Monday, August 03, 2009

August 6 Westside Art Openings

Portland artist Whitney Nye shows large scale collage paintings. Unlike many collage artists, her work has a minimal feeling, repeating small detail into fields of pattern. It has continuity with her last major body of work, while reinventing itself. In this case, the repeat patterns are often just that, sewing patterns, disembodied half sleeves and legs, body panels and the little filler pieces that allow flat fabric to form clothes for curved bodies. In a way it is metaphorical, flat paintings on the wall become multidimensional emotional experiences by the collage of many elements, familiar and novel. The work also includes vintage illustration elements and old books, forming repeating patterns of the familiar repurposed. This work would be at home in the home of any of the many Portland apparel designers; or in a public building art collection of a city focused on attracting and nurturing the apparel business cluster. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st

Art reinvents itself and its relevance continuously. The next generation of collectors require emotional resonance and this show is an example, especially with Portland's music world the finely interwoven with the world of visual art. The Art of Touring is a show of photographs documenting the musical road trips of Portland performers. Artists include Alissa Anderson (Vetiver), Hannah Mae Blair, Sharon Cheslow, Mia Clarke (Electrelane), Jem Cohen, Erika Spring Forster (Au Revoir Simone), Rebecca Gates, Emma Gaze (Electrelane), Megan Holmes, Andy Moor (The Ex), Tara Jane Oneil and Jean Smith (Mecca Normal). The show also marks the release of the same named book, a collection of artwork and writing based on firsthand touring experiences, edited by Sara Jaffe (Erase Errata) and Mia Clarke (Electrelane). The visual art, music and literature collaboration is a great strategy for reaching a larger audience. The gallery also sponsors performances by Sara Jaffe (Erase Errata), Tara Jane Oneil, and Julianna Bright (The Golden Bears) on Saturday, August 22. At Fontanelle 205 SW Pine

Installationist Kim Ray presents "generation" in the Nines Gallery (inside Blue Sky). Her installation is a Fibonacci spiral of balloons precisely positioned and sized. See them as soon as possible, they are slowly deflating. The spiral occurs naturally in things like pine cones and sunflowers, a beautiful exposition is Sir A'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's "On Growth and Form". Inside Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th

The Everett Station Lofts are recommended, as always - bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th. It is their big all building opening, including upstairs.

Malia Jensen is a Portland-NYC artist from an art family here. She does a good job with idea-based sculpture and video, somewhat quiet, sometimes odd and often hard hitting. She is responsible for the giant beaver in the ad agency lobby and the tree that used to be at Seaplane. See her latest in an all too rare Portland show. At Elizabeth Leach 417 NW 9th

Trees are one of the things which define our landscape here, they are woven into our psyche. A lot of paper is made from them and it is paper that decays, as do real life trees, unless carefully conserved and valued. The late photographer and curator Terry Toedtemeier drew upon them as subject, along with our geological landscape. Toedtemeier is largely responsible for the photography collection at the Art Museum, see his practiced eye at work in his own photographs. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders early close 8PM

Fugaku Sanjūrokkei, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, is a famous series of wood block prints by Katsushika Hokusai. Others have reprised his subject. Hokusai made his illustrations traveling to farmlands and fishing villiages, capturing peoples' lives in relation to Mt Fuji, a Japanese symbol of immortality. Tokyo artists Rei, Reijiro Mochizuki, and Hooky, Souichiro Fukuda, traveled 34,033km over 131 days, sketching, photographing and painting what they found, everyday lives and landscapes of Japan today. The result is the book Survival Drive, a show at Compound and live painting opening night. The compound show also includes the artists' travels in the last week in Portland making work about here. It all is a lesson in the importance of authenticity in Japanese culture. Learn. At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th

The Pulliam Gallery has bright work, perfect for summer, by James Boulton, Brad Brown, Linda Geary, Derek Franklin, Nicholas Nyland, Zina Al-Shukri, Josh Ferris, Matthew Gordon and Maja Ruznic. Some are recently minted MFA's from CCA in SF/Oakland if you are curious about happenings there. At Pulliam Gallery 929 NW Flanders early close 8PM

Documentary photography with an artistic focus is always fascinating, doubly so when made in times and places we don't go. That would be the case for Ethan Eisenberg's Holyland, exposed between 1994-2005 in the Gaza Strip. The area is very small, 25 miles by 4-8 miles wide with a very large population, one and a half million. It was governed by the Palestinian Authority in that period but occupied by the Israeli army. See for yourself Eisenberg's observations, he also speaks Saturday at 3 at the gallery with Martin Bogren. Bogren shows Ocean, documenting the first visit by Rejastani children to the ocean to swim. At Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th

This month is a free art history lesson, specifically in photography, at the Charles A. Hartman Gallery. The history of photography has often been the history of painting: landscape and portraits. This show is the portrait branch as illustrated by well known photographers such as Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Corey Arnold, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Harry Callahan, Flor Garduno, Lewis Hine, William Klein, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Daido Moriyama, Arnold Newman, W. Eugene Smith, Frederick Sommer, Alfred Stieglitz, Mark Steinmetz and Issei Suda. That covers a wide range in the canon of photographic portraiture, but necessarily a small sample of photographers. Worth seeing. At Charles A. Hartman 134 NW 8th

Grassy Knoll gallery continues with a fascinating animation by Yellena James. James constructs fanciful worlds, maybe seascapes. She has collaborated with Fashionbuddha studio and sound designer Radium to create an interactive installation driven by your touch. At Grassy Knoll Gallery 123 NW 2nd

Stumptown downtown on 3rd has a great mixed media show. They win the copywriting award of the month. "What is THIS? Where did it come from? How did it get here? How did I get here to look at it? Does it matter? Is it interesting? None of these answers are available in THIS, a photo series by David Neevel. THIS and more of Neevel's work will not be answering any questions in August at the Downtown Stumptown.

David Neevel is from Oregon. For a while now he has lived in Portland, where he works and eats and worries and feels it and tries hard but sometimes gets so tired and would like a hot dog please and misses you, so much. He got a degree in Physics from the University of Oregon but has forgotten a lot of the details. See more of what he's done or demean him anonymously at".

At Stumptown 128 SW 3rd

Longtime Portland photographers Stuart Levy shows Portland landscape panoramas. In Hidden Gems Revealed he mixes it up by making exposures with unusual points of view and light. Named after Stieglitz' famous magazine, the Camerawork gallery has quietly been presenting photo shows for a long, long, long time, it's a great venue if you are a photographer. 2255 NW Northrup