BELLEVUE ART MUSEUM
301 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-454-3322.
KURDISTAN: IN THE SHADOW OF HISTORY
Photographer Susan Meiselas has assembled this exhibition exploring the culture and identity of the beleaguered Kurds through photographs, newspaper stories, memoirs, and telegrams. This fragmented narrative--including the words of freedom fighters, farmers, missionaries, and spies--echoes the dislocation of a stateless people. Through June 11.
410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245
Sculptor Sheila Klein works in a wide range of media and scale, from enormous public-art commissions to small conceptual pieces (including proposals to ornament city skylines with jewelry), but it all bears her trademark humor and excellent eye. This show of recent sculpture includes interactive hanging tents (viewers are invited to climb in) and a fortress made of... giant Spandex pants. Through June 30.
FRYE ART MUSEUM
701 Terry Ave, 622-9250.
THOMAS HART BENTON
Perhaps best known for his dense, saturated murals (the likes of which adorn city halls across the country), Benton also was a great traveler, and recorded what he saw in America's remote regions. His drawings chronicle the country's change from an agricultural nation to an industrialized one. Through June 25.
The British-born Nickson, well known for his figurative painting, has been painting bathers for the last 20 years. This subject certainly has deep roots in the history of art (Cézanne, Degas), and Nickson makes his mark with vivid, just-this-side-of-natural colors. Through July 16.
Contemporary allegorical work. Through June 4.
HENRY ART GALLERY
15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280.
Oursler's video works are characteristically creepy--for example, projections of facial features that give a weird, transparent life to inanimate objects. His installation at the Henry is called The Empty Cabinet, but knowing Oursler, "empty" is a relative term. Through July 30.
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.
The audio for Anthem, this disturbing, riveting video, is a girl screaming in slow motion. It makes a haunting soundtrack for a montage of images both human and technological, bloody and tender. Viola, along with the likes of Nam June Paik and Gary Hill, brought video art to prominence in the '70s; he is one of the most painterly of these artists, and his work has a potent lyrical charge. Through May 28.
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, 2001.
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.
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. It includes the photography of Frank Matsura--who emigrated from Japan at the turn of the century (the last one) and documented the Okanogan frontier--through the contemporary work of Dean Wong and Jessica Kim. Through April 8, 2001.
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 include a Robert Longo, Eric Fischl, a huge Warhol Rorschach, and Jules Olitski's Thigh Smoke. Open-ended run.
Works on paper populated with legions of vertical lines drawn in graphite. A line is a simple thing, but Alexander's work hard. Boomtown Cafe, 513 Third Ave, 625-2989. Through May 30.
This small exhibition of Northwest artists includes Thom Ross and Tina Hoggatt, whose work graces the less- than-graceful Safeco Field. Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers, 121 First Ave S, 682-3545. Through May 31.
These vivid canvases are heavily worked--layered in paint, ripped apart, and reconstructed, until abstraction seems a tame description. Ace Studios Gallery, 619 Western Ave, 623-1288. Through May 28.
ROSS PALMER BEECHER, GEORGE CHACONA
In a new series of multi-media entitled Great Film Directors, Beecher honors the film industry's giants. Her assemblages of fabricated metal and old camera parts create elaborate frames for Alfred Hitchcock, Werner Herzog, and Orson Welles--the directors, in short, who put frames around everyday and not-so-everyday life. Chacona works in cinematic imagery as well, drawing inspiration from the silent era. Bank of America Gallery, 701 Fifth Ave, Third Floor, 585-3200. Through May 26, then continuing through June 15 at Greg Kucera Gallery.
Serene still lifes, ordinary objects thoroughly seen. King County Art Gallery, 506 Second Ave, Room 200, 296-7580. Through May 26.
Journalist, photographer, and social activist Blom spent 50 years among the Mayan people of Chiapas, Mexico. Over that period she extensively documented the Lacandon tribe, an indigenous people living in the deep jungle. Blom's photographs are a testament to a world that was vanishing even as she lived in it. Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave, 720-7222. Through May 31.
Solemn, hand-carved wood figures that bring to mind folk-art saints. Grover/Thurston Gallery, 309 Occidental Ave S, 223-0816. Through May 27.
Castellanos builds her paintings using thin veils of oils, but the effect isn't washed out, rather it's quite vivid and emotional. Lux Coffeebar, 2226 First Ave, 443-0962. Through May 31.
The themes are life and death, and the aesthetic is based on so-called women's work. Comstock combines decorative motifs and patterning (associated with such crafts as embroidery and quilting), recognizable iconography such as skeletons, and flora in various stages of bloom and decay. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770. Through June 15.
COOK & WALSH, NHON NGUYEN
Cook and Walsh collaborate in the high tiers of kitsch and functional art; the former works in metal and the latter paints on it, using images as familiar and campy as Cindy Brady, monkey skulls, and wrestlers. Nguyen's paintings of breakdancers are fluid and active, but have a dreamy, muted quality that is quite unexpected. Roq La Rue, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977. Through June 3.
CORNISH BFA EXHIBITIONS
Hold on to your hats--there are three of them. There's always good work at these shows, and they're refreshingly unpretentious, comparatively speaking. The fourth-year fine-art exhibition is at CoCA (65 Cedar St) through May 27. The fifth-year fine-art exhibition is at Cornish Senior Studios (306 Westlake) through May 27. The design exhibition is on the Kalakala Ferry (2555 N Northlake Way, on Lake Union) through May 28.
Encaustic and mixed-media. Ballard/Fetherston Gallery, 818 E Pike St, 322-9440. Through June 10.
Fifty small photographs are displayed on lightboxes, giving their dark swimminess an interesting intensity. The figures float around as if released from the rules of gravity. FotoCircle Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 624-2645. Through May 27.
In Forged Symmetries Hanson exhibits sculpture made out of the unlikeliest of materials: rose petals stitched together and paired with found objects. One, a globe held up by female trophy figures, aptly contrasts strength and fragility, permanence and brevity. An installation at once brave and delicate. Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6399. Through June 1.
The photographer is only half of the collaboration here; the other half is Angela Seahorse, a model who explores identity through body modification--tattoos, masks, and finally, cutting off her hair. Brave and revealing gestures, though you wonder how much the camera really shows. Alibi Room, 85 Pike St, 623-3180. Through May 31.
An exhibition by the Chicago curatorial group Law Office. SOIL Artist Cooperative, 12th and Pike. Through May 29.
PAMELA KEELEY, BILL DURGIN
The figure is in the foreground. Keeley apparently can draw with both hands at once, and her pleasingly loose faces and bodies rest on the surface of the work. Durgin's large-format photography shows perfect bodies at close range, and at second look, they're too perfect--in fact, they're mannequins. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Through June 19.
Textiles seem an unlikely vehicle for pop-culture assemblage, but Klein pulls it off with her wild montages and mixed-media constructions. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through May 27.
Get yourself up to Canada to see this touring show--Vancouver is as close as it's coming to Seattle--featuring work by international artists rarely shown in the U.S. Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC, 604-662-4700. Through Aug 13.
Meditations on the body, these temporary vessels we haul around. Morris traces her own body onto graph paper and then works the surface with collage and solvent transfers. A delicate treatment of a delicate subject. Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 784-6532. Through May 27.
Everyday objects discover their abstract and decorative qualities through Oropallo's screenprinted canvases, which use multiple images of familiar forms. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. Through May 27.
Yet another show with "2000" in the title, but there's good work to be seen here and (not incidentally) it's one of the great benefits of the "one-percent-for-arts" funds. Among the City of Seattle's recent acquisitions are prints by Dirk Park, whose chemically etched work has an eerie and beautiful biological feel, and C. Blake Haygood, whose drypoint prints resemble inventions from the mind of Dr. Seuss, though slightly more sinister. Key Tower Gallery, Fifth and Cherry, Third Floor. Through July 14.
It's that time of year--the trees are budding, the birds are singing, and young artists are decorating the walls. By definition such shows are a mixed bag, but there's a real thrill in finding talent. UW's Master of Fine Art candidates have the nicest venue: the South Gallery of the Henry; their exhibition runs from May 27 through June 25, with an opening exhibition Fri May 26, 5:30-7:30 pm. The North Seattle Community College exhibition is at 9600 College Way N, and is up through June 9. Shoreline Community College's show (16101 Greenwood Ave N) is up through Sept 1, with an opening reception at noon on Fri May 26.
These glass forms are lovely--shapely, organic, and shot through with mysterious color. There's a lot of hack glass out there, but Tagliapietra is a maestro, in the actual and metaphorical sense of the word. William Traver Gallery, 110 Union St, Second Floor, 587-6501. Through July 2.
THE ULTIMATE PRESS
Prints made by the friendly steamroller that could. Daniel Smith Gallery, 4150 First Ave S, 233-9599. Through May 31.
URBEAN LEAGUE ART EXHIBIT
Known for showing a very diverse (both in work and ethnicity) group of artists, this exhibit is in its 23rd year. Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Eighth Ave and Pike St. Through June 28.
These cool paintings are as minimalist as they come--a series of modest white panels. In such quiet work, the variations resound: A groove drilled down one side is as big a disturbance as a canyon; a grid lightly etched across a surface registers as utterly playful. Vale has created a sound-and-light environment for these works that tells you a great deal about the act of seeing them. The hum of fluorescent lights and the nattering of electric typewriters link the paintings to visual white noise, the kind you don't notice until you really start to look. Pound Gallery, 1216 10th Ave, 323-0557. Through May 28.
VECINOS DE MAYO
It means "neighbors of May," and it's a celebration of Latino culture all month long. The gallery will show the work of five Latino artists: Gerardo Aguayo, Carlos Duran, Che Lopez, Jamie Olaya, and Jose Orantes. Phinney Center Gallery, 6532 Phinney Ave N, 783-2244. Through May 26.
An exploration of the labor of art--what happens between concept and object. Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market St, Kirkland, 425-822-7161. Through June 2.
Slightly eerie characters are embedded in Yearout's canvases, which are alternatively heavily painted and barely brushed. The unexpected contrast makes these paintings an interesting balancing act. Baas Gallery, 2703 E Madison, 324-4742. Through June 3.
*THE MARK OF CAIN
In Russian prisons, tattoos are an entire subculture, with iconographic worlds unto themselves. New York artist Alix Lambert presents a slide show and short film on the subject. At SAAM (in Volunteer Park) on Thurs May 25, at 7 pm. For tickets, call the SAAM box office at 654-3121. See Bio Box.
The book is finally available: Uncanny: The Art and Design of Shawn Wolfe. Wolfe will be signing copies at Houston (907 E Pike) at 7 pm on Thurs May 25.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS
Open your studio to the public for the Second Annual Art Detour held the weekend of October 6. Deadline is May 25. For information visit www.artdetourseattle.org or call 988-8983.
ARTIST TRUST FELLOWSHIPS
It's that time again. This year, fellowships--which come with a $5,500 award--are available for artists working in dance, design, theater, and visual arts. The deadline is June 16; visit their website at www.artisttrust.org for application information, or send a SASE to 2000 Fellowship Application, Artist Trust, 1402 Third Ave, Suite 404, Seattle, WA 98101.
ASIAN AMERICAN AND ASIAN VISUAL ART DIRECTORY
RAW Gallery is compiling a directory of Asian and Asian American artists. This directory will go on sale in June, and will be available to arts organizers, artists, and institutions both locally and nationally. There is no fee to participate. E-mail your name, address, telephone number, web information, and medium/profession to: firstname.lastname@example.org.