Somehow, First Thursday is again upon us. Since it’s beautiful out you can bet the Pearl District will be teaming with the pasty dregs of the West Coast’s MFA programs and their doctor spouses, but never fear. Just because it’s only quatro de Mayo doesn’t mean you can’t still drink a picture of margaritas and yell obscenities at their Hummer 2s as they role by. Oh, and also look at some art.
Lucinda Parker, Moving
Laura Russo, 805 N.W. 21st Ave.
Parker, paired alongside the works of Jackie Johnson, makes the Laura Russo look like a 1920s French salon, complete with awkward Cubist-inspired motion, geometrics, silly mustaches and oppressed palettes. Parker has made a long career of painting “natural” form and movements in their most geometric incarnations, breaking the dynamics of movement into fascist-free futurist fauna. Many people really like what she does; I am not one of those people.
Malia Jensen, Nature Studies
Elizabeth Leach, 417 N.W. Ninth Ave.
Much like Lucinda Parker, Malia Jensen explores natural forms, animal forms and complex, interrelated ideas and progressions. Only she often does so in the form of sculpture and photographs. Also, Jensen shows development and shifts in a manner that those who appreciate craft and idea can understand and enjoy. Her work is borderline whimsical, but there is a sense of isolation deeply imbedded in her work that undermines her play. This is a very, very good thing. One bit of warning: Jensen occasionally includes birds in the natural form of her work, which we all know is now a PDX no-no, but don’t be dissuaded. They are no more precious than her unmade beds sculpted from bars of soap. And it’s really the preciousness we take issue with, right?
Motel, 19 N.W. Fifth Ave.
“Uneasy Marriage” features two works by five up-and-coming artists, Will Yackulic, Neil Farber, Orly Cogan, Omar Chacon and Oliver Halsman Rosenberg. These artists are all new to Motel, whose picks are generally spot-on examples of new illustration, thoughtful and occasionally painfully hip. The descriptions of these artists range from hypersexual to dense pencil work to cartoonish geometric forms. I place my faith in Motel’s ability to place artists that this will not look like the bi-polar sketchbook of your high school girlfriend, but you never know. Risk is fun, you know. That’s why you dated her in the first place.
Linda Hutchins, Line Drawings
Pulliam Deffenbaugh, 929 N.W. Flanders St.
Linda Hutchins draws and draws and draws. Her pieces feature lines layered upon lines creating a sense of loose, natural movement from dense forms. With titles manifesting rivers and oceans, her work truly does move like water, as if each work were drawn precisely from solid water photographs. The works are calming and physical, and really fucking beautiful.