Spotlight: A New Book Celebrates 40 Years of Portland’s Elizabeth Leach Gallery, With Cameos From Vito Acconci, Noah Davis, and More
The publication includes a richly illustrated chronology of exhibitions, artists, and growth over the decades.
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What You Need to Know: Elizabeth Leach Gallery, based in Portland, Oregon, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Since its founding, the gallery has held more than 800 exhibitions and has become a bastion of contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest. The gallery has developed a reputation beyond the local region through its rigorous exhibition program, which has shown established artists like Vito Acconci, Louise Bourgeois, and Hans Haacke, as well as contributed to the rise of previously emerging artists such as Noah Davis and Justine Kurland.
To both celebrate and commemorate the accomplishments of the past four decades, Elizabeth Leach Gallery presents the monograph Forty Years, published by Lucia/Marquand and distributed by DAP. Lavishly illustrated, the book features an introduction by Bruce Guenther, art historian and former chief curator of the Portland Art Museum, and an extensive interview between Leach herself and Linda Tesner, independent curator, writer, and former director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University
Why We Like It: The publication Forty Years offers an invaluable opportunity for readers to follow the growth and development of an important contemporary art gallery from the very beginning. Featuring a wealth of documentary photos from every era of the gallery’s history, the book has at its heart an illustrated chronology, which not only shows the pragmatic aspects of the gallery’s history, such as its relocation and expansion, but also includes comprehensive documentation of its exhibitions, partnerships, and art fair participation over the decades.
The story of Elizabeth Leach Gallery is in large part told through the art and artists it has shown and engaged with—and Forty Years conveys that story through engrossing texts as well as exhibition installation views, artworks, and more candid photos of Leach and the goings on of the gallery. Beautifully bound and including more than 100 pages, Forty Years demonstrates how Elizabeth Leach Gallery has garnered its success and established its legacy.
According to the Gallery: “Forty Years is a massive milestone for the gallery,” says owner Elizabeth Leach, “and a chance for our team to step back and appreciate some of the incredible things we’ve accomplished during that time. Elizabeth Leach Gallery is still very much thriving and focused on the years ahead, but it’s important to remember how much has changed since 1981—a time when Portland had practically no visibility in the national art scene. A lot of what has happened in the art world since then is the direct result of conversations and movements we’ve been lucky and keen enough to participate in.”
See some images from Forty Years below.
Forty Years is available through Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland.
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