Terry Toedtemeier: Arches (and apertures)

Every Tuesday–Saturday, through June 1, 10 am–6 pm
PDX CONTEMPORARY ART Slabtown (Portland)
This is an in-person event
All Ages
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The following description comes from the event organizer.

PDX CONTEMPORARY ART is pleased to present Arches (and apertures), an exhibition of photographs by Terry Toedtemeier. Toedtemeier was an accomplished photographer whose work was deeply informed by his study of the geology of the Northwest. For more than thirty years he studied the history of photography in the American West, with a particular focus on the photography of the Columbia River Gorge. Toedtemeier was a founder of Portland’s photography gallery Blue Sky Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts with Ann Hughes, Christopher Rauschenberg, Craig Hickman, and Robert DiFranc. A decade later he became the first curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum. Toedtemeier passed away in December 2008, while making a presentation of "Wild Beauty” a major exhibition of historic Columbia River Gorge photography he curated at the Portland Art Museum with an accompanying book published with John Laursen.

“Although he traveled to other basalt-rich regions, Terry Toedtemeier never found a place that rivaled his beloved home state of Oregon. From the fresh young lava beds of the Owyhee country to the water-and wind-eroded rocks that make our coastline so dramatic to the myriad columns and crags of the Columbia River Gorge: this was his terrain. In an introduction to Basalt Exposures, a catalogue accompanying a 1995 exhibition, Toedtemeier wrote, “Although basalt formations are common worldwide, the ones found in the Pacific Northwest are particularly varied and widespread. Resistant to erosion, basalt stands out in the landscape, forming rugged lava flows, craggy hillsides, rimrock, cliffs, and headlands. Because of the great variety and rich geologic history of the Northwest, these places are home to sea caves, lava tubes, peculiar stone arches, pillars, chasms, knobs, craters, and many other compelling forms.”

In his photographs, Toedtemeier strived to convey the beauty and complexity of basalt features and the surrounding landscapes. He was particularly drawn to “peculiar” stone arches and to apertures: entrances to sea caves and lava tubes as well as free-standing examples, such as Catherine Creek, in the Columbia Gorge. He loved their sculptural qualities and the dramatic contrasts of light and dark as he focused on interior and exterior space. The pieces in this show draw from that body of work. All but one are gelatin silver prints, printed by Toedtemeier.

The show is timed to coincide with an exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Terry Toedtemeier: Photographer looks at the full range of Toedtemeier’s work, from the 1970s until the 2000s.” — Prudence Roberts

Event Location


1881 NW Vaughn Street Portland, OR 97209 Venue website

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