Sunday, December 26, 2010
In keeping with the current theme at Art Focus of the personalities behind art spaces - I am having Blake Shell join me this coming Tuesday. She is the curator at the Archer Gallery at Clark College and an artist in her own right. Currently the Archer Gallery has work up by Dan Gilsdorf and Peter Happel Christian. On the 11th of January, the Archer joins a group of community college galleries exhibiting Perimeter: We Live Here Now. These exhibitions feature works by artists from outside the USA who now live here.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
Lately Art Focus has been looking at people who operate art spaces, many of them alternative. But what about those who operate sans space? People who make things happen unattached to real estate? Jennifer Stoots is a prime example. She is a photography specialist, advising clients and collectors, appraising artworks, curating exhibitions, writing and lecturing. She also represents artists, including Stu Levy (photo above), who has a show up at Augen Gallery right now. Jennifer will be my guest this coming Tuesday, the 21st of December.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
Art Focus continues its series on local art spaces. Lately I'm consumed with pop-up galleries which are taking advantage of all the vacant real estate. Tiffany Ruth has a regular gallery in NW Portland called T. Ruth Artspace which is showing Chelsea Rose this month (see image above). Those two will be on the radio with me tomorrow. Tiffany Ruth is also masterminding pop-up galleries in the NW Thurman area, with an artwalk every third Thursday.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Artists are taking over shuttered storefronts, transforming them into exhibition spaces. The top floor of Pioneer Place, once a hopeful shopping mall, was empty. Now we have Place, a group of galleries featuring installation and work from PNCA students. Gabe Flores and Gary Wiseman are curators behind the project and they will be my guests this Tuesday on Art Focus.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I just got back from “The Big 100” benefit show at The Goodfoot. This is an annual event curated by Chris Haberman, all-around artist, curator, advocate. The walls at the Goodfoot exhibit works all the same small size, nicely framed, every piece 50 bucks. The works benefit Cascade Aids Project, plus there’s a food collection for the Oregon Food Bank right at the door.
Benefits revolving around art bring a mixed bag of feelings to many in the art community here. I do participate by donating work - this year it was at Disjecta; previous years, different organizations. Organizations who help those at risk will always receive help from artists, who often also live at risk.
When I first moved back here (it’s been 13 years now), I was stunned at how much art could be had for next to nothing. Perhaps part of the problem was how closely we all share the same fishbowl. Collectors and artists alike, high and low, all travel in very few degrees of separation. There’s an opinion here that some of these events keep the price of art way down. I do know collectors who will buy nowhere else when certain auctions happen. God forbid you have a show during that month! Some artists are also wary of giving to causes who do not bother to step out of their world, who do not even visit the exhibitions they wish to profit from.
That’s not the case at all at this Big 100 show. The big grid of art reveals just about every kind of medium and style - nonetheless you get only a small piece of real estate from any artist’s production. It’s a taste. It can never replace a bigger work….
- But it might entice you to check them out! I swear, I saw so many beautiful pieces at this show, I couldn’t single just a few out for this blog, thus only this paltry installation shot. People literally had shopping bags full of art. They would lay out their pieces and discuss the merits of their collecting with whoever was walking by. And in this mix, you found emerging and well known artists. I walked out star-struck and inspired.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
This week Art Focus continues a small series of interviews with gallerists and directors, the people who make spaces happen. We need to celebrate the people who have hung in there. So far I’ve featured Onda Gallery, 12 x 16, Murdoch Art Services and Disjecta. On Tuesday I will have Timothy Mahan on. He directs Half/Dozen. Grant Hottle is currently showing (see fab painting) – and he will also join us.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Peter and Sally Murdoch joined us too. Listen to the interview here.
For awhile now I have focused on art spaces and the people who run them. This week Marilyn Murdoch will be my guest on the radio. Marilyn is a well known collector. She also has Katayama Framing, considered by many to be the best framing in town. The choice there will make your mouth water. She maintains Artery and Murdoch Collections, where she exhibits and sells work out of her private collection. Perhaps where she made the biggest impact with artists was Guestroom, where local curators stepped up and created different kinds of exhibitions. I was curated in twice, by Jenny Strayer with Paperchase and Jim Riswold with WAR.
Monday, November 8, 2010
(Listen to the interview here.)
This week Disjecta hosts its annual auction – always a raucous event. AC Dickson is the highly animated auctioneer.
(Read about it here in the O.)
Monday, November 1, 2010
Time Flies. I can't believe that 12 x 16 is celebrating their 5th anniversary. A collective, 12 x 16 has shown many guest artists. I did video interviews with Ann Shiogi, Kerry Davis and Jim Neidhardt during their exhibitions there. KBOO's Art Focus has also held interviews with Eunice Parsons and Cary Doucette. Those two plus artist Luke Dolkas will be my guests tomorrow on the radio.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Lost art aside, everything I saw that evening was gorgeous. It was an Aha moment for me, when the inner southeast grabbed my imagination. Perhaps it was because I was a brand new driver. Just getting across the river by myself, (but not on foot, which I’ve done plenty of times), was miraculous. But that view from the Esplanade, framed by our notoriously pink sky, told me why so many come to P-town and think it is beautiful.
Sure, I've dined at Montage back in the early 90s when I would visit from NYC. But I was a New Yorker then, used to groovy industrial diners like Florent (which I miss like crazy). Now I have lived in Portland longer than I did New York and I’ve been thinking for some time how delicious a space, any kind of space, in the inner southeast would be. After all, I’ve got a Monday Night bar and a radio show in these parts.
It's the raucous activity I find most encouraging, all those workers of the world who really don't have much to do with art. In a town with so many not working - sorry to have to observe this! – the industry and noise of the area is like a balm.
The Godfather Ben Pink (of Launchpad) waved his wand and connected me to the Right People, who shall remain nameless. The colors are extremes of hot and cold, steel and wood. My new studio is very close to the big air with a big view, yet enclosed, kind of hidden. I go up and down rather steep stairs, which is perfect, as the significant repeat dream of my entire lifetime, from early childhood on, features a navigation of extreme stairs. It’s what must be.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I am working a lot, have news about a studio too (more later).
And I am also back at KBOO.
We'll help celebrate the upcoming Day of the Dead by having Allan Oliver on Art Focus. He owns and curates Onda Gallery in the Alberta Arts District, a gallery which specializes in art from Latin America. Check out the exhibition this coming Last Thursday.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Earlier I mentioned an artists-night-out every Monday. Lately we’ve been meeting at the Basement Pub. The subject of The Studio came up as I am rather tentatively looking for one. As you can imagine, it’s not just a room for many of us. It’s not just a place to work. The very words generate all kinds of associations and attachments. Having said this, that’s all it has ever really been for me.
Well, does your studio define you as an artist? I used to get the “Where is your studio?” question all the time in New York. For years I didn’t get just what this meant - and it was of course a test I failed, as I lived and worked in Midtown, a supposed no man’s land for artists. But I made a lot of work in Midtown- admittedly some never shown, but the work I made in that flat is directly related to what I am doing now.
But the where, what and how of The Studio defines many in the art game and it is, as much as anything, a measure of their stature. It tells the world that they are serious, committed. That’s what they think anyway.
Some have said “Eva, you can’t paint in a basement” but newsflash: I’ve been doing it for seven years now. Much of Vive Chrome and all of Take Off and The Richter Scale were made down there. Sorry, but the studio is not the place where I conceive miracles. It’s the place where I execute, where I work. The miracles and Romantic part happen in my head, not in a specific room with a view.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
(Listen to the interview here.)
I’ve been away from KBOO for almost two months. When people ask me what is going on and who all has been interviewed, I just say I am on hiatus. I needed that time and I may need even more.
Still, I am back for pledge drive this week - and the October show at Blackfish of Michael Knutson. What a great and easy way to return! My own enthusiasm for his remarkable paintings is evident in this video we made together a couple of years ago. In the video, he makes references to Albers, Held and Monet as he explains his process and the results. Maybe that sounds kind of dry and it isn't - he's got a sense of humor too. His new show opens this coming First Thursday.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I have had that perky Debbie publicity photo around for a long time, not sure how to use it. She really only meant one thing to me. She was the bubbly wronged woman, on the correct end of a torrid love triangle. There was a time when Liz meant pretty much the same thing, except she was dark component of the story, the cheating bitch. Unbelievable to consider it now, but there was a time when Elizabeth Taylor’s position in the gossip pages made Lindsay Lohan’s efforts look amateur.
Liz may be ten times the woman Debbie is but for a long time they are both relayed equally, similarly, measured and defined the man they are with. Historically Liz Taylor is very important, yet for much of her life she is reduced to sexy headlines.
Elizabeth shoots up behind Debbie in this piece like a bean sprout. She is the child actress, before she was Liz. She’s in an old coat and scarf, Depression era in feel, but you cannot mar her kind of radiance, which is indicated by the rising star behind her. I think she’s indicating all kinds of things on the rise.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
When I first moved back to Portland from NYC, there was an artists-night-out at Ringler’s Annex downtown. Artists met every Wednesday night. It started rather late and went on into the night and you never really knew who you might meet there. I believe it was Carl Annala and David Inkpen who told me about it, who brought me along. This became the first time I ever met Storm Tharp, Michael Brophy, Randy Gragg and quite a few others.
I was a babe in the woods as regards pecking order though. And believe you me, there was one. But I still loved the idea of this place you could have a drink and talk to an artist (and I don’t mean an opening - we have too much business to do at those). In bits and pieces I had something similar when I ran a gallery; it’s a place to have a conversation about art. The same goes for radio, but those interviews are of course no place for the profane and the crazy.
On the 13th I celebrated my birthday with a group at a bar. It vaguely took me back to those Ringler’s days. Change and adventure is in the air, coming with the territory of September, uncertain. With a few emails and a Facebook blast, "we" met at Le Happy - where we may not be able to stay as it is rather elegant - artists are often not. But as you can see from the photo, it made us all look rather French. A votre santé!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Usually I have more. In 1969 I began writing a diary. Clothes, meals, lovers, art, books, most of it is there. But in 1976, while spending a reassessing time in Greece, I decided to throw out Book 13, which meandered meaninglessly to my eyes back then. Of course I would love to have it now, as it contains two very important years. I changed my name during that time and declared my life to be lived as an artist first. That hasn’t always been easy to hold on to.
In “The Girl Chewing Gum” by John Smith, currently part of TBA, I saw and felt not only the monochrome mess of post-war England, but also my own transition and dilemma. Funny what a series of bland, almost nondescript images can do. I had to sit down and take in every bit of it. There is no star. There’s not much of a story - it sounds initially like a fictional narrative but is really just a description of what we see.
The film shows the everyday, a blip in a timeline. It’s supposed to remind you what that looks like and it totally succeeded with me, functioning like a missing link I haven't been able to study.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It has literally been decades since I have been back. I decided to use my time off from KBOO this past Tuesday for a visit.
When I lived there it still had the old, classic touches in its structure of a frat house – brownish, clean and full of alcoves. Some of the alcoves still held old phones, the only phones we had back then. Most of those formal remnants are almost demolished now under coats of paint and graffiti, I mean wall to wall to ceiling. I never could find the room, recognize it, where I had lost my virginity. I tried to imagine myself cooking for 40 kids as I had done on Sundays in that kitchen.
A young woman gave me a tour and I was able to meet residents along the way. Actually, most of them claimed to not be residents – they were just passing through. I think that must be the nature of Eugene in general during the summer. There was never a lot of permanency back in the day and that doesn’t seem to have changed. In fact one young man observed that Eugene was the place to maybe drop out of school and I realized that for many of us, he was right.
But the biggest change for me at Campbell Club was the mindset, not the external factors. Sure, we had weed and a vegetarian chef back then. We were way ahead the curve in many ways. But we also had a crew of students who were our accountants, who already had a certain path of success scripted into their brains, who probably went on to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980. And I don’t think that kind of diversity in a group was a bad thing at all. Could you have that kind of mix now? I don't think so.
Back then CC was across from a big expanse of tennis courts. I remember how they were lit every night throughout the summer. It felt so luxurious and it’s the only time in my life that I played tennis. As to expanse, it was all over the campus and I was saddened to see how much of it was cut up and into.
The museum did not let me down though. Now known as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, it held a great Asian art collection. It still does but you can also see cool contemporary art exhibitions. I loved the Warhol/Van Sant show that’s up right now, giving us great pics of celebrity close and far, local and global. There in the grid of Van Sant was the fabulous Jeffrey Kyle and Tom Cramer, right in the mix with the movie stars.
The only thing left for me was lunch and I had but one destination. A café which still called itself The Excelsior, but it was not the same as it is Italian. Back then, it was called “The Chez Panisse of the Northwest.” Strong words, completely accurate. I had no idea back in 1972 what Chez Panisse was, I only knew I had never eaten like that before. French but now we know, not quite. The movement for local ingredients had begun. But it was probably my first espresso, my first Vouvray, my first many things.
In 1977 I decided I would live in Paris for awhile and became an au pair. My bon voyage party was at The Excelsior. In a special room, we carried on into the night. By the time we were closing all the waiters were smoking joints with us. When I told this to my new friends at Campbell Club, they said things like that happen all the time in Eugene. Maybe so, but this was a French restaurant. Waiters were all in black and white. It was West Coast but it still had a certain formality. By ’77 I had really put in my time at that café – to smoke with me must have been a sign that I had truly arrived.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I first encountered Julie Perini’s videos at PSU, where she was curated into a show by Patrick Rock. In the video, I recall nothing but clips of films with the charatcter’s name Julie. That word was all we heard, over and over again. I recall that one of the films was with Doris Day. I loved that video.
Right now she has a project up at Pushdot, Girl Next Door. She calls it “A video experiment with fact and fiction that creates a portrait of everyday life in a North Portland neighborhood.” She combined six interviews - two with actual neighbors, two with non-actors with similar life circumstances and two actors who stand in for the neighbors. This is all combined with material shot around the neighborhood and creates a spectrum of authenticity. Perini is my guest this coming Tuesday on Art Focus.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I've never had a bad time in Seattle. But every visit is during the summer. The air is full of the sun and the sea and the agenda is all about art. Last Thursday was no different. Many thanks to Daniel R. Smith who curated Thunderbitch, a fun show of female graphic artists, all from the Pacific Northwest.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Some who collage made posters and fanzines first and then later, it all developed into “fine art.” I didn’t really take this road as I had collaged in high school, already aware of Pop Art. Then I saw Dada and Surrealism Reviewed at the Hayward Gallery in 1978 and that kind of sealed the deal… I still have postcards from that fateful exhibition.
When I got back to the States later that year, I made my first fanzine, Beyond the Black Thing (cover above). Actually it wasn’t called a fanzine, I called it an art magazine. The word fanzine was used but it was mostly for works like Punk and Sniffin’ Glue, rags very specifically made for music. I make this distinction because most self-made small rags on any topic are now called fanzines. Back then I was more inspired from the small books the Dadaists made.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
In August Sherrie Wolf will show “Faces” at the Laura Russo Gallery. All the paintings of faces are from art history. Each piece is no bigger than a foot square. Some will be hung in a long line-up, some will be put into a grid. If you’re down with your art history, you’re going to see some familiar faces – Wolf has lifted from Rembrandt, Ingres, Vigee Le Brun, Vermeer, Goya, Caravaggio and many others. She seems to have adapted the approach of each individual painter, not just the details of a face. I’m looking forward to talking to her about them on Art Focus this coming Tuesday, August 3rd.
Monday, July 26, 2010
There are a lot of things you could have called John Callahan, who passed away on July 24th. One of them was a flirt. That’s probably how I initially met him. Being wheelchair-bound didn’t stop him at all. We ran across each other often in NW Portland and from first sight, we fell into idle chitchat with no introduction.
When I worked at the vintage clothing store Keep ‘Em Flying, he would come in and we would talk for hours. He was a true street person in the most positive sense, wheeling all over town. When he could not wheel, his van-cab roamed the streets with him in tow. I think most of the time he didn’t even know where he was going. You would see him in bars even though he no longer drank.
As I got my ideas together about a gallery and what I would like to show, I knew that the person was as important as the work. I guess it never was just about the art object. Callahan was multilayered. When I eventually asked him if he made anything like “fine art” – sure enough, he had. They were nudes – women of course - simple line drawings. When I looked at them I knew they would make a great exhibition.
Callahan was only the third exhibition I put together at Lovelake. By this time however I realized what an immense project I had taken on. Sure, Lovelake was tiny. But every artist I had chosen was intense and no child either, fully formed with chops and issues to match.
His show was in October of 2003. All throughout September I would go to his house in the evenings, walking by the circling Swifts at Chapman School. Something about the darkening sky and the determined circles of those birds still reminds me of John. In his house, he would circle and circle around in his wheelchair, restless. The amount of energy pent up in that chair was almost too much to take sometimes. In fact every single time I visited him at his house, I couldn’t sleep that night.
We were both having evolving reconsiderations of feminism during the time of our friendship. Sometimes it was a stand off and I recall him once saying to me right in front of the Laura Russo Gallery: “Do you see those people over there, they’re thinking ‘My God she’s going to hit a quad!’” But I wouldn’t let him get away with that and reminded him that he wished for no special treatment. Things were not stagnant between us and I liked that. I am going to miss him.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
This Tuesday Diane Jacobs will be my guest on Art Focus. Currently she has a show up called Bowing to Paradox at 23 Sandy – an installation in the front gallery and a room full of objects in back. The gallery website has plenty of installation shots.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
Jeff Jahn blasted into this town over ten years ago, curating group shows with far-reaching consequences. It’s safe to say that the PDX art world, as viewed through the commercial gallery system, seemed overly familiar. His curation of “The Best Coast,” “Play” and “Fresh Trouble” are just a few examples of his success at revealing a different kind of Portland art world. Jeff also co-founded PORT, a website all about Portland art – and he occasionally writes elsewhere (such as for Modern Painters). He is also a practicing artist and this month he is showing Vection at The New American Art Union and we’ll talk about the work on Art Focus tomorrow. OPENWIDEpdx has some installation pics here.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Listen to the interview here.
He’s got a website. He’s got a blog. He’s got another website. He’s a curator. He’s an artist and he’s got a show called Purple Mountain Majesty right now at Half Dozen. His name is Calvin Ross Carl and he’s my guest this coming Tuesday on Art Focus.
Friday, July 2, 2010
- And what I eventually delivered was called “Career Suicide.” Such a suicide that after much hand wringing and by mutual agreement, we ditched it.
As it was, I never listed oh so many things. Like that I worked for the York Archaeological Trust, washing and cataloguing pottery shards and ancient bones as head of the finds for a Roman site. Or that I made a recording for the Trap Sampler (Drum Bunny), produced by Greg Sage. Nary a mention of makeup of course, and forget all the body painting too. All of that wouldn’t be pertinent.
But it was also decided that so much of the curating, art dealing, radio interviewing and whatever art activities I crammed in was also “Career Suicide” – because all this meant I wasn’t in the studio, right?
Well I suppose if all the fuss is about abstract oil paintings, it makes sense. Though I disagree, an argument can be made that contemporary painting is about painting. It lives in its own universe, by its own rules.
But thank God you couldn’t say the same about the Targets! They possess the biography, right down to archaeology, art history and lip gloss. It’s like she came out of the closet.
I touched on all of this vaguely in a previous post, Her Pop Autobiography. At the time, it felt more like a recount of facts and history which did not perform as allies. Not so today. I want to thank everyone who came and everyone who wrote about this exhibition.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
When I first began these targets in 2008, I concentrated on the back-story and biography of the woman pictured. Sometimes I referred to the desperado roles of the actress, such as in Susan Hayward. Sometimes it was more about the personal real-life saga, such as in Natalie Wood. I liked if the two were married: Liza is the child of Hollywood’s biggest tragedy – and she also played Sally Bowles, a woman seen more as an artiste than artist, someone who fights for art, sex and love on her own terms.
Through the course of making over fifty pieces, they became about other things. Things didn’t change or mutate so much as they simply spread. One area I’ve mined for decades is art history, but I’ve never fully committed to restaging it. After Ken Butler gave me all these art history textbooks which languished in his childhood home basement, I felt free to cut away at the canon.
What I’ve found is that my interest in the Hollywood goddess, the fashion model and the goddess in art history all endlessly collided. The Babe was always the warrior, soldier, muse, sage, goddess and god. The works just point out the obvious.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
This month brings Judy Cooke to the Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Many artists these days say they are exploring the space between sculpture and painting, but Cooke has been doing that for years. This particular show, called In Touch, examines the ideas of the Russian Constructivists. That's music to my ears - I am looking forward to having her on Art Focus this Tuesday, the first of June.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
When I first met him, he made digital paintings (one of his images I curated into the Tri-Met public art project here on N. Interstate). They had the same sweeping, swooping curves these big sculptural pieces have here. It's interesting to see how he has maintained, mined and translated his ideas.