John Buchanan was spotted yesterday checking the bolts and bulbs in the largest purchase by the PAM – well, since Waterlilies by Monet went upstairs in about 1955.

This is one of the late Roy Lichtenstein’s 1996 – 2001 Brushstrokes series, which did some time on the roof of the MOMA and at Brown University while searching the world for an owner.

Aluminum almost thirty feet tall, this thing doesn’t just drop into any old atrium and flirt. Even on Park Avenue, even from distance, it takes a moment to adjust.

Pop art meets faux Egyptian fraternal lodge with the Masonic Temple, site of weddings, comic book conventions, and a variety of sales meetings. But if Buchanan does with the interior (and I’ve peeked, but not seen enough to comment yet) the equivalent of the transformation of the Pietro Belluschi PAM, we’re blessed.

And if you haven’t had a chance to look around the Portland Art Museum web site – don’t wait. It’s one of their best improvements.

Oh, press release!

A Christo around a David Smith!?! Out from the barn and back into the light! We haven’t seen a few of these for years.

The Sculpture Garden is reopened – though the selection seems somewhat random. Certainly better than the dribbling fountain. One takes what one can get. Buchanan might say, put your donation where your mouth is, bub.

Still uncrating and tidying up. Opening is October 2, I think.

Tho small what makes it a very pleasant change from much Portland artwork is the lack of a considerable barrier between the viewer and the work. For several of the pieces this blog has already looked, such as Harvey Scott or the Manuel Neri piece at the Federal Courthouse are both hidden and high, separated space, literally difficult to see. The PAM garden provides sufficient security to allow us to draw near.

We watched a one year old girl, indulged by her gooney parents, grin and smirk, romp around the space, travail and outshine the bronze and stone. So the place is human, comfortable with a adjoining cafe and chairs, a sanctuary in the city.

I don’t like Lee Kelly’s work. (Above)

I remember when this rusty monster was a showpiece like Brushstrokes is now, up front and center with velvet ropes and gawkers on Park Avenue. Arlie, I think, about 1979.

I do like Mel Katz’s work. I haven’t seen this one, Garden Gate, but Katz has been doing his same thing for a while now. I’m a sucker for the color.

Splitting hairs, I suppose, but it’s a free country, right? Right?

PSU Prof Michihiro Kosuge, Composition. Leaves me cold. This style doesn’t translate well into this generation. (Above) Well, for me anyway.