410 Terry Ave N, 381-3218.
Curator Meg Shiffler's take on the imagined landscape incorporates the language of dreams--fantasy, aspirations, and, escapism--to explore the idea of space, both real and inner. Featured artists include Henry Darger, the late outsider artist whose fascination with little girls is still seen as both heroic and creepy, and Mariko Mori, whose video Kumano is the centerpiece of this smart, dreamy exhibition. Through Dec 17.
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.
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.
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.
*UTA BARTH: IN BETWEEN PLACES
Barth is the best thing ever to happen to the still life. She returned the truth to the phrase, highlighting both stillness and life in her photographs of the places people tend to ignore. Corners, door frames, fields, light moving across the floor--these peripheral areas are events in Barth's eye. This, the first museum survey of her work, features photographs from her famously blurred series Ground and Field, as well as her latest projects, nowhere near and ...and of time. Through Jan 21.
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.
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.
TACOMA ART MUSEUM
1123 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258.
CLEARLY BRILLIANT: A DECADE OF PILCHUCK GLASS SCHOOL'S EMERGING ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
There's some work here that might make the argument that this medium has moved beyond the Studio Glass movement dullness: Lise Autogena's bolted spine, Mitchell Gaudet's fetishistic objects (his chandelier-type sculpture of repeating Christ figures hangs at Lead Gallery, right over the wine bar), and Deborah Dohne's neon-adorned engine. Through Jan 1.
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.
DOGS OF MEDINA
Vital 5 is artist Greg Lundgren, whose conceptual takes on art's business end range from the gently satirical to the scathing. His new space's inaugural show features works by 25 artists, all of dogs photographed in the Medina neighborhood. Who would refuse a portrait of their beloved pup? That's what we're going to find out. Opening reception Fri Dec 15, 6-11 pm. Vital 5 Productions, 2200 Westlake Ave, 254-0475. Through Jan 10.
This is 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 Dec 16, then Jan 3-27.
LITA BATHO, ALEX OHGE
Sculpture by Batho (a finalist for this year's Neddy Award) and large-scale paintings by Ohge. Ballard Fetherston Gallery, 818 E Pike St, 322-9440. Through Dec 23.
New painting and sculpture from Africano, who reaches back to the spare style and high sheen of Greek statues, and then (it seems) can't resist the postmodern twist. His figures always seem rather lost in time. Winston Wächter Fine Art, 403 Dexter Ave N, 652-5855. Through Jan 10.
Four artists (Therese Stowell, Angela Anderson, Reid Bannecker, and Shane Edelman) look into the idea of beauty in culture and society. Eyre/Moore Gallery, 913 Western Ave, 624-5596. Through Dec 22.
Movement and instability captured by a pinhole camera mounted on a motorbike. FotoCircle Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way, 624-2645. Through Dec 30.
LANNY DEVUONO, MIKEY WALSH
DeVuono paints landscapes onto boxes, with the odd result of the outdoors as object; Walsh's figurative ceramic sculpture calls upon both folk art and the long history of formal sculpture. Esther Claypool Gallery, 617 Western Ave, 264-1586. Through Dec 30.
An installation by Dillbohner, who has been working and showing internationally in this genre since the '70s. About Sippwells and Other Places is an earthy reconstruction of the process of imagination and drawing on the unconscious. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave, 256-0809. Through Jan 19.
Paintings inspired by Op Art with more than a little dose of psychedelia. Bryan Ohno Gallery, 155 S Main St, 667-9572. Through Dec 30.
Works in oilstick on canvas that explore time spent waiting. ArtsWest, 4711 SW California St, 938-0339. Through Dec 30.
Posters by The Stranger's own cartoonist and documentarian of the strange and underground. Glo's Diner, 1621 E Olive Way, 324-2577. Through Jan 6.
Haven builds strength through the repetition of delicate materials. Her recent rubber-band wall sculptures neatly crossed genres: partly like drawings, partly like sculpture, partly like the road map of an idea. This, her first solo show at Howard House, features the further exploitation--and elevation--of office materials, including white-out, tape, and carbon paper. Reviewed this issue. Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6399. Through Dec 16, then Jan 9-20.
I HEART MOM
Here is work based on the imagery and feel of tattoos, but in painting (David Tupper, Jena Scott) and sculpture (Kirsten Easthope, David Duet) and even glass (Kelly and Nanda Soderburg, Bill Akers). Roq La Rue, 2224 Second Ave, 374-8977. Through Jan 1.
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. See Bio Box. Gallery Unpublished, Methodologie, 808 Howell St, Sixth Floor, 623-1044. Through Feb 7.
*LOOK BOTH WAYS
The Fuzzy Engine folks are back, this time exploring themes of safety and the ways we've chosen to insulate ourselves from danger. The works include a loaded gun encased in cement, and "unsafe toilet paper." Fuzzy Engine, 2801 NW Market St, 720-1767. Through Jan 7.
Two video installations, entitled Medicine Tent and Touched by the Tears of a Butterfly. Sacred Circle Gallery of American Indian Art, Daybreak Star Arts Center, Discovery Park, 285-4425. Through Dec 31.
Work that explores work, in a show of mixed-media sculpture entitled Everybody Wears Jeans: Hard Skills and the Nature of (New) Labor. Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way, 366-2108. Through Dec 30.
Where a lot of graphic designers seem content to watch the form slowly infiltrate the art world, McGinness takes a more kamikaze approach (for example, sneaking into major museums and covertly stuffing his own postcards into the sales racks). This show features his work in paintings, models, and skateboards. Houston, 907 E Pike St, 860-7820. Through Jan 27.
ROSANNE OLSON, DAVID FOKOS, SIMEN JOHAN
Olson's new series, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, contains images of women and birds; Fokos' surreally crisp prints are of architectural elements, rocks, and water, but are beyond lifelike; Johan creates children with his own features and random bodies, a kind of genetic-digital manipulation. Benham Photography Studio/Gallery, 1216 First Ave, 622-6383. Through Dec 23.
Work by 24 artists on the theme of the package: vessel, concealer, commodity. Trapeze Gallery, 1130 34th Ave, 329-3363. Through Jan 5.
*EUGENE PARNELL, SARA EGERER, JENNIFER ADAMS
The main draw here is in the small video room in back: a CD-ROM by Parnell called Lost Naturalists of the Pacific, a self-conscious electronic narrative examining issues of exoticism and authenticity. In the front gallery, photography by Adams and Egerer. Commencement Art Gallery, 902 Commerce St, Tacoma, 253-591-5341. Through Dec 21.
New photographs from Vietnam, by the photographer best known for his local music-scene images. Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055. Through mid-January.
POUND GALLERY GIFT DEPOT
The Pound's artists present art-as-gift: one-of-a-kind objects for the man or woman who has everything. Shop early, shop often! Pound Gallery, 1216 10th Ave, 323-0557. Through Dec 23.
*SARAH ST. ONGE
St. Onge deals with her personal ghosts by placing brass memorial plaques (with terse sentences recalling events, such as one at the airport reading "We were slow dancing to boarding calls") and then photographs them. Here is memoir both nostalgic and tart. Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave. Through Dec 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.
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 Dec 20.
MARIAM AZIZA STEPHAN
New work, in an exhibition entitled surround: surrender. Zeitgeist, 171 S Jackson St, 583-0497. Through Jan 3.
A selection of early 20th-century ikat kimonos, in fabrics that would make Versace blush. See Stranger Suggests. Honeychurch Antiques, 1008 James St, 622-1225. Through early Jan.
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 14, and then Jan 21-27.
Lush, colorful glass vessels that look a whole lot like ribbon candy. Elliott Brown Gallery, 215 Westlake Ave N, 340-8000. Through Dec 23.
Two weekends' worth of performance-slash-installation art, with the emphasis on participation. This weekend's lineup includes Doug Jeck, Rebeccah Kardong, Shio Kusaka, Debbie Reichard, and Foundation Ki with D. K. Pan. The schedule runs as follows: Fri Dec 15, 7-9 pm; Sat Dec 16, 7-9 pm with discussion afterward until 10 pm; and Sun Dec 17, 6-9 pm. At SOIL Artist Cooperative, 1210 Pine St, 264-8061.