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Tuesday 02.28.17

End of February Links

The Director of the Metropolitan Museum, Thomas Campbell, has resigned. Partly this is interesting because the Met has been slowly losing its "expertise quotient" on the curatorial front and the fact that most major encyclopedic art museums follow its lead. Overall, the Met's supposedly more serious foray into contemporary art hasn't really wowed many... perhaps because it was following the same kind of "Liberal Elite" ideas that fizzled out in 2016 so stunningly (Portland is fairly radical). All "Great Art" is rather radical in its execution and is designed to challenge institutions and the problem with producing shows of art that most museums "think" have a moral high ground is they tend to smooth out all the rough, even jagged edges that radical ideas and art traffic in. Many of us call this "following the parade." What happens at the met now?

Brian Libby conducted a fine interview regarding Minor White's historic photographs of vanished architectural gems in Portland. Very topical in this era of rapid redevelopment in Portland.

One time Portlander Ann Marie Nafziger writes about Standing Rock for Art21.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 28, 2017 at 17:29 | Comments (0)

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Friday 02.24.17

Weekend Picks

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2016 was a difficult year institutionally for the Portland art scene but it seems like a new guard is rising... one which acknowledges the importance of new media as craft oriented and worthy of resources, awards etc. To that end perhaps no development is as noteworthy as the restructuring of Portland Community Media into Open Signal as a resource for artists, filmmakers and other new media developers. With equipment, fully stocked studios and a simple process for being able to use that gear Open Signal is just what the rapidly less affordable Portland needs to keep its creative edge. They've partially renovated the building (its a multi-staged process) to better serve this more open mission so come to their first Open House this weekend. Whats more they join PICA in an area on the East Side as part of a growing new arts district in close-in Northern East-side Portland between MLK and Williams Ave. Come tour the facility and meet the excellent staff. There will be free food and drink, courtesy of Sizzle Pie, Lagunitas, Ninkasi Brewing Company and Two Towns Ciderhouse.

Open House | February 25 4-10PM
Open Signal
2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd





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Tad Savinar , Survival (2006) *note that's a pre-Portlandia bird on it

There have been numerous talks on the subject but the latest, Responsibility and Relevance: The Role of the Artist in an Ever-Changing Contemporary World should be worth a trip up into the West Hills (and you can catch Tad Savinar's exhibition at the Hoffman too).

Somewhat more academic and multi- disciplinary than some of the panels on the subject "Responsibility and Relevance" features panelists; Samiya Bashir (poet and assistant professor of creative writing, Reed College), Eleonora Beck, James W. Rogers (Professor of Music and director of musicology, Lewis & Clark College), Jon Raymond (novelist and screenwriter), Tad Savinar (visual artist, urban planner, playwright, and director), Luan Schooler (director of new play development and dramaturgy, Artists Repertory Theatre)and the Moderator is Randy Gragg. True it would have been interesting to add in a younger rabble rousing artist like Tabitha Nikolai, Victor Maldonado or Ryan Pierce into this mix but I am all for exploring this subject as many times and ways as possible. It isn't a one and done situation.

Responsibility and Relevance: The Role of the Artist in an Ever-Changing Contemporary World | February 26, 3PM, Miller 105
Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art
Lewis & Clark College
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 24, 2017 at 14:39 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 02.15.17

Alt-Perfect?

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ALTcade is doing great things and tonight you can play more than 20 unconventional video games created by artists and game designers at Open Signal (formerly Portland Community Media... they will have their reopening on the 25th). Portland has move past the idea that craft is just handmade work and there is craft in coding and game design as well. It is a legitimate aspect of contemporary art and our regressive art awards which dont take new media forms seriously must change their ways (looking at you Ford Family Foundation Fellowships, Contemporary Northwest Art Awards etc.). The Andy Warhol Foundation funds the small, experimental Precipice fund awards and they do support these things (I sat on the panel this last round) but we need to bring Portland's art institutions up to speed with the scene itself. To that end Open Signal is focusing on these needs as center for new media tools and production.

ALTcade's lineup: d i v i n e r by Dante Douglas & The Eldritch Teller by Arielle Grimes, Ghost by Daniel Glendening & offline by Pol Clarissou, Cute Crate by Paige Ashlynn and Caidence Stone & VANITAS by Tale of Tales, Program for Self Anamorphosis by Tabitha Nikolai & Tonight You Die by Duende Games, NEST by Cullen Dwyer & meow by sentvyr and takorii, Super Hyper Ultra Starlight Warriors Advance by Vile and Angel Sera & 2sWitches by Arielle Grimes, Interior Stroll by Hannah Piper Burns & VIRTUA BLINDS by Daffodil, Birthday Idea Generator by Tegan Valo & Frog Pets by Nathalie Lawhead, Soundscapes by Lexis Mason-Davis & A Cosmic Forest by Titouan Millet

Altcade | February 15 6-10PM
Open Signal
2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd





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Laura Hughes latest show at Linfield Gallery titled "Almost Perfect" explores with her obsession with interesting experiential effects caused by interesting materials that often have specific light oriented properties. One bummer is the choice og when to do the opening and talk from 5-7PM today. In the glory days of Cris Moss as director the gallery found ways to do openings that both McMinville residents and Portland residents could attend. Sometimes they would do the talks on Saturdays so people would not have to fight the extensive rush hour traffic and make it a destination on weekends.

Almost Perfect | February 15 - March 11
Opening & Talk: February 15 5-7PM
Linfield Gallery
Linfield College Miller Fine Arts Center
900 SE Baker St., McMinnville

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 15, 2017 at 10:03 | Comments (0)

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Monday 02.13.17

Monday Links

Peter Plagens on Raymond Pettibon is a must read. Pettibon the godfather of contemporary art punk drawing and I fondly remember his band playing an opening at Gallery 500 downtown back in the early aughts.

John Waters foresees a new kind of subversive radicalism for the easily offended. Ive met him several times and in person he's something special, a lanky walking talking and working statue of liberty.

Brian Libby reports that historic buildings in Oregon now have somewhat more protection and process. Some buildings are great and historic but until now a process for inventorying them... with a true process hasn't been undertaken. For example the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in Oregon was moved, narrowly escaping demolition.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 13, 2017 at 12:48 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 02.11.17

Last day, Mary Henry at Archer

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A mini survey of Mary Henry's abstract greatness at the Archer Gallery

I'd argue it was the best show of 2016 and today is your last to see it, with Henry "Practice" makes perfect. Mary Henry is one of the greatest under recognized female modernists of the 20th century and the Portland area is being treated to a micro-survey of her work at the Archer Gallery called Practiced Exuberance. Last Spring, PORT reviewed another micro-survey of just her drawings to give you a taste. As part of the American Phase of hard-edged Bauhaus work under Maholy-Nagy she occupies an important place in art history and is a favorite among those with good eyes and taste in the Pacific Northwest.

Mary Henry | Practiced Exuberance | November 22 - February 11
Clark College | Archer Gallery
1933 Ft. Vancouver Way, Vancouver Washington

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 11, 2017 at 10:00 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 02.08.17

Resist at Una Gallery

We live in far too interesting of times and artists act somewhat like canaries in the coal mine for the rest of civilization. Often existing right on the brink, they find the tensions of the age and the unsettling of the ways our daily routines become furrowed into ruts. They also uncover new paths and understandings through their work and both aspects speak for their importance. It also means that they are left more exposed, like clusters of nerve endings at crucial parts and the extremities of the civic body.

Most get their starts in alternative spaces, which are a big part of why Portland is an interesting art city (we have many though we have lost some good ones). Since most of our more established art institutions are still playing catch up or trying to find their edge, the alternative spaces are what drive Portland's reputation. As I showed the Wall Street Journal years ago, alternative spaces and lifestyles are always on the front lines of a vibrant cultural scene, yet it is these spaces and cheap studio space that are endangered by Portland's relatively new status as a hot real estate investment city.

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Dan Pillars, Wedding at Una Gallery

That's why RESIST, Una gallery's third show is important and presents Portland as a vital contemporary art scene within the protective non profit Everett Station Lofts enclave. Una's mission statement for presenting "non-established" and "experimental" contemporary artists with less mainstream identities was a big reason they were awarded a Precipice Fund grant late last year (I was one of the 4 panelists). I am happy to report that in 2017 Una is already delivering with provocative, sometimes excellent work... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 08, 2017 at 13:37 | Comments (0)

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Early February links

Artnet explores the issues 7 artists face with the new travel ban.

New Orleans, like Portland is facing housing price increases that are pushing artists out... new development strategies are being undertaken. Portland needs to do this. Portland's art scene vitality defines this city, its our identity and competitive advantage and Portland has to be more proactive. Portland should treat arts activity like a public good amenity and offer incentives for reduced rents and cultural vibrancy built into new developments, especially now that Portland acts as a kind of sanctuary. I am very curious how Portland's city council responds.

Art Critical on the great John Mclaughlin.

MoMA installs artists from countries affected by the travel ban.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 08, 2017 at 11:50 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 02.02.17

First Thursday Picks February 2017

Apologies for being quiet, it is because I've been traveling and preparing a major piece, which should be out shortly. That said February is typically a good month for art shows and this one keeps up the tradition so brave the cold.


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Maximiliano, Una Gallery

Una Gallery has only had a few shows but is already a bright spot in the cultural scene, focusing on POC and queer identity work. Last December they were awarded a Warhol funded Precipice Grant (as a panelist I was thrilled how it all turned out). Una's latest titled, "Resist," should be even more fiery and required in these far too interesting of times.

Resist features work from Maya Vivas, Dan Pillers, Andrea Beck, Carlos Gonzalez Acosta and Maximiliano. Art as Resistance celebrates local POC, Femme, and Queer artists employing personal identity as a means of opposition. In addition, Stacey Tran and Sara Sutter will perform from their project: Resistance Somatics. This is the place to be this chilly First Thursday in Portland.

Resist | February 2 - 26
Opening: February 2nd 6-10PM
Una Gallery
328 NW Broadway #117



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Resonance at PDX

I love it when PDX Contemporary teps outside the box and their latest show Resonance by James Girardoni makes use of an interesting cellphone app interface that creates sound and visual resonances.

Resonance | February 2-25
Reception: February 2, 6-8PM
PDX Contemporary
925 NW Flanders



...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 02, 2017 at 14:41 | Comments (0)

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