Seattle Art Museum Downtown
Feb 15–May 13, Wednesdays–Sundays
Recommended by Emily Pothast
If you see one museum exhibition this year, Figuring History would be a good choice. It begins by dissecting the conventions of history painting, which tends to cast oppressors as heroes and ignore black experiences altogether. Figuring History aims to right this historical wrong by connecting the large-scale, satirical works of the late painter Robert Colescott with magnificent works by Kerry James Marshall and Mickalene Thomas—contemporary artists who are reframing how we think about monumental painting. It's especially exciting to see Thomas's dazzling, collage-like surfaces in real life, but the whole show is a feast for the eyes, intellect, and soul.