Painter Jack Portland combines elements of surrealism and expressionism, exploring images ranging from landscape to still life with a patterned and abstract vocabulary. In the past decade, he has divided his time between Portland and Italy, which has dramatically influenced his work. In the past, his imagery was dominated by abstract forms, often in repetition making up a dream-like, fantasy world. Now he incorporates realistic landscape vignettes and collages them together with abstract shapes and patterns. He is a master with composition, creating a subtle balance of enigmatic elements. His paintings are about place, but they are also about his love of life and the sensual nature of the world around him and its experiential beauty.
Originally from California, Jack Portland has lived and worked in Oregon since the 1960s. He graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1971 and has become well known in the Northwest, both as an artist and as teacher. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and included in numerous private and public collections including the Portland Art Museum; the Seattle Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Honolulu, HI; the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, PA; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Among his public commissions are the Portland International Airport, Western Oregon University, and the Portland Police Southeast Precinct. Most recently, he completed a fresco for the Belluschi-designed St. Philip Neri Parish in Portland, which will be featured in an upcoming Oregon Artbeat segment.