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The Art Gym Presents Portland2012

For Release: February 16, 2012

The Art Gym is one of five venues presenting Portland2012, a biennial of contemporary art sponsored by Disjecta, produced by Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center and curated by Prudence F. Roberts. The Art Gym is presenting eight of the 24 chosen artists. The Art Gym will open its part of Portland2012 with a reception on Sunday, February 26 from 3 to 5 p.m., and will host a discussion with the artists and curator on Thursday, March 15 at noon. The Art Gym exhibition continues through Wednesday, April 4.

The artists exhibiting at The Art Gym are Future Death Toll, Grant Hottle, Chris Knight, Cynthia Lahti, Ben Killen Rosenberg, Jack Ryan, Marie Sivak and Dustin Zemel.

Artists exhibiting at Disjecta and other venues are Ben Buswell, Vanessa Calvert, Sang-ah Choi, Daniel Duford, Erik Geschke, Brian Gillis, Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen, Hand2Mouth Theater, Ariana Jacob, Arnold Kemp, Matt McCormick, Mack McFarland, Akihiko Miyoshi, Wendy Red Star, Vanessa Renwick and Susan Seubert.

Prudence Roberts writes

The artists showing at The Art Gym's part of Portland2012 are at various points in their careers. Some, like Cynthia Lahti and Christopher Knight, are natives of the Northwest, while most (Dustin Zemel, Future Death Toll and Jack Ryan) have arrived more recently as a part of the influx of artists who have transformed and broadened Oregon's art scene in recent years. The artists deploy a wide range of styles and materials. Ben Rosenberg, for instance, began his career as an illustrator. Grant Hottle is intrigued by the traditions of the large-scale oil painting. Marie Sivak is a master stone carver. Even with this variety, all are linked by their interest in what might be termed a meta-narrative. Their works investigate the inherent flaws in any system of communication, either spoken or visual, that make a single interpretation of that narrative all but impossible to convey. From paintings in which familiar figural elements defy and often leapfrog over linear interpretation, to sculpture and drawings that map and explore both the science and poetics of perception, the varied works in this exhibition examine the disjuncture between representation and meaning, undercutting the ultimate validity of any document or object, be it text, film, sculpture or time-based imagery. The artists evince an interest in aesthetics and in making sense of an increasingly incomprehensible world, often using the elements that make it incomprehensible as a mirror of its chaos.

About Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, produced by Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center and curated by Prudence F. Roberts

Portland2012 is a major survey of work by visual artists who are defining and advancing the contemporary arts landscape. There will be 24 artists and teams presented at five venues throughout the metropolitan area February 26 through May 19. In addition to Disjecta and The Art Gym, participating venues are the Helzer Art Gallery, PCC Rock Creek, PDX Across the Hall and the White Box of the University of Oregon in Portland.

Disjecta developed the biennial program in 2010 to promote the vigorous quality of the visual arts scene in Portland, including contributions to that vitality by artists living throughout the state. Portland2012 will be the second iteration of the Disjecta biennial. For included artists, the exhibition and publication offer recognition and opportunities for critical response from media and peers, new audiences, patrons and future exhibition opportunities. The project builds on a long history of annual and biennial exhibitions of Oregon art presented by the Portland Art Museum from 1949 to 2006, when the museum launched the more regionally focused Contemporary Northwest Art Awards.

The curator's vision is a key component of Disjecta's biennial. For Portland2012, guest curator Roberts reviewed 280 applications and made roughly 50 studio visits in her selection process. She ultimately selected 24 artists and artist teams.

"As the guest curator for this year's Disjecta Biennial, I did not set out to organize a thematic exhibition," Roberts said. "Rather, I wanted to present a sample of work from a Portland that has changed almost beyond recognition in the 20-plus years since I first arrived. Yet, perhaps inevitably, given that I am one person with a particular view of the world, I found, after the fact, that connections existed between the artists I selected."

Portland2012 is sponsored by the Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Willamette Week, Hotel Modera, TriMet, Plazm Design, Sign Wizards, Framing Resource and partner venues.

About the Curator

Roberts is an instructor of art history at Portland Community College. She has curated, consulted and contributed essays for exhibitions at the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, The Art Gym at Marylhurst University and The Portland Art Museum, where she served as curator of American Art from 1987 to 2000.

About Disjecta

Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center is a nonprofit organization in Portland, Ore. that provides essential resources for artists to create and exhibit new work. Disjecta houses an expansive exhibition space for the presentation of vital visual and performing arts at the local, regional, national and international level that speaks to the region's diverse interests, talents and identities. Disjecta is located in north Portland at 8371 N. Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97217. For more information, visit www.disjecta.org. 503-286-9449.

About The Art Gym

The Art Gym is on the third floor of the B.P. John Administration Building at Marylhurst University, which is located one mile south of Lake Oswego on Highway 43.

In 2010, The Art Gym celebrated 30 years of exhibitions, publications and conversations about contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1980 by Marylhurst University, The Art Gym's mission from its inception has been to increase public understanding of contemporary art in the region. Over the last three decades, The Art Gym has organized hundreds of exhibitions, published more than 60 exhibition catalogues (which are available online) and hosted numerous public conversations with artists in the gallery. The Art Gym's goals have been to: consider the ideas with which artists are engaged; act as a catalyst for new work; and periodically take an in-depth look at a single artist's work at midcareer. The Art Gym was a recipient of the 2004-2005 Governor's Arts Award.

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