The first comprehensive retrospective of one of America’s most compelling and controversial artists, Art and Race Matters traces the work of Robert Colescott (1925-2009), who established his career in Portland with the support of gallery owner and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer, then made his mark in the 1970s with a series of deconstructed art-historical masterpieces that challenged taboos around racial stereotyping.
This unorthodox exhibition, curated by Triple Candie, delves into these issues. Comprising unfaithful sculptural objects, spatial interventions, animated videos, tapestries, and hand-drawn documentation—all fabricated by the curators themselves—plus quotes by witnesses to PCVA’s programs, Being Present is designed to transport viewers, if only partially and somewhat unfaithfully, to this bygone moment. Like other Triple Candie exhibitions, it seeks to turn our articles of faith back on themselves. Moreover, it asks us to reflect on how we define cultural progress, and what art can, or should, do today.
The artistic poster first flourished in the United States in the 1890s. Initially following design trends pioneered in Europe, American artists soon created their own unique style. Magazines were among the first to adopt this new form of advertising, employing outstanding designers such as Will Bradley, Edward Penfield, and Maxfield Parrish to advertise periodicals including Harper’s, Lippincott’s, and The Century. The posters were produced using color lithography, allowing artists to create powerful designs with bold color that married original art with advertising. Posters were placed in bookshops and on newsstands to entice readers to purchase books and magazines, but soon the artistic posters became more popular than the work they advertised. A brief but intense period of “poster mania” swept the country before dying out just as quickly. This exhibition features original posters, magazine covers, and book covers from this exciting chapter of design, artistic, and literary history.
The exhibition is largely drawn from the collection of Daniel Bergsvik and Donald Hastler, who have promised their distinguished collection of American and international posters to the Portland Art Museum.
Nationally celebrated, Portland-born artist Carrie Mae Weems uses photography, video, and installation to examine the African-American experience. In The Usual Suspects, organized by Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Weems addresses the constructed nature of racial identity—specifically, representations that associate black bodies with criminality. Through a formal language of blurred images, color blocks, stated facts, and meditative narration, she questions this sustained history of violence and judicial inaction.
Winner of 4 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical
Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, this genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. Hedwig, a German emigrant, is out to set the record straight about her life, her loves, and the operation that left her with that “angry inch.” Part rock concert, part cabaret, part stand-up comedy routine, this one-of-a-kind musical proves time and again that an indomitable spirit can’t ever be tied down.
By John Cameron Mitchell
Music & lyrics by Stephen Trask
Directed by Chip Miller
Approximately 2 hours, including one intermission.
Recommended for ages 14 and up. Contains adult situations, strong language, and sexual references. Children under 6 are not permitted at any production at The Armory.
Plaintiff James X confronts the defendants, Church and State, for injustices they perpetrated throughout his childhood. While awaiting his trial, James examines his confidential state files compiled over the previous 45 years, and takes us on a journey through the schools, courts, health boards, industrial schools, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons. It is part of the secret history of Ireland in the last century.