This month’s art offerings bring some ease to the season. Artists are centering the body at rest with exhibitions that stretch out, explore bodily functions, and grapple with interiority and domesticity. The focus makes sense, given how many of us have drastically shifted our relationships to home over the last two years. (I’ve prioritized in-person shows this month, but if you’re looking for a virtual art-viewing opportunity that touches on these themes, I recommend Owen Grossman’s The House Series on North Pole Studio’s website.)
The natural world is another throughline in April’s art events. With investigations of plant-human interactions, Oregon ecology, and Indigenous perspectives on the natural world, you can opt to explore either interior or exterior realms—or both—this month.
It’s About Time: Films & Videos by Julie Perini
April 8, 7 pm
245 W 8th Ave, Eugene, OR
Film diarist, documentarian, and all-around visionary-with-a-camera Julie Perini heralds the start of ANTI-AESTHETIC’s new time/space programming, a series of art film and video screenings planned throughout 2022. This screening centers a collection of Perini’s experiments in time-based, personal film, and will include intro remarks and a Q&A session with the filmmaker.
Artists Elliott Jamal Robbins and Shelley Turley slog past the ultra-intentional, rational demands of daily life to land somewhere more liminal and indeterminate. The two painters rejoice in the murky underbelly of the day-to-day, pairing imagery of bulbous bugs with blurry compositions of voyeuristic sexuality.
100 Keyboards, by ASUNA
April 22 and 23, 6 pm
15 NE Hancock St, Portland
Trailblazing Japanese sound artist ASUNA prods the possibilities of “interference sound” in this performance. As the name implies, ASUNA uses 100 keyboards to build a “moiré of sound,” weaving a complex web of notes that will shift as the audience moves throughout PICA’s cavernous space.
Lucia Monge Residency Event
April 10, 2:30 – 5 pm
412 NW 8th Ave, Portland
Fans of “green time” will love Lucia Monge’s verdant work. In this interactive event, Stelo resident Monge presents Plantón Móvil, a participatory plant-based project and publication she’s been developing since 2010. Attendees are invited to make seeded paper and engage in a collaborative writing project, which will be followed by a panel conversation between Monge and Plantón Móvil contributors Ellie Irons and Patricia C Phillips.
Diedrick Brackens & D’Angelo Lovell Williams: The Quick
April 2 – June 18
419 NW 9th Ave, Portland (Fri-Sat 12 – 6 pm)
Curated by Ashley Stull Meyers, this exhibition calls upon weaving and sketching as frameworks for exploration of interiority, companionship, and domesticity in Black life. Artists Diedrick Brackens and D’Angelo Lovell Williams compile photographs, sculptures, and weavings as portraits of their own inner worlds, nodding toward “the home” as a formative inspirational space for Black artists.
Carey Wong: The World Transformed
Opening April 2
Portland Chinatown Museum
127 NW Third Avenue, Portland (Fri-Sun 11 am – 3 pm)
Boasting sixteen scenic designs and set models, The World Transformed provides a stunning glimpse into the four-decade career of Northwest-based exhibition designer Carey Wong. Featured designs include Wong’s work for Portland Center Stage’s inaugural season, as well as six designs for shows in Asian or Asian American settings. Texts, compiled research, photographs, and video clips bolster the viewer’s understanding of the concept-to-stage scenic design process.
Dana Robinson: Second Honeymoon
April 2 – May 8
Fuller Rosen Gallery
1928 NW Lovejoy, Portland (Thur-Sun 12 – 5 pm)
In Second Honeymoon, Dana Robinson pairs blurred compositions on dyed silk with a looping audio piece to reflect on Black middle-class life with idiosyncratic humor and organic, mutable color. Pulling inspiration from vintage Ebony magazines and product advertising, Robinson’s ethereal figures float on sheer textiles. Audio recordings of her grandmother’s bell collection resound at regular intervals, punctuating time while drawing attention to the present moment.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
April 22 at 7 pm; April 23 at 3 pm
Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland
Regardless of your feelings about their polarizing new name (is it polarizing if no one likes it?), PAM CUT will screen a buzzy Sundance horror later this month. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is the first feature-length flick from non-binary filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun, a previous instructor in PAM CUT’s Co:Laboratory.
Linda Austin & Allie Hankins: /ə ˈsɪŋgəl pɪŋk klɑʊd/
April 8-10 and 14-17, 8 pm
Performance Works NW
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland
Dancers Austin and Hankins, inspired by visionary surrealists Gertrude Abercrombie and Leonora Carrington, contend with the wobbly, unbalanced world by braiding movement, object, and song. Expect the unlikely in this playful performance.
Carissa Potter Carlson and Kate Pruitt: Wallowing
April 19 – May 12
1933 Fort Vancouver Way Vancouver (Fri-Sat 11 am – 4 pm)
Wading through the muddy murk of grief, Carissa Potter Carlson and Kate Pruitt make the uneasy choice to sit in discomfort rather than turn away from it. The artists explore their desires for comfort and safety in the sculptures and paintings seen in Wallowing. Through this practice, they continue to reach for a profound transformation within the height of despair.
The Presence of Nature
April 8 – May 21
Schneider Museum of Art
555 Indiana St, Ashland (Tue-Sat 10 am – 4 pm)
What happens when a group of artists from diverse backgrounds are wholly immersed in Oregon landscapes? Independent curator Jill Hartz digs into this question through The Presence of Nature, a collection of works by Oregon-based immigrant artists Claire Burbridge, Naeemeh Naeemaei, and Olga Volchkova, as well as Ho-Chunk Nation artist Sky Hopinka and filmmakers Kurtis Hough and Vanessa Renwick. Each artist brings a unique sensibility and background to the topic, informed by botany, wildness, Indigeneity, abstraction, and more.
Corporeal Gestures: Fragmentary Explorations in the Cultivation of the Human Body
Portland State University School of Architecture
Shattuck Hall, 1914 SW Park Avenue, Portland (daily)
Orchestrated by PSU professor Clive Knights, this exhibition invited participating artists to respond to nine “muses”—or bodily necessities—via collage. The 120+ collages included in Corporeal Gestures reflect on the inescapably mortal experiences of breathing, nourishing, sleeping, discharging waste, procreating, resisting the earth’s pull, communicating, aging, and dying.
April 15 – May 8
The Factor Building
228 SE Madison, Portland (various times)
Whether or not you’re a fan of the elusive artist, Banksy’s cultural impact is undeniable. This international touring exhibit envelops viewers in Banksy’s mystique, showcasing over 100 artworks that range from familiar salvaged street art to never-before-seen installations.