Ann Kendellen
I've known Kendellen's work for a number of years, but it's never made as much sense to me as it has upon seeing this exhibition of small black and white prints. In innocuous photos of street corners, twisted roots, and waterlogged phone books, Kendellen undertakes a complex spatial play—riffing on monocular vision, where all depth is flattened—creating a very haunting and infectious way of looking at the world. Blue Sky Photography Gallery, 1231 NW Hoyt, 225-0210, through August, lecture Thurs Aug 10, 7:30 pm

Biennial Artists Speak
Three of the Oregon Biennial's most exciting artists talk about their work in the first installment of gallery talks at PAM. This Thursday we've got Brittany Powell, whose site-specific, contact paper donut shop mural is one of the most fun pieces in the show; Jesse Hayward, who finally let his inner slop-fetish run amok in "Large Pod Project"; and Pat Boas, whose mesmerizing drawings of fantastic, looping tails and tentacles are simply astounding. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, 226-2811, Thurs Aug 10, 6 pm, $6-10

Focus Group
The mononymic artist known as Houston follows up his impressive Oregon Biennial showing with this wildly impressive solo exhibition. Riffing on the mythology of the Wild West, Focus Group is flush with terrific sculptures, photos, and works on paper that deconstruct the Manifest Destiny ideals while fusing them with contemporary design influences. Highly recommended. Portland Art Center, 32 NW 5th, 239-5481, through Sept 3

Mermaids, Sailors, and Chicken of the Sea
Cathy Camper holds an unusual title: She is a master of "seed art," the art of creating images out of thousands of lentils and seeds, mosaic-style. She counts Amy Sedaris, Todd Oldham, and the Handsome Family among her fans, she's assisted the material-driven artist Andy Goldsworthy, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines. Based on the photos of her work I've seen, it's fairly astounding stuff. So you might want to check it out. I don't see how it couldn't be fun. Velveteria, 518 NE 28th, 233-5100, Fri Aug 4-31

Wind Inside
This month, Motel Gallery is decked out with Liz Harris' complex and dizzying masking tape installation, Wind Inside. Using two tones of neon tape, Harris crafted a floor-to-ceiling web of interlocking, overlapping tetrahedrons and acute angles that snake through one another without ever wavering from straight-as-an-arrow course. A suite of small ink drawings reaffirms her proclivity (and aptitude) for meticulously detailed line work. Motel, NW Couch between 5th & 6th, though Aug 19

James and Joey Lavadour
Sometimes I get a little carried away with the "best (blank) in the (blank)" business, but I'll go on the record with this one. James Lavadour is the best painter in the state, and while he's covering a lot of familiar territory in this new show, it's still an astonishing sight: blood meridian cloudscapes, perforated wipes of elm green paint, burning orchards, rolling thunder. His paintings are joined by hand-woven wool hats and baskets in the traditional Plateau style from brother Joey. PDX, 925 NW Flanders, 222-0063, through Sept 2