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Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery, now in its fortieth year of exhibiting great photography, has never outgrown “the populism and exuberance of its Seventies roots.”

The Portland Art Museum has just produced a major exhibition, “Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40“, with more than 120 works by artists shown at Blue Sky, demonstrating the importance that the gallery has played in the history of photography.

“From the gallery’s start in 1975, Blue Sky’s founders endeavored to bring the most dynamic contemporary photographers working in the United States ⎯ and eventually throughout the world ⎯ to the Pacific Northwest. The gallery has introduced more than 700 emerging and established photographers to the region, providing a direct and immediate means to consider the latest in documentary, conceptual, and formal artwork. The Center’s early support of now-renowned photographers including Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Joel Sternfeld, Harry Callahan, Nan Goldin, John Divola, Mark Klett and Larry Sultan, among many others, established Blue Sky as a preeminent West Coast venue, where emerging photographers engaging with 21st- century technologies continue to find their voices and eager audiences.”

With the exhibition, Blue Sky Gallery announced they have published 36 monographs by 36 previously unpublished photographers they’ve shown over the last four decades.

The books showcase the work of Justyna Badach, Karl Baden, Mary Berridge, Lucy Capehart, Susan Dobson, Beth Dow, Pedro Farias-Nardi, Mary Frey, Patricia Galagan, Eduardo Gil, Ford Gilbreath, Rita Godlevskis, Ken Graves & Eva Lipman, Gary Grenell, M. Bruce Hall, Craig Hickman, Kent Krugh, Alejandra Laviada, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Pedro Lobo, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Bill McCullough, Julie Mihaly, Christine Osinski, M. Alexis Pike, David Pace, Gail Rebhan, Greta Pratt, Shawn Records, Soody Sharifi, Danny Treacy, Seth Thompson, Joe Vitone, Susan Weil & José Betancourt and Albert Winn.

In the words of series editor Christopher Rauschenberg, “With our big exhibition at the Portland Art Museum celebrating the 39+ years of Blue Sky we got excited and went out and did something a bit crazy. We looked at the 767 exhibitions we’ve created for 650 different wonderful photographers and we published 36 monograph books from those shows. We’ve got portraits, landscapes, street photography and family rituals, mythologies, quirkiness and pathology. We’ve got bachelors, Haitian workers, Moslem youth, synchronized swimmers, people dressed as the statue of liberty, people holding snapshots, and people scarily dressed in rubbish. We have pictures from Russia, Cuba, Mexico, India, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, small town Oregon, and Canadian suburbs. We’ve got projects about prison cells, proms, English gardens, Judaism, weddings, museums, and AIDS. We’ve got blueprints, pre-Photoshop shenanigans, plastic camera pictures, stereographs, photographic sculpture, scanners used as cameras, pictures made with hand-held fish-tank cameras, and trees seen from every direction at once. Half of the books are by women artists and all of them are great.”


Blue Sky Books


Blue Sky: The Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts at 40
Through January 11, 2015

The Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR USA
Through January 11, 2015


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Portland – Blue Sky: Gay Block & Dorothee Deiss

Blue Sky presents a selection of original prints by photographer Gay Block from her most recent career survey publication, About Love (Radius Books, 2011). Included in this presentation are portraits from all of Block's major photographic projects since 1973, including "Bertha Al...