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Thursday 12.07.17

First Thursday Picks December 2017

WigsPortfolio_1994_LSimpson_Blue_Sky.jpg
Lorna Simpson, Wigs (Portfolio) 1994

From the collection of Jordan Schnitzer Blue Sky is concluding the Embodied: Asserting Self exhibition series with an exhibition of Lorna Simpson's Wigs. Focusing on the human obsession with hair as well as ties to self, family and society this is one of her best bodies of work and extremely topical today.

Lorna Simpson | December 6 - 31
First Thursday Reception: December 7, 6-8PM
Blue Sky
122 NW 8th



Obscure_ambient.jpg
Focusing on the way female voices and contributions are constantly mitigated Caitlyn Clester has curated works by; Eden Gately, Kailyn Hooley, Emily Schwartz, Kalaija Mallery,Caitlyn Clester, Jaleesa Johnston, Kimmy Munoz, Anita Spaeth, Helen Hunter and BloC. I like the title of the show and it is certainly a topical subject.

Conceiling the Ambient Obscuring the Encompassing | December 7 - 15
First Thursday: December 7, 6:30-9:00PM
PNCA (in the commons)
511 NW Broadway

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 07, 2017 at 13:27 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 12.06.17

Early December Stories

Brian Libby has expanded an in print article on the restoration Of Pietro Belluschi's Sutor house. It reminds me how Marylhurst University botched their restoration and move of their Belluschi by altering the hearth for inxeplicable reasons. The Sutor House was done right.

The Portland Art Museum will try once again to get approval for the Rothko Pavilion. I'm in favor of this plan despite the museum going with a very risk adverse design. Currently the museum campus is cut in half and disability access is an immense maze and I believe the expanded hours and greater access for pedestrians and bicyclists should be enough. My greater concerns is that the galleries be great spaces for looking at art and that the museum's design is so standard museum when in fact the space called for more creativity. Problem is both city hall and patrons at PAM are so conservative that that kind of groundbreaking design was not undertaken and the resulting back and forth between the community and PAM became fraught. PAM is sitting all of the civic and social faultlines. City Council meets at 2:00 Thursday.

The climate of moral revisionism and censorship is in full effect and calls to remove a Balthus at the Met are just the latest round. Look ... Art isnt supposed to illustrate moral ideals (which change over time). Instead art pulls at the loose threads that make up humanity and our world. Not all of those threads can be noble, that would be a great disservice and art can act as a lightning rod. The activities of individuals are somewhat different from their art but they are related and its that series of complications which gives some art its staying power. If it no longer stays over the long term then history has sorted things out. Politicians are elected, art isnt. Myself, I find Balthus distasteful and would relegate him to the storeroom but not because of a petition. the whole "wisdom of the crowd" idea misses the fact that such crowds usually lack wisdom. Still, perhaps tastes have changed... we no longer eat somewhat spoiled foods like the Romans did.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 06, 2017 at 16:38 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.01.17

Jim Archer 1942-2017

Jim_Archer.jpg
Jim Archer

I was saddened to learn of James (Jim) Archer's death today. He always had that steady form of persistent but serious energy for art and the lives of visual artist that distinguishes true trail blazing champions from mere art supporters. As the first director of what eventually became named the Archer Gallery (eponymously) at Clark College he gave Portland's neighbor to the north its premier visual art space. He was also an avid collector donating 129 works to to Clark College last year, doubling his legacy and cultural footprint in Vancouver Washington, just as the city is beginning to embark on a more ambitious arts agenda. One could rightly say that Archer was a foundational figure for that city and a model for advocacy I wish there was more of. A very active member of the Portland art scene, he will be missed.

... (more, including Clark College's comprehensive obituary)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 01, 2017 at 17:44 | Comments (0)

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