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We Appeal to Heaven

Taking a stroll through Storm Tharp's one-note freak show.

Visual Arts
Storm Tharp's contribution to last year's Oregon Biennial, an untitled floral still life, was one of that exhibition's unmitigated highlights. Almost hidden within its luxuriant oils was a bizarre, be ...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 RICHARD SPEER

Hits of 2006

The crème de la crème of the year that was.

Visual Arts
Sitting on the floor in my home office, looking through hard copies of my 2006 reviews, I'm surprised at how great a year it was for visual arts. On paper, the year looks so much more stellar than it ...   More
Wednesday, December 27, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Oh, Deer God

Organism debuts by killing Bambi.

Visual Arts
A taxidermized deer head bursts out of the wall at the entrance to Jarrett Mitchell's show at Organism, greeting you as you walk through a barbed-wire fence disturbingly evocative of prisons or concen ...   More
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

An Artist Focuses On Artists

Marne Lucas points her camera at Portland art stars.

Visual Arts
There are no December doldrums in the visual arts scene—in fact, this may be the most jam-packed month for standout shows in the entire year. Things kicked off First Friday with Marne Lucas' Sit ...   More
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Walking like an Egyptian

Portland Art Museum showcases ancient Egyptian treasures.

Visual Arts
Twenty bucks is a lot to shell out to see an art show, but The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt is worth every penny. The touring mega-exhibition, now at Portland Art Museum, offers a ...   More
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Radiance Amid the Rain

A bright month in visual arts belies the dismal weather.

Visual Arts
Dreary weather notwithstanding, November has proved a radiant month in the local gallery scene. At PDX, Nancy Lorenz flexes her compositional and material muscles in showstoppers like Night Sky I and ...   More
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Critiquing The Uncritiquable

Two local art shows leave Richard Speer (gasp) at a loss for words.

Visual Arts
Sometimes art is uncriticizable even by a critic. This month at Pulliam Deffenbaugh, Baba Wagué Diakité offers folk-art ceramic sculptures that depict animals and spirit icongraphy from ...   More
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Fluorescent Fabulosity

Viktor Popovic illuminates the Portland Art Center.

Visual Arts
The Portland Art Center needed a showstopper to make up for last month's Catacombs, a labyrinth of low-grade performance art that would have undershot expectations even if a high-school drama troupe h ...   More
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Demons, Silks & Polar Bears

A jaunt through October's art highlights.

Visual Arts
Eighty-eight-year-old Jack McLarty has had a distinguished career, with an exhibition history stretching back to the 1940s and artworks housed in collections such as the Smithsonian Institution's. His ...   More
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

Stumbling onto Beauty

Brad Adkins finds art in balloons—or are they sphincters?

Visual Arts
As Andy Warhol proved, banality does not equal boredom. Depictions of commonplace mass-produced objects like soup cans or Brillo pads needn't stultify the viewer, so long as there's flair in the execu ...   More
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 RICHARD SPEER

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