September First Thursday Gallery Guide
From art superstar Ryan Trecartin to local lights like Victor Calderone, from New York City basements to Oregon beaches, the downtown galleries are seeing summer off with a bang tonight.
Upfor Gallery: Ryan Trecartin
The dynamic digital art gallery Upfor celebrates its first birthday with the Portland premiere of arguably the hottest star in the art world today: Ryan Trecartin. (Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker went so far as to call him “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the nineteen-eighties.”) Upfor’s show includes four movies Trecartin created for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013—CENTER JENNY, Item Falls, Junior War and Comma Boat—that he’s sharing with PDX thanks to a simple request by gallery-owner Theo Townes-Le Guin. This is a do-not-miss.
Elizabeth Leach Gallery: Christopher Russell
In his first solo show at Leach, the international artist seeks to photograph "the end of the world" through pushing the limits of the medium: shooting into the sun, using damaged lenses and broken frames, scratching and otherwise attacking the prints. Perhaps appropriately, in the end armegeddon looks quite heavenly.
Charles A Hartman Fine Art: Blakely Dadson
In Thieves and Charlatans, Portland-artist Dadson playfully mixes memory and imagination in nostalgic pop-culture palimpsests that borrow from Saturday morning cartoons, comics, sci-fi movies, and childlike delight in equal parts.
Froelick Gallery: Victor Maldonado and Matthew Dennison
Mexican-born PNCA teacher Maldonado explores immigrant idendity (he recently became a US citizen) in photographs involving a luchador wrestling mask—either on Victor’s face, or on the actual camera lens, putting the viewer in his place (he recently guest-curated OPB’s State of Wonder). Dennison, meanwhile, uses his hands, rags, and masking tape in place of brushes to create paintings of animals and big box stores.
Blue Sky Gallery: Gesche Wuerful and Joe Vitone
Wuerful's Basement Sanctuaries consists of photos of the basement decorations of apartment superintendents—mostly Latino—in New York City, while Vitone's Family Recordsoffers a series of touching and starkly realized portraits of extended family members in and around Akron, Ohio.
PNCA Feldman Gallery: Abigail Anne Newbold
Massachusetts artist and designer Newbold combines traditional skills with modern materials in an exploration of self-sufficient living through design in a series of "backcountry instructional retreats" called Borderlander's Outfit.
PDX Contemporary Art: Jenene Nagy
This former Portland artist's installation sculptures and graphite works on paper share bold geometric shapes and engrossing shiny surfaces. This exhibition questions the separations between the two art forms.