VISUAL ART


MUSEUMS AND ART CENTERS

BELLEVUE ART MUSEUM

301 Bellevue Square, 425-454-3322.


FIRST DESCENT: ART AND ARTIFACTS FROM SNOWBOARD CULTURE

Subculture comes to the mall, this time as art. This exhibition examines the snowboard aesthetic beyond the baggy-pants thing. Through April 22.


CENTER ON CONTEMPORARY ART

65 Cedar St, 728-1980.


JERRY PETHICK: OUT OF THE CORNER OF AN EYE

Pethick, a Canadian artist whose installations spin out ideas about seeing and perception, is setting up revised versions of mixed-media installations he has made over the last 20 years. His best work employs a variety of optic lenses in his work, so that background and foreground and depth of vision are all called into question. Through April 29.


CONSOLIDATED WORKS

410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245.


*EVIDENCE

For a good 20 years now, the art world has been going back and forth on the question of whether or not graffiti is art. Tagging is an act both aggressive and sentimental, a mark (however impermanent) that an artist has been in a place. Most people consider graffiti a criminal act rather than a craft, but does work have to be shown in a gallery (or, for that matter, be legal) to be art? Here's a chance to see graffiti in a different context: In this new exhibition, regional graffiti artists have created site-specific installations in the ConWorks space, so that we can see the evidence up close. Through April 30.


FRYE ART MUSEUM

704 Terry Ave, 622-9250.


DONALD BARTON: AN AMERICAN ABROAD

It's a vanished event, or at least a changed one -- the Grand Tour, a young man's Wanderjahr around Europe before settling down. These days it's likely to be undertaken with a backpack and a Eurorail pass, a somewhat less-romantic undertaking. Donald Barton was a painter, and the snapshots of his 1928 trip have the added allure of his good eye. Barton focused his attention to architecture, and later turned those photographs into paintings. Through April 9.


THIS TRANQUIL LAND: HUDSON RIVER PAINTINGS FROM THE HERSEN COLLECTION

In the mid 1800s, a loosely formed group of artists concentrated their talents on representing the transcendentalist's Nature with a capital "N." It's a kind of romanticism we wouldn't be able to get away with these days; the wink-and-nod would be implicit. Also, those guys could make a canvas glow. Through April 16.


LISA ZWERLING

Zwerling's paintings reference old themes -- the seasons, man's relationship to nature -- and make use of traditional painting techniques. The mythical creatures who populate the works, however, come distinctly out of the New Age. Through May 7.


HENRY ART GALLERY

15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280.


SHIFTING GROUND: TRANSFORMED VIEWS OF THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE

It's such a ubiquitous subject, and so often maligned. Here's a show that makes a gallant effort to show how landscape portrayal has changed over time, and by implication, how our attitude toward the land has been altered in the process. Certainly an exhibition that encompasses both Albert Bierstadt's Manifest Destiny--like paintings and Robert Smithson's earthworks can make such a jump in perspective visible. Through Aug 20.


BANKS IN PINK AND BLUE

Genetics, aesthetics, and ethics -- it's a frequent theme in work shown in alternative galleries, and now it's at the Henry, in an installation by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Here, mixed media is an understatement: Manglano-Ovalle uses sperm banks, a liquid nitrogen tank, and abstract DNA portrait photographs, as well as the more prosaic video and audio, to ask his unanswerable questions. This is the second of three in the series Future Forward: Projects in New Media. Through April 16.


*SAM TAYLOR-WOOD

Taylor-Wood is a British artist with a spot-on resume (Turner Prize, Sensation), whose work tends to focus on psychological, but unspecified moments; she shows events in which narrative and emotion are cut off from each other, and from the viewer, provoking a simultaneous curiosity and discomfort. Hysteria, the eight-minute video running at the Henry, shows a woman moving through emotions from real laughter to utter dejection without skipping a beat. Through April 23.


SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

100 University St, 654-3100.


PORCELAIN STORIES: FROM CHINA TO EUROPE

A kind of survey course in porcelain, which of course ends up being a lesson in the movement of culture over trade routes. A very complete exhibition, with works on loan from all sorts of public and private collections. Through May 7.


SEATTLE COLLECTS LICHTENSTEIN

Seattle's most established art institution gives over space to one of the artists who, along with Warhol, most challenged the idea of originality and what is acceptable as real art. Now he's dead and an icon, and the works shown here are largely drawn from local collections. Through May 14.


SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM

1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100.


PAUL HORIUCHI

One of the Northwest's venerable masters is remembered in an exhibition spanning his work from the 1930s through his death in 1999. Through June 11.


TACOMA ART MUSEUM

12th and Pacific, Tacoma, 253-272-4258.


FAST FORWARD: THE SHAPE OF NORTHWEST DESIGN

It's no longer news: Design is irrevocably part of our visual culture. It doesn't make this show any less interesting, however, since the best design, like the best art, continues to delight and surprise. Participants range from the ubiquitous (Microsoft, Boeing) to Anoek Minneboo, a furniture designer recently named one of I.D. Magazine's hot young designers under 30. Through June 18.


WRIGHT EXHIBITION SPACE

407 Dexter Ave N, 264-8200.


*THE WRIGHT COLLECTION

Virginia and Bagley Wright have rehung their foundation's exhibit space, devoting one gallery entirely to their great collection of '60s and '70s color field paintings, and introducing a large David Salle oil and the John Baldessari piece Two Onlookers and Tragedy to the mix. Other highlights of their collection include a Robert Longo, Eric Fischl, a huge Warhol Rorschach, and Jules Olitski's Thigh Smoke. Open-ended run.


GALLERY OPENINGS


ASSEMBLAGE, DOUG JECK

Assemblage refers to multi-media work that incorporates found elements, often in addition to traditional painting or sculpture. The result, when done well, can be a kind of intuitive, surrealist poetry (cf. anything done by Joseph Cornell). Everyday objects can be recontextualized, given new meaning and often new form. Check out this exhibition to see what Seattle artists are doing with it. Also, Doug Jeck's enormous crucifixion. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. William Traver Gallery, 110 Union St, Second Floor, 587-6501. Through April 30.


DINA BARZEL, FRED BIRCHMAN

Barzel came to Seattle via Romania and Israel. Perhaps this long journey has informed her work, which are boat-like shapes of clay combined with stiffened linen, cotton, silk, and gauze. Birchman's graphite drawings treat the idea of building and deconstruction. Opening reception Sun April 9, 2-4 pm. Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355. Through April 30.


CLAIRE COWIE

The points of reference for this exhibition are the snow globe and the airplane, two apparently disparate sources of inspiration, but not so in Cowie's world. A snow globe is a world encapsulated in a toy; an airplane is a serious machine often reduced to a toy. Her collages and sculptures start with such objects and alter them, until the line between art and game-playing is similarly blurred. Opening reception Fri April 7, 7-9 pm. Phinney Center Gallery, 6532 Phinney Ave N, 783-2244. Through April 28.


DISTILL

They're billing themselves "New Seattle Formalists," and perhaps they insist a little too hard on their seriousness and lack of irony, but you can't argue with the art. These three rather good young artists -- RobRoy Chalmers, Matthew Landkammer, and Mariam Azia Stephan -- each explore different directions in color and abstraction, light and dark. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 5-8 pm. Davidson Galleries, 313 Occidental Ave S, 624-7684. Through April 29.


*SUSAN DORY

Some artists feel that the use of patterning is the kiss of death -- the fast track to becoming "decorative" artists. Susan Dory is not afraid of this, and rightly so -- her wax and mixed-media paintings are not only beautiful, but suggest some kind of complicated order from above, as if she were painting string theory, or algorithms. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6399. Through April 29. See also art bio.


BEAN FINNERAN

This month, Eyre/Moore's clean, bright gallery is given over to Finneran's slender porcelain rods, which she stacks and clusters by the thousands to create nests and hives and organic-looking sculptures that reference natural shapes. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 5-8 pm. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Through May 1.


FOUR YEARS IN REFLECTION

An anniversary show celebrating the gallery's fourth year, with work from Isamu Noguchi, Lisa Buchanan, Italo Scanga, and others. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. Bryan Ohno Gallery, 155 S Main, 667-9572. Through April 29.


ARISTOTLE GEORGIADES, JILL REYNOLDS

Georgiades renders familiar, everyday objects in wood and steel, giving us a second look at things we think we know. Reynolds' installation, Body Language, does much the same thing, using our own taken-for-granted vehicle as a starting point. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through April 29.


*JOHN GRADE

Inspired by both ancient architecture and termites, Grade's sculpture explores both structure and decay. In some cases, he lets colonies of termites and beetles create the surfaces of his work; in others, he creates intricate towers of wood and resin -- carapaces that are at the same time delicate. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. King County Art Gallery, 506 Second Ave, Room 200, 296-7580. Through April 28.


DENZIL HURLEY

It's all about surface. Hurley's large panels feature clustered geometrical shapes, and refer to nothing outside of their own paint-and-canvas recipe. You look at it, and it tells you nothing about the world, about your personal angst -- and yet it's all there. Guess what? You brought it yourself. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. Through April 30.


RUSSELL JOSLIN

Dream logic in black and white. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-9 pm. FotoCircle Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 624-2645. Through April 29.


PONCHO, PRATT AUCTION PREVIEW

These works by both regional and internationally known artists will be up for auction twice: some on April 29 (PONCHO), and some on May 19 (Pratt). Go pick out the ones you want. For tickets to the galas, call 623-6233 (PONCHO), or 328-2200 (Pratt). Washington State Convention Center, Eighth and Pike. Through April 26.


SKETCHY

All celebrate the opening of a new (however temporary) alternative space. This inaugural exhibition opens artists' sketchbooks to the public. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. Uirebo, 108 S Jackson St. Through May 1.


*CHRIS ST. PIERRE

These drawings are part fan letter, part artist's meditation on fame and form. St. Pierre is an excellent draftsman, but it's not just about likeness. It's the intersection of art, and the love of it. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-9 pm. Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 366-2108. Through April 29.


GILLIAN THEOBALD

These large-scale diptychs are landscapes, in a manner of speaking. More than that, though, they're beautiful studies in color, quite abstract. Is it a blurred treescape seen in the light of dawn or dusk, or a soulful meditation on color and its opposite? Opening reception April 6, 6-8 pm. Linda Hodges Gallery, 410 Occidental Ave S, 624-3034. Through April 29.


JO ANN VERBURG, MONA KUHN

Landscape and portrait covered here. Blissed-out, slightly sentimental studies of the Italian countryside from the former; stark, sensual close-ups of figures from the other. Opening reception Sat April 8, 3-5 pm. G. Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson, Suite 200, 587-4033. Through May 20.


THOMAS WORKMAN, JOAN STUART ROSS

In case you're just waking up from a decade-long coma, you should know that encaustic is back. This kind of painting, which involves creating a varnish out of pigments and beeswax, is enjoying a huge renaissance, perhaps in an organic swerve away from the formaldehyde and plastic of current shock art. At any rate, two artists this month at Lisa Harris provide excellent examples of the medium's virtues, with layered, abstract works. Opening reception Thurs April 6, 6-8 pm. Lisa Harris Gallery, 1922 Pike Place, 443-3315. Through April 30.


CONTINUING EXHIBITIONS


*IOLE ALESSANDRINI

The Volunteer Park water tower hosted an installation earlier this year called Aqua Pura Vista. This one, though name and location are the same, is different. The artist this time is Iole Alessandrini, known for her sound installations at Sand Point and a recent light installation in downtown Tacoma. Here, at each entrance to the tower, the sound of water draws viewers in and (the artist hopes) persuades them to make the (grueling) climb to the top, where video projection and audio create an alternate universe of people, light, and sound. The tower is open every day from dawn to dusk, but the artist recommends viewing the installation at 7 pm. Through April 24.


DEBORAH ASCHHEIM

Not surprisingly, given its location in an architecture firm, Suyama Space tends to devote its exhibitions to work that investigates space itself, whether through surface (as with Victoria Haven's recent rubber-band drawings) or through sound (like the Trimpin installation last summer). Next up is a site-specific work from New York-artist Aschheim. She'll fill the gallery with the kind of objects she's known for: light-reflective, ethereal, biological items clustering on the floor and hanging from the ceiling. This is the kind of show that changes a space. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave, 256-0809. Through May 7.


GLENN BARR, MARK DANCEY

From the mean streets of Detroit, two bold (in both style and attitude) artists. Barr has a penchant for really stacked women and B-movie scenes, painted with the care and technique of the Old Masters. Dancey is perhaps best known for being the genius behind Motorbooty magazine; he approaches his controversial topics in the same kind of style as the comics he publishes. Roq la Rue Gallery, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977. Through April 7.


RENA BASS FORMAN

Large-format photographs of sacred places in India. Not a new endeavor, but the images are rather stunning. Winston Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855. Through May 20.


CHRIST2000

This pseudonymous environmentalist artist's solo show, Otherwise Landfill, features collages and sculptures made out of found trash, particularly stuff that's unrecyclable by conventional means. Discarded objects including gum wrappers, bread bags, soymilk boxes, and fragments of matchbooks are fashioned into simple, smart, tight compositions that evoke everything from the still lifes of Picasso or the landscapes of Stuart Davis to the tiny, potent sculptures of Richard Tuttle. The Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 329-2629. Through April 23.


DRIVE-THRU GALLERY

Literally that. An installation by John Sutton. Cornish College of the Arts, North Building, 1501 10th Ave E. Through April 12.


CLAIRE GAROUTTE

Everyone, it seems, is going to Cuba these days and bringing back pictures. Garoutte's focus is everyday life as it rolls out in front of her. Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave, 720-7222. Through April 29.


INTRODUCTIONS 2000

Strictly speaking, they're not really introductions: Many of the 10 artists exhibiting this month are associated with prestigious Seattle and Portland galleries. Nonetheless, a good lineup, including Elizabeth Jameson and Donnabelle Casis. With Close Observation Room, an installation by James Jaxxa. Seattle Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery, 1334 First Ave, 654-3240. Through April 8.


LAYNE KLEINART

Paintings and prints by the Seattle artist. Atelier 31, 123 Lake St S, #102, Kirkland, 425-576-1477. Through April 11.


KÄTHE KOLLWITZ

See Stranger Suggests, page 35. Davidson Galleries, 313 Occidental Ave S, 624-6700. Through April 29.


MICHELLE LEITH

Etchings and paintings in (hooray!) Zeitgeist's new space. Zeitgeist Gallery, 171 S Jackson. Through May 4.


JAMES LUNA

Luna, a Luiseño Indian, is a filmmaker who also works in performance, sculpture, and video. This installation, entitled Futuristic Native Outfits for Night Raids (and Other Paraphernalia), features costumes and props from the artist's aggressive inquiry into cultural authenticity. 911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552. Through May 7.


LYN MCCRACKEN

Landscape photography created during several trips to Cuba. These large-format prints of abandoned places have a formidable silence to them. Baas Gallery, 2703 E Madison, 324-4742. Through April 29.


GEOFF MCFETRIDGE

Not your ordinary textiles show. Rock Machine is an exhibition of McFetridge's silk-screened and lithographed fabrics, and they are never what you expect. A red brick background is patterned with suburban signifiers (kids on bikes, lampposts repeating into the distance); the camouflage base of Stoner Forest hides all sorts of sketchy activity. Houston, 907 E Pike St, 860-7820. Through April 29. Reviewed this issue, page 26.


JENNIFER MCNEELY

McNeely's squishy, sexy sculptures openly resemble suggestive body parts. Some are cute (genitalia as conceived by a Cabbage Patch doll) and others are obliquely threatening. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty smart take on sex itself. The Pound Gallery, 1216 10th Ave, 323-0557. Through April 30.


JOHN MCQUEEN

McQueen is a basket maker, and he works in traditional basketry materials (willow and waxed string), but this is an appealingly odd exhibition of self-portraits. Each figure is four feet tall and hollow -- a perfect container, in a way, for anything you care to put in it. Elliott Brown Gallery, 619 N 35th St, #101A, 547-9740. Through May 13.


MEANS/ENDS

The material is plaster, and "means" and "ends" refers to its traditional uses versus the uses explored in this show. Usually employed as a mold for other kinds of art and industry, plaster is here the art itself. SOIL has assembled the work of an interesting group of local artists and Auslanders to show the possibilities of this humble medium. SOIL Artist Cooperative, 12th and Pike. Through April 30.


MENAGERIE

Seven West Coast artists take on animal imagery. Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market St, Kirkland, 425-822-7161. Through April 18.


MIKE NIPPER

Recent paintings by the nice boy behind the reception desk at The Stranger. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. Through April 14.


*SUSAN ROBB

She's an artist in a laboratory, a scientist in the studio. In (MAG X 28) macro-fauxology, Robb engineers her own micro-universe out of materials as diverse as Play-Doh, pudding, and spit, and then photographs it. The result is no less surreal than anything you see in Scientific American, though considerably wittier and more beautiful. Lead Gallery and Wine Bar, 1022 First Ave, 623-6240. Through April 28.


ALEX STAIGER

Swimmy, organic charcoal-and-pastel drawings with a biological feel. Elysian Brewing Co, 1221 E Pike, 860-1920. Through April 21.


EVENTS


*MOVE

If you give a damn at all about the future of art in Seattle, participate in this community meeting, sponsored by ArtSpace. Past discussions have focused on arts advocacy and the development of live/work spaces for artists (an increasingly sore topic in this town). This week's topic is a central arts website -- a home for a comprehensive look at the Seattle arts community. CoCA, 65 Cedar St, Sat April 8, 1-4 pm.

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