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First Thursday Openings

Latin Studies
Al Taylor
Elizabeth Leach
417 NW 9th
Opening reception 6-9 PM

“Don’t call them sculptures,” the late Al Taylor said of his wall constructions of found materials. His drawings and constructions were of a piece, one leading to the other and back again. Taylor, a New York artist whose work is here via David Zwirner, made work with materials at hand and considered shadow as a medium, according to the artist’s widow, Debbie Taylor. As these represent his first forays into three dimensions, this is a rare opportunity to see works from a pivotal point in Taylor’s career without getting on a plane.

In Touch
Judy Cooke
Elizabeth Leach
417 NW 9th
Opening reception 6-9 PM

Portland-based artist Judy Cooke negotiates a space between painting and sculpture with her almost architectural paintings on panel.

Elizabeth Leach
417 NW 9th
Opening reception 6-9 PM

Targets
Eva Lake
Augen Gallery
716 NW Davis
Opening reception 5-8:30 PM

Portland knows Eva Lake as an abstract painter, host of Art Focus on KBOO, arts writer, and former gallery owner. But Targets may take some people by surprise (although they are more Eva than perhaps anything else she’s done in her long arts career). Unified as a series by paper targets (which Lake originally swiped as a teenager from a police shooting range), these photomontages embody Lake’s unique and powerful feminism as an artist. They capture her nostalgic appreciation for pop feminine icons as well as her sense of art’s historical treatment of women as object (even women artists as objects). All the while Lake demonstrates, as to be expected, her deft way with color.


Recent Paintings
Terry Waldron
Augen Gallery
716 NW Davis
Opening reception 5-8:30 PM

A show of Waldron’s paintings which incorporate figure and scrawled word in compositions that suggest precarious and even tragic narrative.

Hercules
Storm Tharp
PDX Contemporary Art
925 NW Flanders

“In some regard, the drawings from Hercules reflect a desire to observe philosophy and to encounter perfection – to be enlightened. The maximal and decorated inclinations are in question. The labor and the effort are being weighed. Representation is scrutinized and the desire to explore the formlessness of abstraction is pursued. I do not intend to discount the work as intermediary, although it is fair and exciting to suggest that the work represents both a closing and an opening. The nods to Minimalism throughout are both revering as much as they suggest an end game and, ultimately, a question.”

An opening and a closing. What an interesting time, then to be seeing this show of Tharp’s uncanny portraits and minimalist abstractions. Particularly on the heels of his inclusion in the Whitney Biennial, that we are seeing him at a pivotal moment is exciting. He namechecks the Pillars of Hercules on which the hero supposedly had inscribed, “Non plus ultra,” (or “Nec plus ultra”) “there is nothing beyond.” But it seems, from what he says above, that he’s about to disregard that warning and sail through the Straits out onto the open ocean.


Romance
Brad Adkins
Across the Hall, PDX Contemporary Art
925 NW Flanders

Meanwhile, Across the Hall, Adkins Romance is a show of large scale sculpture and text-based work with a dim (if witty) view of the show’s title.

Pop Coochie
IGLOO
625 NW Everett #102
Opening reception 6-10 PM

Maybe I’m just saying we’re all corrupted in a way; life itself is corrupted, and that’s the way we like it.
- Maurizio Cattelan

With work by Sean Joseph Patrick Carney, Jason Traeger and Liam Drain, Alicia McDaid, Matthew Green, Ralph Pugay, Patrick Rock.

Subplot

Subplot, Keely McIntyre

One of Portland’s more riveting contemporary dancers takes a turn as choreographer. Keely McIntyre, who has danced with Mary Oslund, Tere Mathern, and Hot Little Hands, premieres “Subplot” this weekend, June 10-12 at 8 PM each night at The Headwaters (55 NE Farragut #9). Performed by McIntyre and Jessica Hightower “Subplot” “will explore the presence of darkness as a motivating, obstructing or complicating force” with a score by Jay Clarke.

The evening will also include McIntyre’s “Drift” (2009) with Noel Plemmons of POV Dance who not long ago moved to Portland from the Bay Area, and “High Seas, Wind Easing” (2000) by guest artist Katherine Longstreth who recently moved to Portland from New York where her work was presented by Dance Theater Workshop, David Parker/The Bang Group, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Context Theater, the Festival of Independent Dance Artists in Toronto and Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston.

Rob Halverson: COOL ART

COOL ART. Amy Yao.

COOL ART. Amy Yao. 2010.

“What if…there was a gallery that barely existed?” This is the question that inspired COOL ART. Because artist and curator Rob Halverson’s follow up question was, “What if you only have the ability to produce the announcement for the show? What if the announcement was the show?”

COOL ART is an art publisher whose first show at Stand Up Comedy in Portland was a show of “announcements, posters really,” Halverson says, “but screenprinted on archival paper in editions.”

In 1966, Roberto Jacoby made a “proposal for a show to consist entirely of information, taking the form of a standard exhibition catalogue, presented as if there were an accompanying exhibition, which wouldn’t actually exist.” What Halverson has done is to conceive of that line of thinking as a mobius strip that comes back from the dematerialized to the materialized art: a series of prints by artists like Noam Rappaport, Santiago Cucullu, Lucas DeGuilio, Matt Connors, Matthew Higgs, and Amy Yao. Each is printed in an edition of 50 with 10 artist’s proofs. Prints are $100.

For a gallery that barely exists, COOL ART expands outward in a lot of directions. So while it’s an art publisher, it also is and can be, as Halverson says, “an itinerant exhibition, an element of other exhibitions, an artist collaboration.” Halverson likes the idea, in an era of hyperdocumentation, of having the project document itself.

COOL ART. Noam Rappaport. 2010.

COOL ART. Noam Rappaport. 2010.

I like the idea that COOL ART is self-aware enough of its own predecessors to include in its first series a print by British curator, artist, publisher Higgs on which the words “NOT WORTH READING” are written in what looks like Sharpie. Higgs is perhaps best known for founding the art press Imprint 93, doing artist editions and multiples and eventually exhibitions of work by artists like Martin Creed and Jeremy Deller.

Rob Halverson is a Portland-based artist and curator. He has shown internationally at HaNNa Gallery, Tokyo, Cinders, Artists Space and Little Cakes in New York, and the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. He has organized exhibitions for PICA’s TBA Festival, at Ooga Booga (LA) and Pizza Paul Gallery, Chicago. I talked with him recently at little t in SE.

Why posters?
I’ve done lots of posters and invitations in my life. I am very connected with that. I have always wanted to have a gallery and probably never will. So I thought “What if…there was a gallery that barely existed? What if you only have the ability to produce the announcement for the show? What if the announcement was the show?”

When we can have the opportunity to show all six posters as we did at Stand Up Comedy, it’s great. Sometimes the poster will be integrated into another solo exhibition that the artist is doing. I also have this idea of a free standing poster stand—a cross between a sculpture and a kiosk—kind of a billboard village.

How did you select this group of artists?
I have a lot of love and respect for these artists. I’m working with emerging and established artists. Santiago and Lucas were friends I met at MCAD. They’re all basically people whose work I love and wanted to work with.

So how do you work together on the piece?
Sometimes it’s a collaboration, sometimes it is a matter of editing down choices, and some artists know just what they want to do. Some say, “I’ve always wanted to do a poster.”

I know you are both artist and curator. How does COOL ART dovetail with your own art practice?
It has become part of my practice.

Can you talk a little bit about the artists?
Amy Yao recently showed at Jack Hanley Gallery in NY. Her poster is part of a larger body of work that deals with the rain pattern, dealing with mood, sadness. It’s a collage that she made. We scanned it in actual size.

It’s great.

Then Noam Rappaport will have a solo show at White Columns in June.

I love his piece. I am very into drawings of structures.

It’s from his sketchbook. They’re “unrealized paintings.” It’s like a prediction.

What’s coming up?
COOL ART is going to Art Since the Summer of 69 in NY in September with a new piece by Scott Reeder. We’ll also be at the Art Swap Meet at Andrea Zittel’s High Desert Test Sites. And I’m talking with the people who have acquired The Poor Farm in Wisconsin about doing a group show there.

Where do you see COOL ART going? You’ve said you’re working on a number of different projects. For the posters themselves, do you imagine different formats?
I want to do, budget permitting, anything the artist wants to do: experiment with scale, size. I am open to doing offset. One artist is interested in doing something with newsprint. Another is asking, “How large can we go?”

I’m interested in installation, in performance. Sue Tompkins will do a performance in conjunction with her poster.

I want it to grow to be anything.

NOTE: This post has been edited. If you care to know more email me at radon at ultrapdx.com.

Re: Rewind. Drain Launch at Templeton

Re: Rewind is a party to launch the latest issue of Drain—Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture this Saturday, May 29 7-10 PM at Disjecta’s Templeton Building (230 E Burnside, entrance 5 SE 3rd, under the Burnside Bridge). There will be a video performance by Reza Safavi and

Drain #11 explores the notion of the REWIND through word and image. What is it that we do when we rewind? What are the politics of personal and cultural rewind? Can we really see, feel, and act again? What are the phenomenological dimensions of rewind? Rewind is structured in years, days, moments, and with scents and images, words and sounds, and more besides, but when we rewind mechanically, technologically and with all the forces of our representation in art and praxis, do we really rewind or do we spin forward into myth? What is the vocabulary of rewind? Does rewind capture or release us?

The event will include a video performance by Reza Safavi and a broadcast of the latest issue. Included in this issue are essays by Caroline Kelley, Martin Patrick, Gregory Minissale, Sally Metzler; reviews by Susanne Ø. Sæther, Jennifer Park, Craig Drennen, Lisa Radon, and Micah Malone; creative writing by an Rhodewalt, Elizabeth Lopeman, JR Ramelo, and Bernadette Esposito; and art projects by Victoria Fu, Liz Darlington, Seth Nehil, Harrison Haynes, and Ziad Nacche

Appendix and Little Field Openings

appendix project space and little field travis fitzgerald and zach rose

Appendix Project Space (in the south alley between 26th and 27th avenues off NE Alberta) welcomes it newest member, Travis Fitzgerald with an exhibition opening this Thursday, May 27 from -10 PM.

A painter, Fitzgerald has worked with “the collective identity of grouped characters and a trajectory of design through the 20th century,” and has recently turned to the third dimension.

At 8:30 PM Kristin Smallwood performs in the Hay Batch! peformance space just outside Appendix.

Meanwhile, across NE Alberta and a bit east, Little Field Gallery opens Zach Rose’s HOMETOUCH. “Through object, performance, and interaction design, Rose interrogates the myths of technological innovation and capitalist enterprise. Situated between cell phone huckster and tech startup, HOMETOUCH divorces product from service, form from function, and innovation from success.”