Tuesday, March 01, 2005


March 2-8

March is photography month for some reason...

Preopenings Gallery500, Leach, Pulliam, Wooley (generally 6-8, with Wooley later)


Gallery 500 in conjunction with PICA presents large scale photos by the Sanchez Brothers from Quebec. Their psychological surealistic scenarios steal Lois Greenbergs's moment-in-time feel and Gregory Crewdson's sense of the cinematic. They also talk about their work Friday 7PM at PICA $10/8 members.

The Liz Leach Gallery shows Dianne Kornberg, whose inkjet printed photos of ocean flora are the result of a residency at the Friday Harbor Washington ocean laboratory. Kornberg is known for her sublime minimal documentary style which allows plenty of emotional space for the viewer's entry. She is also an excellent instructor at PNCA. In addition Leach shows a group photo show including Nan Golden who documented the art rough life of downtown Manhattan in the '80's, launching a genre and Richard Misrach whose large scale landscapes, with and without people, show how much information there is in the photographic equivalent of white space.

Pulliam Deffenbaugh shows Museum biennial artist Chris Timken whose pinhole landscapes alter our perspective of the everyday Northwest environment just enough to get us out of our heads. James Boulton also delivers some new paintings.

The Froelich Gallery shows tintypes by Susan Suebert who is known for dark images of tragic sites. In this show "remember thy mortality" Susan creates Dress-o-Grams, images of children and doll clothes.

The Wooley Gallery presents "One Foot After Another" a group show of photos each one foot square, including Marne Lucas.

Motel Gallery presents appropriately named artist Jill Bliss and her show of painting-illustrations and fabric sculptures "soft rock", also appropriately named. She also has some sweet journals for you to fill. Jill has written the perfect smart introduction, so I'll quit now:
"Motel is pleased to present “Soft Rock”, the sculptures and mixed media works of San Francisco artist Jill Bliss. Exploring the intersection of nature and culture as well as the similarities and differences between the handmade and mass-manufactured, Jill's soft rock sculptures attempt to personify rock forms by recreating them in fabric. Using patternmaking skills acquired during her years in the fashion industry, Jill tailors patterns from individual rocks and recreates them in multiples. Using the same flower pattern fabric in three different colorways she references an updated Japanese rock garden. Accompanying these soft sculptures are hand-drawn individual and group portraits of the rocks, rendered on transfer paper applied to stretched fabric canvases. Bold color, seemingly simple construction, and gentle humor underlie the conceptual framework within the work. Additionally, a modern/vintage aesthetic allows an instant familiarity and empathetic understanding of these natural objects and blends Jill’s twin loves of nature and contemporary popular culture. The result is a quiet, minimalist installation contemplating the false boundaries between nature and culture while revealing the relationships between plants, animals, humans, and technology are actually quite arbitrary, fluid, and mutable."

Blue Sky Gallery presents Charles Traub, NYC photographer, who captures unexpected images on the streets juxtaposing people and the built environment.

Starbucks employees' art show. No predictions on this, but we all have plenty of friends who have worked there. A benefit for the Cascade Aids Project who Starbucks just dropped twentyfive thousand on. At the Weiden and Kennedy building.

I'm not a big fan of Jock Sturges, but if you like his work, there it is at the Butters Gallery. There is also a retrospective of David Leventhal at Augen, all large format - 20x30" Polaroid portraits of dolls and toys, proving there is still subject material to exploit.His cheesecake doll portraits deliver a double entendre which isn't reaching me. Decide for yourself.

No advance information on the Everett Lofts, but often something fine can be found there.


The First Friday/SE galleries have really gotten organized this month, encompassing galleries, studio spaces, home studios and non traditional exhibition spaces. DIY power! Artist/ places/ maps at www.seportlandartwalk.com/

Portland Art Center, 2045 SE Belmont 7-10 installations by John Mace and Suzy Root, kicking off their year long focus on installation art.

I have always been suspicious of celebrity artists. David Byrne did go to art school though, but you won't be able to get your 80's fix from his Friday Art Museum fundraiser lecture, sold out at $25 and up per - so... The March Forth Marching Band plays their namesake birthday bash at the Bossanova Ballroom, costumes, dancing, stilts, fire! Art for sure.

Sunday, Tuesday

Art Museum talk Sunday 2PM SF MOMA photo curator on Diane Arbus and tour of the exhibit with commentary by Terry Todtemier, museum photography curator Tuesday 6-8 side entrance. Not sure what the charges are for these. Arbus, old school photographer, defined a major vector in photo-aesthetics which is also one of Blue Sky's curatorial themes.

Designing Portland

Teruo Kurosaki and John Jay think that Portland is the next Tokyo. Not Tokyo with 34 million people, not Tokyo with nifty trains going everywhere, nor Tokyo with the thousand dollar Kaiseki dinner, but Tokyo, design mecca. And they are doing something about it.

For starters they pulled together the Japanese Consul, art, business and language students, Japanese ex-pats, PSU, PNCA and Portland's design powerhouses Ziba, Wieden and Kennedy and Nike. Their Friday program at PNCA mixed video, slides, a DJ and a whole lot of vision for Portland's creative community.

Even if you don't know it, most of you are living in Portland's "creative economy" a'la Richard Florida. Perhaps you have heard of the City of Portland's efforts to find a way of promoting it, mostly talk to date. Kurosaki and Jay propose a regular interchange of designers between the cities and maybe a Portland version of the Tokyo Designers Block, a week long international designer's jam he likened to a designers' Burning Man Festival.

"Writers get writer's block. In the same way, designers at the end of the 20th century who designed things only for money developed, in a sense, a designer's block." Kurosaki's projects "break down the block." Occupying galleries, theatres, parking lots, abandoned apartments, restaurants, , embassies, public squares, an old elementary school and a geodesic dome (which got him into trouble with the building department), Kurosaki mixed Tokyo street art, DIY artists, corporate creatives, DJ's and VJ's into his design stew. He also launched the careers of design superstars Philippe Starck and Marc Newson, heard of them?

Can it be done here?

It depends on you.