Overcup Press takes a tour through Portland Art Museum

By Carolyn Supinka
Posted in Overcup Press, on September 21, 2018

Two of our favorite activities at Overcup Press are: reading books and wandering through museums.

Lucky for us, we have a LOT of amazing books, and the beautiful Portland Art Museum (PAM) is just down the street from our Portland, Oregon headquarters.

We are bringing you the best of both worlds in this blog post! We spent a morning wandering through the museum pairing five Overcup Press books with five works of art found in the museum.  

Let’s begin our tour through PAM.

1. Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry by Cole Gerst x Coliseum Blue, 2018, by Avantika Bawa

Up in the APEX gallery at PAM, Avantika Bawa’s beautiful series of work reminded us of Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry. Both explore ideas of architecture, geometry, and vision.

Avantika Bawa is a Portland-area artist whose ongoing series of paintings and drawings of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum explore how we remember places. Her work depicts the Coliseum as a grid, as smooth and serene blocks of color. Looking at her work, you can feel a quiet beauty in the simplicity of design.

Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry by Cole Gerst x Coliseum Blue, 2018, by Avantika Bawa

This series brought to mind the beautiful art in Buckminster Fuller, which illustrates many of his innovative designs that continue to influence architects, artists, and scientists today.

2. The Field Guide to Drinking In America by Niki Ganong x The Drunken Cobbler by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1780/1785

This painting of a drunken cobbler being confronted by his family was a definite pairing with A Field Guide to Drinking in America.

The Field Guide to Drinking In America by Niki Ganong x The Drunken Cobbler by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1780/1785

To be clear, the book and the painting have two very different agendas. Greuze meant the painting to be a reprimand to the ‘loose’ morals of the aristocracy regarding alcohol.

Author of The Field Guide to Drinking in America, Niki Ganong, is a Portland-based drink writer. The Field Guide shares fun and fascinating facts about the cultural and legal history of alcohol in every state in America.

 

3. The Tall Trees of Paris by Matt Wagner x Portrait of a Sculptor by Gabriel Revel, 1680

Ok, so The Tall Trees of Paris and Portrait of a Sculptor definitely speak to each other. A book about artists in their studios, and a painting of an artist in his studio! Author Matt Wagner shares a fascinating look at the lives of 42 Paris-based artists working in mediums from sculpture to photography to painting.

The Tall Trees of Paris by Matt Wagner x Portrait of a Sculptor by Gabriel Revel, 1680

 

Just as Revel’s painting celebrates the work of a talented artist, Wagner’s book celebrates the vibrancy of the Paris art community. Each artist featured in The Tall Trees shares a glimpse into their studios through photographs and a questionnaire.

 

4. Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People: Portland’s Bridges and a New Icon by Donald McDonald and Ira Nadel x Mount Hood by Childe Hassam, 1908

The perfect Portland painting to end this post on. These two beautiful icons of the Portland landscape are a great match for each other: a bridge and a mountain.

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People: Portland’s Bridges and a New Icon by Donald McDonald and Ira Nadel x Mount Hood by Childe Hassam, 1908


Written by Tilikum Crossing architect Donald McDonald along with Ira Nadel, this book offers a unique look at the creation of the newest bridge in Portland as well as sharing a history of the city’s other bridges.

Filled with beautiful full color illustrations created by MacDonald during the bridge design process, Tilikum Crossing is a wonderful meditation on a man-made icon of Portland, while Childe Hassam’s Mt. Hood painting is an homage to an icon of the natural world.

 

5. Ice Cream Work by Naoshi x Egghead by Sean Healy, 2006

Are you guilty of sticking your gum under a desk? Egghead is an installation piece composed of chewing gum in various shades, stuck on the underside of a wood desk to create a portrait of Melville Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey decimal system. The gum was chewed by the artist and his son!

Ice Cream Work is a whimsical story by the artist Naoshi. Naoshi created the book’s beautiful images using Sunae, the Japanese art of composing a picture using multicolored sand.

Ice Cream Work x Egghead by Sean Healy, 2006

Ice Cream Work was a perfect fit for this installation by Sean Healy. Both are playful and utilize bright colors and a collage-type process to create beautiful images.

Thank you for joining Overcup Press on this tour of the Portland Art Museum! You should enjoy all of these incredible artworks in person and maybe find a book and artwork pairing of your own. Happy reading!