Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29-March 4 Reed RAW Art

Reed Art Weekend is a yearly festival of visual and performance art curated entirely by students with a budget. The work of Reed artists shows together with visiting artists. There have often been striking outdoor installations that take advantage of the luscious campus. Always recommended! The full program is at At Reed College 3203 SE Woodstock. Free

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 29 Wicked Conflict and Fixes From History

Let's just say I have and interest in South Africa. South Africa is the most developed country in Africa. What does that mean? Well, Egypt might be number 2. Once upon a time, the country had a legal system and constitution allowing democracy and human rights for about 5 million citizens whose families migrated from Europe. 3.5 million "mixed race" citizens had some participation, their own separate parliament of lessor power. And 31 million Africans had neither voice nor many rights. Beginning a few years earlier, the South African government initiated secret negotiations with opposition groups in the civil war. That war and adjacent actors, like Chief Buthelezi, was very destructive of the country's culture. The result was the release of Nelson Mandela and other opposition leaders from prison, negotiations on a new government and elections for all in 1994. Happy ending. Those negotiations and the work of the president, F W De Klerk and Nelson Mandela enabled the relatively peaceful transition. They were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as a result.

Wicked problems is a friend's name for the most difficult problems facing society and the world. As a strategy, he assigns them to students to explore, maybe to solve. Someone's got to do it.

The Concordia University Wholistic Peace Institute is bringing President De Klerk to Portland to speak on resolving wicked problems, peacefully. He speaks at a variety of events today which you can find here: Peace, out.

February 28-29 How De Body?

"How de body" is a traditional greeting in West Africa equivalent to "How are you doing?" Is It My Body: Conversions, Transgressions, and Representations is a showing of artists' films themed on the body. On Tuesday you can see Black Balls by Bruce Nauman, Hand Movie by Yvonne Rainer, Geography of the Body by Willard Maas and Conversions by Vito Acconci. Wednesday you can see Representational Painting by Eleanor Antin, Fat by Ursula Hodel, Snap by Seoungho Cho, Leg by Denise Marika and Thighing (Blue) by Bruce Nauman. Excellent opportunity to see rare showings from innovators. Not sure about the chair situation. Curated by the Cinema Project at Fourteen30 Gallery 937 NW Glisan 7PM Free

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 27 Cagey Texting History

Are you bored on a Monday? No need in Portland, Oregon, US!

John Cage is a revolutionary and groundbreaking American composer. He invented the idea of random processes in composing music. Pianist Adam Tendler from NY presents Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano tonight. Everyone knows the sound of a piano. A prepared piano is a piano with items added on the top of the strings to alter the sound, creating new resonances or activating adjacent strings. At PSU Lincoln Hall, Room 21. 8PM Free

Photography+Text was a thing. A proponent has been late career artist and Cal Arts prof Jim Goldberg. He speaks tonight. A part of the PSU MFA Lecture Series In the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Portland likes talks. And beer. And beer talks. One series is the History Pub sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society. Tonight writer-artist Arcy Douglas and actor Daniel Benzali talk about artist Mark Rothko (1903-1970). Benzali plays Rothko in the Portland Center Stage play, Red, based on one of Rothko's most progressive periods, something that feels fresh today. At the Kennedy School 5736 NE 33rd 7PM Free

February 26 Biennial Research Brunch Yum-yum

The Portland Biennial this year has upped it's game. It's curated by Prudence Roberts, one of the region's most experienced and learned. She has strong museum experience and was selected to consult on one of the world's great international private collections.

Roberts has curated 24 artists and artist collaborations for the 2012 Portland Biennial of Contemporary Art. The event extends over five venues, each with their own openings; this is the first. Artists here are Future Death Toll, Chris Knight, Cynthia Lahti, Ben Rosenberg, Jack Ryan, Marie Sivak and Dustin Zemel; opening this afternoon at the Marylhurst Art Gym. The full schedule, with artist links, are at There is also a gallery talk here, March 15, noon. At the Marylhurst Art Gym at the Marylhurst University Map 3PM-5 Free

The Research Club, a meetup of artists and creatives, is back with its signature brunch and talks. Today it's comedian and MC for the big upcoming Research Club event, Leo Daedalus; Vivian Hua, traveler-artist and writer; Sara Mirk, journalist, activist and Oregon history comic maker; and Ezra Spier, who will discuss his in-person research on coffee growing, worldwide, and how it gets here, to your cup. Guaranteed interesting! Bring some vegetarian or vegan-friendly food, a plate, cup and utensils, and yourself. Listen to engaging speakers. Network. A project of Research Club at the Collective Agency 322 NW Sixth Ave (between Everett and Flanders), Suite 200. See their website, for details on how to get into the building. Noon-3 Free

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 24 Bike K Free Red Quartet Warming

America is undergoing a manufacturing revival of custom bicycles. A few years ago, the National Handmade Bike Show was here and Show Me Yours was the celebration of local bikemaker participants. The national show is not here this year, but that's no reason not to celebrate local makers who are headed to the show. Makers include: MAP Bicycles, Vendetta Cycles, Ahearne Cycles, Metrofiets, Ti Cycles, Signal Cycles, Ira Ryan Cycles, Pereira Cycles and Cielo. At the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel 1022 SW Stark 6PM-10 $6

Calvin Johnson knew he was in the right place at the right time, Olympia Washington, in the early 1980's. A local u-store allowed bands to rent units as cheap band practice spaces that could be loud. So he started K Records. The K and Olympia gene spread, with a major influence on Seattle, Portland, DIY, lady rock and the world. Johnson continues to play and DJ. He is co-subject of a film, Have You Ever Had a Beard?. The world premiere is tonight. It is based on a conversation between Johnson and a colorful music writer of the same generation, Chris Estey, who shared his own musical influences, intercut with historical footage. Mr K Calvin Johnson will perform and answer questions. At the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard 7:30PM $10

Free is good. The Art Museum usually charges admission, but not the fourth Friday of the month, 5PM-9, thanks to a business donation to keep the doors open. It's also a rare time in the evening for the Museum to be open. Good opportunity to see the Rothko show. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 5PM-9 Free

It's Rothko month in Portland. Mark Rothko is a Portland artist who made a mark in New York. He traveled the 1930's to late '40's through figurative to surealism. His late colorfield minimalism is his best known, including a commission in 1958 to make work for the Four Seasons Lounge in Mies' the Seagram building, famous as an exhibition space for contemporary artwork. In the end, Rothko rejected the commission, on the basis of the space's “pretentious atmosphere”. The paintings survive, and the play, Red at Portland Center Stage explores that period. There is a small collection of his paintings at the Art Museum, and innumerable talks around town. In support of the Red play, the Third Angle plays Morton Feldman’s String Quartet N. 2, a four hour experimental work. The performance is free, though donations are accepted. The audience may come and go as they like. In the Ellyn Bye Studio of Portland Center Stage 128 NW 11th 2PM-6 Free

The Island President is a documentary about the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago, the Maldives. The president took on the existential issue: as oceans rise, the country, where most people live at less than 6 feet above sea level, will simply disappear. You can watch the trailer here. Unfortunately although the president has reduced luxury spending by the executive office by 40X in one year and proposed opening the presidential island as a park, he was forced from office February 7. Sponsored by Mercy Corps at the Portland International Film Festival. Shows in the PGE World Trade Center Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, 2nd level. Advanced tickets likely needed. 6:15PM $10

February 24-26 Maya Deren on Film

Maya Deren, who came to America from the Ukraine, is one of our greatest early experimental filmmakers, beginning in the 1940's. Inspired by poetry, her seminal Meshes of the Afternoon is a self financed art film set in opposition to Hollywood aesthetics. It was awarded the Grand Prix Internationale at Cannes. She went on to gather ethnographic footage of voodoo in Haiti, authoring a book. Her film work there was edited and released in the 1985, as Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. She was a part of the New York modern dance world, working with Katherine Dunham until her death at age 44 of malnutrition.

In the Mirror of Maya Deren is a documentary made in 2002 about Deren. Guaranteed to be fascinating. Film at the PSU Fifth Avenue Cinema. 510 SW Hall Friday and Saturday 7PM, 9:30; Sunday 3. Free for PSU students & faculty w/ID. $2 for all other students & seniors. $3 General Admission. Free popcorn for all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 23 Ode to Dead Plants and Animals

Coal is the prehistoric remain of ancient plants, transformed by pressure, temperature and time. Romans mined coal in Wales. Since, it, and other earthly deposits, have marked the landscape in their extraction. In Wales, it fueled the industrial revolution. It also fueled social organizing and unions. Even today coal is having a profound impact on politics. Artist Catherine Fairgrieve, from Wales, speaks of her research on coal mining as an inspiration for her artwork tonight. She has curated a show Invisible Cities/Hidden Landscapes which opens at the school gallery in March. It will be interesting to see how her work relates to Portland's social practice art. At Oregon College of Art and Craft
Centrum Studio 8245 SW Barnes 6:30PM Free

Matt Hall is fascinated by roadkill and dead urban wildlife. For The Secret Inside, he draws them and he makes dioramas with their skeletons. He has found many on Portland streets and reduced them to their boney frame, posed in his interpretation of their last moment. Very natural history museum. The work is accompanied by a book. At Ampersand Vintage Printed Material 2916 NE Alberta, Ste B. Map 6PM-10 Free

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 20 Axel Void

Axel Void is a great '80's name! I have no idea what this is about, but you are welcome to find out at the webcast to Shattuck. A part of the PSU MFA Lecture Series In the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18 Love Place

The Galleries we love in the mall open their new shows this evening.

The People's Art of Portland in the mall opens their Love Show, loosely themed work by 150 artists on love and love of Portland.

Place continues the shows opened last month. At Place, a gallery on the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place Mall. If the mall appears closed, enter the film theater building adjacent, travel through the tunnel to the Place mall, and take the elevator to the 3rd floor, sometimes the bridge on the 3rd floor is open too. 700 SW Fifth. 6PM-9 Free

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 17 Video Performance Cage

Bruce Nauman is a contemporary artist who often eschews beauty, particularly in his early late 1960's studio films. It's a tactic. And the style is innovative in its era, as video art worked to establish an identity distinct from commercial television, which was pretty smiley face at the time. Nauman, now 71, has a long history of work in many mediums. Reed has a show of that video work in its gallery. A former Reed professor, Robert Slifkin, speaks tonight on Nauman and his work, after there is a reception in the gallery to view the work. The talk is in the Eliot hall chapel, on the second floor. Reed College 3203 SE Woodstock. 7PM Free

Yu has feet in the visual art and music worlds. Tonight, with Fear No Music, and collaborators, they explore the music of seminal composer John Cage. Throughout their space, the works will unfold with the audience freely migrating as they like. More on the Yu website. At Yu 800 SE 10th. Advance tickets at Stand Up Comedy 811 E Burnside. Doors 7PM, performance 7-11. $25, $15 seniors, $12.50 students

Homeland continues events around their Fabbri Series visual show. Tonight it's movement and music performed by Jin Yim and Lucy Camou as Split, Brian Mumford and Ben Kates of Thicket, and Linda Austin. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division Performance 8PM Free

February 16 Civic Design Innovation in 3D

Design concern Ziba now operates far beyond it's original industrial design roots. They are hosts and participants for an example today: GOOD Ideas for Cities. GOOD magazine and CEO's for Cities are sponsoring the event in select American cities. The link details the Portland creative teams and the challenges they address with their substantial design chops. The event tickets are sold out. At Ziba Design Auditorium 810 NW Marshall Map Doors 6PM, talk 7 Free

3D is the Next Big Thing in filmmaking. But it's hard to do well. Not only is it necessary to do all the things right, that can otherwise doom a conventional film; it's necessary to use the 3d to support the narrative without making people sick.

Portland is actually a major 3D center. Pacific University studies 3D display fatigue and illness, one of the three major 3D cinema system makers makes glasses here, and there are several 3D medical display makers here.

So cool Cinema 21 has scored a showing of Pina, a documentary about the late avant garde modern dance choreographer, Pina Bausch, who passed while the film was in production. The seminal director of the film, Wim Wenders will be in attendance at tonight's showings. Details on the Cinema 21 website. (Note the film moves to the Living Room theaters next) At Cinema 21 616 NW 21st 7PM and 9:40 $11

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13 Land Use as Art

We have been an advocate here of expanding the definition of art, tastefully, and nutritiously. The Center for Land Use Interpretation has been doing exactly that since 1994. They started examining the human impact on Western landscapes and documenting it. They've expanded to other American locations. They also work with artists interested in working landscape. It's landscape, natural history and science for artists and the art world. And they are an example of the prime directive to make art useful to the non-artworld. Certainly they fall into the social practice field. Tonight someone from the Center for Land Use Interpretation visits Portland to speak about their work. Likely they would answer questions about their many artist residency programs if you asked. A part of the PSU MFA Lecture Series In the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Friday, February 10, 2012

February 11 Vernacular Photography Painting and Sculpture

Mak Katz and Henk Pender are late career Portland artists. Katz was in the booming art world of New York City in the '50's, relocated, going on to influence several generations of Portland art students with his minimal organic sculptures. Henk Pender grew up in the painterly world of the Netherlands. Coming to Portland with his family, he has used old world techniques to attack realism in portraits and landscapes with an edge. He is known for his oils. This current work are accomplished watercolors, where the transparency of the medium allows the white paper beneath to glow through the image. The artists both speak informally today at the gallery before their works. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st 11AM Free

Vernacular photography is democratic and anonymous. It's a postmodern condition. And it is powered by nostalgia in a visual culture evolving, rapidly, inevitably. Ampersand has created a niche for collecting and republishing vernacular photography. Tonight they sponsor a talk by Tyler Whisnand: Vernacular Photography: collecting, publishing, curating & communication. Whisnand arrives to Portland from the Netherlands, where he curated and published photography books. At Apmersand Vintage Printed Material 2916 NE Alberta, Ste B. Map 7:30PM Free

Thursday, February 09, 2012

February 10 Metropolis and its Anti Unseen

Each individual has a unique neoro-resonance-set, based on experience. Pop culture is an unavoidable part. If you haven't added Metropolis to yours, I suggest it. This film has plenty of my mythological archetypes, stunning visual design and some sympathetic characters. Also very Occupy, 85 years after its making. It was a silent film when made. That has allowed many instances with updated soundtracks. Tonight the Portland Opera Theater musicians and singers create their own soundtrack with the film, based on Verdi's Aida, set in Egypt, which has and had its own Occupy problems. At the Mission Theater 1624 NW Glisan Doors 6PM film 7. $9 advance, $12 door

Kendra Binney is the metropolis antidote with dream-like psychological paintings of a main character and animals, or their traces, wondering. She has a show of that work tonight. At Albina Press, 4637 N. Albina Ave x Blandena Map 6PM-8

You want fresh? You want Foco. Sight Unseen is their show of Matt Miller, Coleman Gocio, Clinton Chambers, Jena Cumminsky and Sarah Meadows. Fresh art school vibe. At Foco Gallery 211 SE Madison Free

February 9 Yacht(s) Vu(e)

Portland's other yacht, the boat project, opens Travis Fitzgerald of Appendix and Gary Robbins of Container Works with if it is a crown it means it belongs to a king. The show takes place on a 65 foot boat moored in the Willamette River near Sauvie Island. At 12128 Labrador Project It's moored by Fred's Marina 12900 NW Marina Way, Portland. Map More detailed directions, don't get lost, on the website. 8PM-11

Portland's mystical concept dance rockers perform tonight at the Wonder Ballroom. What's a mystical concept dance rocker? OK.

Recess Studios have a show of drawer Jenny Vu at PSU, with a reception tonight. At the PSU White Gallery, second floor South end. 5PM-8 Free

Monday, February 06, 2012

February 7 Portland Memorial Curiosities

The Curiosity Club is back for Spring with writer, chronicler, cultural explorer Trevor Blake. He has just published a survey of Portland memorials, Portland Memorials. Blake publishes in the public domain too, the new model. A presentation of the Curiosity Club, you can tune into the free live webcast off the Core77 site or visit the talk and demonstration in person at Hand Eye Supply 23 NW 4th 6PM Free

February 6 Gray Area

Gray Area is Eyebeam West with a social practice inclination. That's actually a great evolution, as technology-based art can easily loose (or never even gain) its soul. Josette Melchor founded Gray Area and speaks tonight, naturally by video conference. Some of her talk includes digital marketing for artists. A part of the PSU MFA Lecture Series In the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Friday, February 03, 2012

February 3 Eastside Art Openings

Recess has a show Hypercorrection with Paul Clay, Sokhun Keo, Krystal South, and Ross Young. Usually I don't have the patience for overly vague artist statements. But this one is more substantial:

"Our attempts at improving ourselves are often founded on misinformation. We temper conventions that marginalize and impair us.

The artist’s use of mimicry, material transformation, and dissimulation to incite critical discourses not only illuminates the ambivalence of salient cultural ideologies, but more subtly infers his/her desire to be perceived a certain way.

Hypercorrection results from the effort to improve oneself on the basis of an incongruent analogy.

While pursuing their conspicuous goals (the myth of cultural authenticity, material/relational value, fetishization of the Other and social mobility), the artists of Hypercorrection inadvertently offer intimate portraits of themselves. The works have the potential to alter the proclivities of the audience, expanding each viewer’s capacity for transformation".

Should be a good show. At RECESS at Oregon Brassworks Building, 1127 SE 10th 6PM-11

Nationale has Luminosis mori, by Portland photographer Wendy Given. Two bodies of work, nicely printed. At Nationale 811 E Burnside Map

Black Box has a group landscape show which covers quite a span of well made work, neither jarringly radical nor namby pamby. At Black Box Gallery 811 E Burnside, Suite 212 upstairs 5PM-8:30 Free

Union Pine has fourteen artist-doers in a show Duo. At Union/Pine 525 SE Pine 7Pm-late Free

Newspace has a very large group monochrome show, curated by the director. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map

Pushdot has selections printed large from portraits released in book form by Portland photographer Tatiana Wills. The portraits are of modern dancers in straight up portrait style style, eventually to become a book. At Pushdot Studio 2505 SE 11th Avenue Suite 104

Half Dozen closes Arteries by Lisa Berry and opens If I Were You:An Apology From Myself To Myself by Gabe Flores. At Half/Dozen Gallery 722 E Burnside (enter on 8th) 6PM-9

Land opens Wild at Heart by Trish Grantham and Lisa Congdon, a romance-themed show. At Buy Olympia's Land Gallery 3925 N Mississippi 6PM-8

The Jupiter Hotel drops its own gallery tonight. The hotel proper was the site of a short lived art show modeled after Art Basil Miami's Aqua. Now they are back with a gallery opening on first Friday. They have repurposed the registration area, now relocated next to the tent area, into a 24x7 gallery curated by an late career Frenchman. That means French curators on both sides of Burnside! The show tonight is painter Christoper St. John. At the Gallery at the Jupiter Hotel 800 E Burnside all hours

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February 2 Westside Art Openings

Joe Thurston has a new show Nothing Leading Anywhere Any More Except to Nothing. At Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Map 6PM-9

Late career artists Mel Katz and Henk Pender have a show at Laura Russo. Katz connected Portland and New York in the 1960's. Without that Portland art would not be what it is today. Pender brought an old school European painting aesthetic to Portland which influenced many, including his family who connected Portland art and LA. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st

For an art history lesson, stop by the David Hockney print show at Augen. Hockney picked up the pop vibe at RCA in the UK, later living in California. Important art person. At Augen Gallery 716 NW Davis early close 8

Blue Sky has two intense and obsessive shows this month. Jamey Stillings became entranced by the construction of a high road bridge over the Colorado River. It is a bypass of the road over the Hoover Dam for post 9/11 security reasons. David Rochkind likewise has documented a small part of the drug war in Mexico. At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th 6PM-9

PDX has a group show of gallery artists Patrick Abbey, Amjad Faur, Jacques Flechemuller, Ellen George, Anna Gray + Ryan Wilson Paulsen, Victoria Haven, Justin LʼAmie, Jeffry Mitchell, Arnold Kemp, Elizabeth Knight, Cynthia Lahti, Nancy Lorenz, D.E. May, Kirsten Miller, Susan Seubert, Jane Timkin and Heather Watkins. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders Map early close 8PM

Hellion has two shows in their new space. In League is formed of pairwise collaborations in which one artist started the piece, shipped it, often to another country, where it was finished by another. The artists are HR-FM +Cole Gerst, Mijn schajte +Rudy Fig, Nishi +Blaine Fontana, Inohaco +Scarecrowoven, Hsiao Ron Cheng +Kalina Tate , Taka Sudo +Michael Amorillo, Yohei Takahashi +Deseo, Nigamushi +Tripper Dungen, Anneli Olander +Naomi Nowak, Michinori maru +Keegan Onefoot, Anneli Olander +Junker Jane. The other show is 1 Hand Cannot Hold 2 Watermelons, a show of illustration style work by Pandemic, Spenser Little and Jaclyn Rose. At Hellion Gallery 19 NW 5th Suite 208. Through the lobby of the arched brick entry, up the stairs and to the back. Very upper floor Japan-style. Map 7PM-10ish Free

Fifty24 has Faux Money Faux Problems by Portland artists. It's a current topic Occupying many. At Fifty 24PDX in 23 NW 5th

Early PSU's White Gallery opens a show by Portland Painter Jenny Vu. It's in the SW area of the second main floor of the PSU Smith Center.

Valentines has Dark Rooms by Matt Connors. Valentines 232 SW Ankeny Art 6PM-late Free

Pulliam Gallery has a group show by James Boulton, Linda Geary and Paul Kottke. At Pulliam Gallery until 8

Encaustic is a big thing in little Portland. Encaustic painter Kelly Williams has pulled together some favorites and also a show of artists using art as therapy. At Portland Center for the Performing Arts SW Broadway and Main.

The $100 show is an out of town illustration show curated from out of town. The work is priced at 100 dollars accordingly. Deets at At W+K 224 NW 13th Map 5PM-9 Free

UofO in Portland has a faculty show, Notes on a Recent Arrival, Carla Bengtson, Craig Hickman, Colin Ives, Dan Powell, Jack Ryan, and Kartz Ucci. At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch 5:30PM-8:30 Free

The Everett Lofts are always recommended - the Everett Lofts 625 NW Everett. Bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th Map