The stringy weavings leaning on the wall outside the elevators at the Seattle Art Museum look at first like they are semi-spent stuff on its way out of the galleries, to somewhere else. But once you spend a minute with them you begin to see they're their own place. The artwork is called Endless Night, and it's by Josh Faught. It consists of imperfectly woven, window-sized afghans derived from a 1-inch-by-1-inch pattern of a view out a window at night. The afghans (the nights) grow increasingly darker from left to right, having been dyed in indigo. A little pink candle on one is trying to cast some light. Next to it is what Faught refers to as a "failed" weaving, an afghan wrapped around a post and tied messily like a frayed flag.
Endless Night is an intriguing, unusual work of art by the relatively unknown artist who won this year's Betty Bowen Award. Turns out his other works—incorporating weaving, political pins, video, found objects, books, photographic imagery, nail polish, and spraypaint—are intriguing, too. They use deliberately modest means to wrangle with some big questions about sculpture, authority, materials, gender, tradition, and power.
He speaks from his home in Eugene, Oregon, where he's been teaching since 2007, after getting his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (He cites influences you can check out here, here, and here—those first two, notably, have Northwest roots of sorts. His work is also on the Grizzly Bear albums "Horn of Plenty" and "Friend.")