Willem Volkersz

NW Art Awards: a box of chocolates

The Portland Art Museum's biennial Contemporary Northwest Arts Awards showcase has a lot of tasty art, but the packaging's suspect

 

Go see the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at the Portland Art Museum if you want to see some big strong ambitious works by artists of the region. There are seven artists’ works in this exhibition, which continues through May 28 (one of the artists is a two-person collaborative):

Victoria Haven is the conceptualist in the show. Her largest piece, Subtitles, is made up of ninety-eight woodblock prints installed seven high across a wall over forty feet long. Each panel contains juxtaposed black rectangles, each containing a single word in white. The paired words might have been selected dada-like, at random, for example: wow/ever, fun/closer, goodnight/pennies. Her works here are cryptic. Is the intention poetry or puzzle?

Lead Pencil Studio, Afforest, 2015, Charcoal, graphite, ink and paint on paper, 73 ½ x 96 ½ inches

Lead Pencil Studio, Afforest, 2015, Charcoal, graphite, ink and paint on paper, 73 ½ x 96 ½ inches

Lead Pencil Studio is the artist duo. The works here have a basis in fantasy architecture/urbanism. Lead Pencil Studio is known in Portland for the huge works titled Inversion Plus Minus at the east ends of the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges. In the awards show they are represented by a 25-foot-tall leaning tower built of a variety of materials, two huge framed drawings and a couple of curio cabinets containing crystalline objects reminiscent of souvenirs.

Continues…