Chamber Music is Scott Lawrimore’s first exhibit as the Frye’s curator is a series of translations with an archive in the middle. It’s 36 Seattle artists, each responding to one of the poems in James Joyce’s first published work, Chamber Music, which was put out in 1907—the year Charles and Emma Frye began collecting art. (Lawrimore wins the Most Attenuated Connections award.) In the center of the exhibition is a piece of furniture with benches and cubbyholes, where each artist can house a changing display of whatever’s most important to them. Free.
Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London is really two shows: One is a handful of etchings by Rembrandt. They are full of life and warmth and oddness and curvy lines and if you don't love them, so help you god. The rest is big, sometimes haughty paintings by Old Masters like Gainsborough, van Dyck, Hals, Reynolds, and Turner. $15 suggested.
Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video: This artist and her work are extraordinary. If Portland is out of the question, one of her pieces is hanging at the Henry Art Gallery until September. You can also watch her opening lecture online here, which threads together, among other things, Garry Winogrand and the other big boys of photography, her deep roots (read: 300 relatives) in Portland, Duchamp and de Kooning, what it means to say art is "about race," and combating gang violence and inciting social change. $15.
Drawing Line into Form is an exhibition of 2-D objects by artists who usually make 3-D objects. The pieces, from the Bank of New York Mellon collection, are by Sol LeWitt, Maya Lin, Jim Dine, William Kentridge, Anish Kapoor, Huma Bhabha, Louise Bourgeois—the list goes on. There is also a sketch by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, whose psychadelic video installation, A la belle étoile, is currently disorienting audiences at the Henry Art Gallery. $10.
Love Me Tender: Punny! James Charles, Maximo Gonzales, Barton Lidicé Benes and Mark Wagner, and others use money as both a medium and a symbol to ask questions about value, commodity, and identity. $10.
Mosaic Arts International 2013: Nearly 50 artists working with materials ranging from glass and ceramic to dinosaur bones display their work in this juried exhibition. $12.
Plastics Unwrapped expands upon the prescient sentiment of Mr. McGuire in The Graduate: plastics. Unwrapped acknowledges that this prevalent and troublingly useful substance is thoroughly integrated into every aspect of our lives, and asks us—through works presented in a variety of mediums—to make thoughtful choices. $10.
Sean Scully: Passages/Impressions/Surfaces: A portfolio of a dozen photographs from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland will be paired with a large-scale oil painting by the artist—who's far better known for his paintings. This time, we'll get to see what he brings to photography. $10 suggested.
CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps made by Art Spiegelman, the legendary comic artist whose graphic novel, Maus, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Free.
Scissors for a Brush: Remember the paper snowflakes you made in kindergarten? Karen Bit Vejle’s large-scale pieces are what you dreamed you could make before you confronted the limitations of your attention span and hand-eye coordination, not to mention those dumb safety scissors. The exhibition also features some never-before-seen-in-the-US paper cuts by Hans Christian Andersen. $6.
Zoom: Since the mid-1950s, Aldo and Marirosa Ballo have produced thousands of images and videos of Italian design icons—those slick, shiny, fast things, like Marchio Botta’s armchairs or Ettore Sottsass’s fruit bowl. $10.
Small Change: A new project in the Test Site from MFA student Rebecca Chernow that experiments with "reciprocity, barter, debt, and the emergence of markets and related value systems through the creation and distribution of an invented currency." And cigarette butts too, it seems. $10 suggested.
Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty extends New York scholar Deborah Willis’s journey to the heart of photography. This new exhibition, created in residence at the Henry and especially for the Seattle museum, looks at artistic and ethnographic photography—comparing the images collected by the Henry Art Gallery and the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections. The result is a surprise bulldozing of the distinctions between high and low, ideal beauty and medical health, sex and sales. $10 suggested.
Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cats—From Talisman to Pop Icon: So. Many. Little. Waving. Kitty. Paws. One hundred and fifty five of them, to be precise, in mediums ranging from stone to papier-mâché. This exhibition traces the Maneki Neko’s evolution from source of luck and protection to something more readily recognized as the door greeter to Japanese restaurants. $10.
Uprooted and Invisible looks at the phenomenon of “hidden homelessness” from an Asian American perspective. $12.95.
Mood Paintings of the North: Norway’s most “distinguished” landscape painter, Ørnulf Opdahl, shows new work influenced by Norway’s western coastline. Actually pretty dope for distinguished landscapes. $6.
Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies: MOHAI cracks open its archive to show us our old theaters, including photographs of the chaps in caps and oversize coats who used to watch movies in them. $14.
Horizon: Acclaimed media vivisectionist Paul Pfeiffer is placed side-by-side with cherished paintings from the Founding Collection in order to explore the “philosophical, political, and psychological notions of the horizon.” Free.