A visit to In Tandem

A bittersweet visit to both G. Gibson Gallery and James Harris Gallery to the joint exhibit In Tandem with Fay Jones and Robert C. Jones. Bittersweet mainly as it is a goodbye to local painter Robert C. Jones who passed away this last December.

Both galleries were a joy to visit since I hadn’t seen work by either painter for a long time.

It sounds like Fay is doing okay since the passing of her fellow painter and spouse Robert in December and is working towards a new exhibit in November. I have no idea how one does that since my own head has been such a mess after the passing of each spouse. I suppose like Joan Didion you go on to write The Year of Magical Thinking you keep doing what you know best (if you are fortunate to pull it together).
I am of course pleased to hear there will be new work to look at and eagerly look forward to the show.

Somewhat unrelated sidebar – it is really weird living in a town with truly no coverage of galleries, no consistent place to find information about what is being exhibited, essentially the land of no fucks to give. Yet I know it is filled with people making great art and other people dedicating their lives to exhibiting it. A conversation that’s been going on for a long time but it always stuns me everytime I step back into it.

Georgetown Galleries – November

Visiting art galleries is usually a means to inspiration for me and today was a good one in Georgetown.

I wasn’t going to miss the closing of Kim Van Someren’s exhibit and artist talk at Bridge Productions and I’m really glad I made it there. Kim’s discussion was facilitated by her friend and fellow artist Emily Gherard, a pair who have a long history together. Both are artists who place an importance on mark-making in their work, executed in very different manners though.

A few takeaways from Kim’s talk:
She has a deeply entrenched respect for printmaking that she feels she will always be with her. She emphasized it is important to her to have a skill that involves using her hands if electricity goes away. I’m paraphrasing poorly, but that is something I absolutely think about all the time. What endures in our culture if electricity and our digital world go away, essentially collapse? Our reliance on something so fragile as the electric grid seems tenuous at best. She asterisked her comment saying well she would be able to do printmaking in daylight hours at least.

Double Half Hitch, sugarlift, aquatint, 18″ x 15″2018

The topic I most appreciated hearing them discuss was about the planning her studio time. She is now a Mom to twins (three years olds) and has a printmaking job at the University of Washington. How does one find the ability (and energy) to put together a show like the one that was installed around us in the gallery one wonders.

She stated she found she has to really hone in and take advantage of any quiet time (a rarity) and to be very disciplined. She spends 2-3 hours every day after teaching running prints in the studio at the University. Then from 10-1p every night she intricately assembles her pieces. Cutting collages, looking at compositions of different parts of her work from photos she takes, downloading and rearranging imagery on her computer and making micro decisions about what belongs where is all part of her practice She is currently learning how to weld as it was mentioned her work feels like it is growing off of the paper. I personally think artists need to challenge themselves with new materials to keep their internal search mechanisms and curiosity sharp, so that was exciting to hear. I hope we (the public) are privy to the results.

It was lovely to be privy to the back and forth between Kim and Emily, both whose work I heavily admire. I appreciated hearing the contemplative nature of what is behind the artwork, how humor seeps into the imagery and the query of did her midwest background have anything to do with her execution (yes).

The funniest thing Kim said was that printmakers are the serial killers of the art world as they are always strategizing, a hilarious aside.

As I mentioned this was the closing for Kim’s exhibit. Follow Bridge Productions at their website and on Instagram. Kim is here and here.

A snippet of her gorgeous work:


The Alice across the hall from Bridge Productions has a fiber-cross-pollination-one-person-show up of Jeanne Medina. I always appreciate seeing fiber arts creep into galleries and being taken seriously. She also uses performance heavily in her final work. There was a video example in the Alice of her wearing one of the pieces on the wall.

Here is a video example I found on her website appropriately titled for this weekend Daylight Savings Project that utilizes Laurie Anderson’s Walking and Falling (from Big Science) as a backdrop.

Daylight Savings Project from John Lui on Vimeo.

Here are installation shots of the show:

  The exhibit is up through November 17th. The Alice is here and Jeanne is here.


Finally I ended my day by driving five minutes and stopping by Studio E Gallery where I happened upon the closing of Molly Magai’s painting exhibit (which I liked and was too busy absorbing to document).

Her work, which I was unfamiliar with, has a certain kinship with Portland’s Michael Brophy whose landscapes I have admired for many years. I’m a sucker for painterly execution and her work demonstrates that beautifully while sitting on that fine line between representation and abstraction. She states, “I paint the landscape in motion, as we usually see it, from our cars“.  Sadly that’s how I witness most nature these days. I should add she works on somewhat tiny rectangles of canvas which I was pretty drawn to for the amount of visual information she managed to insert into each one. I’m glad I stopped in to see the show.

Molly Magai, Playground Cedar, 12 x 12 in., Oil on panel, 2018

Upstairs there was a one day pop-up of Michael Doyle’s work. If I use the word whimsical you’re going to groan and after saying it I think it is possibly inaccurate but that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I entered the room. I also was said out loud “I love it”, so make what you want of that. I thoroughly enjoyed the portraits and head cut-outs on display.

Studio E is here, Molly Magai is here and Michael Doyle is here.

Studio E. lived true to their welcoming offering of coffee, nice conversation and a warm reprieve from the traffic and rain outside before I got back on 99 and headed home. A good day was had.

Kim Van Someren exhibit at Bridge Productions

Kim Van Someren exhibit at Bridge Productions.

I laughingly told Sharon my one sentence review of the show is: “this is totally my jam”.

I’m in awe of Kim’s markmaking and how she has created a little world from various shaped and patterned forms, which I detect some humor folded in there. More clues to that nature come from the titles: Hooded Scoper, Reeler, Indexer, Troller. Each piece exudes funny and somewhat lumbering personality; I think that’s the best way I can describe the work. On the technical end of things it has been created by an assortment of printmaking processes including drypoint, collage, sugarlift, aquatint, porchoir.

On the wall directly outside of the gallery is the gorgeous
Gusted Hitch whose transparency and size is covetable.

Gusted Hitch
sugarlift, aquatint on pieced silk tissue
90″ x 96″

Gallery owner/curator/director Sharon Arnold has written a beautiful essay about the exhibit here.

Into Its Own Echo, opens today, Saturday 13 October
(opening reception is 6-9pm).

​Bridge Productions is open Saturdays 12-7pm

Instagram: @bridge.productions
Kim’s website is here.

I’m in love with this show. You should go see it.

Karin Mamma Andersson at The Nordic Museum

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing the vast majority of artists whose work I admire in person with one exception.

I’ve been wanting to see the work of Karin Mamma Andersson for a long time.

I decided to stop by the new Nordic Museum as I had an appointment in Ballard and realized the museum stays open late on Thursdays (until 8pm).

The current temporary exhibit is Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed.

Their website promises “Olafur Eliasson, Bjarne Melgaard, Jesper Just, Kim Simonsson, and Cajsa Von Zeipel” which I was curious to see. An interesting assortment of current Scandinavian artists. 

Unbeknownst to me though upon turning the corner of the first exhibit room there she was, a pleasant surprise.

Karin Mamma Andersson, Behind the Curtain, 2014

A tiny work, but very much hers. I am not sure if I let out an audible gasp in the gallery as I was so awed to see it.

Behind the Curtain detail

You might ask what is it about her work I like so much? What draws me in?

I get a very specific sense of place from her pieces, a setting I tend to want to be in. They feel like they are coming from a very interior, contemplative point of view. I appreciate she can mine something out of everyday domestic activities that gives you pause. Here are a few of my favorites:

Leftovers, 2006


Corridor, 2007


Flunkey, 2010

Side note – If I was feeling particularly stealth this year, I would fly to Cincinnati this fall as Mamma Andersson has a new exhibit of paintings there in their Contemporary Arts Center in a show titled Memory Banks (October 05, 2018 through February 10, 2019).

Alas, the world has other plans for me.


I hadn’t been to the new Nordic building yet (it just opened in May) which turns out is gorgeous.

FYI – The temporary contemporary exhibit is up through September 16, which means tomorrow is your last chance (the museum is open 10a-5p on Sundays). 

Olafur Eliasson, The Island Series, 1997


Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed installation view


Poul Gernes, Denmark, 1965


Karin Mamma Andersson is a Stockholm based artist, married to painter Jockum Nordström. You can see more of her work at David Zwirner, New York.

Jockum Nordström and Karin Mamma Andersson

Season for Lovely Drawings

Season’s Summer show is all drawings and they are gorgeous.
I’m always about the drawing, so this is a special treat.

I stopped by the opening this this afternoon to see this beautifully curated crop of work.
Bonus points, meeting the very gracious Robyn O’Neil. She kindly signed my Perspectives 150: Robyn O’Neil catalog along with a little drawing.

Robyn, don’t forget to say hi to your Mom for me. Thanks.


Robyn O’Neil at Season – Sunday

Robert Yoder’s Season Gallery has its Summer 2018 Exhibit opening this Sunday called Fiery Rain and Movies, Cooling Sun.

Here’s the clincher, artist Robyn O’Neil is not only in the show, she’ll be visiting Seattle to celebrate her new work.

She of the gorgeously bleak and unsettling drawings who also is hilarious to boot, as can be found by listening to her podcast and following her tweets.

I discovered her back when the Frye Museum had solo exhibit of her work back in 2006.

Here some of her beautiful work:

The Passing (detail), 2007, graphite on paper, 66” x 66”


Diamond Leruso, Accident Victim and Runaway Lionel, 2001, graphite on paper, 8” x 10”


No matter how rich our blood, this massive earth rises above and provides us no wings.
2006, graphite on paper, 
49 ½: x 34 ¾”

I’m a huge fan girl, she’s one of the few languishing over here in my links.


Fiery Rain and Movies, Cooling Sun also features to work of Matthew F. Fisher, Rob Matthews and Sean Pearson.
The opening reception is Sunday July 15th, 2-5p and the work can also be seen by appointment through September 30th.

Season is located at 222 NE Ravenna Blvd., Seattle, WA 98105

Ken Kelly: Land Ho at studio e

When I ran into Doug Parry a few weeks ago he highly recommended a visit to studio e to see Ken Kelly’s latest show. Kelly is a long surviving/practicing artist in the Seattle art world.

The show and the space did not disappoint. Strictly drawing and painting exhibits seem to be a rare occurrence and for me it’s always a thrill to seek one out. I liked Kelly’s small works the best in this show. Particularly this subdued almost Robert Ryman-esqe pocket size canvas.

studio e is a cheerful building to come across in the Georgetown neighborhood, and I appreciate the work they are championing.

Ken’s show is up through July 14th.

studio e is open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday 1-6pm.

Ken’s instagram is here.

More images from the show below:

Last one here I think is my favorite.

#Georgetown w/ Sharon

Met up with writing mate Sharon Arnold  (Sharon’s website) last night and proceeded on to Georgetown’s interstitial  and The Alice.

LxWxH Gallery Closing

Tracy, (you know her from Twilight Gallery) and I kicked out the jams in Georgetown.

Translation: Tracy got me out of the house and after a few spicy margaritas we attended the closing of Sharon Arnold’s  LxWxH GalleryThe work by Jared Bender was compelling and it was great to see Sharon who I haven’t chatted with for a long, long time, which is a time when she did some amazing things. Now she gets to rest a bit. 

Silent Partners

Today I went to Seattle Art Museum to see the Modernism In the Pacific Northwest. Absolutely go,  more thoughts on that soon.

However as a sidebar I nearly swooned when I walked into a separate exhibit room unexpectedly containing a Edouard Vuillard. Here is SAM’s inventory page of Dining Room, Rue De Naples, Paris (1935).  I’m have been obsessed with Vuillard (second only to Pierre Bonnard  in my brain) as of the painters I return to again and again. You don’t expect to see Vuillard in Seattle. I did a quick swivel of the room but realized there was no Bonnard welcoming me as well. I was content to stand and look at the Vuillard for a bit. 

Loping along, I discovered in another part of the museum a Lisa Yuskavage painting that’s also part of the permanent collection, called Big Blonde in the Weeds . I immediately wished that Big Blonde and Dining Room could be paired together, perhaps left alone in that big long hall way that is currently empty and en route to the Jacob Lawrence gallery. Alas, Yuskavage is relegated to the Pop Art Girl exhibit which I think is being explained as Mechanical Bride (no dedicated exhibit page)  and Dining Room will stay up there with the rest of the French paintings as they are being touted.

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A couple of years ago Yuskavage gave a lecture at the Jewish Museum (during a Vuillard exhibit that I wish I’d seen) about how she has been obsessed with Vuillard forever. Peter Schjeldahl was in attendance and feigned shock and horror that Ms. Yuskavage would be be remotely interested in such stuffy painting.   His lead in sentence is actually a work unto it’s self as he describers her as “the notorious painter of preposterously pulchritudinous young women”. She confirms, “I’ve spent hundreds of hours looking at Vuillard”.

Odd Twins: Lisa Yuskavage and Edouard Vuillard by Peter Schjeldahl (The New Yorker, 6.4.12)

Here is the video of Lisa’s lecture/interview on the topic.

Probably best for those OCD fans of hers but I always find it compelling to see artists talk about their own work, especially when said artist has been put in one box and quietly sits quite well in another place altogether. I think the pairing makes perfect sense, as I am interested in both artists as much  for how they deal with light and color as perhaps as their subject matter.

Schjeldahl writes:

Her interlocutor, the museum’s chief curator, Norman Kleeblatt, flashed slides of somewhat apposite works by Howard Hodgkin, David Park, Alex Katz, Peter Doig, Kai Althoff, and others; he should have added Fairfield Porter, the late superb painter and critic who argued that modern art had taken a wrong turn when it hewed to Cezanne rather than to Vuillard. 

I agree. Finally I should give a small sigh of thanks that SAM’s new website is such a glorious improvement over the one that was there just a while ago.

Sheila Farr

Thank you Seattle Met and who ever made the decision a couple of years ago to hire Sheila Farr to write about art again.


Here she is in fine form in this piece about Francine Seders: Francine Seders, Accidental Art Dealer.  francine-seders_e9h3ve Photo credit Seattle Met/Brandon Hill From the article:

Then in her 30s, Seders still looked as fresh-faced and candid as a schoolgirl. With her high heels and lilting French accent, she was appealingly mediagenic. One local reporter described her as “dark eyed and fragile…like a figure from a Degas painting.” A bit reserved with strangers, she was still more comfortable around artists than customers who needed to be coddled and convinced. In a business known for competitiveness, calculated maneuvering, and backroom deals, Seders was straightforward and transparent. If someone asked about the future value of a painting (akin to predicting the stock market), she’d answer bluntly: “I have no idea.” She cared about the art, not the ingratiating rituals of salesmanship.

More Farr /Met archives here.  

Farr was the Seattle Times art critic from roughly 2000-2008 (her sign off here)/(her favorite pieces here).

Emily Gherard at Francine Seders

emily 4

emily drawing 2

emily oct 5 1

[Emily Gherard’s Drawings 2013: Wherever Green Is Worn, Francine Seders Gallery]

All good things must come to an end.

I am pleased that I pulled my head out of a fog in time to catch the last few exhibits at the Francine Seders Gallery.

When ever I needed to clear my head I would take a trip to her gallery.

The first exhibit space I visited when I decided to start looking at art again was Francine’s.

I will miss her integrity, most notable in her emphasis of presenting thoughtful exhibits and taking local artists seriously. I enjoyed being able to go to a place where I knew I would see a grown-up show.

I also appreciate that she was a stand alone there on Phinney Ridge. We need more art up here in North Seattle.

Jen Graves profile of Seders from 2006 stated “Seders has a reputation for intellectual sincerity, business honesty, professionalism, and devotion to her artists.

Emily Gherard’s exhibit (photos above) in the upstairs rooms of the gallery looks very much at home in Seders fold. A handful of elegant, tonal works on paper.  Downstairs was work by Michael Stafford and Jacob Lawrence, two of the artists that the gallery is most well known for.

The final few exhibits are being mounted as 2013 winds to a close when the gallery will be shuttered. The final opening is on December 8th, for Norman Lundin, Dale Lindman and Diann Knezovich.

PS. I like this interview of Gherard in her studio on the blog Contemplative Process .

Future Beauty

Made it to the last day of Future Beauty .

9702485489_c04d2e4f86_c (1)

If I was still thinking about making clothes I would have elbowed my way up to the garments for further inspection but enjoyed them strictly as a passerby.

I was glad to see the exhibit, but the layout at SAM was hard to follow. I almost missed the room I enjoyed the most with the wallpaper (hiding behind a scrim of fashion shows).
Part of me couldn’t help thinking the video footage of runway shows was unnecessary. The super tall models seemed not quite right with the interesting construction, especially Rei Kawakubo, with the padded elements  falling into that category.

I spent the end of last summer learning to sew. I felt like I was making sculpture, and these clothes, especially afore-mentioned Kawakubo dignified that concept.

I made it to the exhibit the last day before it gets packed off to the Peabody. I would love to see more contemporary shows in Seattle.

Vogel 50×50 at SAM

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It feels like it was years ago that a friend of mine insisted I see the documentary Herb and Dorothy. I have no idea why I resisted, why it would creep back onto the bottom of the rental queue. This month on a lark I finally settled in for a viewing and was so taken that I actually watched the movie three times in 24 hours. Three times for god’s sake. I felt fortunate enough that SAM still had their Vogel 50×50 exhibit up, and I made a point of visiting this week. First of all, can I just say Richard Tuttle. Spare genius. I have no idea if every state received comparable allotments of Tuttle, but Washington has a nice assortment.

The best thing about the collection when you see parts of it in person is it feels very human scale. It also readily boasts the beauty of drawings and other works on paper, undoubtedly for their affordability. Looking from wall to wall, the exhibit made my heart glad.

I discovered one artist I was unfamiliar with: Danica Phelps. Her watercolor by the way is above sadly reduced to a pile of digital shambles. I loved that piece, which in my mind was a nice little to-do list turned art. Well, now I see her entire body of work is systems based, which intrigues me. I like the paint swatches she puts at the bottom of each piece, like a test strip.


[Danica Phelps: Every Day Life]

I look forward to the upcoming documentary 50×50 with much anticipation.


[Fine Line Media ]


Vivian Maier — Out of the Shadows



I was so pleased last week that I made the effort to see the Vivian Maier exhibit at Photo Center NW. The show contains gelatin silver prints that that can be found in the recently published book Vivian Maier Out of the Shadows. The evening also included a talk by the two authors of the book.

I am hardly the only one who has been so taken by the recent discovery of the 100,000 plus negatives found when her abandoned storage units were auctioned off. What surprised me was learning there are two sets of negatives currently being archived by two separate parties. A very curious circumstance, with dueling projects, dueling web/sites.

The Maier photos that first become known to the public are almost Arbus-like street photos. These are the images that drew me into the story, but I’ve come to like the quiet self portraits that are randomly sprinkled among her contact sheets. The two authors of this book (Richard Cahan and Michael Williams) placed an emphasis on perceiving the work as her private diary.

Maier was an extraordinarily private person and a bit of an odd duck. Cahan and Williams write in Out of the Shadows:

Maier had few friends and was known to be difficult and temperamental. Yet her photography shows an exceptional ability to relate and connect with people. It was a very short connection — a sixtieth of a second — but in that sliver of time Maier and her camera did something remarkable. They seemed to unmask people, to see beyond the surface of their skin. Her ability to get close to her subjects is what makes her pictures so irresistible. She’s not gawking, or judging, or creating caricatures. Her subjects — the men, women, and children who hardly noticed her- were often deep in thought. They seem isolated or perhaps lonely.

As everyone in the audience has pondered, what is it about her work that resonates so much? Ira Glass of This American Life did a recent live segment on just that question. You have to wait until Segment 5, but then Glass delivers a thoughtful valentine to Maier and her photographs. He focuses on the images she took of her nanny charges and includes interviews with a woman who Vivian cared for who had never seen the documentation of her childhood by her caretaker.

A few more snippets for your eyes:

I am so thrilled I was able to see some of her work with my own eyes. It was pure happenstance that I happened to breeze by a mention that the exhibit was occurring.

VIvian Maier: Out of the Shadows at Photo Center NW

Feb.,1st- March 23rd, 2013.

Gallery Hours:  Monday – Thursday 11 am – 10 pm, Friday – Sunday 12 pm – 8 pm


ahem, administrative matters

I notice in the past few days both NEWSgrist and Rachael had Canadian links, perhaps we all secretly wish we lived up there.

And many thanks to the nice comments everyone left yesterday. By the way, my web system is misbehaving badly here. Not only are my comments giving visitors weird error messages when they post, I have heard my RSS feed is out of commission. Hope to get my web monkeywrench out soon to fix things, in the duration thanks to all who endure the mess.

Speaking of problems, is it just me or is the Tacoma Art Museum site non-functional?

Partly Cloudy

Debra Baxter’s weather formations are everywhere this month. As you head into the current show Seeing Green at Soil, a Baxter cloud hovers above your head as you enter. A few blocks over she has her own solo show at Gallery4 Culture aptly titled,” The Cloud That Fell To Earth” (the title based on the Tevis’ novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I think of it strictly as “The Bowie Movie“.)

The most ridiculous thing I can say about Baxter’s work is it reminds me of Polly Apfelbaum’s work – with the color removed. There is a sense of piecing together each cloud formation in the same manner that Apfelbaum composes her dyed cloth arrangements. Baxter also had work in last month’s Paperwork show at Platform. Baxter’s work is simple in concept but the forms take on a unique presence in installation. In the 4Culture show Baxter has photographed the variety of places she has placed the work, in kind of a pun on her own craft. The cloud is seen hanging from a tree or as kind of a parasol for herself- lifted above her own head. Spare yet billowy, Baxter fills a space with more than constructions; she actually gets at the essence of a cloud.


I applaud Eva’s idea for an upcoming radio broadcast titled: Be an Anonymous Art Critic (see her 1.25 entry). Unleash the unedited and possibly drunken artistic tongue.

Seattle Galleries- January

For everyone that keeps stating that January is the quiet or the dead season in the art world, I call bull. In my personal opinion that term belongs to the god-forsaken month of August. As proof, I found some interesting exhibits in the local galleries last Friday worth mentioning.

As most of the rest of the United States was getting ready to be hit by harsh winter weather, it was strangely warm in Seattle for January. With people eating sack lunches in the little downtown pocket parks and looking bewildered as they peeled off their too hot winter coats –always the cynic, I squinted through my sunglasses thinking only of one thing- thanks global warming!

Two star exhibits of the day, Debra Baxter at Gallery4Culture and Francis Celentano at Bryan Ohno Gallery.

First things first, the Celantano show is a strong exhibit by a painting veteran. His two dimensional work, full of vivid color has been paired with sculptural columns that vibrate across the gallery. I was impressed. The most appropriate comment heard that day was a fellow gallery goer asking if this show was catching any of the impact witnessed over at the Wright Exhibition Space, where the Wrights have mounted an amazing show of their Color Field painters. The answer can probably be found somewhere in this article about Celantano the Seattle Times ran a few weeks ago:

In Celentano’s case, op art never would have survived if he hadn’t left his stark loft in Manhattan and taken a job teaching in the School of Art at the University of Washington. After a brief flurry of shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (which included Celentano) and a big splash in Life magazine (which did not), the quite promising international movement fizzled and flopped to be quickly supplanted by pop art and minimal art.

Luckily galleries around the city are opting for longer runs with their shows; in this case the Celentano exhibit is up through 2/26.

(some photos I snapped from my meanderings).

A minor segue here– I visited the Wright Exhibition Space a couple of weeks ago to catch their exhibit Color Field Paintings and Related Abstractions currently up on at their Dexter exhibition gallery. As always, it’s a pleasure to step into their large quiet space to view a slice of their collection. A nice little pamphlet has been produced to go with this exhibition, with a two page essay written by Virginia Wright herself:

“Matthew Kangas and Bagley Wright have been after me for some time to organize this show because our collection includes many Color field paintings. They felt that after some thirty years, it is time to take another look at these “merely decorative” works. As a new century begins, we will perhaps begin to look back at the 20th century with a new eyes, and Color field painting may get a reprieve.”

It is an amazing survey. I was surprised by the fact my own personal favorite was also the image they chose for the cover of their brochure, Helen Frankenthaler’s Venus Revealed (helpful I know, I don’t have any images to give you). I was also pleased to see a Motherwell, a Larry Poons who is instantly recognizable with those little ovals of color, as well as some of the Morris Louis paintings. Also included are paintings by Tom Holland, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski, as well as a sculpture by John Chamberlain. Suprised by Frankenthaler because she is not someone I am normally drawn too, maybe I just haven’t seen enough of her work. Some artists become known over time for very specific types of work,and often there is much more.

More gallery hopping rehashing soon, including a thought or two on Debra Baxter.

In the mean time, read Artdish’s very nice, as always well written piece on Billy Howard in their latest installment of their journal.

Mary Ann Peters at Winston Wächter

For my money, the best show up in Seattle that nobody is speaking of is the small installation of Mary Ann Peters drawings at Winston Wächter “Lucky 7” exhibit. Peters was seen last month in Platform’s Paperwork show that featured two of her drawings. I managed to do a pit stop drive through of their gallery right before Christmas and found myself especially taken by her pieces. These are beautiful drawings underlining the eloquent skill of a mature artist.

Now Peters is featured in Lucky 7, at Winston Wächter’s large new gallery space (a few blocks down from their old space on Dexter- right next door to the Holiday Inn). A large scroll drawing (see on WW’s website) is one of the first pieces you see upon entering the gallery, and then more drawings which appear to be from the same series presented at Platform. Minimally secured to the wall with pushpins these delicate works on paper show Peters fluid and intelligent line work. As a long time working artist in Seattle, Peters was a recipient of a Neddy Fellowship in 2000 and has collaborated with choreographer Pat Graney. I hope to see more of her work soon.

Also included in Lucky 7 are some tile pieces by Ann Gardner that caught my eye. Gardner is another seasoned Seattle artist I’m glad to see receiving exposure. She was previously represented by Linda Farris and William Traver and is now on WW’s slate. Lucky 7 is an exhibit featuring only a handful of artists from their regular line up, I am not sure if it might be an introductory show for the others, or in the case of Susan Dory (repped by Howard House), just visitation rights.

At any rate, the trip to Dexter was worth it as I had hoped; Lucky 7 is currently up through February 1st.

$39,999.99 (shipping and handling included)

Costco – the place to buy five pound tubs of butter, a years supply of shampoo and caskets has been moonlighting as a place to buy art for awhile now. This week though they really got down to business when they started moving Picasso.

According to reports:

“Picasso probably did it in a minute and a half, so it would be tough to sell this thing for more than $100,000,” said Bengis, who said Picasso probably bartered the drawing for services. “But Picasso’s work is the gold standard of art, in that the prices of his work, whether print or painting, increase every year.”
Costco, which also sells framed lithographs and prints by celebrated artists such as Marc Chagall, Fernand Leger and Henri Matisse, plans to increase and diversify its offering of fine art, although it has one stipulation: no nudity in the artwork.

Meanwhile, it is obvious artists who exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Sugar have been raiding Costco’s storehouse of sugar to create their latest works. Their latest exhibit, Gingerbread Houses By Contemporary Artists. The museum, which along with tooth decay is looking for a permanent home currently has an exhibit up at Terminal 2 East at Lindbergh Field.

Seattle, art, hammer away

The above image of Hammering Man falling over Seattle reminds me of a local bar that has parked outside its front door a construction of a likeable enough resemblance to Hammering Man. This version though, instead of wielding a hammer is pumping a beer all day long (Hammered Man). Same bar, you know the kind which is carpeted with peanuts on the floor, can be noted for the occasional hand written sign out front that says “Free Wife Inside, Take Her”, hardee har har.

The Seattle Weekly is running a series of articles this week about the current temperature of the Seattle art world. Roger Downey writes about arts funding, Andrew Engelson gives suggestions on how more people should be collecting art. My suggestion would be more actual coverage of the arts from the local critics so people know what is going on.

On the flip side, I’ve been enjoying the new local blog Art Collector who has been sharing thoughtful responses to what she likes in art. I appreciate how she optimistically states: “Fortunately Seattle has art everywhere – neighborhood coffee shops, restaurants, galleries. So I’m always entertained. ” See perhaps if you build it they will come.

Roger Feldman at Suyama Space

At the end of the month, Suyama Space, the beautiful exhibition space in Belltown will present a new installation by local artist Roger Feldman. The title of the exhibit is ROCK, here is their mini blurb:

The contemporary alternative gallery of Suyama Space, located at 2324 2nd Avenue in Seattle presents sculptor Roger Feldman in a site-specific installation entitled ROCK. The exhibition is open to the public January 31 – April 22, 2005. The Seattle artist will present an installation lecture at the gallery on Saturday, January 29 at 12 noon. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is free to the public.

Feldman is described as being an architectural- constructivist sculptor, and with the creation of three separate structures going into Suyama, should be an interesting use of their cavernous exhibition room.

More on Feldman’s sculptures here.


The Grass is Always Greener syndrome:

I am very appreciative to be noted in Portland Art News latest installment, however I must note I am on the other side of the fence and currently feel it is Portland who has superior art offerings, or at least superior art enthusiam being generated from the local bunch. Just this morning in my inbox an email from Red76 Arts Group down in Portland regarding a Laundry Lecture they are holding tomorrow evening:

Laundry Lectures w/N.I.N.E
@ F & I U Wash
Wednesday, January19 6pm
28th st. (btw. E. Burnside and S.E. Ankeny)

Here is their back ground:

In the Fall of 2003 Sam and Laura were sitting in the Polish Laundromat (Laundry/Prania) around the corner from the then Red76 headquarters in Chicago, IL. They got to thinking about places you wait in. Places wherein their function is mainly sitting around for something to happen. From this the Laundry Lecture Series was initiated.

Why not set up a series of talks in your local Laundromat? Why even ask the owners? We didn’t. As long as you are a paying customer what’s to stop you from gathering you and your friends to talk about whatever you’d like, as the socks get lost, and your favorite pink t-shirt gets frayed one more time in the dryer? Nothing, we say. Go ahead, get your friends together, feel free to be open and honest wherever you are. Speak your mind. Share your thoughts: in Laundromats, on checkout lines, and so many other wonderful shared-use venues all over the world.

Please bring your laundry along to wash at all lectures in this series. Not only will you leave with a fresh perspective on the world, but a fresh perspective on your wardrobe as well.

at any rate, interesting stuff is definitely going on in both back yards. Please note the mention of the lovely Eva Lake on PAN’s list and rounded out by Jeff Jahn. I personally think the mere existence of PAN presents a strong case for its self as superior, by the fact alone there is enough material down in Portland’s art world to find satire in.

Recommended: Drawings at Francine Seders

I went to the very tail end of the opening of Drawings yesterday at Francine Seders Gallery. I highly encourage a visit to this show in the next month if you are a fan of the sport of drawing. I was particularly taken by Caryn Friedlander’s work, which is heavy in the mark-making division, and absolutely beautiful. I found her process reminiscent slightly of Susan Rothenberg’s large scale charcoal drawings. I was also glad to see James Deitz’s work, which could be situated in that same camp, using less abstraction though.
Francine Seders , who has had her own gallery for almost 40 years takes her artists seriously as well as the art they make. You will find she consistently mounting exhibits worth your time as a viewer.
The opening of Drawings was well attended. I did not run into Mr. Deitz, but as I snaked my way around the crowd I was appreciative of four young men engaged in a heavy discussion while looking at one of Friedlander’s pieces. After making my way upstairs and back around the main gallery for another look, they were still at it. I’ve probably said this before, but it is certainly not a coincidence that Seder’s church like gallery is open to the public on Sunday.


So I didn’t make it to my Modern Matriarch’s show at MoNA. Time seems to be increasingly fleeting on the weekend especially when I am being greedy with my own studio hours. Factor in a four hour round trip drive on icy roads and…well maybe next weekend. I was looking forward to seeing that group of artists at their reception though.

For fun, here is one for Todd: Is figure sculpting dead?. These kind of conversations remind me of that game from childhood Gnip Gnop.

and one last thing, as Tyler mentions in his post today, there is some strange sorting out going on over here in Seattle in attempting to answer the question: how to bring a donor’s wish to fruition by using his $1M grant for a public fountain (parameter: must contain naked man).
The good news, Louise Bourgeois is short listed as the chosen artist for the project. As noted Saturday in the PI:

“The Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is in final negotiations with Smailes’ lawyer and New York artist Louise Bourgeois, allowing her to create a fountain featuring two male nudes.The contracts have not been signed, but sources involved say the artist has agreed to create the sculpture for the waterfront park opening in 2006. ”

Yes, please.

raise your hand


I went to a grant workshop last week for artists. The person giving the workshop asked for a show of hands how many of us were painters. 98% of the room put a hand in the air. Musicians got two, performing artists, just a few. Then he asked how many sculptors. One lone person up front raised up her pinky finger.

Footnote: It was not I that lone voice. I raised my hand with the rest of the painters. It’s a weird psychological thing, how you end up slotting yourself, or even feel about how you spend your time in the studio. Just because I’ve painted for a long time (drawing conveniently falls into that category too luckily) that is what I think I should be doing. I have spent more time in the past few months pouring things into molds, and am hoping to cast some more soon to make even more (production is down!). Yet in my minds eye they are containers for color. Pretty silly, but something to think about, of course it doesn’t matter.

Suyama Space

suyama space

I finally ventured upon the beautiful and elegantly restrained Suyama Space, which currently has an installation of Brian Murphy paintings up. Conveniently located next to everything else in Belltown. I’ll have to agree with the claim they have posted on their website, under curatorial information:

Extensive media coverage of programming has lauded Suyama Space as one of the Northwest pre-eminent contemporary art spaces.

suyama install



I saw a lot of art yesterday, but the show (mainly one person’s drawings) that just killed me, I happened upon them by sheer luck. On my way to finding Suyama Space in Belltown I passed by the James Crespinel Studio (no found website). I think they hold independently curated shows, thus the large span or art you can see on any given day.

It so happened I went through their doors in the last few hours of Lift, a show curated by Catherine Person. I fell immediately for a set of drawings by Teresa T. Schmidt, and just had to ask about them. As it turns out Schmidt heads up the drawing department at Kansas State University, and is a seasoned printmaker as well. With such beautiful integrity in her line work I wasn’t surprised by the Susan Rothenberg reference in her artist statement. I can’t help it I’m a die-hard lover of expression-isms.


Last chance for October shows

someone hanging out at Greg Kucera, possibly the gallery guy

Unbelievably I haven’t been around to the galleries this month, I say that mainly because there is some good stuff up at the moment. I am going to attempt to do some last minute gallery hopping today before I miss what I’ve read are decent shows (closing on Saturday). We’ll see how far I get but hoping to see Victoria Haven at Howard House, Brian Murphy who is at both Platform and Suyama Space, Darren Waterston at Greg Kucera and what ever else hits my path today.

Next week I am excited there are some good shows going up in turn. Of course Scott Mansfield at Gallery 110, but we also have Robert Yoder’s new show Reason opening the same night November 4th (First Thursday) at Howard House, Ed Musante at Francine Seders (opening November 7th), and open studios at the Canal Building Studios on Fremont’s First Friday. Additionally The Henry and Western Bridge are on consecutive evenings opening their WOW (Work of the Work) exhibits featuring contemporary artists
(Olafur Eliasson, Kimsooja, Catherine Yass, Anne Appleby, Gary Hill, and Steve McQueen which of course I just cribbed in its entirety from their site).

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Here is a weird story that was on the 10:00 evening news last night. MOHAI, our Museum of History and Industry became part of a weird car jacking plot yesterday and had to go into lock down mode. A little too much excitement probably for the museum staff.

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Matthew Kangas files a report on the not so Northwest Annual today, voicing his sentiments about only 7 Northwest artists being chosen for the show:

Although the survey is not without its merits, the shift represents a historic loss for local and regional artists of significant dimension. Now the Tacoma Art Museum biennial is the only important competitive show for local artists.

For statistics sake 8 artists in the show are from New York, which Kangas states are “no better or worse than the others”. I’ve been meaning to see the show for my own opinion, however with CoCA going international with their annual, maybe someone else in town should take over what, for better or worse has been has been a long running tradition.

P.S. Here is Eva’s site who tipped me off to the Haze situation. Her Portland gallery is closing too.