June First Thursday/Friday Gallery Guide

Featuring Transportraits at Newspace Center for Photography, Augen's 35, Upfor, more

The following list is my totally biased guide to some June exhibitions I am looking forward to, and links and maps to additional First Thursday/First Friday participating galleries to make this a somewhat comprehensive resource. I’m featuring shows at Newspace Center for Photography, Augen Gallery, Duplex, Hap Gallery, Hellion, and Upfor Gallery, but please include what shows you’re looking forward to and why in the comments below!

If you enjoy the American landscape tradition—particularly a la Bob Ross—and portraiture in all of its stately and silly forms, then your June gallery pick should be Lorenzo Triburgo’s Transportraits at Newspace Center for Photography. Opening Friday, June 6, and running through July, Transportraits examines representations of American masculinity. By setting transgender men against oil-painted landscapes, Triburgo utilizes the history of nature painting and heroic portraiture to explore the origination of American male identity.

Lorenzo Triburgo, Fisherman's Paradise (Chaz)

Lorenzo Triburgo, Fisherman’s Paradise (Chaz)

As far back as 1899, Theodore Roosevelt defined “the strenuous life” in a so-titled speech as “the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife,” and lived out his message by participating in and advocating for outdoorsman activities to strengthen the mind, body, and soul. This style of masculinity is still alive in the Pacific Northwest’s emphasis on ruggedness in the form of beards, flannel, and camping.

In addition, American landscape painters exalted the heroism of the strenuous life in their explorations and compositions. In her seminal book Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, art historian Barbara Novak observed, “The [19th century] artist was explorer, scientist, educator, frontiersman, and minister. He ran arduous risks and suffered extreme hardships which certified his “heroic” status. This heroism became a kind of tour de force in the vicinity of art”

What unites these historical iterations of masculinity and the strenuous life with its contemporary forms is the belief that we grow by deliberately putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations. So: Do you feel uncomfortable at the thought of standing in front of portraits of transgender men?

It’s OK if you do, which is exactly why I want to encourage you to see this show. These portraits lead us to consider exactly how much mythology is behind the ideas about gender we accept as “fact” with the same confidence that we have in the veracity of photography—despite living in the age of Photoshop.

It’s the unique power of art to be able to communicate without speaking, so if you’re willing to live the strenuous life, come wrangle with Lorenzo Triburgo’s representations and subversions of masculinity, heroism, and history at Newspace Center for Photography’s First Friday opening reception for Transportraits on Friday, June 6 from 6 to 9 pm. For any queries the art or Google can’t answer for you, there will be an artist talk at 1 pm. Saturday, June 7.



Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Pitcher and Flowers - 1974, lithograph and screenprint, 30-1/4 x 45-3/8 inches, Edition of 100

Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Pitcher and Flowers – 1974, lithograph and screenprint, 30-1/4 x 45-3/8 inches, Edition of 100

Augen Gallery—on NW Davis between Broadway and Park—will be toasting its 35th anniversary with a show of six titans of post-war printmaking: Jim Dine, David Hockney, Roy Lichenstein, Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. This is a unique opportunity to see a museum quality hung show of canonical work you’ll find in art history textbooks, so don’t let the chance to see world-class art in a local gallery pass you by.


Mathew Roberts

Mathew Roberts at Duplex Collective

Duplex presents the recent sculpture of Matthew Roberts and an art experience rich in material, allusion, and illusion. Inspired by recollecting the tire ruts left in the aftermath of off-roading, Roberts cast two ditches and filled them with water. These reflecting pools delve into our experience with memory through our relationship to landscape. Committed to supporting our local art economy by bringing together emerging artists and collectors, Duplex is also down the street from the new Chinatown Lardo.*


Kristina Lewis, Portal, 2014. Cartons, papier-mâché, epoxy clay, acrylic, 21" x 22" x 3"

Kristina Lewis, Portal, 2014. Cartons, papier-mâché, epoxy clay, acrylic, 21″ x 22″ x 3″

Hap’s shows are always worth going to for the unique approach to material you’ll often find, and their commitment to expanding the avenues for art viewers to become art collectors. Artifact, an exhibition of meticulously constructed objects by San Francisco sculptor Kristina Lewis, promises to provide a lens to view mundane household items as beautiful and/or grotesque. If precedent holds, Hap will also commission a series of work available for under $100.


Ruri Clarkson, Haha Mother, 2013

Ruri Clarkson, Haha Mother, 2013

Hellion Gallery, located at 19 NW 5th Ave, suite 204, is across from the classic arcade Ground Kontrol and will be showcasing new Japanese artists in Fresh Off the Rocket Ship. The artists who are showing in the United States for first time work in diverse media including embroidery, sculpture, illustration, and painting. It looks like this exhibition will not just be from out of this country, but out of this world.


Alex Rose, Untitled 2014; collage, archival ink, paper; 10 x 8 inches. Courtesy Envoy Enterprises, New York.

Alex Rose, Untitled 2014; collage, archival ink, paper; 10 x 8 inches. Courtesy Envoy Enterprises, New York.




Upfor Gallery, in collaboration with Envoy Enterprises, NY,  presents the Pacific Northwest premier of work by Alex Rose of Cork, Ireland. Rose has a small cult-following among aficionados and collectors. In Another Furrow in the Forehead Upfor brings Portland a unique practice “rooted in ritualistic cycles of creation destruction, and re-creation.”










Notable mentions for June include Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Blue Sky  Gallery, Laura Russo Gallery, One Grand Gallery, Quintana Galleries, BlackFish Gallery Finally, here are the links to two great maps of the many galleries and art institutions of Portland that have great shows beyond the scope of this humble guide:

Portland Art Dealers Association Galleries and Alliance Members

Duplex Collective’s Gallery Guide*

Don’t forget to mention the shows you’re looking forward to below in the comments!

*Yes, I would include Duplex’s show and their map even if I wasn’t a contributing writer for their blog.

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