BELLEVUE ART MUSEUM, 301 Bellevue Square, 425-454-3322
*Fresh Flowers--BAM hosts an international survey of painting, sculpture, glass, video, and installation art that uses flamesowers and flamesoral imagery. In addition to international artists like Pippilotti Rist and Jack Pierson, such outstanding Seattleites as Juan Alonso, Wendy Hanson, Susan Dory, Jamie Walker, and Jeffry Mitchell are included. Through April 11.
FRYE ART MUSEUM, 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250
Steven Assael--A Decade of Drawings and Paintings is full of realist works of high drama. Slices of life like subway scenes, or the fitting of a wedding dress, share space with more formal portraits. Assael studies the ordinariness of his subjects, and the result is a dark and romantic celebration of the diversity of humanity. Through April 18.
HENRY ART GALLERY, 15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280
Coming to Life--The Henry has featured a series of exhibitions focusing on the figure in art since the mid-century. This, the final installment concentrates on the figure in American art with works by Diane Arbus, Willem DeKooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Philip Guston, Lucas Samaras, and more. Through June 13.
*Josiah McElheny--Renowned conceptual artist and glassblower McElheny was commissioned by the Henry to create a new installation. The result is An Historical Anecdote About Fashion, which includes dresses and textiles from the Henry collection alongside the artist's glass sculpture. One is wrapped in a web of deceit upon entry into an exhibition of the fictitious possessions of Italy's Paolo Venini and his couture-clad wife. Through May 30.
Allan Sekula--Fish Story is a perfect exhibition for Seattle--a series of photographs examining labor, life, and technology in port cities around the globe. The images are familiar but not inviting, instead a forceful, cool examination. Through May 16.
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM, 100 University St, 654-3100
*Chuck Close--Washington native and UW graduate Close exhibits 80 portrait paintings spanning 30 years. Close's obsession with the face has taken him from photo-realism to figurative abstraction to minimalism. This exhibition travels here from the Museum of Modern Art. Through May 9.
*The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection of Modern Art--Over 100 works collected by these passionate, and visionary Northwest collectors. Through May 9.
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM, 1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100
Flights of Fancy--Screens, scrolls, and lacquers pulled from the museum's collection in this exhibition about natural and supernatural imagery in Japanese art. Heads up for the flamesames of hell, dragons, cranes, horse-headed demons, and other fantastical visions, both evil and sublime. Through July 25.
WING LUKE ASIAN MUSEUM, 407 7th Ave S, 623-5124
Golden Roots: Korean Americans in Washington State--The exhibition is divided into four major sections: an overview of background history and environment, profiles of Korean immigrants and their life experiences in the U.S., contributions to American life, and prospects for the future. Through April 11.
SUSAN BENNERSTROM--New pastels by this wildly popular Northwest artist. Davidson Gallery, 313 Occidental Ave S, 624-4588. Fri April 2 through May 1.
WARNER BLAKE--From a veteran Northwest artist, a new and highly personal installation dealing with the life and death of his father, entitled Reassembling Memories: Artworks Evolving from Inherited Objects. Blue Heron Gallery, 19704 Vashon Hwy, Vashon Island. Thurs April 1 through April 30.
*BREAKING THE SURFACE--Collaborative works in mixed media by Lauren Atkinson and Donald Green. Large dress forms constructed of cane are covered with wax-impregnated materials, and stand quietly by blurry, disturbingly confrontational photos of staring figures. A simple and powerful show. LEAD Gallery, 1022 First Ave, 623-6240. Through April 30.
MARSHA BURNS--Another terrific collection of work by Burns, entitled Photographs from another place continued...G. Gibson Gallery, 122 S Jackson St, 587-4033. Thurs April 1 through May 15.
*DONNABELLE CASIS--In her second solo show with Howard House, Casis continues her exploration of the human body in paintings that are referential but expressionistically abstract. Howard House, 2017 2nd Ave, 256-6399. Sat April 3 through April 25.
CATHERINE CHAMBERS--Food Chain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey is the first substantial survey of the photographs by this New York artist. Playing with scale and heightened drama, Chambers has photographed various insects she's raised up close and personal during a complex dance through the food chain. CoCA (Center on Contemporary Art), 65 Cedar St, 728-1980. Sat April 3 through May 22.
LAURIE CINOTTA--Some Facts in Nature is filled with familiar detritus collaged into oddly foreign sculptures that are encased in plastic. This sterile treatment ignites the complexities of "personal evidence" rather than the trappings of domestic sentimentality. SOIL, 310 1st Ave S, 264-8016. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
JAMES COOK--Highly textured and abstracted landscapes and seascapes painted in a grand scale. Eyre/ Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
*ROY DeFOREST--Bay Area artist DeForest has been one of the West Coast's most established and celebrated artists for the past 20 years. The work, loosely drawn figures and animals in comical brightly colored landscapes, is still fresh and energetic. Linda Hodges Gallery, 410 Occidental Ave S, 624-3034. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
DEPICTION--A debut solo show by Canadian artist my name is scot. Yes, that's his name. The photo-based installation consists of illuminated boxes that require the viewer to stand closely and examine the eerie faces inside. Oculus Gallery, 163 S Jackson, 366-2108. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
HEIDI FIECHTER--Manipulated photographs within mixed media works and installations. FotoCircle, 163 S Jackson, 2nd flamesr, 624-2645. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
COLLEEN HAYWARD/MEGAN MURPHY--Hayward, a Cornish instructor, exhibits dark and rich abstract paintings with heavily worked, thickly layered surfaces. In contrast, Murphy's abstract work is light and ethereal, with layers of pigment and silver leaf. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
ERIN KEENOY--New paintings focused on the power and vulnerability of being female. Highly stylized and full of personal symbology and social commentary. Zeitgeist, 161 S Jackson, 583-0497. Thurs April 1 through May 5.
DAVID KLEINER--Forceful brushstrokes and bold colors figure prominently in the paintings of this Seattle newcomer. The most fascinating series in the show features Kleiner's various interpretations of the famous 1950 Life magazine photo of the Abstract Expressionists posed for a formal portrait. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. Thurs April 1 through April 30.
MADRONA--A group exhibition including the works of 26 artists living in the Madrona community, notably Trimpin, Roy McMacon, Tom Flood, and everyone's favorite spreader of good cheer, DeeDee Rainbow. Madrona Automatic, 1435 34th Ave, 329-7869. Sat April 3 through April 25.
GARY NISBET--Sensitive, decorative works in mixed media featuring domestic objects--flamesowers, bowls, vegetables, clothing....Grover Thurston Gallery, 309 Occidental Ave S, 223-0816. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
*BILL OWENS--Kucera gives over his entire gallery to almost 50 photographs from the artist's three main series of works from the 1970s, Suburbia, Our Kind of People and Working (I do it for the money). Owens challenged the idea of contemporary art photography-and garnered international attention with his straightforward approach to capturing average Americans on film and combining the images with quotes from the subjects. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 3rd Ave S, 624-0770. Thurs April 1 through May 1.
ROCK STARS = ART STARS--A group show with musicians who are also photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers, and sculptors. Curated by Nicky Thomas of Mavis Piggot and Milky World owner De Kwok. Milky World Gallery, 111 Battery St, 374-0933. Thurs April 1 through April 30.
JOAN STUART ROSS--The encaustic medium can either look rich and vibrant, or like a muddy mess. There's both going on in this work, but Ross manages to create a symbolic dialogue between clearly defined quilt-like segments, and for the most part rises above the inherent difficulty of the medium. Friesen Gallery, 1210 2nd Ave, 628-9501. Thurs April 1 through April 30.
THE TRANSFERRED IMAGE--Twelve artists exploring new directions in printmaking. Phinney Center Gallery, 6532 Phinney Ave N, 783-2244. Fri April 2 through April 30.
*FAMILY: FUTURE POSITIVE--Works by an internationally acclaimed bunch of photographers, stylists, and designers who have all contributed to the hip fashion and lifestyle magazine i-D. The exhibition deals with the "flamesuid" concept of family and includes photographs, projections, drawings, and running sheets. ARO.space, 925 E Pike St, 320-0424, through April 25.
*POP--This new gallery, a branch of an existing one in New York, opens with a show of later paintings and prints by artists associated with Pop Art, including Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, and Roy Lichtenstein. Winston Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, |652-5855, through April 10.
*PIKE POWERS--Powers' last exhibition transformed the gallery into a circus of wonderful oddities caught in glass jars and trapped on little canvases. This time she takes us into the world of the ancient mariner. Leviathan features specimen jars filled with monstrous and fanciful creatures of the deep, and her signature tiny paintings capture a mysterious tempest. See review this issue. Elliott Brown Gallery, 619 N 35th St #101A, 547-9740, through April 3.
*MEGHAN TRAINOR/ERIC ANTHONY HARTE--In Pugetopolis Trainor silkscreens images from Seattle's past onto sheets of metal. The provocative images are of moments that have been all but forgotten, like the opening of the first black-owned family business. In stark contrast is Harte's photo exploration of old pinball machine art--which, by the way, was at one time even more explicitly sexist and racist than it is today. Roq La Rue Gallery, 2224 2nd Ave, 339-6952, through April 22.
TRES FLORES--Prints, drawings, and paintings by three of Mexico's leading female contemporary artists. Tule Gallery, 316 1st Ave S, 748-9904, through May 31.
*WES WEHR--A show not to miss. Wehr, a figure in Northwest art since the grand days of the mystics, has a new body of drawings entitled Creatures I Have Known. His delicate and playful small pieces are always fresh, and are deceivingly and satisfyingly complex, with off-kilter compositions and thoughtful line work. Collusion Unlimited, 163 S Jackson, 2nd flamesr, 652-5209, through April 17.
Catherine Chambers, a New York-based photographer, is the current featured artist at CoCA. She will lecture on her work, which includes photographing dramatic staged moments between insects she's raised. Henry Art Gallery Auditorium, University of Washington, 15th Ave NE. Sat April 3, $5.
*Bill Owens--Greg Kucera Gallery, the Photographic Center Northwest, and SAM's Photography Council present a lecture and slide show by celebrated photographer Bill Owens. Owens will talk about his infamous 1972 series and forthcoming book, both titled Suburbia. Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave S, Fri April 2, 8 pm. $5 advance, $8 at the door.