When I first moved to Portland, I was told about the “flower bomb,” a time here in spring when everything blooms at once. The exuberant selection of shows this spring, which couldn’t all fit in this list, makes me think of this phenomenon. Keep an eye out for a proliferation of great things to see in the city and beyond in the coming months. Here are 10 to start with.
Christine Miller: “Syrup on Watermelon”
In 2020, the Portland Art Museum and The Numberz FM, a black-run radio station based in Portland, landed on a mutually beneficial plane: the museum, many of whose galleries were closed due to COVID, had a space available – and unpopulated; The Numberz FM needed space. The arrangement led to a fruitful collaboration on the fourth floor of the museum, which typically showcases Northwest art and artists. Numberz has mounted two exhibitions in what he calls the AUX/MUTE gallery, and has inserted an enticing retail business, The Numz Bodega, which sells products from local emerging artists. Curator and conceptual artist Christine Miller takes the next turn in the AUX/MUTE gallery. Her exhibition, “Sirop on Watermelon,” includes work that reappropriates the imagery of casual racism – watermelons and Aunt Jemima (as in syrup) – to compel a conversation about the historical use of stereotypes in objects and images. and ways to get them back. Her show is aptly timed to coincide with a planned mid-term refresh of Sharita Towne’s year-long exhibition in the adjacent gallery, part of the museum’s APEX series that features contemporary artists from the North West, where she showcases work from ongoing projects, including her “A Portland Black Art Ecology Initiative”.
March 19 – June 19, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., portlandartmuseum.org or 503-226-2811
Patricia Vázquez: “Ku beeta’al bej ikil a xíimbal (Andando hacemos el camino)”
Social practice artist Patricia Vázquez creates work that is both insightful and compassionate. A retrospective at Linfield University will include elements of his often long-term projects – printmaking, video, installation and photographic documentation of participatory art projects – which interrogate the human condition without ever forgetting the humans on whom his work is centered. .
March 30 – May 6, Linfield Art Gallery, Miller Fine Arts Center, corner Keck Drive and Library Court, McMinnville, linfield.edu/art/gallery or 503-883-2804
Portland-born artist Rose Dickson plays with mediums and materials. In a recent exhibition, she translated a vocabulary of invented symbols into delicate chains of hammered metal, hand-pulled rugs and small gouache paintings housed in hand-shaped ceramic frames. A similar tactility will be evident in new works for his solo show at Adams and Ollman. In one series, she creates cast aluminum sculptures by drawing sand with her finger and then pouring the liquid metal. The resulting bubbling shapes seem otherworldly. Picking up symbols from his earlier work, another series includes water-based paints on glass that are tinned to make mirrors; and in a third series, thick layers of panel wax are raked and hollowed out to reveal the paintings beneath, more of a chance process than a premeditated image-making.
April 2 – May 7, Adams and Ollman, 418 NW Eighth Ave., adamsandolman.com or 503-724-0684
Dana Robinson: “Second Honeymoon”
Dana Robinson’s new series of paintings bear flippant titles that allude to their origins: clever advertisements for hair and beauty products, coke and Miller’s beer from the 1970s “Ebony” magazine collection and 1980 by the artist. Painted with dye on large panels of silk georgette, the vibrant faces and friendly groups of people she depicts read like slippery memories of people and scenes. The sounds of Robinson’s “My Grandmother’s Bells” will play through the space as an accompaniment to these wispy-not-memories. For this piece, the artist photographed bells from her grandmother’s collection and recorded the ringing of each, creating a different kind of portrait, but perhaps just as ethereal.
April 2 – May 8, Fuller Rosen Gallery, 1928 NW Lovejoy St., fullerrosen.com or 503-806-5055
ASUNA: “100 keyboards”
Japanese sound artist ASUNA’s sound installation, “100 Keyboards,” co-curated for PICA by Japanese artist and composer Aki Onda, involves a live performance weaving sounds drawn from over 100 tiny plastic keyboards. ASUNA will perform the piece two nights in April at PICA’s main warehouse, where the sound of inexpensive, possibly fake, instruments will be absorbed and reflected, making the space an integral part of the piece and the experience.
6 p.m. April 22-23, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 NE Hancock St, pica.org or 503-242-1419
Sari Carel: “The sun is a blue mouth”
A deeply curious artist, Sari Carel uses research and process-based work to draw attention to climate change and its impacts. She recently looked at the work of fellow environmental explorer, 19th-century botanist and photographer Anna Atkins, who is credited with creating the first book of photography through her keenness to record the seaweed from Great Britain. Like Atkins, Carel uses cyanotypes to document the natural world, though, based in 21st century Brooklyn, hers are entirely different. The work for this solo exhibition incorporates elements gleaned from New York’s urban forest, as well as the everyday detritus of contemporary life – used coffee cup lids, bread tongs, small bottle caps and coins – refracting them in pieces created using manual processes such as cyanotype and ceramic.
May 13 – June 11, Melanie Flood Projects, 420 SW Washington St. #301, melaniefloodprojects.com or 503-862-7912
V. Maldonado: “A Rinconcito In El Cielo”
The child of migrant workers from Mexico, V. Maldonado grew up crossing the border with a multigenerational family. In recent works, the multimedia artist draws on this experience in monumental paintings of their family: their father in his garden or a series of portraits of their mother and her two sisters. Abstract faces and figures are brush-sketched onto massive canvases, then obscured by crisp, curly lines in vibrant colors: teal, bubblegum pink, and tomato red. The paintings are poignant, despite their size and luminosity. Maybe it’s the claustrophobic density of the intertwining lines or the fact that the line art is covering something up. And while the scale of the paintings should make them feel assertive, the intricate lines engender a more introspective air.
June 1 – July 9, Froelick Gallery, 714 NW Davis St., www.frelickgallery.com or 503-222-1142
“Looking Inward, Judy Chicago”
Revolutionary feminist artist Judy Chicago is something of an art polymath. Its six decades of production will be examined in an exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education curated by Bruce Gunther and drawn from work in the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. It will primarily feature works on paper, including preliminary sketches of his seminal work, “The Dinner Party”, a work of art in every art history book despite being mothballed in 1989 after its first exhibition tour – potential institutional collectors were wary. of her overt vaginal imagery. The show also includes a stained glass window that was part of his “Holocaust Project” (1984-1993) and “Grand Flaming Fist,” a 2007 cast glass piece that is, according to the title, a flaming fist, proof that the voice fiercely opinionated attitude of the artist is intact.
June 2 – September 25, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 724 NW Davis Street, ojmche.org or 503-226-3600
“David Roberts: artist and traveler”
In his 1978 book, “Orientalism”, scholar Edward Said criticized Orientalism as fundamentally based on Western colonialism. And even. Sketches and paintings created by artists traveling in North Africa and the Near East from the 1830s often capture immediate impressions of the costumes and everyday life of the places they traveled to. And their meticulous drawings of buildings, ruins and archaeological sites provide records of those places before tourism and, long before, Westerners took important pieces to display in their home institutions. An exhibition organized for the Hallie Ford Museum of Art by its director, John Olbrantz, centers on the work of one of the first of these traveling artists, David Roberts, a self-taught and prolific Scotsman. The exhibition includes his hand-coloured prints of Spain, Egypt, Nubia and the Holy Land taken from a private collection and supplemented by watercolors and sketches on loan from the Yale Center for British Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum and the Huntington Library. , Museum and Garden.
June 4 – August 27, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, 700 State St., Salem, Oregon, willamette.edu/arts/hfma or 503-370-6855
Portland-based photographer Ricardo Nagaoka has a beautiful and resonant portfolio of portraiture and commercial work. Astute curator Yaelle Amir will select photographs and sculptures from the Latino-Japanese artist’s recent series exploring Asian masculinity for his first solo exhibition in the United States.
June 25 – July 23, Melanie Flood Projects, 420 SW Washington St. #301, melaniefloodprojects.com or 503-862-7912
—Briana Miller, for The Oregonian/OregonLive