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Friday 03.24.17

 

Not NCECA picks

Nothing against the NCECA conference (I've collected ceramics myself since college) but like many arts people I crave variety. That said I am looking for a new coffee mug, which shouldn't be impossible in Mudtopia Portland. Take all that into account and here are my weekend picks:

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Sam Hamilton, Apple Pie (Still)

For her inaugural exhibition at PAM as its newest curator of Northwest Art Grace Kook-Anderson has chosen Sam Hamilton, an artist who has recently made his home in Portland, originally hailing from New Zealand. Titled Standard Candles... the films mark the artists first show in Portland. It is also incredibly significant as Portland really has done a poor job institutionally of paying attention to newcomers... the very people who have redefined this now extremely vibrant and internationally active art city. What's more you will see there is a long run for the exhibition. I think this is a good thing as the APEX series and CNAA's have languished somewhat by not having very clear differentiation programmatically. Hamilton, refreshingly considers himself non disciplinary and shows internationally... another problem the museum has had is with being far too traditional in terms of disciplines and regional identification as belonging to certain institutions or cliques when the vibrancy comes from excellent artsist who just came here to work and show abroad. Basically, artists just dont work/think in proscribed ways (institutions do, often for for grant writing/funding purposes... understandable but it is 2017).

Standard Candles | March 25 -August 12, 2017
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park





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Taj Bourgeois



In true Portland fashion this is a closing party For Taj Bourgeois' hardflip on a sad dog exhibition and a community meetup. It features short films by Bourgeois as well as a community canvas (bring your art supplies or just yourself). The artist also wants you to, "feel free to bring your zines, patches, prints, whatever to share with others and for trades." Taj is one of the most interesting short form video artists in Portland and the Everett Station Lofts has long been a den for interesting developing artists so check it out.

Closing Party: hardflip on a sad dog | Taj Bourgeois
March 24, 6-10PM
Funeral Diner
625 NW Everett #103


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 24, 2017 at 13:52 | Comments (0)


Disjecta reboots with Shell

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Disjecta (behind Bunyan) reboots

The interesting news in Portland today is that Blake Shell is to be the new Director of Disjecta. It is a bit of a surprise as she hasn't been at the Art Gym for that long (though her programming felt less like her previously excellent work at the Archer Gallery, perhaps over the shoulder oversight?). Regardless congratulations are in order to Blake Shell.

Clearly the institution needed a shift and we covered Disjecta with a critical eye since its inception.

The choice of a locally based director is interesting since they seemed to be casting their nets afar... (more)


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 22, 2017 at 11:47 | Comments (0)


Monday Links

No, we don't need celebs to give context to art coverage. It seems harmless but considering the sensational nature of most every other art damage event story it just seems supercilious.

Yes this President (for now) plans to defund the NEA and seemingly every other useful organ of the federal government. Not surprised, perhaps if the country survives all this we can remember how pathetic the Federal support of the NEA already is? Just a semi positive thought... let's remember the lack of things like the nuanced thinking fostered by the arts that lead us to this situation.

ArtFcity reviews the latest Whitney Biennial. Of course it can't possibly capture the grist of the moment, no major museum has the kind of guts that takes but unlike the surveys we've seen of Oregon art it is engaged that there is a certain dissonance. Jerry Saltz wrote about it too ofc. Overall, I see these shows as more of a measuring stick for the calibrating how museums serve their audiences rather than a real state of the art... big festivals seem to be more in tune... perhaps it is the museum industry itself where the curators have lost intellectual edge to the mediating imperatives of directors? The Whitney still has some teeth and that is important. It doesn't have to be perfect but all museums need to find the tensions of the age. I've been thinking of a show that can do what the museums just can't.


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 20, 2017 at 12:28 | Comments (0)


Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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It is a strange fact but Wikipedia editors tend to be men and the site tends to under represent women. For example, it is very true of this wiki on Portland art ecology, despite the fact that a majority of curators, gallerists and critics in Portland are women. To combat this PICA is hosting another of these edit-a-thons and they ask that you RSVP. Also, considering that a majority of the artists, curators, gallerists and critics in Portland are women I also find it odd that men tend to get gallery representation and awards more than the lades do. BTW Last year, every review PORT published was of a female artist and if you ask me who the 10 strongest artists in Portland are 7 of them will be ladies.

Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon | March 18, 10AM
RSVP
PICA (west side)
415 SW 10th Ave, Suite 300


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 17, 2017 at 13:54 | Comments (0)


Post Winter Artist Opps

The Torpedo Factory Art Center has an interesting call for digital and internet based art in their Target Gallery for an exhibition called Glitch. There is a cost of $35 but unlike most of these sorts it seems promising. Deadline: March 26, 2017

The Los Angeles Valley College Art Gallery is accepting submissions. Portland tie-in is that it is being run by Jenene Nagy (who did a lot for PORT in the early days as our first dedicated business manager) so it's worth a shot. $25 Deadline: June 5, 2017

The Henry Moore Foundation has a variety of grants, many are research oriented. Deadline: May 15, 2017


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 14, 2017 at 8:34 | Comments (0)


Early March links

Sorry, I've been under the weather with the virus that has been going around Portland and plan to get out to the galleries asasp. Till then here are some links to get March kicked off.

Here's an interesting interview with Tony Cragg and I like how it ends with a discussion of Art as a defense against mediocrity. To do that you need exhibition venues that celebrate something other than mediocrity though.

The upcoming Whitney Biennial looks at the definitions of "American Art"... which can mean a lot of things. I'm not exactly stoked about this exhibition and usually one can skip the bi-annuals if you are working with interesting artists, getting in studios and seeing a lot of work. They are good for all the people who need cliff notes for what's going on. I'm not being snide, most people need cliff notes for a very complicated and turgid art world. It takes a while to develop one's own eye, measuring sticks and tastes. Perhaps the Whitney's real value is in the way it seems to fail in each iteration. That said do the surveys in the Pacific Northwest even give themselves opportunities to fail in enlightening ways? (answer = no)

The latest Vancouver Biennial contends with the dreams and blights that accompany gentrification, something that would have been an easy subject for any Oregon art survey show but somehow we have mostly avoided it.


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Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 07, 2017 at 20:07 | Comments (0)


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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)


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


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