The word "provocation" is often bandied about lightly, but it fits the intentions of William Pope.L perfectly. Pope.L's performances and installations are designed to create disease while probing the nasty underbelly of racism and classism in America. Whether crawling through city streets in a Superman costume or screwing dozens of raw hot dogs to a gallery wall and leaving them to rot, Pope.L's goal is to stir up the uncomfortable shit inside of you. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 219 NW 12th, 242-1419, Through July 26

Expanding Universe
If a better painting show comes to Portland this year, I will be amazed. Al Held, an old Modernist fogey, has reinvented himself with a jaw-dropping series of techno-trippy canvases whose technical virtuosity raises the standard for hard edge abstractionists everywhere. Cooley Gallery at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7790, Through June 8

last seen
Stephen Hayes presents a series of new monoprint portraits of children whose images he's lifted from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Treading closely to ground previously sown by Christian Boltanski, Hayes neatly sidesteps any charges of shameless exploitation by donating 100% of all sales back to child-protecting charities. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 207 SW Pine St, 224-0521, Through May 31

You'd have to be a fool to miss this show of over fifty prints from Jordan Schnitzer's private collection. When and where else in Portland are you going to be able to see work by Francis Bacon, Eric Fischl, Richard Estes, and David Hockney? Shows like this don't roll around every day, you know. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave, 276-4246, Through July 6

The Occupations
Time is running out to see this excellent retrospective of D.E. May's abstractions and constructions that recall some of the best aspects of the late Idaho folk artist James Castle. Once again, the Art Gym makes an invaluable contribution to the Northwest art scene with a handsome, fly illustrated catalogue devoted entirely to a single artist. Marylhurst Art Gym, 17600 Pacific Hwy., 699-6243, Through May 17