By Joseph Gallivan
DANIEL DUFORD: JOHN BROWN’S VISION ON THE SCAFFOLD
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU, Portland. To May 16
Daniel Duford has worked in graphic novels and sculpture but here we see his narrative paintings. He looks at the slavery abolitionist John Brown, inspired by a visit to Harpers Ferry, W.Va., the site of Brown’s raid on the federal armory. Duford explores modern politics and the concept of activism by painting historical figures as if they were seated in his studio. The trees represent not just rings of duration but the branching nature of connectivity.
BURY THE HATCHET: PRAYER FOR MY P’AH-BE
Center for Contemporary Native Art, Portland Art Museum. To Sep 6
John Hitchcock’s mixed-media installation combines his interests in printmaking, rock ’n’ roll, and Kiowa and Comanche history and takes on the story of the American frontier. The peg is Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, but the hatchet is aimed at White supremacy and what theorists call the supremacy of the written word. Sounds include pedal steel guitar, cello, clarinet, accordion, guitars by the band the Stolen Sea, and reworkings of Native American songs, all collected on a 12-inch vinyl album available in the gift shop.
SHERRIE WOLF: MEMENTO
Russo Lee Gallery, Portland. May 7 – 31
Sherrie Wolf is known for her realistic oil paintings, especially her art history–inflected still lifes. In this show of new oils on canvas, Wolf works on her biggest scale yet, the largest piece being 10 feet wide. She combines flowers and animals with inanimate objects, the mementos of the title. In a new stylistic twist, she plays on the effect of natural light from the Oregon coast.