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Next Wave 2014: New Faces In The Portland Art Scene
Bacon triptych now on display at PAM
Venice Biennale 2013 Part III
Venice Biennale 2013 Part II
A pre-buildout peek at PNCA's new 511 Broadway building
Venice Biennale 2013 Part I
Timberline at 75
Documenta 13 Part III
Last Show at Worksound on Alder
Documenta 13 Photoblog Part II
Documenta 13 Photoblog Part I
North Coast Seed Building Open Haus

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Wednesday 07.16.14

Next Wave 2014: New Faces In The Portland Art Scene

A healthy art scene identifies and welcomes new talent but we should also be keeping an eye out for new presenters, who often have the hardest job of all... that of not only opening new doors... but also keeping them open.

At PORT, we take seriously the role of identifying new talent early on... not simply jumping on a bandwagon after new artists and spaces are established (but I also want to see if there is staying power). Thus, it is time for another installment of our New Faces series, focusing on new leaders to the art scene because it is precisely these early beginnings where being a talent scout can do some good.

Every few years we seem to have a sea change where some familiar spaces shut down (in the last few years it was Worksound, Place and Appendix) and it leaves holes which some enterprising new faces seek to fill (Place was forced to transition to Surplus Space and both Adams and Ollman and Upfor Contemporary have added to the gallery scene but what gets me up in the morning are discovering what those "wildcard", unproven new personalities might accomplish). Although nobody is doing anything the size (ie a large industrial space) and the consistently international scope of Worksound it looks like there is definitely a new crop in the works.


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HQ Objective is (L to R) Johnny Ray Alt and Andre C Filipek

In April 2014 Andre C Filipek and Johnny Ray Alt inaugurated the HQ Objective's project space, titled HQHQ (think HQ squared) in the depths of the venerable Oak Street Building in the heart of Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District. It is an industrial neighborhood where so many alternative spaces and warehouse shows have taken place but HQHQ with its faux wood floors make it feels far more more polished than previous efforts. Filipek and Alt are both recent PNCA grads with an aesthetic reminiscent of the now shuttered Appendix Project Space. What's different is a somewhat more design-y and an early international outlook they have taken, including an artist from the UK in their May show. Definitely a space to keep one's eyes on.

HQHQ
232 SE Oak St. #108





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Lindsay Jordan Kretchun and Jessica Breedlove Latham at Duplex Collective

Duplex is another art and design minded alternative space headed by the whipsmart duo of Lindsay Jordan Kretchun and Jessica Breedlove Latham.

...(more, C3: initiative, Hap & Muscle beach )

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 16, 2014 at 15:11 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.20.13

Bacon triptych now on display at PAM

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Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) installed at PAM (photo Jeff Jahn)

Well, gawkers and serious art fans alike... it is now on display, Francis Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud triptych, as you can see in this exclusive photo (taken just after it was hung but before the small metal foot barrier was put in place).

Some will see this as an art market apocalypse and treat it in much the same way celebrity weddings or major car crashes are covered but be assured we will treat it for what it is, a serious piece of art and yes you should go see it. Seeing it on display at PAM it looks like there wont be an annoying line where you are queued up like some amusement park ride. Besides, Bacon was completely unlike Rothko, who would have abhorred all of this attention and speculation. In fact, Francis Bacon thrived on all of the drama and I see it as keeping the spirit of his work alive (obscene and elegant at the same time).... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 20, 2013 at 16:52 | Comments (1)

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Friday 08.23.13

Venice Biennale 2013 Part III

Summer is winding down and August is a good time to visit other parts of the globe and get a little perspective before what looks like a very busy Portland September. Here is Part III of Mack Mcfarland's photo tour of the 2013 Venice Biennale. You can find parts I and II here.

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Representing Canada Shery Boyle's The Cave Painter features a mermaid in a grotto... which goes from slightly gothic almost cryptlike situation into a psychedelic Lascaux (all photos Mack Mcfarland)

... (more)

Posted by Guest on August 23, 2013 at 18:44 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 08.13.13

Venice Biennale 2013 Part II

Without further adieu here is part II of Mack McFarland's pictures from the Venice Biennale (part I can be found here):


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The Indonesian Pavillion, Albert Yonathan Setawan's Cosmic Labyrinth: A Silent Pathway (FG), Entang Wiharso (BG), all photos Mack McFarland


...(more)

Posted by Guest on August 13, 2013 at 13:13 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 06.22.13

A pre-buildout peek at PNCA's new 511 Broadway building

In 2015 PNCA's new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design will become one of the most transformative building projects in the history of the city of Portland. Generally, we don't cover social events but this project is special. In fact, PORT was the first in the media to see the potential for the project, not just for the school but the city... so when PNCA threw a pre-buildout tour, we thought it was time to share a little more of it with the world.


With Portland's own "Starchitect" Brad Cloepfil on board for the design (see details here) this becomes a watershed philanthropic moment for the city. Photography by Sarah Henderson of sirenapictures.com, for PORT.


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The 511 Building first opened as a Post Office in 1918. Photography by Sarah Henderson of sirenapictures.com, for PORT.


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Customized hard hats for the PNCA 511 campaign, Creativity Works Here.

Posted by Sarah Henderson on June 22, 2013 at 20:32 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 06.19.13

Venice Biennale 2013 Part I

In a world full of major recurring events... only the Venice Biennale holds the record for being a persistent affair since 1895, slightly edging out the modern Olympic Games, which started in 1896 and the first World's Fair in Brussels in 1897.

This year is seen as a kind of return to the event as a catalog of humanity so there is a sort of anthropological thread that runs through the anchor show at the Arsenale (Over 200 countries also have separate pavilions and there are countless other exhibitions both official and unsanctioned as well.

Mack McFarland was kind enough to send us hundreds of snaps, which we will edit down into something more digestible. First off, he's sent us to the Arsenale's "The Encyclopedic Palace" and the curatorial pacing of the exhibition by Gioni really comes through in the photos. Group shows like this are difficult to pull off without looking like the midway of some county fair so you'll see how he used a lot of earthy installations or ones that mimic a crowd of people to set up a kind of festival atmosphere without too much busking. -Jeff Jahn

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(All photos Mack Mcfarland) The keystone of the exhibition is Marino Auriti's The Encyclopedic Palace ... a proposed model from the 1950's for a tower that would house, "The Encyclopedic Palace of the World." The finished building would put the range of human achievements on display.


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Roberto Cuoghi's Belinda (2013)


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Jakub Julian Ziolkowski went all Cthulhu on painting, obliquely presenting mankind as the solar system's nastiest pink fleshy monster


... (more)

Posted by Guest on June 19, 2013 at 9:21 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.28.12

Timberline at 75

Today, that masterpiece of WPA era arts and crafts movement architecture, Timberline Lodge turns 75 years old. Located 4,000ft below the main crater of Mt. Hood, Oregon's tallest active volcano... everything about Timberline is epic and sublime. I've always been a huge fan of "Parkitecture" and Timberline with its massive wooden and cut stone supports is among the best of the breed. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to let the art and architecture speak for itself?

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The stunning central spoke fireplace was never depicted in The Shining. That film only used a few exterior shots at a distance but one can see how Stanley Kubrick... an aficionado of repeating radial symmetry of the first order would have been drawn to this place. Obviously, it's a bit too warm and inviting for that kind of movie but that's why it works so well as a lodge. (all photos Jeff Jahn)

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 28, 2012 at 12:59 | Comments (0)

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Friday 08.24.12

Documenta 13 Part III

Nobody can accuse us of navel gazing. So, just before things really kickoff for the Fall in Portland art scene... the third time is the charm with the last of our Documenta 13 photoblog posts with photos by Portland's own Damien Gilley. You can find Part I and II here.


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Fusun Onur's work comes with a handy name tag in case you were wondering who made this.


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...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 24, 2012 at 18:14 | Comments (0)

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Friday 08.10.12

Last Show at Worksound on Alder

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For five years, 50 shows and an obscene # of artists Worksound has been one of the pillars of Portland's arts community, providing a platform for artists from Portland and abroad that the commercial galleries and traditional non profits simply aren't adventurous enough to exhibit. This will be their last show in their current location. (BTW I am going to mention that spaces like this and Half/Dozen fall between the cracks of RACC's funding structures/strictures and as a city if we want to support/encourage their return in new even improved locations we should fix the issue). I'll have a little photoblog below of exhibitions I remember fondly in this original space. No altspace in Portland can boast the effect Worksound has had in bringing the world to Portland.

That aside, let's celebrate tonight with 3 shows: Empty Landscape by Cris Moss, Mermaid Blues by Hanna Piper Burns and WORKS by Carl Diehl. In addition Tim Sullivan and Chris Corrente will be broadcasting their What is Art? LIVE! show from Worksound tonight at 8:00. What is Art? LIVE? Is a Bay Area Art-themed TV show, performance piece, and video magazine that can be seen on SF Public Access(BAVC), You can stream it here.

WORKSOUND 820 SE ALDER. August 10th - August 30th. Opening: Friday August 10th 7PM


Here is a sample of what they have done over the past 5 years, let's continue this kind of experimental and challenging tradition:

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Nathaniel Thayer Moss from May 2012's Perceptual Control show


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Chinese artist Doris Wong (photo Jeff Jahn)

... (much More)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 10, 2012 at 13:24 | Comments (1)

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Thursday 08.02.12

Documenta 13 Photoblog Part II

At PORT, we try to keep Portland from navel-gazing... so here is some European style international navel-gazing from Documenta 13. In case you missed it part I is here. All photos by Damien Gilley


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Sanja Ivekovic's The Disobedients (The Revolutionaries)... it is a series of stuffed animal donkeys with name tags of visionaries


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Pierre Huyghe provides the requisite bee references...

...(much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 02, 2012 at 15:28 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 07.25.12

Documenta 13 Photoblog Part I

It seems like a lot of Portlanders have made the trek to see Documenta 13 this year, but for those who can't we have you covered. Generally it is billed as the least commercial of all the big art festivals... if you believe that? Really, it is just drier than the competition for attention that is Venice etc. and it only has one curator, rather than a polyphony of curatorial voices.

Since everyone can't go, Portlander and East-West project alum Damien Gilley (during his residency in Europe) took a couple of hundred good photos to share with PORT's readers. It dovetails nicely with the simmering discussion about Portland's approach to international level expectations for art, awards, grants, presentation and the overall support of excellence that has been going on for the past week too.

I always find the presentation and overall intellectual tenor to be the most interesting thing in these Big-ennials. Not that everything here is brilliant, just that a general awareness of events like Documenta in Kassel Germany is a good thing, perhaps next time some Portlanders will be exhibiting? ... as perhaps the first US City to grow up on a civic level, some of our artists are doing things that in many ways competes with and or is far ahead of what I see here (not that there isn't a lot to learn from here). Enjoy Part I and feel free to comment or ask questions about various images (I'll try to dig up answers):


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Fabio Mauri makes the most of the floors (all photos Damien Gilley)


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Documenta gets in on the Occupy thing...?


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Lots of book art like this installation by Amar Kanwar


...(much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 25, 2012 at 16:15 | Comments (1)

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Monday 06.11.12

North Coast Seed Building Open Haus

One of the greatest things about Portland's art scene is the way artists, architects, clothing designers etc. all work in close proximity and perhaps nowhere is that better exemplified than in at the annual North Coast Seed building open house. It's a feel good event and though it would have been nice to have a few more of the higher profile artists with their spaces open, it was definitely a worthwhile event.


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Photographer Tatiana Wills shares the large, well appointed Studio 106 space with Blaine Fontana, Eugenie Fontana and Scott Hewson


...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 11, 2012 at 7:00 | Comments (1)

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Friday 04.13.12

PICA's new headquarters

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PICA's new headquarters

I'm burying the hatchet because this space gives me reason to believe in PICA again but first a little history. In 2004 PICA shuttered its once excellent visual art program, which under curator Stuart Horodner presented the likes of Janine Antoni, William Pope L. Dana Shutz, Melanie Manchot, Jim Hodges, Tony Tasset and Rudolf Stingel... and if that sounds like the most interesting nonprofit exhibition space north of San Francisco it is because it was. What's more the space was large but not unwieldy space designed by Brad Cloepfil, long before... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 13, 2012 at 13:54 | Comments (2)

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Tuesday 02.07.12

New Faces of the Portland Art Scene 2012 Edition

The Portland art scene is ever shifting with new artists arriving every day but it is the often thankless role of being a facilitator (as curator or programming director) that greases the wheels of the machine. For example, if I want to point out an artist I simply write a review but admins are a different story. Also, the level of artistic development of these individuals varies a great deal and is perhaps secondary to the contributions they represent (for now). Also, some new admins like Jeffrey Thomas (Director MoCC) and Bonnie Liang-Malcolmson (Curator of NW Art PAM) have been around for over a decade and have only just recently switched roles (not prominence), so I'll skip over them. I also vet the list for people making an impact beyond expectations (so I don't always pick new hires at PAM, they have to earn it). Also to make my list one has to curate or work on several shows, do more than draw attention to a few of your friends or throw a hipster party... so without further ado here are 9 newish faces you should get to know before they take your job:

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Jason Brown @ Half/Dozen

If you can find Half/Dozen then Jason Brown's face is already familiar to you and your gallery hopping skills are well developed. In his time as assistant at Half/Dozen ... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 07, 2012 at 16:40 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.16.11

Checking in on the Clyfford Still Museum

The Clyfford Still Museum, designed by Portland's Brad Cloepfil and his team at Allied Works Architecture is due to open in November this year. So how does it look? Check out these exterior photos from August by Portlander Tom Byrne. Cloepfil discussed the design with us a few years ago if you want a little more background.

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...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 16, 2011 at 0:30 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.09.11

Taste of TBA

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Opening Night at TBA:11

It is that time of year again, and PICA's annual Time Based Arts festival kicked off its opening night last night. A raucous and symbolic party marked the beginning of the festival and could not have been complete without Patrick Rock's inflatable pink elephant (entered through the anus, of course), the throng of six thousand excited young art appreciators, and the attendance of our dear city's mayor. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on September 09, 2011 at 20:35 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 06.14.11

Weekend spectaculars?

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Rocksbox at night

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is it art?

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 14, 2011 at 9:30 | Comments (0)

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Monday 12.07.09

Maimi Art Fairs 2009 Part II

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MK Guth's work at Pulse (Elizabeth Leach Gallery)

More from ABMB, Pulse, Nada and Aqua

Posted by Guest on December 07, 2009 at 18:39 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.04.09

Miami art fairs 2009: Part I ABMB

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There is something reassuring about the fact that Art Basel Miami Beach continues to happen... and by all accounts this years polyglot of fairs is 100 times better business-wise than last year when the full measure of the financial apocalypse was yet unknown. Certainly, the work looks more pensively existential... and maybe a little more self-conscious of its fragility but that was to be expected. Maybe Miami isn't as all important as it was in the past (that's probably a good thing)... but it's obviously still important. My question is, "are the works displayed and the eyes of the collectors up to this moment in history... is the art at the top the best spokesperson for now?" -jeff jahn

Here's part one of Jordan Tull's photoblog of the Miami art extravaganza;

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...(much more)

Posted by Guest on December 04, 2009 at 16:18 | Comments (1)

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Monday 10.12.09

PAM CHINESE DESIGN PREVIEW: BOLD + RED ALL OVER

The opening of China Design Now ushered in a new era for the Portland Art Museum, one where design and an eye on the future join the museum's extensive and longstanding displays of China's past. As THE social event of 2009 the Patron Preview last Friday showed Portland's engagement as a globally active design city and open minded host.

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Impressive catering and production design by Vibrant Table
Photography by Sarah Henderson - www.sirenapictures.com

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Luwayne "Buzzy" Sammons

... (much more)

Posted by Sarah Henderson on October 12, 2009 at 8:09 | Comments (2)

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Saturday 10.03.09

Rothko skies in Portland

A couple times a year Portland is covered with an intense lavender glow at dusk. It's partially due to the way the west hills block the sunset but allow the reflected light from the clouds. Sometimes it is so intense that all of the dogs, cats, birds and insects go silent. Its effects are not unlike a ganzfield only somewhat more intense because it silences many of the normal city sounds. It happened again today and it always reminds me of Mark Rothko, who grew up here. (read Arcy's historical account of Rothko's Portland years here).

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Portland sky (no color enhancements), see larger image here.

For comparison here is a mature Rothko:

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Mark Rothko, Red on Maroon 1959
Tate © 1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

Now I'm not contending that Rothko was painting skyscapes but it is impossible to think that the father of experiential art would not have been sensitive to this intense effect of depthless yet infinitely deep color. I also discussed this effect in an early Rothko painting of Portland. Ive also suggested we could name the new Willamette Transit/Pedestrian bridge after Rothko, he is after all the city's most famous son (yet is under recognized).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 03, 2009 at 22:59 | Comments (1)

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Wednesday 09.23.09

Looking at New York, New York looking back

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The Highline designed by Diller & Scofidio + Renfro

I recently had another opportunity to take in New York... whose gallery scene is still adjusting to new economic realities (esp. at the mid and lower levels). Overall, it still has the vulnerability I saw last March but seems to have found a bit of a direction... i.e. what some call "minimalism" is the new thing. Also, the mysteries of abstraction were blatantly on display with Kandinsky at the Guggenheim and O'Keeffe at the Whitney. That and art that explicitly looked like it could have been found lining a homeless person's shopping cart seems to be the in joke there these days. So don't worry, in NYC irony is (still) the new money...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 23, 2009 at 13:28 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09.02.09

Sneak peek at OCAC & PNCA's joint MFA in Applied Craft and Design

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 02, 2009 at 14:34 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 08.15.09

Manor of Art at MP5

Last night the Manor of Art and The Grid shows at Milepost 5 both seemed to achieve the desired effect of attendance reminiscent of shows like The Modern Zoo in 2003 and the Charm Bracelet's meeting people in 2002 or the perpetual stew at the Everett Station Lofts. Each exhibition had more than just a few things worth seeing but granted these are essentially group shows that focused more on group than the show. This is not necessarily a bad thing as art thrives on proximity and social interaction. The resulting good energy in an odd smelling building in need of renovation is the sort of thing that opens up new possibilities to artists from time to time.

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For me Cris Moss' video installation in Room 306 was the highlight of the evening.

Though definitely good intentioned but somewhat oddly located on 82nd Milepost 5 is an non profit effort to establish an artist community in a city where artists tend to cluster, divining the next hot neighborhood on their own (in the past 2 decades it has been the Alphabet District, the Pearl District, North Mississippi, North Williams an now near N. Interstate). In fact, other projects like the Falcon Arts Community on N Albina or the Everett Station Lofts seem to be doing well because they are close in. Whereas Milepost 5 has always seemed like a well intentioned herding activity on the outskirts rather than actually tracking the where artists would naturally colonize. That said, if the economy turns around MP5 could be successful... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 15, 2009 at 9:06 | Comments (2)

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Sunday 08.09.09

937 condo art on Street of Dreams tour

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Lobby of the 937 condo (all photos Jeff Jahn)

Generally, I avoid Portland's annual Street of Dreams extravaganza as a decidedly middlebrow McMansion gawkfest (I'm for taste vs size). But this year it's in the Pearl District, making it an urban density showcase in Portland's chief arts district. In fact, it's this massive influx of bare walls that most Portland art dealers have found terribly interesting. Typically, real-estate and the art markets are intimately related and the bad condo market is hurting galleries and artists.

Now critically speaking, none of the art at Street of Dreams is edgy (much of it is tripe) but it is interesting to see some of the good work away of the more antiseptic gallery and museum walls in a home environment. Sadly, most never see collectors homes and these tours are designer choices so they don't have the same idiosyncratic variety of a real collection. Still it is interesting... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 09, 2009 at 20:13 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 07.22.09

Sneak peek at Ziba's new headquarters

The economy might stink but Portland's heavyweight design and branding firm Ziba is very close to moving into their new headquarters in the Pearl District. The architecture, by up and coming local firm Holst Architecture is restrained... looking very Northern European (Aalto in particular).

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Interior view of Ziba's new and not quite finished HQ, this arterial area is called "the street"

People who have been waiting for this building to open wont be disappointed and those who couldn't care less will probably be impressed with its tasteful pragmatic sense mixed with a bit of functional daring. This isn't Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, who were hallmarks of the 21st century boom time, instead the building wears its "responsibility" as a kind of attention getting trait.

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 22, 2009 at 20:14 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 07.11.09

PORTRAITS opening at Worksound

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Last Night's PORTRAITS show at Worksound was yet another boisterous event (with scenesters and some major patrons) at the altspace ensconced in one of the eastside's oldest and funkiest buildings. No traces of cultural doom were to be found here and like many group shows it was a major social event. Also, like most Worksound events it was spilling out into the streets. Sure, commercial galleries have taken their lumps with the crummy economy but Portland has actually been gaining more alternative spaces like Worksound. Here are some PORTraits from the event:

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Once an art dealer, always an art dealer... here the not quite retired gallerist Mark Woolley (and curator of PORTRAITS) closes the deal on a purchase by Linfield curator Cris Moss

...(much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 11, 2009 at 17:32 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 07.01.09

The New Faces of the Portland Art Scene

Whether the economy is bubbling or collapsing Portland continues to attract new faces (often with new spaces). With more and more leaders to our ever growing and evolving scene there is most certainly yet another new wave in effect. Here are just a few of the new faces everyone should have on their radar (I'm certain there are many more... it's impossible to keep track of the in flow so feel free to nominate them in the comments).

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The attention getting Jhordan Dahl caught our attention as an artist in 2007 at the Affair at the Jupiter hotel in Mark Woolley's bathroom (while still a PNCA student) and her most recent curatorial effort White Noise. She's serious, smart and sweats the details with a lot of edge... setting her apart from most of the softer slacker/hipster wannabe artists we spend a lot of time ignoring. I'd like to go on the record stating there haven't been enough young, independent female curators active in Portland... (a few years ago it seemed overbalanced with to many alpha male efforts.. many of which were more alpha male territorial exercises than concerted curatorial efforts). Let's hope she pulls together a solo show of her own work or another group show this summer.


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Justin Bland is a 2008 PNCA graduate who has been very active as a curator of shows like Monster at Appendix Project space and the impressively professional Green Oregon (a much bigger survey like this is in order). In Miami's 2008 art fair he participated in Deitch Projects... (much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 01, 2009 at 15:00 | Comments (2)

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Saturday 06.06.09

STORE For A Month

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Taking a page from Claes Oldenberg, artist and local businessman John Brodie gave a large crowd of Portland artists and collectors reason to celebrate a little, despite the down economy with STORE For A Month. The work was affordably priced with some real gems. Works by Paige Saez (the gold cutouts) and PORT's own Arcy Douglass (the stark black and white paintings) were some of my favorites.

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 06, 2009 at 8:42 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 05.28.09

Seeing the Sun Tunnels another way

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Obviously, looking at land art is very different than your typical gallery experience and the environmental conditions exert a powerful, ever changing influence. Generally that environmental presence is part of the piece and while on a land art sojourn PORT's Arcy Douglass found a particularly dramatic way to take in the normally quiet Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 28, 2009 at 9:09 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 05.12.09

Journey To The Center Of The Universe

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Yesterday, I visited The Center of The Universe, a hilarious Bruce Nauman piece on the University of New Mexico's campus. Never has the search for a large chunk of public sculpture been so amusing. Just image 3 critic and curator types wandering around a large campus asking students about where "The Center of The Universe" is located... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 12, 2009 at 11:09 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 04.30.09

Installation art or architecture?

Ok, yesterday I pointed out how top architects were often doing more intellectually and visually engaged installations than the installation artists who emerged during the past 2 decades have.

To counter my own argument, here are three artists who can and do often out-install most of those architects:

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Cornelia Parker's Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991)

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 30, 2009 at 10:50 | Comments (3)

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Wednesday 04.29.09

Architecture or installation art?

This has been nagging at me for at least 5 years now, but are the best architects today doing better installation art than our installation artists? For your consideration:

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UN Studio

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 29, 2009 at 12:21 | Comments (8)

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Tuesday 04.14.09

CAN can at Creative Capacity Town Hall

Last night's CAN (creative advocacy network) town hall meeting last night, ran long... had some interesting new info and was somewhat encouraging, even in this difficult economic environment. In general (as in past meetings) it was about creating a public funding source (via taxes) that has a chance of being passed. Many are understandably skeptical but this isn't being run like an arts organization, it's being run like a political campaign. Here is a detailed PDF of the plan.

I liked the focus on suitcase funds for artists, greater cultural tourism support and more focus on emerging artists for RACC (that's a major change from RACC a decade ago when I first moved here, but there is always more work to do).
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Pointing out the obvious, while planning to jump start 20 million in funding for the arts. Denver is so high because they passed an arts funding measure similar to what Portland is planning.

Basically, Sam Adams and company laid out a roadmap for increasing public support for the arts in Portland's metro area.... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 14, 2009 at 12:13 | Comments (10)

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Thursday 03.26.09

Zombie Art Crawl - New York March 2009

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Helen Altman's dead eyed zombie goldfish simulacra at DCKT contemporary seemed to capture the lingering mood of vulnerability in New York City recently. It was also a hilarious update on Damien Hirst's shark which rocked the art world in 1992 from London (version 2.0 is at the Met, I'll touch on that later in this post).

If we are talking trends, zombie-like figurative art and prismatic crystalline aesthetics have been big in the art world for years and New York in March 2009 mostly gave us more of the same. It isn't bad but there was zero surprise from young artists and I do see more energy and less group think in LA and sometimes yes...episodically better shows in Portland (our best shows... every month or two are as good as or even more original than NYC's current standards). What was consistently better in New York was the presentation, which beat out LA spaces and generally had less of that annoying overcrowding I often find in Portland spaces (in all but our best shows by mature, fully developed artists). In New York even immature artists try to emulate mature artists by not overcrowding. Maybe it's just that presentation is more important when you have 400 plus serious galleries in one city and the gallery staff insists on uncluttered presentations from young artists?

The other thing I noticed was a general drought of installation art in New York galleries this month. It wasn't until I hit The Sculpture Center that I was happy to find a lot of installation art by younger artists... (much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 26, 2009 at 22:45 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 12.04.08

Art Basel Miami Beach 2008

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Vernissage ABMB 2008. The orange piece is Ai Weiwei's Cube Light, 2008 Meile

All photos Vanessa Calvert

The hall was packed and work was selling at the Vernissage according to Vanessa Calvert, who took pictures of Art Basel Miami Beach's main event fair this year. Will things be as brisk throughout the weekend? Last year ABMB did well while satellite fairs were less robust and I expect that trend to continue, the art world isn't going to simply stop buying art. I suspect it's the relatively expensive young rising-star artists whose markets will get hit hard. The speculation days are likely gone but people who love art still love art and will support it... (more)

Posted by Guest on December 04, 2008 at 10:47 | Comments (0)

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Monday 11.03.08

North Coast Seed Building Open House 2008

Last Saturday night the North Coast Seed building held its anual open house for its many artist studios and creative workspaces (one of several important studio buildings owned by Ken Unkeles), here's a little photo tour:

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Cynthia Lahti...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 03, 2008 at 17:55 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.22.08

Falcon Artist Community & Suddenly Booklaunch

There have been a host of events in the past week, but here are some pics of the Falcon Art Community's open house on the 18th and yesterday's Suddenly: where we live opening + booklaunch & psychedelic sprawl at Reed.

Falcon Art Community

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The Falcon Art Community by developer Brian Wannemaker may be the most successful new attempt at artist live/work space in Portland. Being at the busy intersection of Albina and...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 22, 2008 at 12:56 | Comments (0)

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Friday 04.25.08

They Say Everything's Bigger in Texas

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Dan Flavin, "Untitled" (detail foreground), 1996

Photographic highlights of my recent trip to Houston, featuring the stunning Menil Collection. (much more)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on April 25, 2008 at 8:45 | Comments (10)

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Tuesday 04.08.08

Report From Berlin by Bean Gilsdorf

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clockwise from top L: Gabriele Basch, keychain from Guggenheim Berlin, Raymond Pettibon, Holocaust Memorial, graffiti, Hamburger Banhof visitors

Place is a fundamental concept. There is something about a change in geography and language that reveals to the traveler a whole new way of thinking, a unique aesthetic. "Culture shock" is the relatively pejorative term we use for breaking out of our paradigm of living, but sometimes shock is both essential and welcome; an unfamiliar cultural environment is a wake-up call to those of us operating on autopilot.

Like me, you might be sorry to see this perspective cast aside with a dismissive wave in last week's NYT Style Magazine. A Travel Spring 2008 article proclaimed, "Expats in Berlin have turned the city into one big arty party," as though the best reason to go to an international arts hub is for the revelry. But for artists and arts patrons, the best Berlin has to offer isn't the party, but the culture shock. Here are some of the highlights of what I found there last week:...(more)

Posted by Guest on April 08, 2008 at 19:25 | Comments (4)

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Wednesday 12.12.07

NADA and Scope Fairs 2007

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Bellwether had a successful looking single artist booth

Well Portland's galleries all seemed to do ok to great in Miami last week and the WWeek covered some of the social side of it. As far as the best fair goes Id have to give the award to NADA. For years they have looked like purveyors of minor art world insider jokes, amateur hour scribbles and a general leg humping attitude towards Matthew Higgs. This year they grew up with numerous single artist booths and a strange new preoccupation with modernist abstraction. Be it mirrors with AbEx gunk on them or outright references to Suprematism or De Stijl. What's more it wasn't completely ironic, there was a real love for minimalism, clean lines and rewarding aesthetic experiences.

It's like Dave Hickey has supplanted Higgs (both of whom have very different but somewhat equally narrow aesthetic preoccupations). The Scope fair was somewhat rough going and I'll tackle them last.

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 12, 2007 at 13:45 | Comments (2)

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Tuesday 12.11.07

Art Positions and the Aqua Fairs, Miami 2007

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Portland's favorite chicken accessorizer Laura Lima's pagent on South Beach.

First off there were way too many fairs this year. If the fair isn't more established like ABMB, Nada, Aqua, Pulse, Art Miami and Scope it might be time to reconsider putting on an art fair. Depending how one counted it "21" fairs is simply an awful lot for any human collector to hit. Fairs like Pulse and Nada really know how to attact collectors and that is key for sattelite fairs to ABMB. Some like the Aquas seem to get by on quality, whereas other fairs like Scope seemed to be too big by half.

Here is a rundown of Art Positions, Aqua Hotel and Aqua Wynwood. NADA (which I consider it to have been the clear winner this year for sattelite fairs) and Scope will have another post. (I missed Pulse so take that into consideration... as well as the fact that Ive been very critical of NADA in the past)

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Cris Bruch's sculpture (FG) and Sean Healy's tigers (BG)at Portland's Elizabeth Leach Gallery

...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 11, 2007 at 15:20 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 12.09.07

Art Basel Miami Beach 2007

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Terence Koh at Peres Projects (mirrors were big this year)

As expected ABMB looked the best of all the fairs and the name galleries seemed to do quite well on sales, though NADA significantly upped their ante and was probably the most rewarding edgy fair now that theyve grown up a bit beyond trying to corner the hipster clique art market. Both Aqua fairs looked good for the most part and most of the Portland artists I met milling about Miami had sales to brag about. Matt McCormick has done probably the best (besides Chris Johanson). Overall, sales at the other fairs were significantly saner or worse (ie much less than 2006.. there will be a weeding out of fairs for 2008) and on the whole I felt the general quality/excitment of the work available was lower than in 2005. Scope was pretty terrible with a few notable exceptions... I'll have more on the other fairs. Right now I want to focus on the main event, ABMB:

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Kehinde Wiley & Mickalene Thomas ( a onetime Portlander) at Rhona Hoffman (one of THE best booths this year)

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Catherine Sullivan's B&W video at Catherine Bastide was the best thing I saw in Miami ...(much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 09, 2007 at 1:28 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.18.07

Jupiter Affair '07 - serene and surreal, to 80s music


The Jupiter Affair 2007 comes through for the fourth year-- possibly more serene and surreal, as opening night goers meander through a maze of fresh art, to tunes from the 80s in the background. An opening eve, more conducive to art collecting and buying than last year's Friday bash, which featured local sounds of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. An air of excitement and nervousness as we hang on to the last days of summer. There is something about photographing art and people at this eve affair, as they move in and out of hotel rooms, that puts you in a bit of a Hitchcock-ian meets Body Heat mode of taking photos. The photos are not so much about documenting as they are about catching a feeling or a special kind of light from the eve. A gesture of a hand... a leaning up against a door. A Japanese monk sculpture smiles at you at James Harris. At a next turn, a performance artist in camo is breathing at you through the glass at 65 Grand... I liked not knowing what to expect at this Affair opening.


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Photography by Sarah Henderson - www.sirenapictures.com


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White Columns, from New York

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Under the rain tent...

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James Harris Gallery, from Seattle, features monk sculptures by Akio Takamori.

...(more)

Posted by Sarah Henderson on September 18, 2007 at 21:13 | Comments (2)

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Monday 09.10.07

Radial imagery in Art

Ok, I have a lot of theories about this trend/trope. There is a sense of inward and outward motion in this type of radial imagery. It might signify a way to both leave the world and or to project an outward sense of change? It is both explosive and inward reflective. Either way it is everywhere in art right now and there are plenty of historical precedents. I'll let the images speak for themselves:

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Tomma Abts, Teete, 2003, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. © Jon Pratty / 24 Hour Museum

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Mark Grotjahn Untitled (Green Butterfly Red Mark Grotjahn 04) 2004


...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 10, 2007 at 0:30 | Comments (7)

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Wednesday 07.25.07

Craft PDX Block Party - attracts and engages many

One more DeSoto Project posting from PORT. As you may know by now, the Museum of Contemporary Craft hosted Craft PDX: A Block Party
this past Sunday. This event attracted and kept crowds throughout the entire 7.5 hour event, ending on fine musical notes of 3 Leg Torso.


- Photo essay by Sarah Henderson -

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Posted by Sarah Henderson on July 25, 2007 at 19:39 | Comments (0)

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Friday 07.20.07

From Daisy Kingdom to DeSoto Project: Portland's New Art Cluster


- Photography by Sarah Henderson -


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Blue Sky photography.

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Preparators and contractors continue their install for the re-opening of Museum of Contemporary Craft.

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Charles A. Hartman Fine Art features elegant photographic works by Camille Solyagua.

Posted by Sarah Henderson on July 20, 2007 at 12:49 | Comments (0)

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Monday 02.26.07

Some picks from the Armory Show 2007

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Installation shot-The Armory Show...(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on February 26, 2007 at 13:40 | Comments (3)

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Saturday 01.27.07

Portland's Aerial Tram Opens - Sci-fi transpo in real life

Sci-fi transportation is here-- impressive in form and function. Portland's new aerial tram transforms how we see the city and ourselves. It changes how many will move about the city from this point on.

- Photography by Sarah Henderson -

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...(more)

Posted by Sarah Henderson on January 27, 2007 at 12:10 | Comments (5)

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Wednesday 12.13.06

Miami Art fairs (part 3, favorites) by Amy Steel

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Miami fair favorites...(more)

Posted by Guest on December 13, 2006 at 17:57 | Comments (2)

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Sunday 12.10.06

Miami Art fairs (part 2) by Amy Steel

Portland has a striking presence in Miami. Chris Johanson and Harrell Fletcher are showing at Jack Hanley at the Nova fair. Motel, Small A, and Elizabeth Leach are all at Aqua. PDX is at the Flow fair.

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Chris Johanson's painting at Nova. Nova is apart of the main fair (Art Basel Miami Beach) and encompasses all the spaces on the building perimeter. Its intention is to showcase "emerging" artists.
...(more)

Posted by Guest on December 10, 2006 at 16:11 | Comments (14)

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Friday 12.08.06

Miami Art fairs (part I) by Amy Steel

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The part of Southern Florida im staying in is a little resort town outside of Miami called Hollywood, or "Hollywierd" as my friend calls it. It reminds of me of a David Hockney painting with its pastel colors and swimming pools- yes that tiny white dot in the background is a cruise ship.

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Thus, a pool sculpture by the cuban collaborative
duo Los Carpinteros @ Sean Kelly ABMB.... (more)

Posted by Guest on December 08, 2006 at 10:41 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 10.01.06

An Affair to Remember ...

Jupiter Gala Rocks

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- Photography by Sarah Henderson -
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more ...

Posted by Sarah Henderson on October 01, 2006 at 0:03 | Comments (3)

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Monday 09.18.06

Print That: A Studio Visit with Rae and Mark Mahaffey

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Rae and Mark Mahaffey have been a persistent, if quiet, backbone of the Portland art scene for 14 years and will be the subject in a show of 14 international and local artists at PAM's Gilkey Center on Sept 30th. The 14 artists have been culled from a list including heavyweights like Hans Haacke, Dana Schutz, Tony Fitzpatrick and local legend, Gregory Grennon.

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Master printmaker Mark Mahaffey & masterful pattern artist Rae Mahaffey ... (more)

- All photos by Sarah Henderson unless otherwise noted -

Posted by Sarah Henderson on September 18, 2006 at 0:00 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 05.10.06

An afternoon with Paul Fujita of Zeitgeist Gallery

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Zeitgeist founder and artist, Paul Fujita, spent time with PORT during his last days of living at his gallery, Zeitgeist, in the Everett Station Lofts. At 7 years in this location it's likely the longest lived gallery space in the artist run lofts long history as a cultural incubator. We talk about his life, engagement, skating and art. Next to preparing for a couple of large solo shows into 2007, he's moving into a house with his fiancee and seeking to push himself as an artist possibly more than ever. His unpretentiousness and interest in working with accessible materials such as broken skateboards, acrylic gel and... (this is the first in a series of photoblogs, click below for more)

Posted by Sarah Henderson on May 10, 2006 at 23:54 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 04.15.06

In the future everybody will be famous for 30 minute parking

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I love these telephone pole interventions... a couple of years ago this same pole was covered in odd bits of fake fur. This one just grins and grins and grins...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 15, 2006 at 14:11 | Comments (1)

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Thursday 01.19.06

Three Galleries/Three Artists, photo essay by Sarah Henderson

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Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery features dyanmic subtlety of Icelandic artist, Hildur Bjarnadottir (and her boots)...

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Elizabeth Leach Gallery features backlit installations of Hap Tivey on First Thursday...

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Backspace features installation creations of James Newell, there is more...

Posted by Sarah Henderson on January 19, 2006 at 11:42 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 01.08.06

First First Thursday Photoblog part 3

Continuing across Burnside into SW, I walked along second street to Augen Gallery. It was approaching 9 and things seemed to be winding down. I arrived at Augen and Froelick just as everything was being put away. Augen gallery has a show in the back of Marcel Dzama! I was excited to see it, but they had already lowered the lights in the next room, so instead I looked at Susan Larsen and Patrick Collentine's "Kolorbar, Present Perfect". These are landscape photographs in which a figure holds a seven foot color bar test pattern in front of their body at the same distance in every frame. The test pattern gives a true CMY RGB color reference for each photograph, which I imagine they work from when developing the pictures. The point seems to be that the photograph on display is as true to the real color of the landscape as can possibly be humanly acheived. The name of the show suggests that the photographers are trying to perfect the present, and see the tools of photography as a means to that end. This seems like a laughably futile idea, like the king in "The Little Prince" who commands the sun to rise every morning, and there is something funny about these grand landscapes with someone holding a test pattern over their head in the middle of them. And how does creating a photograph of something perfect it? Perhaps the title refers to perfecting the photograph. A perfect photograph can be thought of as a perfect record of the present.

Stephen Hawking would argue that a photograph is only a good representation of time when you use Euclidean Space-Time, in which time is one-dimensional, a line, and lines are of course constructed of a series of points. Each point could be represented by a single photograph. The perfect model for the Euclidean concept of time is of course the film, a series of still photographs. But in the Einsteinian model, which we now accept as the truth, time is simply one function of larger, inter-related phenomena. In Einstein, space, motion, gravity, mass, energy, and time are all interchangeable, all relative. So Stephen Hawking constructs a model of time as a "light cone" a set of possibilites which can be redirected as any of these factors change.

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Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 08, 2006 at 8:15 | Comments (19)

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Friday 01.06.06

First First Thursday Photoblog part 2

Ok, I'm going to finish my photoblog with this post, and I hope you'll forgive it being silly and jittery. Also, I really like people leaving comments and filling in the gaps in my coverage and or thinking so please continue to do that. Hopefully this will give you an overview of the experience even if it doesn't provide a thorough analysis.

So, this is PDX Contemporary. The new show is by Victoria Haven, entitled "The Lucky Ones". I only got a few images here because the delicacy of the work made it difficult to photograph. In essence, It appears to be intricate, architectural structures drawn or painted on paper. Mostly the ink or paint seemed close in color and value to the paper itself, and while this made it almost impossible to photograph, it made the images seem to float on the page. The work is simple and ephemeral, and communicates the primary rudiments of space without mimesis. When comparing it with Cynthia Lahti (the last show at PDX) it seems a curatorial arc is emerging having to do with delicate, spare drawings on fragile paper...or art as ephemera

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Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 06, 2006 at 13:58 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 01.05.06

Heeeeyyy Yoooouuuuu Guuuuuys!

Seriously, where is everybody? Wow, this was one of the slowest first Thursdays ever! Where are you, fleet footed denizens of the art world? Has your formerly relentless desire for visual culture finally been satiated? Are you sitting at home writing thank you cards? Its really warm out tonight! Luckily you have your little Isaac to do an extensive photoblog for you...

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Posted by Isaac Peterson on January 05, 2006 at 23:45 | Comments (6)

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Friday 12.30.05

Artists using Clothes part 2 - Ghosttown

The new Red 76 project, Ghosttown had its official consolidation last night, launching the Ghosttown clothing exchange.

The space is located at 338 NW 6th Ave., Portland, OR

Hours of Operation Wednesday- Sunday 12pm - 7pm

This address is at the corner of Flanders and 6th in Northwest, an unremarkable retail space temporarily converted into a "store" by Red 76 masterminds Kris Soden and Sam Gould. The space infiltrates its surroundings. It is a quotidian brick storefront with large sheets of paper covering the windows. The way to find it is to look for the tiny drawing of a ghost on the glass door that opens directly onto the corner of the block.

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Upon entering Ghosttown, one discovers that it is indeed a store. Ghosttown operates on an alternative economy, based not on the government supported symbolism of money, but rather on the currency of interpersonal emotional interaction. Which to many, myself included, is distinctly more valuable....

Posted by Isaac Peterson on December 30, 2005 at 15:24 | Comments (1)

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Artists using Clothes part 1- Chandra Bocci

Two significant works, one having just closed and the other just about to open, have involved artists using clothes as a sculptural material or as a vehicle for interaction. These are Chandra Bocci's Clothes Towers and Ghosttown.

You may not have seen the Clothes Towers, because I wasn't quick witted enough to blog it while it was up, but having been around PNCA while it was being constructed I photographed the whole process. So now I can give you some idea of it through a retro-active photoblog, even though it has already been de-installed.

Organized by student services and the student activities council at PNCA, it was designed by Chandra Bocci and cooperatively constructed by the student body at PNCA.

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This installation is easy to locate within Bocci's general artistic phenomenology. Clothes are organized according to the spectrum and attached to freestanding wooden center structures. The towers are arranged in the space organically, giving the appearance of "just having grown there."...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on December 30, 2005 at 15:03 | Comments (0)

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Monday 12.05.05

Art Basel Miami Beach 2005

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Barbara Kruger at Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel isn't all that challenging as far as viewing goes (nearly all of it is museum approved) but it does serve as a good barometer for what is overripe and what art world staples remain fresh. The Aqua and Pulse fairs were a lot fresher and with more interesting work... I'll post on those others plus NADA soon. Let's just say NADA is both trying too hard and not hard enough... Although there were a few good things there. For those who missed it here is a ABMB tour of the better stuff. In person it was a far more punishing viewing endurance experience.

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Two artists that never seem to grow stale are...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 05, 2005 at 2:22 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 11.06.05

1st Thursday and Friday, photoblogging Portland Art Crawls

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Michael Brophy with some of his sumi ink drawings at Laura Russo Gallery. Fresh off several successful museum shows, a CD cover for Sleater-Kinney and a nice review in Art Forum, Brophy went for something more immediate than paintings this time.

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Mona Hatoum's anti war poster on PNCA's walls (the painted rectangles by architect Randy Higgins are code for Rimbaud's "Departures")...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 06, 2005 at 22:34 | Comments (2)

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Tuesday 10.04.05

Catherine Clark Gallery Photoblog by Jen Rybolt

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Posted by Guest on October 04, 2005 at 16:19 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 10.02.05

The Affair Photoblog

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Posted by Isaac Peterson on October 02, 2005 at 10:18 | Comments (0)

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