Emmet Gowin, Old Hanford City Site and the Columbia River, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Washington
Emmet Gowin, Old Hanford City Site and the Columbia River, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Washington, 1986, © Emmet Gowin; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Emmet Gowin, Abandoned Air Strip, Old Hanford City Site, Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington
Emmet Gowin, Abandoned Air Strip, Old Hanford City Site, Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington, 1986, © Emmet Gowin; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

Force of Nature

Emmet Gowin in the American West

Oct 10, 2015 – Jan 17, 2016

Passionate about the world surrounding him, Emmet Gowin has photographed aspects of nature—from tiny insects to expansive aerial views of the landscape—for more than forty years. Force of Nature features Gowin’s photographs of Mount St. Helens, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and the Nevada Test Site nuclear grounds. Together, these images trace nature’s unpredictable power and humanity’s own forceful manipulation of the American West.

Between 1980 and 1986, Gowin photographed Mount St. Helens, which erupted in May 1980 with a force equal to 27,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. Initially working from an aircraft and later on the ground, he charted the stunning aftermath of the natural phenomenon: Horizonless forests of felled trees and abstract mudflows dripping down the mountainside suggest a seemingly endless field of devastation and capture nature’s raw and stunning power.

In 1986, while still photographing Mount St. Helens, Gowin made a side trip to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. In his first foray into the nuclear landscape, he documented aspects of the country’s most contaminated nuclear site from above. Ten years later, Gowin photographed the secretive Nevada Test Site, where more than 800 nuclear experiments were conducted between 1951 and 1992. As a group, the three series reveal the terrible beauty of natural and human markmaking on the land initiated by sudden chaos and controlled usage: massive craters, linear trenches and roadways, and hardened rivers of lava.

The mythic American West has been a mainstay of landscape photography since the introduction of the medium. Gowin’s late-20th-century consideration of Mount St. Helens, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and the Nevada Test Site continues the photographic interpretation of and concern for the promising but unpredictable natural world west of the Mississippi.

Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Minor White Curator of Photography.

Related Events

Nov
19
Tue
Art & Conversation: Portland Art & Learning Studios Panel Discussion
Nov 19 @ 9:15 am – 11:30 am

Matthew Spencer, PALS Artist
Michael Lazarus, PALS Artist in Residence
Daniel Rolnik, PALS Gallery Director

This Art and Conversation also includes an opportunity to demo an adaptive music instrument developed by Quinn Jarvis Holland, Crystal Cortez, Station and Francisco Botello.


Join us the third Tuesday of every month for coffee followed by a lecture or film screening. Coffee at 9:15 a.m. and lecture at 10:15 a.m.

This is a free program and everyone is welcome.

Art & Conversation is made possible through the Marguerite and Harry Kendall Education Fund.

Nov
20
Wed
Photography Brown Bag Talk: Diana H. Bloomfield
Nov 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Photography Brown Bag Talk: Diana H. Bloomfield

The Whys of Visual Storytelling

In the thirty-five years that I’ve been a practicing artist, I have devoted most of that time working in “alternative” historic photographic printing processes and exploring the qualities inherent in film, specifically in tandem with pinhole and toy cameras. Given that much of this work is hand-made and revolves around unpredictability, infinite variability, inordinate amounts of time, and a definite leap of faith, the one question that consistently arises— sometimes even in my own mind— is: Why? Given the relative ease that 21st century technology offers with regard to photographing and printing, why would anyone devote themselves to ancient methods of visual storytelling? In my presentation, and through my images, I’ll talk about how my work evolved, and why. I hope you’ll join me!

About Diana H. Bloomfield

An exhibiting photographer for over thirty-five years, Diana has received numerous awards for her images, including a 1985 New Jersey State Visual Arts Fellowship, and six Regional Artist Grants from the United Arts Council of Raleigh, North Carolina, most recently in 2019/20. She was named a Critical Mass Finalist in 2014, 2018, and, most recently, in 2019.

Specializing in 19th century printing techniques, Diana’s images have been included in a number of books, including Pinhole Photography: Rediscovering a Historic Technique (2004), by Eric Renner; Robert Hirsch’s Exploring Color Photography Fifth & Sixth Editions: From Film to Pixels (2011; 2015); in Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes: Popular Historical and Contemporary Techniques; in Christopher James’ The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (2015); and, most recently, in #NoFilter, by Natalia Price-Cabrera, published in May 2019.

She is a featured artist in Christina Z. Anderson’s Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists and their Creative Practice (2017); and in Clay Harmon’s Polymer Photogravure: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists & their Creative Practice (2019).

Her photographs have been featured in the Pinhole Journal; The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography; Chinese Photography; Dodho Photography Magazine, and Silvershotz (including front cover image). Her images have been included in The Sun Magazine (including front cover image); The HAND Magazine; and the North Carolina Literary Review.

Her art is in a number of public and private collections, including the Norton Museum of Art, located in West Palm Beach, Florida; The Fine Art Program and Collection at Montefiore Einstein, in Bronx, New York; New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and North Carolina State University’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A native North Carolinian, Diana lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she received her MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University. She teaches workshops throughout the country, and in her beautiful backyard studio.

Diana is represented by the Ryan Gallery at Art Intersection, located in Gilbert, Arizona, and by photo-eye Gallery (Photographer’s Showcase), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

https://www.dhbloomfield.com/


Every third Wednesday of the month at noon, photography enthusiasts gather at the Museum to hear talks by regional photographers, gallerists, historians, curators, and collectors.

Free to the public.

Sponsored by the Museum’s Photography Council. Major support provided by Pro Photo Supply.

Nov
21
Thu
Public Tour: Highlights
Nov 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Meditation Tour
Nov 21 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Meditation Tour

Enjoy a slow looking tour experience and object focused meditation. This public tour invites people to relax, rejuvenate, energize and be calm. Using focused breathing and simple poses the museum encourages visitors to meditate in the galleries twice a month on the first and third Thursdays.

Artist Talk: rubén garcia marrufo
Nov 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Artist Talk: rubén garcia marrufo

rubén garcía marrufo is a Mexican filmmaker and artist. Their work focuses on borders, their aftermaths, and bilinguality—a work that finds its place between fiction and documentary forms with narratives that are rooted in hearsay and multiple languages. They have produced both feature-length, short, and experimental films that have been exhibited in Mexico and the US, including work presented at Artists Space, abcontemporary, Kunstverein, Escritorio de Procesos, Echo Park Film Center, and Mexicali Rose.

Join artists from a range of disciplines in the galleries for lively conversations about works of art on view at the Museum and how they relate to their own practices. The talks are followed by complimentary social hour in the museum cafe.

Program begins at 6 p.m. $5 members, $20 non-members, $17 seniors. Space is limited. Tickets available online or on site.

Purchase tickets
Nov
22
Fri
Don’t Shoot Portland Printmaking Workshop
Nov 22 @ 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Join social justice nonprofit Don’t Shoot Portland as they combine forces with community members to widen the lens of racial identity. This workshop is an opportunity to become a part of the artistic justice movement by creating posters, screen prints, tote bags and more – all in the name of driving civic engagement.

We will be accepting non-perishable food items for donation to the Food Bank.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…

$5 After 5
Nov 22 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

$5 Museum admission after 5 p.m.

Every Friday evening, we invite you to play with us—to have a different Museum experience—a little bit more relaxed, more interactive, and more social experience. Admission is just $5 after 5 p.m.!

Here’s what we have in store:

Stay tuned to TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for the latest updates.

Learn more about Fridays at the Museum.

Purchase tickets
Public Tour: Slow Looking
Nov 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Nov
23
Sat
Public Tour: Prints in the Galleries
Nov 23 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Public Tour: All Things Being Equal…
Nov 23 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: All Things Being Equal...

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…

Nov
24
Sun
Family Tour: Abundance
Nov 24 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Public Tour: Highlights
Nov 24 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Nov
28
Thu
Museum Closed
Nov 28 all-day

The Museum is closed Thursday, November 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nov
29
Fri
$5 After 5
Nov 29 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

$5 Museum admission after 5 p.m.

Every Friday evening, we invite you to play with us—to have a different Museum experience—a little bit more relaxed, more interactive, and more social experience. Admission is just $5 after 5 p.m.!

Here’s what we have in store:

Stay tuned to TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for the latest updates.

Learn more about Fridays at the Museum.

Purchase tickets
Public Tour: Slow Looking
Nov 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Nov
30
Sat
Public Tour: Women in Art
Nov 30 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Public Tour: Native American Art
Nov 30 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Dec
1
Sun
Family Tour: Fashion and Art
Dec 1 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Film + In Dialogue: Life and Debt
Dec 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

In Dialogue facilitated by Dr. Roberta Hunte

Dr. Roberta Hunte is an educator, facilitator, and cultural worker. She is an Assistant Professor in Child Youth and Family Studies and affiliate faculty in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies and Black Studies here at Portland State University. She facilitates trainings on equity, diversity and inclusion. She is a collaborator on the theatre pieces  My Walk Has Never Been Average and We Are Brave, and a short film Sista in the Brotherhood. Her research on  Black tradeswomen and reproductive justice informs her performance work. She is on the board of Partnership for Safety and Justice. Her research areas are Black women in the trades, Black women and maternal health, and students of color pathways to higher education in Oregon.

This In Dialogue series will facilitate discussions in relation to the Hank Willis Thomas film series. Immediately following the screenings, we will engage in group conversation that takes inspiration from the themes and topics raised within the selected films.

Presented in conjunction with Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…, artist Hank Willis Thomas has selected a wide-ranging series of films that grapple with mass media, race, and representation in the contemporary United States. See all films in the series.

Space is limited. Registration required.

Film + In Dialogue tickets Film Only tickets
Public Tour: Highlights
Dec 1 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.