BELLEVUE ART MUSEUM
510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, 425-454-3322
LUMINOUS: LIGHT AS MATERIAL, MEDIUM, AND METAPHOR
Light as an architectural element is one of Steven Holl's most famous tropes, and this exhibition was assembled to examine it further. It happily includes work by some of the artists you would expect to be represented: Dan Flavin, Joseph Kosuth, Tokihiro Sato, and Iole Allesandrini. Through June 17.
BIT PLANE (BUREAU OF INVERSE TECHNOLOGY)
The bureau of inverse technology arrived in Seattle last December and set out to create a portrait of the city through surveillance, observation, and interviews. Footage was gathered by the bit plane, a small remote-control aircraft, and is now presented in a site-specific installation. Through April 22.
FRYE ART MUSEUM
704 Terry Ave, 622-9250
REPRESENTING L.A.: PICTORAL CURRENTS IN CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WORK
An exhibition of California representational art that opens up the term "realist" to welcome work all along the spectrum from the very real to the conceptual, portraiture to landscape, narrative to still life. There's work by 70 artists--Alison Saar, Enrique Martinez Celaya, and Jim Morphesis among them--in this, the first show to conceptualize and gather together work in this stylistic vein. Through Feb 11.
Prints that combine the techniques of etching, silkscreen, embossing, and collage. Tift's realm is everyday objects, rendered with an Asian feel. Through Feb 4.
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.
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.
PETER SHELTON: STRETCHSPREAD
Shelton is best known for his installations that expand to fill a gallery's whole space with forms that suggests the body and it parts. He's one of those eighties artists who steeped himself in this art-of-the-body theme, in shapes cast in different materials, from fiberglass to bronze and brass. STRETCHspread is a gift to the Henry's permanent collection from the deep-pocketed Lannan Foundation. See Bio Box. Through April 8.
An installation designed and controlled by digital technology, and meant to change, or at least challenge, our ideas about the space contained by a gallery, as well as the use of technology in art. Developed by a group of artists with the support of CARTAH (the UW Center for Advanced Research Technology in the Arts and Humanities), Terraform contains a computer-generated structure that creates a new topography for the gallery, plus projected light, sound, and video. Through April 19.
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.
GINNY RUFFNER: MIND GARDEN
As part of the Documents Northwest/PONCHO Series, Ruffner has transformed a gallery into a metaphorical map of the brain, using dried rose petals, steel, and glass. Through Feb 25.
*JOHN SINGER SARGENT
This show, curator Trevor Fairbrother's swan song, pulls together an extensive representation of the work of Sargent, the premier portrait artist of his period (1856-1925). Included are a dozen of his famous portraits of the Wertheimer family, along with a good deal of his less famous works: his charcoal studies of male nudes and the watercolors he produced near the end of his life. Through March 18.
TACOMA ART MUSEUM
1123 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258
THE NEW FRONTIER: ART AND TELEVISION 1960-65
A media-wide investigation into the effects of television on culture. It includes work by Bruce Conner, Dennis Hopper (!), Yoko Ono, and Nam June Paik, and is being shown along with Ed Kienholz' withering television tableaux. Through March 18.
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. The show includes work by major Canadian artists such as Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall. Through Feb 18.
Western Washington University, Bellingham, 360-650-3350
ON COLLECTING: PICTURES, PATENTS, MONKEYS, AND MORE
This show addresses collecting as in obsessive accumulation, and collecting as in assembling a body of artworks. The former includes sock monkeys and models submitted to the U.S. Patent Office; the latter is a sample from the Robert J. Shiffler Foundation collection, with work by such now artists as Lorna Simpson, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Janine Antoni. Through March 10.
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.
An exhibition about the color white--ground zero for many artists (the blank canvas) but the goal for the 11 artists shown here. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. Through Jan 27.
Intimate social settings rendered in oil paints. Trapeze Gallery, 1130 34th Ave, 329-3363. Through Feb 2.
*ARTIST TRUST AUCTION EXHIBITION
The auction isn't until mid-February, but the work will be up for a month beforehand. My spies tell me that there's some amazing art showing up, including work by Phil Roach (of the fisheye dioramas), Thess Fenner (surveillance headgear), and a two-penised piñata by Patrick Holderfield. On Mon Jan 29 at noon, Howard House director Billy Howard will lead a tour of the goods. Bank of America Gallery, 701 Fifth Ave, Third Floor, 585-3200. Through Feb 6.
LANNY BERGNER, LYNN GEESAMAN
Nature approached from two wildly varying poles. Bergner's sculptures fuse organic materials, such as gourds, with hardware and glass, creating work that is both molecular and constructed. Geesaman photographs gardens in Europe, California, and Louisiana. Elliott Brown Gallery, 215 Westlake Ave N, 340-8000. Through Feb 3.
A group show, with a twist: each of the co-op's members has invited another artist to exhibit work as well. Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 442-9365. Through Jan 27.
The primary reference for Bowman's paintings is the theater, and what we see is a fraction of it: the curtain, the stage, a chandelier. But that's all we get; the interrupted narrative is ours to provide. Winston Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855. Through March 3.
Still lifes with a collage-y, architectural feel. The best works are built out of layered modules, which play with received notions of depth in space. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Through Jan 27.
CIRCUS OF THE NEW YEAR
A group show, including work by Tim Sullivan, Robert Jones, and Paul Davies. Commencement Art Gallery, Ninth and Commerce, Tacoma, 253-591-5341. Through Jan 31.
This is Clague's first solo show--long overdue. Decaedent Objects combines the ideas of death and self-indulgence. The artist gently mocks her own practices, which include covering found objects (shown here in two window installations) in felt and wire, sampling and recombining thrown-away elements to create something part-quaint, part-obsession, part-memento mori. The theater's lobby features drawings and larger-scale sculpture. Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055. Through Feb 25.
Drawings of bodies in motion. Ace Studios Gallery, 619 Western Avenue, Third Floor, 623--1288. Through Jan 31.
AMY DIED, BERND HAUSSMANN
Sculptures assembled out of found materials by Seattle artist Died; Massachusetts artist Haussmann shows oil on board and canvas. Ballard/Fetherston Gallery, 818 E Pike St, 322-9440. Through Feb 3.
JOE MAX EMMINGER
Emminger's world has an affinity with Marc Chagall's: dreamy, but somehow logical, populated with stray figures doing strange things. The work is eminently likable, with big blocky areas of color and small specific narratives. Grover/Thurston Gallery, 309 Occidental Ave S, 223-0816. Through Feb 10.
*FANTAGRAPHICS 25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
All your underground faves, including Jim Woodring, Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, and Ellen Forney. See Stranger Suggests. Roq La Rue Gallery, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977. Through Feb 2.
*TATIANA GARMENDIA, DAVID PIRRIE
Garmendia's graphite-and-silver-leaf drawings take us to the body's interior in a series of x-rays, somehow both hallucinatory and solidly real. The bodies painted by Pirrie are also clinical and monochrome, but the effect is entirely different. Atelier 31, 122 Kirkland Way, Kirkland, 425-576-1477. Through Feb 6.
A window installation with one of Holderfield's food paintings, this time an interpretation of John Singer Sargent's Aesop. SAM Rental Sales Gallery, 1334 First Ave, 654-3183. Through Feb 24.
*HAROLD HOLLINGSWORTH, ARTHUR S. AUBRY
Reaching back to the rec rooms of his youth, Hollingsworth offers oil paintings of croquet balls and racing car decals. Aubry continues his investigation of the mechanical world with Large Color Photographs of Industrial Ephemera. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through Feb 10.
Knorr's paintings, which combine found images with created ones, are savvy about the world and tend to make the media (in all its manifestations) their subject. Of late, Knorr has been moving toward images from the natural world. Gallery Unpublished, Methodologie, 808 Howell St, Sixth Floor, 623-1044. Through Feb 7.
Fuzzy Engine's core artists take on excess, obsession, and cultural enthusiasm. Fuzzy Engine, 2801 NW Market St, 789-6951. Through March 3.
This show is called Agnosia, a term that refers to the state of not being able to understand what you're seeing, a perceptual lapse that could also refer to the blank slate of the viewer in front of a work of art. This show includes prints and drawings as well as glasswork, which rocks, gyrates, and has definite sexual references. William Traver Gallery, 110 Union St, second floor, 587-6501. Through Jan 28.
*MARK TAKAMICHI MILLER
Miller's recent work has consisted of big, flirty paintings, saturated--almost garish--with color poured over and staining the canvas. This show, with eight new paintings, moves away from pure abstraction to explore the possibility, however faint, of narrative. Opening reception Sat Jan 27, 6-8 pm. Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6399. Through Feb 24.
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG, JAMES ROSENQUIST, PETER MILLET
New prints from one of the first artists to muck around in that art-and-life gap, some of which incorporate images of his family and childhood. In the back, more new prints, this time from Rosenquist, and sculpture from Peter Millet. Greg Kucera Gallery, 624-0770. Through Jan 27.
Sumi painting in an exhibition called FuRuSaTo (Home Town). RAW Gallery, 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1445. Through Jan 31.
Urban Iconography--paintings on canvas and wood panels, using iconography from Asia and Africa. Virginia Inn, 1937 First Ave, 728-1937. Through Feb 27.
Paintings and drawings that recall Cy Twombly's passionate scribblings, but here arranged and colored to suggest bits of discrete--but unreadable--information. Patricia Cameron Fine Art, 108 S Jackson St #207, 343-9647. Through Jan 31.
SCATTERED, SMOTHERED, AND COVERED
Recent acquisitions of folk, self-taught, and so-called outsider art from gallery owners Karen and Marcus Pina's trips through the Deep South and Midwest. Garde Rail Gallery, 4730 35th Ave S, 760-3720. Through Jan 31.
A series of drawings that meditate on cloning and artificial limbs. Victrola Coffee, 411 15th Ave E, 325-6520. Through Jan 31.
Work by artists chosen by SOIL's members, including christ2000, Rebecca Luncan, and Nancy Blum. SOIL Artist Cooperate, 1205 E Pike, 264-8061. Through Jan 27.
A survey of Spafford's prints from 1985-1999, many of them treating mythological themes. Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355. Through Jan 28.
RON VAN DONGEN
More sensual close-ups of flora, but these are more Blossfeldt than Mapplethorpe. G. Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson, 587-5751. Through Jan 27.
DARRELL M. WESTMORELAND
In this show, entitled Behind the Lens, Westmoreland shows 30 years' worth of music photography. Crocodile Cafe, 2200 Second Ave. Through Feb 3.
A lecture by the photographer best known for his nudes and nudist colony images. SAM, Thurs Jan 25, 7 pm, general admission is $7.
SIXTH ANNUAL PUSHPIN INVITATIONAL
The invitation is wide open--to anyone with a photograph and $10 ($5 for each photo after the first). The work must be hung with pushpins (no frames or glass) and will be up through Feb 24. Come hang your work at noon and 9 pm on Thurs Feb 1 at FotoCircle Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S. For information, call 624-2645.