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Nepenthes and Inversion: +/-

New public art pieces inspire, infuriate.

Visual Arts
Two newish public-art sculptures have appeared in Portland in recent months. One is on the west side, the other on the east. And one is an aesthetic atrocity, the other an epiphany. First, the   More
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Reiterations and Rifts

Pretty but deadly.

Visual Arts
Toxins and microbes and spores traveling through the air, wreaking havoc: It’s a phenomenon as ancient as the great historic plagues and as current as ricin-laced letters. But put any of these   More
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Off the Plain

The plain! The plain!

Visual Arts
Whether in his photography, curatorial endeavors or seminal gallery, Soundvision, TJ Norris has always been a reliable purveyor of conceptually and visually elegant projects with a minimalist be   More
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 RICHARD SPEER


Showcase pushes photos forward.

Visual Arts
Of the many galleries participating in Photolucida, Portland’s monthlong photography showcase, PDX Contemporary Art’s three-person show is the most effective. Elegantly and understatedly, it   More
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Stephen Scott Smith, Seeyouyousee

Grab your mother’s keys, we’re leaving.

Visual Arts
If you grew up in suburbia, the hairs on the back of your neck are apt to stand up as you make your way through the creepy Proustian labyrinth that is Stephen Scott Smith’s Seeyouyousee. The i   More
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Kris Hargis, Vale la Pena

Inside, outside, inside...

Visual Arts
One of the basic questions artists face is whether to focus on social, political and spiritual concerns or the narrower purview of their own inner worlds. From antiquity to the Romantic period,    More
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Mariana Tres, Celestial Clockwork

Who cares what makes it tick?

Visual Arts
On the face of it, Mariana Tres’ Celestial Clockwork isn’t much to look at. Upon further investigation, it also isn’t much to think about, despite a tedious trail of conceptual breadcrumbs t   More
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Art Fare: Photographer Andy Freeberg

Argh, the Koons figures are soft?

Visual Arts
Sun and sand, lean bodies and fat checkbooks: This is the chichi art fair known as Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s where art-world cognoscenti descend each December, hungry for wheeling and dealin   More
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 RICHARD SPEER

Best Portland Art of the Year 2012

Favorite shows and pieces from 2012.

Visual Arts
The Portland art scene lost some important venues in 2012. After mounting some of the strongest shows in recent memory, Victory Gallery closed its doors due to economic necessities. One of the P   More
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 RICHARD SPEER

G. Lewis Clevenger and Brenden Clenaghen

Visual Arts
Some artists spend years developing a distinctive style, only to walk away from it once they’ve found it. Think of the late Philip Guston, who infamously abandoned abstract expressionism in fa   More
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 RICHARD SPEER

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