The ArtsWatch September First Thursday/Friday gallery guide

Accessing Park McArthur at YU, Ellen Lesperance's debut at A&O, and more...

I hope you all had a happy Labor Day weekend, what with your camping, and beaches, and bbq’s, but now it’s back to the art galleries. There are more than a few significant shows this month so here’s my totally biased gallery guide: September Edition!

Park McArthur recently exhibited a collection of work at Essex Street, NY, under the title “Ramps.”  An arrangement of platforms built to allow her access to places she’s been invited to work were laid out in a minimal composition that directed the spatial concerns of minimalism and the social dialogue of institutional-critique to examine access to institutions professing values of equality. Hopefully we’ll be fortunate enough to see this work here in Portland during McArthur’s upcoming exhibition at Yale Union, a center for contemporary art in Southeast. Opening Friday, September 5th, Park McArthur: An Exhibition will present new and recent work through Sunday, October 18.

Yale Union Stair Access

Yale Union (YU) 800 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

During the several visits I’ve made to Yale Union I’ve had to walk up a flight of narrow, exterior stairs to access the main gallery, which is located on the second floor of the iconic Yale Laundry building on SE Morrison St. Despite having friends who would find ascending those steps laborious, if not-outright improbable, I had taken for granted my physical ability to scale the architectural situation, to access art that was of interest to me, and to interact with a community of like-minded people, for the simple fact that I had not attended with those friends. Until I went about the business of researching Park McArthur’s work, I had not reflected much upon how much access to art spaces I have is due to my able-bodiedness. McArthur attends to disability, care, and correspondence through institutional critique, installation, and new-media.

In addition to McArthur’s new and recent work the exhibition will include a sound piece by Alex Fleming and a collaborative performance piece by Vanessa Place and Fleming. The image on the exhibition page also suggests there will be an alien film screening. Hopefully there are points of access in addition to the stairs I’m familiar with so everyone who wants to see this uniquely powerful art can do so. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 5pm, Park McArthur: An Exhibition opens Friday, September 5, with a reception from 6-8pm, and runs through Sunday, October 19th.

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Ellen Lesperance, House, Harp (Occupy! 2011), 2014, gouache and graphite on tea-stained paper, 29 1/2 x 22 inches.

Ellen Lesperance, House, Harp (Occupy! 2011), 2014, gouache and graphite on tea-stained paper.

Adams and Ollman – Adams and Ollman presents the first solo show of work Ellen Lesperance in Portland.  Including paintings, sculptures, and textiles that pay tribute to direct action campaigns and feminist activist activism, You & I Are Earth touches on ecoactivism surrounding pressing environmental concerns such as global warming, fracking and the Fukuhima Daiichi nuclear disaster. By translating and transforming such source material into something abstract and universal, the works speak to participation and protest, not as not radical, but essential and personal.

 

 

Naomi Shigeta, Pillars, 2014, oil on panel.

Naomi Shigeta, Pillars, 2014, oil on panel.

Augen Gallery -Augen Gallery is featuring Foundations, new work by Naomi Shigeta. In this exhibition, Foundation refers broadly to stable underpinnings that allow for secure internal and external structure and growth. The title also refers to the artist’s personal centering mechan-ism that provides ‘correcting’ when equilibrium errs. Her mark making accumulates slowly over the surface of paper or panel, referencing a continued fascination with time and its immutable ʻmovementʼ in space. Shigetaʼs ability to marry the infinite with the intimate presents expansiveness as a personal and patiently controlled cogitation.

 

 

Lindsay Jordan Kretchen, Ariadne, Ink and watercolor on paper, 2014.

Lindsay Jordan Kretchen, Ariadne, Ink and watercolor on paper, 2014.

Duplex – Lindsay Jordan Kretchun debuts her new series inspired by Chaucer’s poem, The Legend of Good Women. Questioning the language and presentation of so-called “Good Women” through semi self-portraits, Jordan Kretchun asks if “legend” means there’s no such thing thing as a good woman, or if these are tales of good women what is it that makes them so? Is it fidelity, sacrifice to love, or bravery? Ultimately this series of new work shows us that the weird ideas about womanhood and what classifies a woman as a noble being worthy of honor and storytelling are both historical, and cross-cultural.

 

 

 

 

 

Myranda Gillies, New Born Free, 2013, linen, synthetic hair.

Myranda Gillies, New Born Free, 2013, linen, synthetic hair.

Nationale – In the final exhibition at their East Burnside location, Nationale presents Myranda Gillies: Weavings and Sculptures. Her Fades series are representations of sunsets made on looms, and have a pixilated quality through which they mediate between personal and digital forms of a culturally ubiquitous experience. In addition, Primary Motions presents her brass casts of volcanic rock among their natural counterparts to contribute to the conversation around distorted reproduction and visual perception.

 

 

Haley Morris-Cafiero, Wait Watchers: Cop, 2014.

Haley Morris-Cafiero, Wait Watchers: Cop, 2014.

Newspace Center for Photography – For Wait Watchers, Haley Morris-Cafiero photographs herself in public spaces to capture moments when passerby appear to glance at her with censure in their gaze or body language. A single image is often the result of hundreds of photographs taken in-situ and sorted through for unique moments when ‘the shutter, the scene, my actions and their body language align.’ The resulting images are presented to viewers to contemplate the reasons for how we react to people in social settings.

 

 

 

RIP Biggie Smalls, Digital Print, Sophia Chang.

RIP Biggie Smalls, Digital Print, Sophia Chang.

One Grand Gallery – To pay respect to the unlimited way the iconic album has inspired, influenced and affected the artists, designers and makers in our society since its release in 1994, One Grand Gallery present Ready to Die: A Group Show. The work of over 40 artists including Rich Listen04, Scott Patt, and Joel Colley, manifests in painting, sculpture and installation the dynamic lyricism and vivid imagery that Biggie and his masterwork album have inspired. Join One Grand Gallery in celebrating Biggie and 20 years of his work and find your favorite representation of the Notorious B.I.G.

 

 

 

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