First Thursday/Wednesday: July Picks

First Thursday moves to Wednesday this week (due to 4th of July) for a patriotic explosion of fine art.

By Portland Monthly Staff Edited by Claire Gordon July 2, 2013

Since the Fourth of July falls on Thursday this year, all First Thursday events have been moved to Wednesday. And, as we're sure you've noticed, it's gorgeous. So launch your Independence Day early with some quality American art!

Augen Gallery
Cynthia Mosser: Ephemeral
The decidedly organic forms found in the mixed-media works and gouache and acrylic paintings of Portland’s Mosser reveal her fascination with biology, as vibrant shapes beckon and dance from beyond the microscope slide. New works by Portland artist Karen Esler are also on view.

Elizabeth Leach Gallery
Christine Bourdette: Terra Mobilis
Portland artist Christine Bourdette creates inscrutable works from wood, leather, and basically whatever else she can get her hands on. With an output that ranges from forlorn, broken human figures to smaller, delicately decorative pieces, she says she identifies recurring ideas such as “mortality, transformation, mobility, and deception.” Her recent sculpture and drawings take inspiration from geologic forms and the shifting, slipping, and eroding of the earth, revealing its history in gaps and fissures. This exhibition will complement Bourdette’s work on view in The Female Figure: Artistic Multiplicities at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon through July 28. 


PDX Contemporary Art
Justin L'Amie: The Bark of the Tree
L’Amie’s mixed-media images of flora, fauna, and members of the insect kingdom evoke ideas of family and belonging, while casting a craftsman’s light on his own Chippewa heritage. 



Charles A. Hartman Fine Art
Jessica Curtaz: Under the Sun's Glare
Jessica Curtaz's background in plant biology has clearly had a profound effect on her art and ability to observe life. In her third solo exhibition at the Charles A. Hartman gallery, the artist's building blocks are realistically rendered line drawings of hydrangea blossoms. While from a distance these drawings appear as lines, waves and patterns, when examined closely they reveal a chaotic dance of floral repetition.


Laura Russo Gallery
Dana Lynn Louis: New Works
Utilizing a variety of materials, including wire, glass, rice paper, and mica, Dana Louis’s sculptural pieces are informed by her Buddhist faith and range in size and scope from delicate suspensions to large installations.

Blackfish Gallery
18th Annual Recent Graduates Show
Every year, Blackfish surveys 15 area colleges, including Reed, Linfield, and Marylhurst, to find the most compelling new works from newly minted art program grads. See what the next generation of visual artists are making—and what they’re made of.


Museum of Contemporary Craft
Soundforge continues the Museum’s SoundCraft series with a multimedia installation, the result of a two-year collaboration between metalsmith Gabriel Craig and composer Michael Remson. The installation combines video, audio, and sculptural elements in an interactive piece that explores forging metal as an act of fabrication and percussion. Audiences are invited to use custom hand-carved wooden mallets to play hand-forged steel keyed instruments. As each key is tuned to complement the musical score, it is through striking the keys that viewers successfully engage and complete the work.

Object Focus: The Bowl, Part 1
Is there any object more fundamental to our daily lives than the bowl? Yet it can range from utilitarian to works of intricate art, from simple to conceptual. For this exhibition in two parts, MoCC curator Namita Gupta Wiggers pairs a range of bowls from the museum’s and private collections with writers and chefs to consider this object of everyday life. The first part closes on August 3. Read our review.

Portland Art Museum
Gaston Lachaise: Man/Woman
Early 20th century sculptor Gaston Lachaise abandoned his Parisian home in order to pursue a married American woman, Isabel Dutaud Nagle, who was the object of his obsession, his muse, and eventually his wife. More than 50 bronze and marble figuarative works (many inspired by Nagle) will be on display. "Lachaise was that singular being of today and yesterday," American painter Marsden Hartley wrote in 1939, "the worshipper of beauty . . . beauty was his meat and bread, it was his breath and music, it was the image that traversed his dreams, and troubled his sleep, it was his vital, immortal energy."

Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design
Drawing from the one-of-a-kind collection of Viennese designer Michael Embacher, this exhibition promises something pure and simple: bike porn. From landmark racing models and vintage cruisers to folding bikes, a parachute bike, and even an ice bike (with a skate for its front wheel), the collection showcases not only the engineering behind the simple, sweat-powered vehicle of locomotion, but the sheer artistry that has elevated it from a tool to an obsession. Having been displayed just a few times in Europe, the collection makes its first and only stateside stop at the Portland Art Musuem—another yellow jersey for our town’s growing cycling cred.

Read our review of both shows (and the World Naked Bike Ride).

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