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Best Of Visual Arts 2009

2009 kicked the Portland art scene’s ass—but it kicked back.


Visual Arts
Despite the recession, poor art sales, and the continued dearth of first-rate collectors, this was an astounding year for the Portland art scene. It was astounding because in the absence of any tangib ...   More
 
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

Mel George At Bullseye, Reiner Riedler At Blue Sky

Wishing you were someplace—anyplace—else.


Visual Arts
I’ll never forget a photograph by artist Liz Obert of a man and woman lying on the sands of South Beach yakking away on their respective cell phones. No matter where we are, it would seem, it wo ...   More
 
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

China Design Now Portland Art Museum

PAM’s new show unwittingly plays into the worst stereotypes of Communist China.


Visual Arts
There is extraordinary design work being done in China, but it gets lost in the claustrophobic mess that is Portland Art Museum’s China Design Now. This show—which originated at the Victor ...   More
 
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

The Century Project At Bamboo Grove

Photographer Frank Cordelle wrestles with body acceptance.


Visual Arts
It’s hard to believe that in 2009, the sight of a naked body can still provoke such a spectacular gamut of feelings, from arousal to repulsion. But it can, especially when the bodies in question ...   More
 
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

High Art

Tom Cramer resurrects the psychedelic ’60s.


Visual Arts
Sinuous tangles of vines, flowers, and lichen—dots of gold that gleam in the light, then suddenly congeal into stars and teem with insectlike forms...if Tom Cramer’s latest paintings seem ...   More
 
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

Shits & Giggles At Launch Pad

Jeremy Okai Davis paints the halcyon days of summer.


Visual Arts
Every summer the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays a series of concerts, some of them in an outdoor band shell, under the moniker “The Boston Pops.” In lieu of heavy fare like Wagner and Mah ...   More
 
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

Manor Of Art At Milepost Five

A hundred-plus artists turn a former nursing home into an aesthetic free-for-all.


Visual Arts
Gavin Shettler knows a thing or two about luring scenesters into the hinterlands to look at art. Back in 2003, he was one of the driving forces behind the Modern Zoo, a sprawling if polarizing mega-sh ...   More
 
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

Marking Portland Portland Art Museum

Tattoo art graduates from bohemia to the blue-hairs.


Visual Arts
That tattooing has moved into the mainstream is hardly news, nor is the fact that tattoo artists can enjoy concurrent careers as fine artists (local inkers Dan Gilsdorf and Peter Archer spring to mind ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

The Shock of the New Butters Gallery

Butters introduces four new artists to its roster.


Visual Arts
With scores of local art spaces closing (Quality Pictures), cutting back (Pulliam) and going freelance (Woolley), it’s rare to see a gallery welcome new artists into its stable. But with New Dis ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 RICHARD SPEER

Equivocation (Oregon Shakespeare Festival)

Shakespeare in trouble.


Visual Arts
Oregon Shakespeare Festival accountants, rejoice: In his world-premiere production of Bill Cain’s magnificent Equivocation, artistic director Bill Rauch has found a work that pleases both OSF&rs ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL
 

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