Megan Harned

 

June is upon us and this month marks a full year of monthly gallery guides from yours truly. With any luck the sun will come back out, but don’t forget to stop by some galleries and see some art not matter the weather! I hope you once again find something interesting to see and consider in my totally biased art selection, and if not share what you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

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june.press.small_500Nationale – Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, and Sarah Mikenis— the three young artists on view in Nationale’s group painting exhibition Everything We Ever Wanted— explore the friction between artifice and authenticity as it transpires into explosions of color and pattern appropriated not from magazine pages, but the Internet’s undulating stream of imagery. Opening reception Wednesday, June 3 from 6-8pm. Through June 29th.

unnamed (2)Adams and Ollman – Presents a two person show of landscapes by Joan Nelson and Joseph Yoakum. Joan Nelson emphasizes Oregon geography, while Yoakum’s work features the places he’s traveled to around the world. This will be an opportunity to put the Oregon landscape tradition in broader conversation with ways of looking and defining place through painting. First Thursday reception June 4th. Through July 11th.

 

 

 

yoonhee1Blackfish Gallery – For over a decade, Yoonhee Choi has explored the potential of diminutive, mass-produced materials such as bread clips to express multiple scales of spatial experience and intimate, personal associations. In TRAWLING she continues her sensitive searchings into the possibilities of these materials—trailing a metaphorical fishing net behind her wherever she goes. First Thursday reception June 4th. Through June 28th.

 

 

 

Todd FF Image

 

 

False Front – Todd Johnson’s latest work features malt liquors and cold cuts. On the surface the work looks quite literal, but in person there is bound to a more elaborate metaphor and Johnson’s dark humor will give it an edge of social critique. From here the work gives off a Warholian air, so the work will be undoubtedly interesting in person. Opening Reception: Saturday, June 13, 6 – 9pm. Through July 12th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PICA – Rounding out the month, No Boundaries presents the work of nine trailblazing Aboriginal artists who were inspired by their ancient cultural traditions to forge one of the most dynamic painting movements of recent times. Created at the frontier where Indigenous and Western cultures meet, these paintings speak across cultures, a reminder that contemporary art comes from all corners of the globe. Although rarely seen in the U.S., these artists stand at the vanguard of global contemporary art practice. Mason Erhman Building Annex, 467 NW Davis. Opening Reception June 20th at 7pm. Through August 20th.

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Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have intriguing shows beyond the scope of this brief guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

May is MFA season Gallery Guide

MFA exhibitions around town, Kyle Simon at the Museum of Modern Art and more...

May is MFA exhibition season here in Portland, and the University of Oregon and the Oregon College of Art and Craft are out in full force. Between the two institutions they fill four galleries: White Box, Disjecta, Upfor, and PDX Contemporary.

MFA exhibitions are difficult to curate and difficult to write about because while we want to find something in common between these artists who have been living and working together for years now, there very often isn’t beyond that fact and that they’re all in the same room together. And that’s a good thing because if they were all similar it would have meant their creative vision was subsumed by the group experience, when what they attended the program for is the opportunity to refine their individuality.

I recommend you go to these exhibitions to see what kind of art is coming out of these programs and if you like it. Take the curatorial essays with a grain of salt but do read them. Like an iceberg, a great deal of the artistic process is beyond our view, and these exhibitions reveal a great deal that we might not otherwise see. It’s the coming months and years that will make or break these artists’ careers and the fun is watching their trajectories.

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White box second yearWhite Box – The eight master of fine art graduate students in their second year of candidacy share “an interest in the constructed environment” according to Megan Pounds who wrote the catalog essay, “which naturally manifests itself differently in every practice.” Either the viewer enters an unfolding narrative, or they finds themselves immersed in an environment constructed by the artist. I believe this means there will be some interesting installation work in this exhibition. The artists are Anya Dikareva, Summer Gray, Krista Heinitz, Steven Joshlin, Daniel P. Lopez, Sarah Mikenis, Stephen Nachtigall, and Rachel Widomski. First Thursday Opening Reception, May 7 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

 

Disjecta MFA

Disjecta – The culminating work of ten candidates for the master of fine arts program at the University of Oregon are exhibited without “strict physical boundaries demarcating the end of one artist’s work and the beginning of another’s in this exhibition.” Translation: don’t expect wall labels, but look forward to a map of the exhibition instead. Christie Hajela also discuss the “Derridean conception of différance” in her catalog essay for the show. The artists are Farhad Bahram, Fei Chen, Matt Christy, Alex Krajkowski, Anne Magratten, Andrew Oslovar, Brandon Siscoe, Megan St. Clair, John Tolles, and Jessie Rose Vala. Opening reception Friday, May 8 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

 

Through The Wind Shield by Morgan Buck, 2015; muslin, acrylic, organza, wire mesh, and pins; 85 x 70 x 48 inches. Courtesy the artist and OCAC. Photo by Jason Horvath.

Through The Wind Shield by Morgan Buck, 2015; muslin, acrylic, organza, wire mesh, and pins; 85 x 70 x 48 inches. Courtesy the artist and OCAC. Photo by Jason Horvath.

Upfor and PDX ContemporaryWITH/AND, the Oregon College of Art and Craft’s inaugural Thesis Exhibition of the MFA in Craft. “With” implies merging (coffee with cream) while “And” conveys a quality of autonomous association (salt and pepper). WITH/AND explores the intersectional nature of Art and Craft, revealing a space where ill-defined boundaries touch or blur. Featuring work by Amanda Beekhuizen, Brittany Britton, Morgan Buck, Daniel Harris, Megan Harris, Jason Horvath, Colin Kippen, Nicole McCormick and Amy Turnbull. Opening reception on Friday, May 15 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Through May 27.

 

Kyle Simon at MoMAMuseum of Modern Art – While participating in a residency in the south of France, Kyle Simon became intrigued by the network of archaeological cave-sites in the surrounding areas. The image of cave exploration took root in his psyche, and developed into an exhibition, The Catacombs. Inspired by archaeoacoustics, the study of sound as a methodological approach in archaeology, Simon explores the translation of vibrations into sound, and acoustic content contained in ancient artifacts. The centerpiece of the show is a machine built by the artist to record sound waves onto ceramic objects. Opening reception Friday May 8 at 8pm. Through June 20.

 

An installation of Willem Oorebeek’s Blackouts, as documented in the newspaper, De Witte Raaf.

An installation of Willem Oorebeek’s Blackouts, as documented in the newspaper, De Witte Raaf.

Yale Union – Closing out the month is the first solo exhibition in the United States of work by Willem Oorebeek. The artist reflects on the representation of the human figure in The Vertical Club by cutting out certain personalities from print media, re-printing them lithographically at warped scale, and pasting directly onto gallery walls. Meanwhile in BLACKOUT, he overprints existing publicity images, covers, and pages from magazines and newspapers, with a coat of black lithographic ink. This ink makes the image only visible when the light on the black surface is seen from a particular angle. The suppression of an image’s function or look contributes to making these ubiquitous images more visible, so that we look with greater attention. Opening reception Saturday, May 30. Through July 19.

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Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have intriguing shows beyond the scope of this brief guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

Spring has Sprung Gallery Guide

April is Portland Photo Month, but what's sculpture got to do with it?

April is Photolucida’s 5th Annual Portland Photo Month! There are many fine events and exhibitions to take part in over the next few weeks, so keep in mind the ones I mention here are only the tip of the photoberg!

Newspace Center for Photography is showing 70 portraits by Jake Shivery, North Portland native, to coincide with the release of his first monograph, which shares its title, Contact, with the exhibition series. These portraits of locals “show affection for Portland area [and its] residents.” Fittingly, the photo-oeuvre is being published by a local publishing house, One Twelve Publishing. There will be several events in conjunction with the exhibition, including an opening reception and book release on Friday, April 3. Saturday, April 18, you’ll have an opportunity to “drink with Jake” and support the Newspace mission, which will be immediately followed by a book reading artist that’s free and open to the public. Through April 26.

Re-flection by Teresa Christiansen at Pushdot Studio.

Re-flection by Teresa Christiansen at Pushdot Studio.

Natural Selections, at Pushdot Studio, will be a show of images by Teresa Christiansen from her series ‘Real Artifice.’ Her work grabbed my eye for the way she juxtaposes objects alongside and as a part of photographic backdrops and landscapes. We’re having a sculptural photography moment, but this work stands out for her use of eye-popping color and everyday objects. Opening reception is Friday, April 3 from 6-8pm. Through May 29th.

How Do I Look? isn’t a question we’ve always been able to answer with selfies. The Oregon Historical Society presents an exhibition showcasing the diversity of 19th Century photography. It’s not all pin-hole cameras and hiding under hoods, as you were taught in grade school! The exhibition will include daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, carte-de-visite, cabinet cards, and stereoviews. Don’t know what most of those words mean, and couldn’t tell someone the difference between them even if you did? Great, I’ll see you there! Through May 2.

Back to the present, Camerawork Gallery brings us works by Martin Gremm, who’s concerned with Surveillance. Photography, which originated from our desire to capture with absolute fidelity the world as we see it, also functions as a means of recording our location, dependent as the medium is on time. As our phones, cameras, games, and networks collapse even closer together, how comfortable are we with how our physical selves are increasingly tracked by remote satellite technology and represented as digital traces?  Through April 24th.

In addition, the Pacific Northwest Photography Drawers at Blue Sky Gallery presents its new crop of juried, public archive of original prints by regional contemporary photographers. And keep Thursday, April 23 open for the Photolucida Photo Walk!

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Sex by Hideyuki Katsumata at Hellion

Sex by Hideyuki Katsumata at Hellion

Hellion – presents Hide in My Brain with Hideyuki Katsumata, an artist who “makes art to connect with the universe.” Whether that means something new age and spiritual, or is trendy artists speak, the work on display reflects a unique vision of alien figures that exude sexuality, and are influenced by cubism. In fact, you’re not really sure whether his figures are seducing you, or challenging you to a fight to the death, but they certainly raise the stakes and draw you in. Opening this 1st Thursday, April 2 from 6-8pm.

 

Florem Lacusnymphe by Hannah Newman at Pond Gallery

Florem Lacusnymphe by Hannah Newman at Pond

Pond – The notion that an eternal wilderness, a forever out-of-reach Eden, is waiting for us to arrive to pluck its lush fruit is a concept that drives our most unsustainable development. There will be more, they say, and something more beautiful than what we are destroying for strip malls. Of course they’re wrong. This life on this earth is the beautiful gem we’re supposed to be protecting, but how do we go about our lives with this knowledge and no clear way of taking a new direction? This month, Pond Gallery presents Grove, a curated, six-artist exhibition exploring these perspectives opening on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 and running through May 17th, 2015.

Floor Scraper by Mario Gallucci at OneGrand Gallery

Floor Scraper by Mario Gallucci at OneGrand

OneGrand – Earlier I mentioned that we’re in the midst of a sculptural photography moment. Counterfeit Universe is the third exhibition this month that makes my case for a pattern, and not just mere coincidence. Mario Gallucci’s work is about the copy of a copy, which is a great idea to explore in our 21st century world of endless digital repetition. How do you determine the original, or is the original passe? Do the endless copies strengthen or weaken the idea the original conveys, or is its own repetition idea enough? And how do we deal with all of this when corporations are trying to sell to us enter the picture? While you should be on the look out for “tricks and illusions,” I don’t think these are your grandfather’s trompe-l’œil paintings, even if the work is proudly work in that vein. Opening reception Friday, April 4 at 7.

 

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Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have intriguing shows beyond the scope of this brief guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

 

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In nearly all cases, a museum’s collection will be larger than the space it has to display that collection. This is where curating comes in. Decisions regarding what objects to display and what information to include are made in order to tell a larger story about those objects, whether art or archaeology. How the museum defines curatorial departments, and the financial support and wall space they receive, determines a great deal of what a museum goer will see.

Due to restrictions of funding and space, it’s common for museums to rotate their collections in order both to protect fragile work and to get a greater part of their art on view to their audiences. To do so tells a broader story about the history of cultural production than would be possible with a static hanging.

Which brings us to these 10 artists not currently on view and the question of why they’re not included in the art historical narrative presented at the Portland Art Museum. Household names or not, they were or are significant contributors to the American cultural landscape. We should expect to see them now and again, but it isn’t clear that they get their fair share of attention. An employee of the museum pointed out the majority of these artists’ works in the collection are on paper, thus they fall under the domain of the Graphic Arts curatorial department.

Graphic Arts has one small gallery in the basement of the museum to showcase a historically, stylistically, and geographically varied array of work. In most museums, graphic arts and drawing fall lower in the arts hierarchy than painting and sculpture, and because they are considered second-tier art, they’re relegated to tertiary placement within museums. The result: Artists relevant, even central, to American art history aren’t included in American galleries because they are represented by works on paper.

There’s yet another layer to this issue: you might have noticed that all the artists in the slideshow are people of color. This is intentional on my part because it was while searching for works by Jacob Lawrence, Diego Rivera, and Carrie Mae Weems that I started to notice a pattern: Fewer of these artists’ works are on display than you would expect them to be, if you’re familiar with American art history.

Obviously, works by major white American artists are also in the Graphic Arts department and are rarely seen, but if you look at the museum’s holdings of Robert Rauschenberg, for example, you can see how these structures play out. The examples of his work that fall under Graphic Arts aren’t on display, but Patrician Barnacle (Scale), a sculptural assemblage, is on view!

Why is it that the museum doesn’t have holdings of the artists in the slideshow that fit in with their criteria of “high” art? One reason is that there aren’t (m)any works by these artists that fall into that category, and that has a lot to do with the fact that prints, drawings, and photographs are less expensive to create and reproduce than paintings and sculptures. Artists working before the end of WWII were often employed by the WPA, or made work that was socially motivated. They placed a higher value on reproducibility in order to address a wider audience. It’s not that the museum is deliberately hiding works of art by artists of color. Rather it is how art historical hierarchies map onto social hierarchies to create the “ghettoization”* of these artists and works, as a friend and former museum employee put it to me.

Despite what the museum thinks of works on paper, I expect that a wide array of Portland audiences would find these artists’ work interesting and relevant. I know I do. Which is why I’ve started looking closer at the PAM’s holdings and curatorial habits in a new blog. It’s why I’ve written this post and another. I think the question of who is included in the art museum’s historical narrative is a matter of public interest, because a publicly funded museum serves multiple public groups. An inclusive museum should showcase America’s diversity. To do otherwise it to present a false historical narrative and vision of our future, through the erasure of the contributions of artists of color.

This erasure, this lack of representation is additionally significant because it can discourage people from imagining themselves beyond what the dominate culture teaches them about themselves. For example, how can girls know they can be scientists, artists, and business owners if all they’re allowed to play with are kitchen sets and the only time they see themselves valued is when they’re being sexualized?

Now take that logic and expand it to even more marginalized groups in American society, and that’s why the matter of who is shown as an artist at the Portland Art Museum is a matter of who is allowed to see themselves, and be seen, as artists in Portland.

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Ghettoization The process by which minority groups are forced out of the mainstream aka structural marginalization, which can include physical structures (housing), economic structures (jobs), and cultural structures (mass media) among others.

The Ides of March Gallery Guide

Rosemarie Beck takes over Portland, a group show at Gallery 114 and more...

This month I am excited to share with you an exhibition of the multi-disciplinary work of Rosemarie Beck (1923-2003) hosted in venues across the city. Co-organized by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Portland Community College Rock Creek, and PSU College of the Arts, Lyric Truth: Paintings, Drawings, and Embroideries by Rosemarie Beck includes Beck’s joyous figure drawings, dense and colorful embroideries, and large, rigorously organized paintings inspired by themes from classical mythology and literature.

Rosemarie Beck, Two with Horses, 1964, oil on canvas, 24 x 30in., Collection of Nora Beck, Portland (photo by Loren Nelson)

Rosemarie Beck, Two with Horses, 1964, oil on canvas, 24 x 30in., Collection of Nora Beck, Portland (photo by Loren Nelson)

Beck, the daughter of Hungarian Jewish immigrants, was a painter, needleworker, musician and journal writer with ties to the New York School. While many of her peers opted for abstract expressionism, Beck pursued an independent vision that moved craft traditions out of the domestic sphere and into the artistic. Lyric Truth’s exhibits and PSU symposium bring Rosemarie Beck’s work to the Pacific Northwest audiences for the first time in a widely accessible retrospective at three locations across the city:

Paintings are on display at Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., Portland: February 5 – May 3, 2015.

Embroideries are on display at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 1953 NW Kearney St., Portland: January 14 – March 22, 2015.

Drawings are on display at the Helzer Art Gallery, Portland Community College Rock Creek, 17705 NW Springville Rd., Portland: February 9 – March 13, 20015

In addition, First Thursday, March 5 will feature an all day multidisciplinary symposium, which will explore themes in art, poetry, music and drama in conjunction with the exhibition. Programming includes a panel that will discuss genre and medium, while another will focus on her literary inspirations, and docent led tours of the PSU exhibit will also provide an informal way of engaging with her paintings.

Culminating the day will be a keynote address by Samantha Baskind, professor of art history at Cleveland State University, who will place Beck in the broader context of American art in the late 20th century. The lecture will be this year’s Sara Glasgow Cogan Endowed Lecture in Judaic Studies.

Additional support for Lyric Truth comes from PSU’s Department of History, Friends of History, School of Art and Design, and from Lewis & Clark College.

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Reminder! Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art – “The Sum of Its Parts, Part 2,” opens Wednesday, March 25.

 

Toast of the Town, Trish Grantham, 2015.

Toast of the Town, Trish Grantham, 2015.

Augen – If you think you’d never see an artist with obvious anime influences in their work at Augen, think again. Trish Grantham: Mystics, Stripes, and Thieves is a show of the artists layered works inspired by animals, kawaii, and the ever-present Portland “put a bird on it” in varying degrees of realism. Also a muralist with an Etsy shop, Grantham is one of those artist-of-all-trades who makes their aesthetic widely accessible.

 

 

 

 

 

David Slader, "Anything Not," digital pigment print, 56 x 56 in.

David Slader, “Anything Not,” digital pigment print, 56 x 56 in.

Gallery 114 – A longstanding, artist run gallery recently celebrating their 20th anniversary, presents the figural oil paintings of Joanie Krug, abstract oil paintings of Nathan Rhoads, and all-digital works of David Slader in an exhibit titled, “Exposure,”  March 5 through 28. There will be a First Thursday opening reception for the artists March 5,from 6 to 9 pm.  Gallery hours are noon to 6 pm Thursday through Sunday and 3 to 9 pm First Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Hedonic Reversal No. 12 by Rodrigo Valenzuela, 2014.

Hedonic Reversal No. 12 by Rodrigo Valenzuela, 2014.

Upfor  – Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work addresses issues of income inequality, class and racism both directly and obliquely. The monochromatic photographs of Hedonic Reversal recreate urban decay and ruins in the artist’s studio. Divorced from the social conditions that typically underlie “beautiful ruins” photography, the images question how our aesthetic response is altered by the absence of poverty and suffering.

 

 

 

 

 

An example of Jeff's investigatory approach to life's layers.

An example of Jeff’s investigatory approach to life’s layers.

Duplex – Jeff Sheridan is fascinated by the interior cyclicality of the universe. Using watercolor and ink washes, and inspired by geologic science texts, he attempts to make sense of this huge spinning reality by depicting microcosms, or space stations, or living petri-dishes that peel away the layers to reveal what really makes everything work. Psychic Heaves will have a reception First Thursday, March 5 from 6 -9pm.

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Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have intriguing shows beyond the scope of this brief guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

Black [genus, genesis, genius]

BCC: BrownHall Artists at the Multnomah Central Library

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Black [genus, genesis, genius] is a group exhibition in the Collins Gallery at the Multnomah County Central Library. BCC: BrownHall, Portland’s only black creative collective, put together a ‘curated installation of Black creatives mobilizing visual art, printed materials, movement, and voice to honor and celebrate the intersection of interests, histories, and cultural production of our community.’ Including more than 20 local artists with national reputations, Black [genus, genesis, genius] is full of painting, drawing, poetry, photography, video, performance and more bursting out of the tasteful glass boxes they’re displayed in.

You can only really experience it all if you go there yourself, but here are a few works and their artists to entice you over to SW 10th and Yamhill and up those three grand flights of stairs or elevators.

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Skinny Dip: Lisa Rybovich Crallé at Hap Gallery

Sculptures and collages channeling tropical foliage, coral reefs and Caribbean culture

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I had a huge grin on my face as soon as I walked into Hap Gallery this past First Thursday. My first impressions were of Dr. Seuss, Teletubbies, and Oompa Loompas, which made sense when I learned she “channels her South Florida roots by using colors reminiscent of tropical foliage, coral reefs, and Caribbean culture.” I got to meet and have a great conversation with the artist, Lisa Ryobvich Crallé, who told me a bit about the performance aspect she’s creating to go with the sculptural works. I imagine performers in costumes as equally luminous and strange as her sculptures roaming the fantastical, tropical Eden she’s created. The works on paper are abstract collages of cut-out shapes painted with water color,  and the soft layering of pigments create landscapes full of purple bamboo and cotton-candy pink rivers. Lisa’s getting recognition in shows and accolades so if you’re inclined I’d definitely grab a piece of her work sooner rather than later, and then please invite me over so I can see it!

To see more of her work check out Hap’s website and Facebook, or go see it in person. Skinny Dip, featuring sculptures and drawings by Lisa Rybovich Crallé, is on view at Hap Gallery, 916 NW Flanders Street, through Saturday, February 28th.