The oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum was founded in late 1892 when seven leaders from Portland’s business and cultural institutions created the Portland Art Association. The goal of the Association was to create a first-class art museum that would be accessible to all citizens. With more than 42,000 works of art, 121,000 square feet of galleries, and the Northwest Film Center, the Museum provides a comprehensive opportunity to view some of man’s greatest creative achievements. From its earliest days, the Museum has closely followed and supported contemporary art. In 1908, the Museum acquired its first original painting, created by the American Impressionist Childe Hassam in the same year. In 1905 and 1913, exhibitions of avant-garde art were presented at the Museum, including Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase and other momentous works from the controversial 1913 Armory Show in New York.
Dealing less with the supernatural than the psychosomatic, Christopher Russell rouses ghosts. Within his scratched photographs, fractured glass panes, and hazy metallic paints, there are haunting recollections – the kind of outlier memories that plague our psyche well after childhood. Through a purposefully repressive fog, we habitually revisit the monsters of our innermost mentality, and find ourselves the protagonist of a lifelong plight – a cinematic tale evocatively illustrated by Russell’s eerie ships and spectral trees. Like a folkloric odyssey into a cognitive web, his mixed-media works and installations traipse through places of fragility and wistfulness; evidence of the divine and unsettling encounters inherent to our complex mortality.
Russell (b. 1974) received his M.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design (CA). In 2009, he produced a solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA). He has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Tokyo Institute of Photography (Japan), The Norton Museum (West Palm Beach, FL), Armory Center for the Arts (Los Angeles, CA), White Columns (New York, NY) De Appel Arts Center (Netherlands) Oakland Museum (Oakland, CA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), among others. He has published numerous critical articles in addition to being a featured subject of positive review by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, Artillery, Frieze, and ArtForum, among others. Russell is also known for his ‘zine Bedwetter. His first novel is Sniper, and other books include Budget Decadence (2nd Cannons Publications), Pattern Book (Insert Blanc Press) and Landscape (Kolapsomal Press)–which was included in Martin Parr’s The Photobook: A History Volume III (Phaidon). His work is included in the collections of numerous public institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art – University of Oregon, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Hammer Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, to name a few.