Coming out of 2020, galleries and art institutions are showcasing new and invigorating works by new and interesting artists. Some shows continue the difficult conversations in 2020; others provide a well-deserved distraction. In general, the shows this season are a little more intense, a little more cerebral than in the past. Maybe our attention span stretches after a year of social distancing.

Signage in the windows of the downtown Portland NW Film Center building is part of the “Resist COVID / Take 6!” By Carrie Mae Weems. information campaign.Courtesy of the Portland Art Museum

Carrie Mae Weems: “Resist COVID / Take 6!

Carrie Mae Weems, who was born and raised in Portland, is internationally recognized for her photographic and textual work. At the start of the pandemic, she launched an art-driven public information campaign in Syracuse, New York, when it became clear that the virus was disproportionately affecting communities of color. The effort combines his photography with direct language on billboards and public signage that advocate taking preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus. (“Take 6” refers to keeping 6 feet apart and a list of six basic actions outlined by the campaign.) Cinema Center building.

Through February, various outdoor locations and the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., portlandartmuseum.org or 503-226-2811

“Color texture”

Eutectic Gallery has partnered with The Color Network, a national organization that supports and advances people of color in the ceramic arts, to present a group exhibition of six international artists working with clay in a refreshing and interesting way. Italian-Mexican artist Renata Cassiano Alvarez builds pieces that resemble invented biology cross-sectional diagrams, revealing inner shapes and forms. Ling Chun, originally from Hong Kong and living in Seattle, brazenly associates disparate materials: glass, clay, synthetic hair, light bulbs and neon lights. Magdolene Dykstra, a second-generation Egyptian-Canadian, works with unfired clay to create sophisticated sculpture paintings. The elegant work of Gerald Mak, a Hong Kong artist based in London, is sculpting porcelain. Gabo Martini, born in Guanahuato, Mexico, and living and working in Houston, also carves in pots, his own in bright colors and patterns. José Flores Nava moved from Mexico to California as a child. His hyper-colorful sculptures that represent mounds of products refer to the links between the undocumented community and immigrant labor. The gallery is closed to the public until March, but a video of the exhibition as well as additional works by the artists will be available on the gallery’s website.

Until January 30, Eutectic Gallery, 1930 NE Oregon St., eutecticgallery.com or 503-974-6518

Winter Arts Guide

Excerpt from “CHANNEL” (2017) by Christine Howard Sandoval, three-channel HD video with sound, TRT: 7:43 ‘.Image courtesy of the artist

Christine Howard Sandoval: “Chronology of the future”

Curator Lucy Cotter is interested in artists who work on long-term projects and who invest in transdisciplinary research. For her first exhibition as the 10th curator in residence of Disjecta, she presents three projects by Christine Howard Sandoval. “Channel” (2016-19) and “Live Stream” (2018) explore water rights and land use through sculptures, videos and multimedia drawings. (The adobe designs are stunning.) “A Wall is a Shadow on the Earth” is an ongoing project started in 2020 that delves into the history of Spanish missions built on indigenous land using indigenous forced labor in North America. South and on the Pacific coast. . Howard Sandoval is of Obispeño Chumash and Hispanic descent and his investigation of this topic offers an immersive reassessment of accepted stories.

Until February 21, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, 8371 N. Interstate Ave., disjecta.org or 503-286-9449

Winter Arts Guide

“Volume III (Spider plant)” (books, plants, soil, water; archival inkjet print) by Anna Gray + Ryan Wilson Paulsen, courtesy of Congress Yard Projects.Image credit: Mack McFarland

“hard soft”

The Congress Yard Project outdoor exhibit space was instituted at the start of the pandemic to allow visitors to see performances outside. His latest group exhibition takes advantage of the winter weather to present works destined to melt and deteriorate – or not – over the coming months. Artists include Emily Ginsburg, Shelby Baldridge, maximiliano, Bruce Conkle, Jess Perlitz, Sarah Farahat, and Elaina Tardif. Viewing is by appointment only and can be scheduled for inclement weather or falling darkness to fully enjoy the art experience in various weather or light conditions.

January 24 March 21, Congress Yard Project, Congresyardprojects.wordpress.com, [email protected] to RSVP

Winter Arts Guide

“Bloom” by Michelle Ross (2020), oil and mixed media on panel. Courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Leach Gallery.Mario gallucci

Michelle Ross: “I am your signal”

Michelle Ross’s commission for The Standard Insurance Company, four in situ paintings measuring 16 feet high by 7 feet wide that were completed and installed last fall, are the largest paintings she has ever created. For her solo show, she retains some of their scale in a series of angular abstract panel paintings that combine swift painted gestures with vigorous shots of saturated color. The rough canvas geometric shapes affixed to the panel add visual texture, as does the silver paint applied as a base coat, another residue from The Standard paints, as well as silver and platinum foil.

February 4 March 27, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW Ninth Ave., elizabethleach.com or 503-224-0521

Winter Arts Guide

“Burn It Down” (2020), design by Vo Vo for a woven cotton blanket.Courtesy of Fuller Rosen Gallery

Vo Vo: “Things that have to do with fire”

Vo Vo, who uses the they / them pronouns, is trained as a trainer and educator in inclusion, restorative justice, de-escalation and trauma-informed care. The pandemic has pushed back their exhibition schedule, giving them more time – and materials – to create work for their solo show in the new gallery space in northwest Portland. Expect intensity, which can find expression in textile-based installations, video, weaving, zines and prints, or a combination of all of the above.

From February 18 to April 1, Galerie Fuller Rosen, 1928 NW Lovejoy St., fullerrosen.com

Winter Arts Guide

Avantika Bawa’s “Micro Installations” (2020), 3D printed and painted scaffolding that is part of her ongoing site-specific “Scaffolding” series.Courtesy of the artist

Avantika Bawa: “Building the Darkness”

The scaffolding installations specific to the Avantika Bawa site are present. She installed a sizzling pink version in the Rann, a salt desert in India, and a metallic gold version in the dilapidated grand lobby of the Astor Hotel in Astoria. The orange and white versions of the series were installed in industrial-sized gallery spaces. She’s refining the toy-sized scaffolding in response to this new jewelry box-sized gallery in Southeast Portland. Printed on a 3D printer and painted in metallic silver, the structures continue Bawa’s practice of creating minimalist line drawings in space.

February 27-March 27, AGENDA, 4505 SE Belmont St., Ste. A, agenda-pdx.com or 503-347-5318

Winter Arts Guide

Gelatin silver print by Yamamoto Masao, “Bonsaï # 4013” (2018).Courtesy of PDX Contemporary Art

Yamamoto Masao: “Bonsai”

Bonsai is an art form that seeks to recreate a natural scene in miniature. Traditionally on display, the trees and their carefully selected containers can appear in front of a scroll suspended from a raised alcove. In this series of tonal photographs, Japanese photographer Yamamoto Masao removes bonsai from a formal setting, replaces them outdoors, recreating nature within nature. His compositions monumentalize small trees, centering them in a serene lake or snowdrift, or positioning them to perfectly frame a mountain peak or the moon. The warm, contrasting gelatin silver prints are discreetly dramatic, like scenes from a fairy tale.

March 3-27, PDX Contemporary Art, 925 NW Flanders St., pdxcontemporaryart.com or 503-222-0063

Winter Arts Guide

– Stephanie Dinkins, Still from Conversations with Bina48 (2018). Bina48 is one of the most advanced social robots in the world.Courtesy of the artist.

“Worried objects”

This powerful exhibition of 10 international, American and local artists is like a reverse museum exhibition where the focus is not on the observation of objects but on the question of the legitimacy of their status and their cultural significance. Artists Morehshin Allahyari, Noah Angell, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Stephanie Dinkins, Kristan Kennedy, Aram Lee, Christine Miller, Melvin Moti, Lorraine O ‘Grady and Itziar Okariz are represented by sound works, multimedia installations, sculptures, photographs and films that probe and question the idea of a collective cultural heritage, as well as a critical look at a future that includes 3D modeling and printing that can recreate lost cultural artefacts and artificial intelligence.

March 12-May 2, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, 8371 N. Interstate Ave., disjecta.org or 503-286-9449

By Briana Miller, for The Oregonian / OregonLive

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