Viz Arts Monthly: July looks deliciously scrappy

July features some tasty group shows, a DIY flavor and much more than anyone could possibly see!

The summer vibes have brought another set of lively shows to Portland! If the news has got you down, visit the strange, raucous utopian visions of the future from Killjoy Collective at the Littman Gallery at PSU. If that doesn’t do it for you, you could try to DIY scrappiness of the Germination photo show in the partner White gallery at the same location. Elizabeth Leach and Ori gallery also offer some lively group shows, highlighting the work of two different, vibrant artistic communities. For a more singular vision, try Sarah Mikenis at Nationale or Glenn Brown’s collection of works at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene. And finally, if you want to confront the state of the world head on, National Geographic photographer Randy Olson’s talk at his new show at Camerawork gallery will give you some action items. Stay sunny, Portland!

Sarah Mikenis: Cover Up
July 6 – August 3
Nationale, 3360 SE Division

LA-based painter Sarah Mikenis works from a studio next to LA’s famous Fashion District. The endless rainbow of colorful bolts of fabric propped on the sidewalk, the energy of a manufacturing district, and the very texture of the fabric have all made their way into this new set of visually-complex, fun paintings. The patterns and fabric mix the language of clothing and the bodies that wear it into the palette of contemporary painting. While mainly working in oil paint, Mikenis also uses airbrush, metallic coatings, or ceiling spray to add tactility and depth to the paintings. Some pieces bring to mind the conceptual layering of Laura Owens’ paintings. Once again, Nationale has brought a colorful, engaging set of work to Portland.

M3AT: Fragmented Fruits
July 4th – September 2
Wolff Gallery, 2804 SE Ankeny St

Symbolic, distorted natural imagery bursts from these intense, beautiful paintings by local artist M3AT, the alias of Lorena Guerra Matteucci. This body of work is a cathartic meditation on the “quiet, painful, and often shame-filled struggle with infertility that is often kept hidden” that many women experience. These paintings document a highly personal journey that follows the artist through past pains to confront unrealistic modern beauty standards. M3AT has shows widely on the West Coast and beyond, and has made two murals visible in the Alberta Arts district.

23rd Recent Graduates Exhibition
July 3 – 29, 2018
Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th
This July marks the 23rd year that Blackfish has hosted a curated selection of some of the best recent graduates of Oregon art programs. Featuring artists from OCAC, OSU, Linfield, PNCA, Pacific University, PSU, UofO Souther Oregon U, Willamette U, and more, this show is sure to offer a wide variety of talent and subject matter from emerging young artists.

In addition to the show, stop by the gallery on Saturday, July 7 for a panel discussion about the issues faced by new artists “grappling with the early stages of their careers.” Proper Care and Feeding of Young Artists will address how new artists manage to make a living while making art in 2018, moderated by artist Paul Missal and Blackfish director Damara Bartlett.

Glenn Brown: Transmutations—What’s Old Is New Again
May 18, 2018 to August 19, 2018
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon

This exhibit features eight works by prominent British artists Glenn Brown, selected by private collectors. Brown’s dense, borderline-psychedelic paintings seem to anticipate the nightmarish mishmash of forms that Google’s Deep Dream algorithm creates. Brown appropriates art historical subject matter and aesthetics and distorts them in complex, flowing reinterpretations which appear to be goopy layers of wet paint but are actually meticulously painted, flat paintings of paint-like imagery. This is a rare chance to see a representative collection of work by this influential artist, including one sculpture.

Emergent: group show
July 5-August 26
Ori Gallery, 4038 N. Mississippi Ave

A group show of “ten young queer/trans/artists of color who are taking their place in wider conversations of the art world.”
Alisha Ware, Avonlea Raschdorf, Celestina Nunez, Christian Orellana, Hobbs Waters, Julia Martinez, Paola De La Cruz, Ryo Bangs, Sophia Schultz, and TJ Brown present work

Killjoy Collective: Sun Kittens & Moon Puppies
July 9 – August 2, 2018
Littman + White Gallery, 1825 SW Broadway

The Littman and White galleries at PSU will feature work from a bunch of young artists bringing the voice of their communities to the galleries.

Sun Kittens & Moon Puppies is a wild, playful take on answering the question “What happens when the patriarchy falls?” Members of Killjoy Collective envision “a free and open future wherein united human society compassionately and sustainably co-exists with planet Earth and beyond.” This interdisciplinary exhibition pays homage to radical visionaries of the past and looks at how some of the movements of today can build a new future. Features new works by E.M. Fuller, Maggie-Rose Condit, BriAnna Rosen, and Rachel Rosenkoetter. Rosen will also be releasing a new book as part of the exhibition.

Xander Marrow and Rocket: Germination
July 2 – 27, 2018
Littman + White Gallery, 1825 SW Broadway

Two emerging, local photographers present small-scale photographs “documenting the realities of young DIY artists across mediums.” Marrow creates a map of Portland from his collection of over 14,000 processed film images taken over four years. Rocket’s part of the show presents intimate Holga portraits of burlesque and drag artists, moments before performing at Pacific Northwest cabaret shows.

Randy Olson: Plastic Apocalypse
June 30th – August 3rd, 2018
Camerawork Gallery, 301 N. Graham Street

This is the first show in Camerawork’s new location in the Lorenzen Conference Center on the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Campus. Photographer Randy Olson notes that his photos in this exhibit are part of “a multi-year National Geographic initiative to raise awareness about the global plastic crisis.” A photographer on more than 30 National Geographic projects, Olson has traveled the world, documenting along the way the effects of plastic products and the industry that produces them. This work touches on the shale oil boom here in the US and the ”gold-rush” in third world countries to process plastic waste.

Diverse Voices
July 19 – September 1
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th

Curated by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, this group show features seven mid-career artists from Vancouver, British Columbia. Each artist, in their own way, makes very process-oriented work that involve lots of technical experimentation. Diyan Achjadi, Brendan Tang, and Howie Tsui “combine ancient and contemporary aesthetics in their ceramics,” Jeremy Hof, Angela Teng, and Mark De Long “experiment with the physical properties of materials,” while James Nizam “studies the material and spatial qualities of light” (all quotes from Leach’s press release). This looks to be a truly varied and diverse show featuring a wide variety of materials and methods.

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