to do director duties as well. Ultimately the biggest mistake museums make is valuing the building over their curatorial staff. Very good staff can also inform the design process but typically only the best museums can afford inspiringly flexible curators and sensitive/perceptive architects who can accomplish that. Instead, most museums simply do what most other museums have done.

... (more, including Artnet's Portland2016 travelogue)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 12, 2016 at 10:52 | Comments (0)


Thursday 07.07.16

First Thursday Picks July 2016


Summertime often signals a glut of group shows in Portland, but one of the best traditions is Blackfish Gallery's 21st annual Recent Graduates exhibition. The artists are selected by the faculty from their respective programs and the result is always worth a tour.

Recent Graduates | July 5 - 30
First Thursday: July 7, 6 - 9PM
Blackfish Gallery
420 NE 9th.

One of the solo exhibitions that has my attention is by a recentish graduate, Colin Kippen. His latest effort, Indices, at Duplex should be the latest chapter in his exploration of the way the optical and material properties can render an object somewhat out of phase with daily encounters of similar but less artfully combined media. I've been following his work since his graduation exhibition and a lot of other people are too. There's a bit of the Dave Hickey school meets Rachel Harrison going on but his work feels a bit grittier and more intimate and it will be interesting to see how this work develops with its penchant for out of phase optical texture.

Indices | July 7 -28
First Thursday: July 7 6- 9PM
Duplex Gallery
219 NW Couch Street, Portland Oregon

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 07, 2016 at 13:18 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 07.05.16

Jane Schiffhauer at Rainmaker Gallery


An Alleged Truth Acting as a Distortion is the apt title for this already quite nasty political season so artist Jane Schiffhauer is definitely on point while pivoting towards something more universal.

Consisting of abstract 2d and 3d work regarding the body perhaps Schiffhauer's reappraisal of humanity is what we need during this season of spin? Schiffhauer is one of the brightest up and coming artists in Portland and should be on the short list of anyone taking stock of what is truly going on in Portland.

An Alleged Truth Acting As a Distortion | July 6-30 Opening Reception: July 6, 6-9PM
Rainmaker Gallery
2337 NW York St.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 05, 2016 at 18:09 | Comments (0)

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