For the 19th consecutive year, Blackfish is showcasing work by recent BFA and MFA graduates from fifteen Oregon colleges. With 30 artists working in a plethora of media and practices—installation, ceramics, sculpture, video, digitally modified photography—it’s remarkable and perhaps reassuring that some of the best artwork here is good, old-fashioned painting. PSU graduate Kaila Farrell-Smith’s oil painting, It’s an Old NDN Trick
, sophisticatedly finesses polar effects and sensibilities: chalky surfaces versus luscious impasto; bold gestures versus tentative scrawls; organic brushstrokes versus precise geometry. It’s like seeing the history of post-WWII painting in one tall (71”x24”) panel. Somehow the work coheres, never sinking into that desperate, “I’m trying to please everyone” stylistic eclecticism so rampant in academic painting today. Through Aug. 2.
420 NW 9th Ave.Website: http://www.blackfish.com/