Winter visual arts guide

Contemporary art shines in Portland this winter.

Detail of "Rumpus Jump" by Lucinda Parker, on view at the Portland Art Museum.Detail of "Rumpus Jump" by Lucinda Parker, on view at the Portland Art Museum.
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    Lucinda Parker, Rumpus Jump, 1982, Acrylic on canvas, Collection of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer

    ShowPDX: A Decade of Portland Furniture Design

    Through Jan. 31, 2015

    Museum of Contemporary Craft

    The first curated show of furniture design in Portland, ShowPDX features local designers, fabricators and makers on a biennial basis. This year, Show2014 presents a retrospective showcasing ten years of ShowPDX and the evolution of craft, Pacific Northwest aesthetics and furniture design in Portland.

    Sightings

    Nov. 21–Jan. 4, 2015

    Disjecta Contemporary Art Center

    Sightings is an exhibition of recent video works by Kevin Cooley and Jessica Mallios that respond to Disjecta’s unique architectural space through large-scale interactive projections. Skyward presents an experience of driving that transcends the frustrating mundanity of LA traffic. Meanwhile Tower of the Americas utilizes the moving tower built for the 1968 world’s fair to create a panoramic view of San Antonio’s urban sprawl.

    Forbidden Fruit: Chris Antemann at Meissen

    Through Feb. 8, 2015

    Portland Art Museum

    In collaboration with the renowned Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, Oregon-based sculptor Chris Antemann created a unique edition of her sculptures that take advantage of porcelain’s smooth sensual finish and the Garden of Eden as metaphor to celebrate the sexual excess of 18th-century banquets. Forbidden Fruit is an irreverent feast for the eyes that reinvents and invigorates the great porcelain figurative tradition.

    Terry Atkinson

    Through Dec. 21

    Yale Union

    Despite being a relative newcomer on the contemporary art scene, Yale Union (YU) has already brought significant international artists to Portland. The first solo exhibition in the United States of British artist Terry Atkinson’s work will feature newly realized sculptures — called Greasers for their use of axle grease — initially proposed in the ’80s. Known for his role as a founding member of Art and Language, Atkinson’s textual work has influenced a generation of artists and the development and definition of what we now know as conceptual art.

    Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40

    Through Jan. 11, 2015

    Portland Art Museum

    As one of Portland’s artistic mainstays, Blue Sky Gallery has been through it all. Now in its 40th year, the gallery devoted to the exploration of photography in all forms is being honored by an exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. Founded in 1975 as an artist collective called The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Blue Sky has played host to the work of internationally recognized artists like Nan Goldin and Robert Frank, and founders Christopher Rauschenberg, Craig Hickman and Terry Toedtemeier.

    In Passionate Pursuit

    Through Jan. 11, 2015

    Portland Art Museum

    A rare opportunity for museum-goers to peer inside a private collection, In Passionate Pursuit delves into the striking collection of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer. Patrons of culture through and through, the Schnitzers assembled a dizzying array of work from Han dynasty artwork and Native American beadwork to a sizable selection of Northwest and West Coast modern and contemporary art. This is an excellent chance for those interested in the notions of collecting and the history of our region. Guest lectures and an intensive catalog will accompany the exhibition.

    Supports/Surfaces

    Through Dec. 14

    The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College

    In a rare exhibition, the Cooley presents works from the French Supports/Surfaces movement. Dedicated to extricating painting from the conventional forms of the past, this movement of twelve artists explored new avenues for a traditional media. Using liquid dye, spray paint and other non-elitist forms of production on found objects and utilitarian material, the Supports/Surfaces painters brought together Marxist theory and a deconstruction of painting to its rawest elements. Truly avant-garde in their day, these works are a testament to the artistic experimentation of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

    Akihiko Miyoshi

    Through Nov. 29

    Upfor Contemporary

    A computer programmer by training and a photographer by practice, Akihiko Miyoshi delves into the optical with an eye for the glitch. Playing with modes of perception and our approach to the photograph, Miyoshi’s large-format images have a digital presence that is entirely analog. Consistently treading the line between strict documentation and pure abstraction, the new photographs hint at the artist’s intense process and structure underlying his nontraditional approach to a seemingly straightforward media.

    Amjad Faur: Sun Kings

    Through Nov. 29, 2014

    PDX Contemporary

    Both a narrative in his content and his process, Amjad Faur’s photographs speak volumes about his own interest in history and the construction of images. His recent body of work draws from medieval depictions in Shiite art and illuminations of the prophet Muhammad and the tension surrounding his depiction. Using this historical base, Faur investigates the politics of photography and its use as a tool of representation and also one of subtlety. Creating rich black-and-white compositions wholly in studio, the illusionistic qualities of his practice give way to a deeper conversation rooted in his Middle Eastern ancestry.

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