August First Thursday Gallery Guide
Mothers hiding from their babies like ostriches, James Lavadour's really good year, ceramics inspired by Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road,' and much more to get you out on this gorgeous night (or month).
The weather is gorgeous and the galleries are open late. Go out and get some art!
PDX Contemporary Art: James Lavadour’s Fingering Instabilities
It’s been a good year for the self-taught Umatilla painter. His work was included in an exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale, is being hung in the Denver Museum of Art, and was just announced to be included in a major US survey of 102 artists at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, called State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. We have the fortune of just having to go downtown to see it.
Elizabeth Leach: Nicola López's FORECASTING an IMPOSSIBLY POSSIBLE TOMORROW
Having done commissions for the Metropolitan Museum of art and the Guggenheim in New York, this artist explores the hubris of man and civilization in her first solo Portland exhibition. In a massive work in the first room, she pins mylar prints of abstract architectural elements to the wall with 400 nails and magnets, building a timeless Towers of Babel. In the back room, similar towers are built and destroyed in a stop-motion animation. Plus, a series of prints that were made using explosives, giving new meaning to dangerous art.
Upfor Gallery: Jack Featherly’s Unpattern
Featherly’s oil and enamel paintings start with images gathered online (a Doonesbury cartoon, a pregnant woman) before filtering them through vivid colors and ASCII text until they are only impressions visible from certain angles.
Blue Sky Gallery: Goseong Choi’s At the At the End of Winter and Laura Larson’s Hidden Mother
Larson collects 19th-century tintype portraits of babies. Thing is, in order to keep the babies still for the long exposure times, the mothers often had to hide nearby, resulting in delightfully absurd, hilarious, and even creepy images where the mother is draped in a black cloth and functioning as the infant’s chair, is hiding behind a stroller with her had popping out, or is otherwise obscured in other beek-a-boo manners worthy of ostriches and cartoons. In stark contrast in the front gallery, Choi combines two sets of photographs about loss: one follows his mother’s grief after losing her mother, and the other express his own sorrow about the end of a relationship through images of burnt fields that feel like etchings of despair. In the back gallery,
Augen Gallery: Ryan Burns's Climate Proxies
In works with titles like "OAK, EST. AGE 94 YEARS, Hurricane Sandy 2012 Prospect Park, NY," Burns prints the cross-section of said tree, presumably destroyed by said disaster, over a collage of maps, wall paper, building plans, and other debris from the site, bringing together both the natural tree rings and the manmade ones in memorial to the loss.
Froelick Gallery: Whitney Lowe's A Road and a Picnic
In his first solo ceramic show, the graphic designer, architect, and former creative director at Weiden + Kennedy draws inspiration from Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic The Road and a sci-fi novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky entitled Roadside Picnic. The black and white glazed ceramic wall-hangings leak teal and rust glaze from holes like mechanical blood from bullet holes (apparently the holes follow the punctuation marks from The Road).