CENTER ON CONTEMPORARY ART
65 Cedar St, 728-1980.
There's been lots of buzz--rightfully so--about Linda Farris' Contemporary ArtProject, a group of collectors ponying up dough for art, chosen by Farris and rotated through members' homes every six months or so (and destined, eventually, for donation). The group's first exhibition brings Lisa Yuskavage, Justine Kurland, and Inka Essenhigh. Through Oct 28. See article this issue.
HENRY ART GALLERY
15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280.
BEYOND NOVELTY: NEW DIGITAL IMAGERY
An interesting little one-room show featuring artists who work with digitally manipulated images, some of them quite stunning. This is the logical extension to the question that photography poses about truth-telling, and about trusting what you see. Through Feb 4.
*FRANK O. GEHRY: THE ARCHITECT'S STUDIO
An exhibition of drawings and maquettes of Gehry's projects, including our own dear smashed jewel, the EMP. The idea is to give us a window into the genius' process; mostly, though, it's proof that he gets to play with cool little models. Through Dec 31.
GRAPHIC DESIGN IN THE MECHANICAL AGE: SELECTIONS FROM THE MERRILL C. BERMAN COLLECTION
Covering the years around and between the World Wars, a time when design as we know it was born and really began to influence the way important information was seen; the styles that developed during that period still have currency today. Everything--the posters, the books, the ephemera--seems so elegant, and so powerful. Through Feb 18.
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
100 University St, 654-3100.
CREATING PERFECTION: SHAKER OBJECTS AND THEIR AFFINITIES
An exhibition examining the Shaker culture through its furniture, textiles, and tools, as well as photographs, prints, and drawings. A selection of non-Shaker objects shows the influences absorbed, and rejected, by this simplicity-embracing group; an adjacent display of modern works traces a similarly strict formalism that artists use to create structure in the chaotic modern world. Through April 29.
*LANGUAGE LET LOOSE
A tiny little exhibition on the incorporation of text into the visual world. The show's centerpiece is Gary Hill's video installation House of Cards; there's also work by Walker Evans, Ed Ruscha, Alice Wheeler, and a set of Robert Heinecken's Recto/Verso pieces, complete with intelligent but unrelated commentary. Through April 29.
20th-CENTURY AMERICAN ART: THE EBSWORTH COLLECTION
Over 70 works, mostly modernist, collected by Barney A. Ebsworth, who started out collecting 16th- and 17th-century Dutch paintings, but got discouraged when he realized that all "the great pictures [were] gone." There must have been some goodies left from the postwar era; Ebsworth acquired a nifty set of works by de Kooning, Sheeler, and Hockney, among others. Through Nov 12.
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM
1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100.
THE ART OF PROTEST
Social and political issues addressed through a variety of media, including the photography of Walker Evans and the mordant commentary of Jenny Holzer. Fang Lijun's enormous woodcut, No. 19, dominates the exhibition. Through Jan 21.
TACOMA ART MUSEUM
1123 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258.
CLEARLY BRILLIANT: A DECADE OF PILCHUCK GLASS SCHOOL'S EMERGING ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
There's some work here that might make the argument that this medium has moved beyond the Studio Glass movement dullness: Lise Autogena's bolted spine, Mitchell Gaudet's fetishistic objects (his chandelier-type sculpture of repeating Christ figures hangs at Lead, right over the wine bar), and Deborah Dohne's neon-adorned engine. Through Jan 1.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: NORTHWEST JEWELRY AND ETHNOGRAPHIC OBJECTS
This show, presented in conjunction with Metal-Urge, Tacoma's citywide celebration of metal arts, pairs the work of Northwest jewelers with the objects that inspire them. Through Jan 1.
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC, 604-662-4700.
PICTURES, POSITIONS AND PLACES
The idea of place continues to fascinate artists, no matter how much it's been done, and done, and done. This exhibition explores that idea using work that's mostly photography, video, and installation, and draws from the gallery's permanent collection. That's very good: The show includes work by major Canadian artists such as Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall. Through Feb 18.
WING LUKE ASIAN MUSEUM
407 Seventh Ave S, 623-5124.
THROUGH OUR EYES
An extensive exhibition of Asian American photography of the Northwest, from journalism to fine art, including the photography of Frank Matsura and the contemporary work of Dean Wong and Jessica Kim. Through April 8.
WRIGHT EXHIBITION SPACE
407 Dexter Ave N, 264-8200.
*THE WRIGHT COLLECTION
Virginia and Bagley Wright have devoted one gallery entirely to their great collection of '60s and '70s color field paintings, and introduced a large David Salle oil and the John Baldessari piece Two Onlookers and Tragedy to the mix. Other highlights include a Robert Longo, Eric Fischl, a huge Warhol Rorschach, and Jules Olitski's Thigh Smoke. Open-ended run.
Fenner's installations and interactive sculpture usually involve some sort of surveillance equipment, which she turns back on the viewer. In this work, Self-Surveillance Version 3.0, the presence of viewers in the installation activates a series of cameras and monitors, but the more you try to investigate the relationship, the more the work frustrates your efforts. Opening reception Sat Oct 21, 5-8 pm. Commencement Art Gallery, 902 Commerce St, Tacoma, 253-591-5341. Through Nov 3.
Works documenting Martone's Diaspora Project, in which she tries to disband her collection of over 600 statues of the Virgin Mary (she might give you one if you show up). Little Theatre, 610 19th Ave E, 329-2629. Through Nov 26.
Maxwell's paintings show eerie arrangements of mostly real things. They're bright, but not cheerful. Opening reception (and masquerade ball) Thurs Oct 19, 6 pm-midnight. I Capolavori, 2519 Fifth Ave, 448-2825. Through Nov 9.
In a version of the Skin So Thick series that West showed earlier this year at Tacoma's Commencement Gallery, five video screens show a colony of coils pushing their way through a layer of latex. West plays with ideas of dimensionality in which the oddest situations become landscapes. The 911 storefront can't possibly be as satisfying as one of her walk-through installations, but even held at arm's length her work's visual puzzles are worth a second and third look. Opening reception Thurs Oct 19, 7-9 pm. 911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552. Through Dec 17.
Abramson uses a pinhole camera to record the minute goings on in a garden, tracking it as carefully as a science experiment. The result is a meditation on decay and growth, and she has cleverly let some of her negatives decay as well in a clever continuum between medium and subject. FotoCircle Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 624-2645. Through Oct 28.
Artist Noah Simblist has gathered the work of 17 abstract artists, both mid-career and emerging, to explore the terrain of material and meaning. SOIL Artist Cooperative, 1205 Pike St, 264-4199. Through Oct 29.
New painting and sculpture from Africano, who reaches back to the spare style and high sheen of Greek statues, and then (it seems) can't resist the postmodern twist. His figures always seem rather lost in time. Winston Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855. Through Jan 10.
ANNE APPLEBY, JEFFREY SIMMONS
Up front in the gallery are Appleby's serene color fields, but the real treat is in the back: Simmons' optically challenging watercolors, so intense they seem to burn holes right through the paper. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770. Through Oct 28.
CRAIG BARBER, THOMAS HARRIS, JERRY PAVIA
Barber's series Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited are made with a pinhole camera and are documents of his ongoing effort to understand that most loaded of conflicts. Harris' prints are abstract and shadowy; Pavia uses a 19th-century printing technique for his more traditional images. Benham Studio/Gallery, 1216 First Ave, 622-6383. Through Nov 11.
A light and sound installation. Jack Straw Productions Media Gallery, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919. Through Dec 31.
Lynda Benglis was among the forward-thinking process artists of the late '60s, along with Richard Tuttle and Barry Le Va, and was a bit of a feminist provocateur as well. Her work always insists on its own physicality, from her famous Adhesive Products (polyurethane poured over wire armatures and mounted to the wall, looking like nothing so much as giant crustaceans trying to burrow through to the other side) to her current work. Bryan Ohno Gallery, 155 S Main St, 667-9572. Through Dec 2.
Blum sees in patterns the possibility for a kind of transcendence--of elevation through its rhythmic lull. Her paintings explore both organic and abstract variations on the theme; her drawings, intricately repeating patterns, are about as obsessive as they come. See Bio Box. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through Oct 28.
Tumorous growths, skin and hair, orifices and extremities--bodies reduced to indistinct biological forms, with some breathtaking color combinations and brushwork. Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6399. Through Oct 21.
Geometric shapes cut out of or painted onto particle board; the result is quite cheerful--part art, part toy. Linda Hodges Gallery, 316 First Ave S, 624-3034. Through Oct 28.
Fields of color edged and cropped to create a sense of time and place. Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355. Through Oct 29.
*JEANNE DUNNING, MARK MUMFORD
Dunning's nervy photographs and video work explore the body not in its glory, but in its fleshy strangeness. In some of her work, you can't be quite sure what you're seeing, just that it seems to be a hole, or a crevice, giving new light to the term "disembodied." In the project space, Mumford explores perception and metaphor through performance and photography. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. Through Oct 28.
*THE EL CAMINO EFFECT
Leslie Clague, Patrick Holderfield, Steve Veatch, Blair Wilson, and others examine the mysterious El Camino Effect, wherein new objects are created through the juxtaposition of two objects. Fuzzy Engine, 2801 Market St, 720-1767. Through Oct 28.
FOUR ON THE FLOOR
Fine art by pop illustrators Justin Hampton, Jay Barber, Jamie Burton, and Todd Lovering. Roq la Rue Gallery, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977. Through Oct 28.
*THE GOLDEN TOWER PROJECT
Fresh from Burning Man 2000, The Golden Tower Project (the combined efforts of Susan Robb and Jeffrey Miller) is a monument to urine--400 jars of it, collected from artists across the country. Far from being a one-liner installation, it speaks to the creative value of things we might not think to save. Pound Gallery, 1216 10th Ave, 323-0557. Through Oct 29.
SAM HAMRICK, BETSY BEST-SPADARO
Work by two prolific printmakers. Shoreline Community College Gallery, 16101 Greenwood Ave N, 546-4101. Through Nov 12.
Hecox's images of S.F.'s Chinatown or graffiti-covered vans set exactingly reproduced details against simplified background forms, mixing the strategies of direct street documentation and graphic or commercial abstraction. See Stranger Suggests. Houston, 907 E Pike St, 860-7820. Through Oct 31.
More photography from the documentarian of the strange things we do to our bodies in the name of identity. Black Lab Gallery, 5208 Ballard Ave NW, 781-2392. Through Nov 8.
*HOW BILLBOARDS HELP US, PART III
Two Portland artists, known as Swallow Press (x 2), bring us private moments in a public space usually claimed by the loud shout of advertising. This work is of a piece with their other projects, which include poster campaigns, anonymous mailings, and video projections, all intended to put art where we least expect it, and from the surprise encounters that result, create moments of art. I shouldn't tell you where the billboards are, but I'm a softy at heart: southbound NE 175th (east of Woodinville-Redmond Rd); E Lake Sammamish Parkway and SE 127th (north of SW 56th); Aurora Ave N (south of N 80th); and southbound Alaskan Way and Lander. Through Oct 31.
Abstract works that have an affinity with '50s-style furniture and textile design. Mix, 5319 Ballard Ave NW, 783-0106. Through Nov 11.
MICHAEL KENNA, ROCKY SCHENCK
Two photographers working in low-light situations. Kenna shows prints from his new book, Nightwork, including a stunning night image of a pair of fountains in Russia, the water plumes glowing in the long-exposure blur. Schenck's photos are interiors--family scenes, to be precise. G. Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson #200, 587-4033. Through Oct 21.
The sardonic mind behind Urban Hipster shows his comics-influenced paintings and drawings. Glo's, 1621 E Olive Way, 529-2735. Through Oct 21.
Photographer Lewis took his big handmade camera on the road and the resulting work--river views and landscapes--hark back to a time and technique gone by. But these images--keyhole views of sweeping vistas--are quite modern. Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave, 720-7222. Through Oct 30.
This group show, which focuses on the figure (drawn, painted, and other) includes work by Jefferson Pinder, Karen Liebowitz, and Chris St. Pierre. Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 543-9665. Through Oct 28.
Two video installations, entitled Medicine Tent and Touched by the Tears of a Butterfly. Sacred Circle Gallery of American Indian Art, Daybreak Star Arts Center, Discovery Park, 285-4425. Through Dec 31.
S. SIOBHAN MCELWEE, STACY HARRISON
McElwee creates masks out of discarded objects and finishes them by hand, and is showing them with paintings, drawings, and poetry (versatile girl). Harrison is a costume designer who creates "wearable art" (a term to be wary of). Rex Arts Alliance, 542 First Ave S, 262-9831. Through Oct 31.
JEFFREY MITCHELL AND SPECIAL GUESTS
The supremely talented Mitchell has corralled a dozen other artists (including Claudia Fitch and Brent Watanabe) into creating site-specific works to celebrate Zeitgeist's new location. Zeitgeist, 171 S Jackson St, 583-0497. Through Nov 1.
Moriyasu's ceramics have faces painted on them, giving their arrangement in two cabinets a more social feel. King County Art Gallery, 506 Second Ave, Room 200, 296-7580. Through Oct 27.
An oddly delicate installation of a graffiti artist's work in a graphic-design firm's hallway. Pars' figures have a pathos you don't see often in aggressive street work, and his paintings on found objects (street signs, discarded metal sheets) are handsomely balanced. Gallery Unpublished, Methodologie, 808 Howell St, 623-1044. Through Nov 24.
Paintings inspired by the extravagant claims and surreal certainty of sideshow posters. Honey Bear Bakery at Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 682-6664. Through Oct 31.
Metal and stone sculptures that, in their smooth swoopiness, seem to deny their provenance. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Through Oct 28.
BOOK ARTS AT BOOKFEST
Artists books are more than books about art; they're investigations into the structure and nature of the book itself. In addition, visual artists Keiko Hara, Joan Stuart Ross, and Cheryl Hahn will show work that incorporates the written word into the visual world. Sat-Sun Oct 21-22 at the Stadium Exhibition Center (Occidental Ave S and Royal Brougham), 10 am-6 pm, $5 suggested donation.
CALL FOR ARTISTS
SOIL is looking for artists to create site-specific performance installations for a two-week show in December. Contact Juniper Shuey at email@example.com to arrange a time to see the space. Proposals are due Wed Oct 25 and should include a cover letter, resume, video or slides, and SASE; send them to Juniper Shuey, 660 W Nickerson St, Seattle, WA 98119.