1. Nic Walker at the Haze Gallery – 2004 started off with a bang with the likes of Nic Walker. Old cars made with messy dots, works in positive and negative, nostalgic but new at the same time. This show had it all.
2. James Lavadour at PDX – The other side of great start to the year: James Lavadour put a new slant on the Romantic Landscape. Unapologetically gorgeous, searing paintings – dreamy yet so precise – some drip and some smear but none of it is even a "happy accident," as they say (way too often).
3. Bruce Conkle at Haze – While much of Conkle’s exhibition was what we call an installation, my favorite works were the digital photographs taken from video games. These works addressed the triumph and tragedy of the technical and industrial over the natural world very cleverly, plus they were absolutely beautiful.
4. Eric Stotik at PDX – Eric Stotik apparently can do no wrong. Any little show with a group of small works still rises above the rest. More more more!
5. Affair at the Jupiter Hotel – Stuart Horodner might have been on a few people’s shitlist around here but he has changed all of that with Affair. So many were included and so many more came to this art fair at the Jupiter Hotel. Maybe someday we will be sick of the Jupiter and even sick of art fairs, but this event in October was a rockin’ time. Who knew all those people cared about art? Maybe they just pretended. That’s OK with me.
6. Jeff Jahn and the Critical I – Jeff Jahn writes for www.nwdrizzle.com. His column is called the Critical i. He has gone from almost unreadable (we desperate artists hungry for any ink will endure much) to absolutely essential.