Tuesday, February 27, 2007

March 1 - Westside art Openings

They are up all month, so some rainy Sat, catch the ones that got away...

Sue Coe makes drawings and paintings that are not nice. Perhaps in the genre of Spiegelman's Maus, the only comic to win a Pulitzer. Auschwitz taken by Spiegelman, RCA grad Coe takes on the dark side of capitalism, meat, AIDS, 9/11, genetic manipulation, animal research, apartheid, racism and war. Active since the early 1980's, Coe shows new work in the Feldman Gallery. PNCA NW 13th and Johnson

Augen shows minimalist prints from some well known proponents of the era: Tara Donovan, Sol Lewitt, Robert Mangold and James Siena. Free art history lesson. Augen http://www.augengallery.com/ 817 SW 2nd

Blue Sky shows photos by Paula Luttringer of Argentina. Between 1976 and 1983, the military dictatorship there imprisoned and killed many. Luttringer, imprisoned herself, images some of the 350 secret prisons of the time, interviews with fifty women imprisoned place a life in some of those now empty places. I have seen this show. The prints are of high technical quality, but the images have a low fi feel. They are often just gritty architectural elements in close medium shot with dim lighting. What carries the show are the stories accompanying the photos. My belief is that art's purpose is to create and emotional response in the viewer. These come close to the zone of relying entirely upon reference to other material guaranteed a response. For instance referencing the Holocaust is guaranteed a response, but isn't there a more subtle way to affect people? Perhaps the artist, having personally experienced some of what she images should be granted dispensation for her approach. http://www.blueskygallery.org/ 1231 NW Hoyt

Filmmaker Matt McCormick has lensed graffiti, nutria and tugboats. To me his documentary style quietly lays out a subtle enigma, allowing the viewer to enter and maybe see the world differently. His latest project "Future So Bright" is the result of traveling the West's abandoned landscapes. McCormick's unsustainable human settlements, built on mined out mines, water that wasn't quite there, railroads that no longer run, blue highways barely now on the map and 25 cent a gallon gas are now decaying back into the landscape. The remains represent the nostalgia of several generations, but the process is not limited to the West, or even America. Worldwide, changes in agriculture and in many countries, shrinking populations, certainly the desire to cohabitate in cities, are driving rural abandon. In Japan, towns are just closing. The same in Italy. Rural Ireland. The former Soviet Union. It will be curious to see whether these abandoned places will continue to be a reservoir of emotion, or just something less than a desiccated curiosity.

Also showing are Adam Sorensen's landscapes. In contrast, Sorenson's paintings are truly bright and imbued with surreal energy. Will Sorenson's forests meet the same fate someday as McCormick's abandoned places? Let's hope not!

At Liz Leach http://www.elizabethleach.com/

417 NW 9th

Usually a printmaker, Sarah Horowitz tonight shows intensely detailed sumi ink paintings "Magnolias". Mastering printmaking's deliberate and time consuming process and sumi's instant enlightenment Zen gesture is a rare feat, Horowitz does it. Also showing are two printmakers from Japan, where the art has been refined by centuries and culture. At Froelick http://www.froelickgallery.com/ 817 SW 2nd

Another history lesson are large metal sculptures by Mel Katz. They are painted not bare, his poppiest yet. At Laura Russo http://www.laurarusso.com/ 805 NW 21

Seattle artist David French is known for enigmatic carved wood objects with obsessive but casually weathered appearing painted finishes. Some of his new work translates these thoughtful, maybe soulful finishes to 2d work. At Pulliam Deffenbaugh http://www.pulliamdeffenbaugh.com/ 929 NW Flanders

The Portland Art Center is doing a good job of presenting sculpture and installation; if you make that work, you know the difficulties of finding venues. They have also carved out a good reputation for sound installations. This month they present Alchemy, by Christine Wallers and Steve Peters, involving processed voices. David Lindsay shows a 14 foot spiral frieze painting, Survey (at the edge of the continent). Lou Mallozzi presents Interval in the Light and Sound space upstairs. At the Portland Art Center http://www.portlandart.org/ 32 NW 5th

Everett Lofts are always recommended even if random.

Rake shows what should be a pretty good group show "All Day Snacking" themed on excess, leisure, consumption. Given China's rise, to say nothing of India, maybe it's time to get that in now. Before the apocalypse too maybe, or that's what some say. Also a landscape show by Dane Wilson involving barcodes. At Rake http://www.rakeart.org/325 NW 6th

Mixed media painter Mantecon imbues her paintings with and intensity that shines through the abstraction. Perhaps her p:ear kids and collaborators have found the same facility. I'm curious to see the work side by side. At p:ear http://www.pearmentor.org/ 809 SW Alder

Sarah Boss and Trevor Gray photograph surfaces close up. Boss' are sometimes more abstract, Gray's concrete. The colors are bright, reminding us that not all is grey here, especially up close. Boss is the creator of the Artist Auditions I, a project to make curating and being curated fun. At

Vino Paradiso http://www.vinoparadiso.com/ 417 NW 10th

Nicholas Knapton shows at Valentines: "After graduating from Portland State University in 1994 with a B.A. in printmaking, painting and drawing I moved to Berlin, Germany, where I involved myself with the thriving art scene and cultural phenomenon of the reunification of Germany. During this time I worked on Wrapped-Reichstag: Project for Berlin from Christo and Jeanne Claude, as well as working as a construction worker, silkscreen-printer and working artist" [how PDX]. Now "I am working in an old net-loft built in 1896 that is situated precariously over the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon. The building is an adventure in itself and the work I am doing there reflexes this feeling of adventure. The work is daring and bold combining the history and feeling of the building as well as my experiences as a painter working in precarious conditions, be it in Berlin or Astoria, Oregon. This body of work is about the physical activity of painting and drawing. Allowing my creative impulse to flow freely as possible, combining the figure with abstraction, and emotion with technique are some the of goals of my painting. It is work from the fringes of both west and east concentrating on what is juicy and delicious to me as a painter. Materials and sense of place are these juicy and delicious things. Trying to use both as an influence is what helps me decide which direction to pursue." So at Valentines 232 SW Ankeny

Musee16 is a little off the beaten path. It is making its own way with collage art curated from across the US and Europe. The work is somewhat romantic as is the space, it feels like it would not be out of place in some Paris androisment. Tonight it's the Traveling Menagerie, collaborative works by Katherine Brickman and Kate Mitchell and also works by Noe'lle Knight. The space is also showing free films the third Thursdays at 7:45PM Musee16 http://musee16.com/1005 NW 16th at the corner of Lovejoy in the rock block

Often visual and musical creativity are correlated. Perhaps it is the attraction of deep inside time required for creation. Maybe desiring the accolades of audience plays a role too. I wonder how the fancy hall's polite applause or old school moshing would work to mark gallery-goers appreciation? Tonight musicians Adam Zeek, Curtis Knapp of Watery Graves, E*Rock (whose bright drawings are well known from other 811 shows), Hooliganship (who may be making some kind of viewmaster animation totem pole), Lucky Dragons & the Sumi Ink Club, Phil Elverum, White Rainbow and YACHT make visual. Given the musicians schedules, the opening will be both Thursday March 1 and the regular first Friday March 2. Grass Hut 811 E Burnside

This is totally Backspace. A block away is a factory for game characters, objects and levels. Tonight Liquid Development artists show their work to Backspace's hardcore gamers. It's a fascinating look at the imagination in the machine. While this isn't a Superflat, that Portland supports this creative factory is a good thing. Certainly worth seeing out from behind the controller. 115 NW 5th

Artist and writer Harvest Henderson, who created an installation bedroom in which the bedclothes were sewn from hundreds of hand written lists and notes, combines again art and writing. THISENFRANCHISEMENT are six visual works using text. At Stumptown 125 SW 3rd

hard(ly)soft, curated by Amy Zollinger, with artists: Rachel Denny, Stephen Slappe, Cynthia Mosser, Scott Wayne Indiana, Jennifer Anable, Damon Thompson and TJ Norris opens at the Art Institute gallery space.1122 NW Davis