Major 2023 highlights include Guillermo del Toro’s visionary craft, a Hito Steyerl U.S. premiere, Black Artists of Oregon, Africa Fashion from the V&A, and Cinema Unbound Awards, plus a newly announced Botticelli masterpiece.
The Portland Art Museum announces its slate of special exhibitions for 2023, which includes the just-announced Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio (June – September 2023). The Museum’s major special exhibitions in the coming year also include the U.S. premiere of Hito Steyerl: This is the Future (February 11 – May 27, 2023); Black Artists of Oregon (August 2023 – February 2024), curated for the Museum by artist Intisar Abioto; and the magnificent Africa Fashion (November 2023 – February 2024), from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London.
In addition, PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow, the Museum’s film and new media arm, will present the 2023 Cinema Unbound Awards (June 2023), celebrating boundary-breaking multimedia storytellers working at the intersection of art and cinema.
“Our offerings in the coming year further our museum’s mission of bringing the world to Oregon and Oregon to the world,” said Brian Ferriso, Director and Chief Curator of the Portland Art Museum. “The exceptional art experiences in the Portland Art Museum continue to help reconnect our community and revitalize our city and region.”
Next year’s slate of openings adds to well-received exhibitions continuing into 2023, including a just-added special presentation of a masterwork by the celebrated Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, Madonna of the Magnificat (opening December 21, 2022). Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe (through May 14, 2023), “the overdue retrospective of a remarkable Yanktonai Dakota painter” (The New Yorker) and the focus of a planned symposium at PAM in April. Acclaimed Native contemporary artist Jeffrey Gibson’s site-specific They Come From Fire and community performance-based To Name An Other both continue through February 26, 2023, and Human | Nature: 150 Years of Japanese Landscape Prints, which “shows how a cheap, popular art form produced enduring masterpieces” (The Wall Street Journal), continues through May 7, 2023.
PAM CUT’s U.S. premiere of the multisensory extended-reality experience Symbiosis (through February 12, 2023) sold out quickly, but more innovative PAM CUT offerings are always in the works, along with screenings, classes, and more—visit pamcut.org for updates.
Beyond its major special exhibitions, the Portland Art Museum will present an array of meaningful programs and installations in the coming year, including a planned spring exhibition of work by the painter Paul Missal in honor of the late Museum Trustee Jim Winkler, who passed away in November. The Museum extends and deepens its art experiences through public programs and community partnerships, including a podcast series by Community Partner-in-Residence The Numberz FM in conjunction with Black Artists of Oregon. For the latest updates on exhibitions, programs, pop-up events and more, visit portlandartmuseum.org and sign up for our email news.
OPENING DECEMBER 21, 2022
Masterworks | Portland: Botticelli
December 21, 2022 – May 14, 2023
The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present Sandro Botticelli’s masterwork Madonna of the Magnificat, a tondo (round painting) of the Madonna and Child with angels. This rarely seen work is a variant of the artist’s celebrated painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, considered one of the finest Madonna and Child paintings of the Renaissance and a high point of Botticelli’s career.
Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510) was a leading artist of the Renaissance, a moment of tremendous creativity when artists and thinkers drew inspiration from the classical past and adopted a more humanistic approach. First apprenticed to a goldsmith, Botticelli later joined the workshop (bottega) of painter Filippo Lippi (ca. 1406–1469), who was praised by his contemporaries for his elegant compositions and skillful deployment of color. Over many years, Botticelli learned the methods of panel painting and fresco and absorbed Lippi’s refined style and proportions, attentiveness to fabrics, and one-point perspective. By 1470, Botticelli had his own independent practice and was gaining recognition for his work. He combined Lippi’s linear elegance with a more vigorous, sculptural form; a greater naturalism graces his art, always tempered by a search for ideal beauty.
Botticelli’s depiction of the Madonna and Child with angels is a masterpiece of both composition and symbolism. Painted in the tondo (round) format, Madonna of the Magnificat (ca. 1483) exhibits a series of harmonious curvilinear forms. The Madonna gracefully bends forward over Christ, embracing him with her arms and torso, while at the left, a standing angel dressed in rich carmine leans lovingly over two kneeling angels, enclosing them with his right arm. The dome of heaven, flecked with gold stars, ensconces the holy scene in a perfect circle. The rose motif of the Madonna’s throne, the fruit in her left hand, and the window behind her further the symphony of round shapes.
Madonna of the Magnificat was formerly in the collection of the late Paul Allen, who acquired it in 1999. Other masterpieces from Allen’s collection were featured in Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, which debuted at the Portland Art Museum in October 2015. This painting appears at the Museum on special loan from a private collector, presenting an extraordinary opportunity for the public to experience this superb artwork by an icon of the Italian Renaissance.
OPENING IN 2023
Hito Steyerl: This is the Future
February 11 – May 27, 2023
This is the Future, by the film and new media artist Hito Steyerl, explores a vibrant, imagined garden through an immersive environment of video projection, sculpture, and architectural intervention. Steyerl is one of the foremost artists offering critical reflections on the complexities of the digital world, global capitalism, and the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) for society, which is explored in this exhibition.
This is the Future opens with a short film about the long-held human desire to predict the future and the hope that today’s applications of AI will achieve this quest. Against this backdrop, the film introduces Heja, a prisoner who cultivates a garden in her cell but must hide it in the future to protect it from her captors. The moving image projection sets the stage for Power Plants, a series of video sculptures recently acquired by the Museum. Held by steel armatures, multiple LED screens present colorful, morphing imagery of plants, each one generated by an AI neural network that predicts its evolution by creating and capturing its future state. Short texts describe the healing properties of the plants—which seem to grow out of a rocky landscape indicative of the devastating climate crisis—intended to be future remedies for contemporary social, political, ecological, and technological ills. The Portland Art Museum’s presentation is the U.S. premiere of This is the Future.
During the opening weekend on February 11, 2023, the Museum welcomes visitors to attend This is the Future: An Artist Talk with Hito Steyerl to look more closely at how she addresses AI in the exhibition.
Hito Steyerl: This is the Future is curated by Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Supported in part by the Contemporary Art Council of the Portland Art Museum and Exhibition Series Sponsors.
Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio
June – September 2023
Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio is a celebration and exploration of the inventiveness, passion and artistic cooperation that goes into making a cinematic vision come to life. Now in theaters and streaming on Netflix beginning December 9, the movie Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was ten years in the making, and conceived for international audiences of all ages. The critically lauded film showcases the incredible passion that del Toro, co-director Mark Gustafson, and their team bring the art of stop-motion animation. This exhibition is coming to Portland from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where it opens December 11, 2022.
Showcasing the collaborative art, craft and storytelling of the film, the exhibition immerses audiences in its world, featuring iconic creatures, set pieces, stop-motion animation technology, and fantastical visual and sound elements. At more than 8,000 square feet, the exhibition will guide audiences through the creation and collective artistry of del Toro’s work. Featuring the inspirations and inventiveness of the artists that helped bring the story to life, Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio will celebrate how far imagination can push us into making our dreams a reality.
The Portland Art Museum’s presentation of Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio will expand on the richness of the local stop-motion animation community by giving visitors a look inside the artists’ process. The exhibition and programs will give special attention to the talent and creative collaboration of the local cinematic animation artists at ShadowMachine—a renowned stop-motion animation studio based here in Portland, Oregon, a city increasingly recognized as a creative hub of the artform.
In addition to the exhibition itself, PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow, the Museum’s film and new media arm, will enhance and deepen the experience of Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio with classes, programs, and a screening series celebrating the art of stop-motion animation.
PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow
Cinema Unbound Awards
The fourth annual Cinema Unbound Awards, presented by PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow, is an annual celebration honoring boundary-breaking multimedia storytellers working at the intersection of art and cinema. The honor is presented to artists who are not content to be contained and consistently challenge for whom, by whom and how cinematic stories can be told.
Past honorees include world-renowned, multi-hyphenate artists like ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Shirin Neshat, Todd Haynes, Steve McQueen, Carrie Brownstein, Roger Ross Williams and John Cameron Mitchell. 2023 Honorees will be announced in Spring 2022.
Black Artists of Oregon
August 2023 – February 2024 (subject to change)
Black Artists of Oregon, highlighting and celebrating the work of Black artists in and outside of the Portland Art Museum collection, will serve to deepen awareness of the talented artists that have shaped and inspired artists regionally and nationally. The exhibition will be the first of its kind to consider the work of Black artists collectively in Oregon, often underrepresented and unacknowledged. Beginning in the 1920s through today, the exhibition captures the African American experience particular to the Pacific Northwest. Among those included in the exhibition will be: Al Goldsby, Thelma Johnson Streat, Isaka Shamsud-Din, Ralph Chessé, Robert Colescott, Arvie Smith, Shedrich Williames, Harrison Branch, Adriene Cruz, Charlotte Lewis, and Carrie Mae Weems. This exhibition will be guest curated by artist Intisar Abioto. In Abioto’s own artistic practice, she has been documenting Black figures in Portland since 2013, through interviews, photography, research, and performance, filling the region’s own historical gaps.
Beginning in January, 2023, Abioto will be working with The Numberz FM on a podcast series that will be streamed through both The Numberz and the Museum’s Art Unbound podcast programs. Leading up to the exhibition and ongoing through the exhibition, this conversation series will discuss a range of topics including the scope of the exhibition, intergenerational conversations with the artists in the exhibition, and oral histories from Black elder artists.
The Numberz FM continues to be a Community Partner-in-Residence at the Museum. This new podcast is envisioned as a continuation of Aux/Mute, The Numberz FM’s year-long exhibition series which began in 2021 and highlighted BIPOC artists in the Numberz FM’s growing art collection. This year Aux/Mute takes the shape of this storytelling series that will continue to amplify the voices and perspectives of artists in our community.
Guest curated by artist Intisar Abioto. The Museum’s Re:Imagine Artist Fund is providing the seed funding to Abioto for her research and planning. Lead support provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
November 2023 – February 2024
The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present Africa Fashion, a major exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London that will celebrate the richness and diversity of African creativity, cultures, and histories, using fashion as a catalyst. Spanning mid-twentieth century to contemporary designs, Africa Fashion explores the vitality of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.
The irresistible creativity, ingenuity, and global impact of contemporary African fashions are celebrated in an extensive display of garments, textiles, adornments, personal testimonies, photographs, film, and catwalk footage in this exhibition. Many of the garments hail from the archives of groundbreaking mid-twentieth century African designers—Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah, Naïma Bennis and Alphadi. Designs from influential contemporary African fashion creatives, including Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions, Thebe Magugu, and Maison Art appear alongside these historical works, on display for the first time in Africa Fashion.
Exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where it is on view through April 16, 2023. Curated by the V&A’s Christine Checinska, Ph.D., Senior Curator of African and Diaspora Textiles and Fashion, with Project Curator Elisabeth Murray. Curated for Portland by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Portland Art Museum’s Minor White Senior Curator of Photography. Supported in part by Exhibition Series Sponsors.