Le Book Club!


Hoping to encourage community conversations across disciplines, Nationale now has a book club. Once a month, we will meet to chat about a selected book that relates thematically to our exhibition. User Not Found, an essay in tiny book form by Felicity Fenton, is the selection for our June group show, Assembly, which addresses the necessity of community and real life interactions for art spaces to survive.

First of all, this book is only six dollars. Second of all, it’s a quick and easy read. Third of all, it’s REALLY GOOD. And it is published locally by Future Tense Books!

Does anyone really enjoy Instagram at this point? Is Twitter something positive and constructive that adds to our lives? What percentage of people using social media do it for reasons other than addictive dependence and/or necessity? How many of us need periodic breaks in order to maintain our sanity? And, if we decide we want to loosen the grip of social media on our lives someday, what will the alternative be?

In User Not Found, Felicity Fenton opens up the discussion for us by describing her attempt to step away from “The Walls” of social media. The result is simultaneously comforting, challenging, heartbreaking, and funny. It’s a natural conversation starter. So please, pick up a copy of this little treasure and join us for book club on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30pm. Fenton herself will lead our meeting.
—Jess Mcfadden


Nationale is pleased to now carry Disjecta's The Portland2016 Reader and Catalog, a beautiful publication which is presented in an etched case and features gallery artist Amy Bernstein (in conversation with Emily Bernstein and Julia Calabrese).
Established in 2010, the Portland Biennial is a major survey of Oregon artists who are defining and advancing the state’s contemporary arts landscape. Building upon the success of its predecessors, the Portland2016 Biennial was a two-month celebration of the here and now that showcased 34 artists at 25 partner venues in 13 communities across the state – the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Oregon art ever. It was curated by Michelle Grabner
Artists included: Avantika Bawa, Carla Bengtson, David Bithell, Pat Boas, Mike Bray, Bruce Burris, Julia Calabrese & Emily Bernstein, Cherry & Lucic, David Eckard, Tannaz Farsi, Jack Featherly, Howard Fonda, Julie Green, Midori Hirose, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Colin Kippen, Anya Kivarkis, Michael Lazarus, Charlene Liu, Giles Lyon, Ellen Mcfadden, Whitney Minthorn, Donald Morgan, Brenna Murphy, Julia Oldham, Rebecca Peel, Lisa Radon, Jon Raymond, Jack Ryan & Chi Wang, Heidi Schwegler, Rick Silva, Storm Tharp, Weird Fiction, and Ryan Woodring.

Also available on our WEBSHOP!


In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. 

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Max Ritvo’s newest, and unfortunately only, body of work Four Reincarnations can and should be taken as the physical embodiment of Ritvo himself. Subdivided into four parts, each section capable of standing on its own—a kind of reincarnation—easily represents the young poet’s mind, spirit, soul, and heart. Emotion spills from these pages, and although Ritvo’s pain is tangible, readers can also find solace in the most unexpected places in his poetry. The same was true of Ritvo, who claimed that the day he was no longer able to write would be the day when it was his time to pass. In Poem To My Litter he writes, “Even my suffering is good, in part,” good because it allowed him to create beauty out of suffering. On August 22nd, 2016, Ritvo’s mother said her son was too weak to write poetry; he passed the next morning on August 23rd in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 25 after an arduous battle with Ewing’s sarcoma.

Not only are these poems a reincarnation of Ritvo, they are also representative of a lifelong struggle that extends far beyond his struggles with cancer. They grapple with what is often at the core of every person, an ongoing search for meaning and sense of belonging. The young poet treads uncertain ground with valor, both in his battle with cancer and in his ambitious writing. Having reached the physical limits of his body, with Four Reincarnations he turns to his mind where his time is not up yet. In the poem Black Bulls he addresses the reader directly and claims, “I am sorry that you have come to this mind of mine,” yet, it is my belief that no one who has ever read his poems is sorry to have been graced with such original and breathtaking compositions.

I think the beauty of his works lies in his own self-awareness—he is unabashedly public and vulnerable, traits that go a long way in managing poetry that has the ability to go from despair to humor in a matter of lines. It is also important that he is unafraid to speak directly to his audience and does not shy away from any topic. In To Randal, Crow-Stealer, Lord of The Greenhouse he even addresses himself. He writes:

I master the technology to make bricks.
I build altars clumped with fire.
I am not afraid to light
A flower and destroy her beauty;
The crispy flower has been taken to a godly feast.
Do you pity my imagination? It will kill you.

His imagery deeply appeals to the senses with scenes of a hungry fire and pure flower in the same stanza, both images coming together in a “godly feast”, much like all of his works. Reading Ritvo, unbeknownst of his personal history, is like an out-of-body experience. Definitely autobiographical, although not necessarily confessional, Ritvo tackles topics anywhere from love to life to loss to Listerine strips. He is unafraid to light a fire in all his readers and build an altar for himself in the world of poetry.

For the young poet, art was an unconditional love, and this collection shouldn’t be read solely as his last words despite the fact that they indisputably are. Shame (and by extension self-pity) is no longer an entity for him, which he makes very clear in this heartbreaking collection. When reading Four Reincarnations, it is my instruction to devour every word meticulously, and perhaps equally important is to make sure to also read the acknowledgments. They are as raw as his prose; a perfect and intensely personal send-off. Being an artist is in itself walking close to death, and of the many contemporary poets, there is none other that treads that line so finely as Max Ritvo. Even in defeat, there is solidarity and perseverance. Despite Ritvo’s death and the recent election results, there is still unwavering hope and strength and solace.


Please join us on Sunday, November 13 (2—3pm) as we welcome gallery artist Carson Ellis back to Nationale for a special event celebrating the release of her new book, Du Iz Tak? 

Limited quantities available. We recommend you reserve your signed copy now. See you next Sunday!

Praise for Du Iz Tak?

Ellis’s bewitching creation stars a lively company of insects who speak a language unrelated to English, and working out what they are saying is one of the story’s delights...Very gently, Ellis suggests that humans have no idea what wonders are unfolding at their feet—and that what takes place in the lives of insects is not so different from their own. Has there ever been anything quite like it? Ma nazoot. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Ellis elevates gibberish to an art form with her brilliant account of a few bugs, who discover a green shoot sprouting from the ground...Readers and pre-readers alike will find myriad visual cues in Ellis’ splendid folk-style, gouache-and-ink illustrations that will allow them to draw meaning from the nonsensical dialogue, as well as observe the subtle changing of the seasons. The entire story unfolds on the same small stretch of ground, where each new detail is integral to the scene at hand. Effortlessly working on many levels, Ellis’ newest is outstanding. —Booklist (starred review)

There’s an elusive yet distinctly joyful quality to Carson Ellis’s picture book that feels like suspended glee, or a laugh caught halfway in the throat. As in her 2015 debut, “Home,” the gouache and ink illustrations in “Du Iz Tak?” are chic and subtly witty. But this time Ms. Carson matches them with dialogue in the enchanting foreign language of the elegantly dressed beetles and insects that live on a small, eventful patch of earth. —The Wall Street Journal

In a wordless coda of successive double-page spreads we are comforted by the cycle of the seasons. By the final words, “Du iz tak?” we are fluent speakers of Bug. Completely scrivadelly, this is a tour de force of original storytelling. —Horn Book (starred review)

Carson Ellis has created a fantastic microcosm with her usual grace and inventiveness...I was completely captivated by Ellis’s wonderful creatures, their charming little world and their droll language. —The New York Times Book Review

High drama ensues in the clean, odd, beautiful pages ahead. A marvel. —Shelf Awareness for Readers

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



Our intern Lusi, who is currently studying Art History at Lewis & Clark, is back at it. Today she reviews Ben Lerner's The Hatred of Poetry (currently available in the shop).

    "Ben Lerner’s most recent publication, The Hatred of Poetry, couldn’t have arrived at a more apt time. Language is intrinsic to everything -- our way of living, the way we communicate, how we express ourselves -- and the most fascinating thing language can provide us is growth. Language is never stagnant and often highly adaptable; the way we choose to interact with it is what determines its impact and whether or not its growth will continue. That is to say, language will always be changing; the question is, are we ready to change with it?

    Something I have been grappling with recently is the accessibility of language, particularly within the art world, and Lerner hits on this tension in his book at length. It’s easy to ask what makes a good poem or what makes a bad poem, but the subjectivity of the answer can often skew that perception. In an interview with The Paris Review, Lerner is quoted, “I think some people I know hate what I consider really good poetry because they are really anxious about intelligibility.” It’s the same with most Modern art or Expressionist art and thinking -- “Well I could have done that/my kid could have done that!” Yet art, in all of its forms, has no definitive beginning or end, and “what does not change is the will to change.”

    The tradition of poetry or poetic ambition is tricky, mostly out of fear of rejection (internal or external) and poetry is undoubtedly an experiment -- always has been and will always continue to be such. But poetry also contradicts itself; poets confront limits and explore dualities intrinsic to human nature. Ideally that should create an open dialogue between the author and the audience but it is most often that those cases are the least accessible because deriving understanding and catching implication is based on the experience of the individual. Whether garnering meaning and inclusivity is to be done through a matter of defeating language or propounding a new measure of value, where I come to question Lerner’s argument is that I fundamentally disagree that it can’t be done through poetry. In my experiences, It is too immersive of a craft to be so pigeonholed as constantly disappointing. 

    As powerful a medium as it is, Lerner maneuvers the intricate dualities of the poetic form with surprising ease and efficiency. The Hatred of Poetry is at once one of the strongest denunciations of poetry I have ever encountered, but also one of the greatest defenses capable of rivaling Sir Philip Sidney’s The Defense of Poesy. A highly recommended and insightful read, for those who have never read a page of poetry and for those who have devoted their lives to it alike.'
Lusi Lukova


DELANEY ALLEN,   2.1 (Documentation of Landscape)   , 2016, archival pigment print, 30 x 20" 

DELANEY ALLEN, 2.1 (Documentation of Landscape), 2016, archival pigment print, 30 x 20" 

This is one of my favorite pieces of Delaney's because it is simultaneously so simple and so complex; I love the bright light in the foreground contrasted with the deep blues and shadows of the back. It is calm while maintaing the eerie and fantastical nature of Delaney's work. 

Tote bag by MODERNWOMEN LA, modeled by Emma 

Tote bag by MODERNWOMEN LA, modeled by Emma 

My go-to carry all tote that packs a punch. A perfect statement piece with some pretty empowering text on the front. We are nothing without feminist art! 

Maggie Nelson,  Bluets , Wave Books, 2009

Maggie Nelson, Bluets, Wave Books, 2009

"I have enjoyed telling people that I am writing a book about blue without actually doing it." 

I'm on a roll here with blues and gender and Maggie Nelson's Bluets combines the best of both worlds. For me, this is one of those books that I picked up once and will carry with me for the rest of my life and am so happy we carry it in our shop. A must read. 


Nationale is happy to share news of its May Day sale, May 1–May 9, 2016. Items from our home & beauty section—including MCMC fragrances, GRAIN design, Iacoli & McAllister, papier d’Armenie—and select art books will be greatly discounted (up to 40% off). Sale items will also include other beauty lines (Jao & Nuxe), select magazines (Tunica & Lapham’s), small press, and one-offs from local makers (Liam Drain, The Granite, Fredrik Averin). For the budding art collector, the sale extends to the backroom gallery with 10% off art works from past shows—the perfect time to start or add to your collection! 


Olivia Bee,  Pre-Kiss , 2010, from  Olivia Bee: Kids in Love  (Aperture, 2016) © Olivia Bolles

Olivia Bee, Pre-Kiss, 2010, from Olivia Bee: Kids in Love (Aperture, 2016) © Olivia Bolles

Nationale is pleased to announce a special book signing event with Portland native Olivia Bee on Saturday, May 7 (4–5:30PM) to celebrate the release of Kids in Love (Aperture Foundation, April 2016, 136 pages, hardcover, $39.95). The Portland band Super Hit (Kyle Handley & Co.) performs acoustically at 5:30PM. Kids in Love can be pre-ordered here. 

Kids in Love is the first book by the twenty-two year old photographer Olivia Bee, whose work follows in the tradition of Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley. She is celebrated for her dreamy and evocative portraits of friends, new loves, and the young people around her, all on the brink of adulthood and new possibilities. Bee gives voice to the self-awareness and visual fluency of the millennial generation; her vision of capturing the world around her “in the moment” fits in seamlessly with the image-laden world we live in today. In a conversation with Bee included at the end of the book, Tavi Gevinson, founding editor of the online magazine Rookie, writes about what it means to make work that is raw and vulnerable, the phenomena of being “nostalgic for twenty seconds ago,” and other shared experiences.

Olivia Bee (born in Portland, Oregon, 1994) is based in Brooklyn. After the recognition received for her photographs on social media, Converse commissioned Bee, at the age of fifteen, to shoot her first ad. She has since gone on to shoot campaigns for brands such as Hermès, Levi’s, and Apple, and editorial features for publications such as Vogue, Vice, New York, the New York Times, and Le Monde. Her photography has been featured in solo shows at Agnès B, New York, and Bernal Espacio, Madrid. In January 2016, Bee was featured as one of Forbe’s “30 under 30” to watch list of artists and style innovators, “creating and designing the future, from the gallery to the runway.”


Past Nationale reader, Merchant-in-Residence, and beloved Portland author, Jon Raymond is releasing THE COMMUNITY: Writings About Art In and Around Portland 1997-2016 tonight at Publication Studio. This is a project dear to our hearts as I had a couple great conversations with Jon this past fall about him getting started on this monumental task and Gabi ended up helping him assemble the project. If you've read any of her fantastic artists interviews, you probably want her to write a book of her own next!


Confessions was commissioned as part of Jessica's two-space exhibition of the same name at the lumber room and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College. It was made like a sculpture, layer by layer, over the months proceeding and during the exhibition. It is partially a documentary of the creation of these two shows, as well as a documentary of its own creation. It is a sheaf of hoarded collage materials. It is a zine, metastasized. It is the stuff in the room.

Designed by Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Gary Robbins, and Heather Watkins, Confessions was printed and bound at Container Corps.

216 pages / 144 x 206 mm / Edition of 450 / Printed offset in full color with various spot colors throughout, smyth sewn softbound in cloth / $ 45


We were happy to see the new DIY photobook manual from Self Publish, Be Happy featured in the Guardian this weekend. Represented artist Delaney Allen's first publication, Between Here and There, has a few pages included. Congrats, Delaney!

Stop by and pick up copies of both Self Publish, Be Happy and Between Here and There during your next visit to Nationale.



WILLIAM MATHESON,  Afternoon , 2015, oil, acrylic, and dye on canvas, 26 x 18”

WILLIAM MATHESON, Afternoon, 2015, oil, acrylic, and dye on canvas, 26 x 18”

I've grown so fond of this new painting by William Matheson. I was initially surprised by the palette but the unexpected camo-like background and that pointy nose/mask have completely won me over. Or was it the boob?!

Sea of Vapors  cuff by St Eloy, hand carved in wax then cast in bronze

Sea of Vapors cuff by St Eloy, hand carved in wax then cast in bronze

St Eloy's fall line has arrived and I especially love all the bronze pieces, this little bracelet in particular. Plus it's named after one of the basaltic plains on the Moon, how cool is that?


Akhmatova  Poems , Everyman's Library Pocket Poets

Akhmatova Poems, Everyman's Library Pocket Poets

He loved three things alone:
White peacocks, evensong,
Old maps of America.

He hated children crying,
And raspberry jam with his tea,
And womanish hysteria.

… And he had married me.


Need I say more?


Savon de Marseille, crushed flowers soap in verbena, lavender, & rose ($12)

Savon de Marseille, crushed flowers soap in verbena, lavender, & rose ($12)

“LOVE LOVE LOVE this soap. Looked for it for 10 years… Lasts forever, awesome until the last sliver disappears down the drain. (Lavender all the way)." 


Chloë Sevigny   Written by Chloë Sevigny, Foreword by Kim Gordon, Afterword by Natasha Lyonne, Rizzoli 2015 ($35)

Chloë Sevigny Written by Chloë Sevigny, Foreword by Kim Gordon, Afterword by Natasha Lyonne, Rizzoli 2015 ($35)

“I want to hate this book because it’s pure ego, but Chloe is so awesome I have to love it. Plus she’s got a pretty great ass.”

Myranda Gillies tinfoil rings cast in silver or white brass ($50-$90)

Myranda Gillies tinfoil rings cast in silver or white brass ($50-$90)

“Myranda Gillies’ tinfoil rings cast in silver are a perfect mix of low/ugly with posh. Right up my alley!”

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your favorites with us, Elizabeth! 


Loving our selection of Fredrik Averin books currently in the shop. Follow him on Tumblr HERE.


Luc Tuymans exhibition catalog published by SF MoMA/Wexner Center for the Arts/D.A.P. ($60, signed by the artist)

Luc Tuymans exhibition catalog published by SF MoMA/Wexner Center for the Arts/D.A.P. ($60, signed by the artist)

“I saw this show 5 times in SF and I wish I could paint like him and as fast.” 


WWWW tote bag by MODERNWOMEN LA ($20)

WWWW tote bag by MODERNWOMEN LA ($20)

“Raised by a single mother—womyn are the world.”


Emily Counts,  Transponders , 2015, stoneware, porcelain, platinum luster, cotton rope, 11 x 25.5 x 9” ($1200)

Emily Counts, Transponders, 2015, stoneware, porcelain, platinum luster, cotton rope, 11 x 25.5 x 9” ($1200)

“Emily is my fav ceramics artist—my second is Marcel Duchamp.”

Thanks, Jonathan! 

Check out Jonathan’s paintings in our current show Everything We Ever Wanted.


Impressions / Aidan Koch

Impressions is Aidan Koch’s third graphic novel. It tells the story of a young figure model and her relationships with her mother, her best friend, and the man drawing her. Set in an ambiguously modern time, the book captures a young woman’s reluctant journey into self-awareness. 

Impressions was painted over three months at the Maison Des Auteurs residency in rural France, where Koch spent the spring of 2014. 

Aidan Koch is a visual artist and storyteller from Olympia, WA. After a year in Sebastopol, CA, she is now based in New York. 

72 pages
Soft cover, section sewn, color offset
8.25 x 6 inches
Edition of 100, $15

First Impressions of Greece / Mary Manning

Mary Manning’s debut book,  First Impressions of Greece, documents recent travels through the Grecian landscape. 

Mary Manning is a photographer based in New York City. She runs the website Unchanging Window. 

48 pages
Hard cover, section sewn, color offset
7.5 x 5 inches
Edition of 100, $ 22

Painter’s Journal / Joshua Abelow

Painter’s Journal, by Joshua Abelow, is made up of six journals that chronicle Abelow’s first year living in New York in the late 90s. 

Published in 2012
6 x 9 inches
112 pages
Edition of 1000, $15