Horatio Law's DACA Lounge: A Dream Sanctuary
at Archer Gallery last Spring
2018 was a difficult year for the Portland art scene (like the disappearance of Marylhurst University
, talks of school mergers
and the impending downgrade of the Hoffman Gallery
), but it also saw the growth of some new venues and a lot of very strong exhibitions. Here is a look back at our most read posts and what follows here is just a bit of a summary. Yes the in depth "Portlandageddon" post is still coming in 2019 and will discuss where we are and what could or should happen. With that, enjoy the following summary of what PORT covered... sadly I think we all still miss Carol Yarrow
, I still think of her every day.
2018 was an incredibly strong year for exhibitions as our most read reviews indicate:
Hanakago at the Portland Japanese Garden was incredible
Hanakago at the Portland Japanese Garden
showed just why they are consistently the highest caliber cultural cultural institution Portland has. They set the bar because have focus and accept excellence in an unblinking way. Though she retired just weeks ago, their curator, Diane Durston
, has set a consistent and challenging program and will be difficult to replace.
Horatio Law's DACA Lounge was the perfect show at the right time
. It even riled up some of the right wing extremists who just cant accept that the USA has always been a place for newcomers.
Alia Ali's Borderland at Bluesky
was a poignant and complex exhibition.
PORT's Jesse Hayward covered just one powerful painting in an excellent R.B. Kitaj exhibition at the OJMCHE
. Though many rightly mourn the Museum of Contemporary Craft the institution that has taken its place, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education has been an upgrade to Portland's cultural scene at just the right time when white supremacists have even taken to killing innocents in Portland.
This series of reviews garnered a ton of attention... partly because I wrote on the record what a lot of people were whispering about Anne Hamilton's problematic installation
for Converge 45. Look, I am simply harder on MacArthur fellows and don't accept them blindly. Besides, what works in one place changes meaning and effect in another and Converge 45 can build on and learn from this.
Victor Maldonado's Liberation Stories at Froelick Gallery in November
November had the strongest group of exhibitions that I've ever witnessed in Portland
and Victor Maldonado took it all to the mat with a wonderfully hard hitting painting performance.
Comforter by Maria T.D. Inocencio at Hoffman Gallery's Loss of Material Evidence was a stunner
Perhaps the strongest exhibition of 2018, Loss of Material Evidence sadly acted as a capstone to a great 20 year exhibition program by outgoing curator Linda Tesner
. It is great that the Art Gym is heading to the Portland Art Museum but its pretty clear the changes at the Hoffman Gallery really diminishes the Art Scene's ability to mount exhibitions of this scale.
Travel posts showed how Portland isn't just concerned with itself, that's what PORT offers... something beyond regionalism or simple globalism and our posts always have a point of view that looks to build greater context:
Mies van der Rohe staircase and a Calder at the Arts Club of Chicago.
The Midwest is hardly a flyover place as this tour reminded us
What a treat it was to catch Louise Bourgoise at the Pendelton Center for the Arts
WSU's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art with a Mickalene Thomas
, Jeffry Michell and Jim Dine in the background.
WSU's "Red Box" of a museum in Pullman was one of the nicest university museum venues and openings Ive ever attended
. At a time when universities are senselessly dropping the ball on the culture and civics that University galleries afford, WSU... (with the help of a Portland patron) did the right thing.
In fact we were still catching up on 2017's travels, which were even more extensive
The Good News, there is a new venue coming:
Patricia Reser Arts Center at night (art gallery is at the far right and main lobby at left)
The Patricia Reser Arts Center in Beaverton
is a very grown up move for the region's cultural ecology.