First Thursday Art Walk: February 2014 Preview

Posted on February 05, 2014, 1:01 pm
13 mins

Assuming the Seahawks parade happens today without a hitch and Pioneer Square isn’t burnt to the ground (again) in a moment of uninhibited adulation, there will be a lot to see at Art Walk this month. I summarize most everything and mark my five personal picks.

Walking downhill

Bryan Ohno Gallery – Personal Pick

Claude Zervas, "Q6S10-1,"

Claude Zervas, “Q6S10-1,”

Amanda Manitach’s latest series of portraits are still on display at Bryan Ohno Gallery, along with metal sculptures by Travis Pond. I already rhapsodized about Manitach’s new works in an earlier article, so I guess it’s pretty plain that I highly endorse seeing them if you haven’t already.

Foster/White Gallery

Established encaustic artist Mark Rediske shows lots (lots!) of new works on square panels in muted colors. Some have natural or vaguely architectural elements. Others are pure abstraction, displayed as a set in a grid.

Greg Kucera Gallery

You can catch the tail end of the Claude Zervas show and the sale of inventory from Francine Seders Gallery, which closed late last year. Seders’ gallery was a landmark and shall sorely be missed, so this is a good opportunity to see some of the best from some of the many established artists she represented—especially if you never made it up to north Seattle to see them there.

Speaking of closing galleries…

Grover/Thurston Gallery

…will be closing in May of this year—another blow to the arts community. So don’t miss the opportunity to see the end of their group show this month. They’ll have two more dual exhibitions and then it’s lights out. Boo.

Cable Griffith, "Above the Clouds," 2013, image courtesy of G. Gibson Gallery

Cable Griffith, “Above the Clouds,” 2013, image courtesy of G. Gibson Gallery

The Tashiro Kaplan Block

G. Gibson Gallery

The paintings of Cable Griffith now on display in a show called Quest are a delightful blend of imagination and nostalgia for the 16-bit generation. His subdued palette with an emphasis on green, his simplistic forms and dense little worlds recall retro platform games. Meanwhile, the new sculptures of Elizabeth Jameson turn natural materials like felt and wool into dresses and hats that look like scale mail. They play well alongside Griffith’s world, recalling childhood fantasies of warriors and royalty—updated lovingly for adult reality.

Gallery 110

Adult reality is captured more bluntly in the Fourth Annual Juried show at Gallery 110. Titled Transient Moments, the artists represented put forth a variety of media to capture the fleeting and the banal in aesthetically pleasing and thoughtful ways. The awards will be presented on Saturday, but you can check out the entries as they premiere at art walk.

Platform Gallery – Personal Pick

New photographic works from Stephen Hilyard are breathtaking and surreal studies of lava cones in Scandinavia that have been altered to make the “mountains” appear mostly symmetrical, situated in dramatic landscapes. Each of the five images has a unique character and is beautifully composed.

Stephen Hilyard,  "Mountain 4," 2013. Image courtesy of Stephen Hilyard and Platform Gallery.

Stephen Hilyard, “Mountain 4,” 2013. Image courtesy of Stephen Hilyard and Platform Gallery.

SOIL Gallery

SOIL welcomes five new members to its co-op: Jessica Dolence, Julia Heineccius, Margot Quan Knight, Nicki Sucec and Pete Fleming. (Fleming has shown at SOIL before, but this is his official debut.) The artists all have unique idioms and themes, so there may not be a cohesion to the presentation, but it should be a good window into work from some emerging artists.

Method Gallery

The show Public Debt to the Suffragette by Mary Cross continues through the middle of this month. Sculpture and projection come together in a delicate and lighthearted blend with references to personal narratives and the subtlest acknowledgement of the truly harrowing history of women’s rights that continues to this day.

Punch Gallery

Icarus by Seattle-based artist Bill Finger uses various techniques in photographic works on the theme of exploration—particularly space—which becomes a metaphor for any ambitious dream or fancy, and acknowledges that an earnest attempt can be a beautiful thing, regardless of achievement.

Core Gallery

The ceramic sculptures Mary Enslow and paintings by Kalindi Thompson are very different side-by-side, but both have a natural softness to them that is very appealing. Enslow’s work is marketed as “an expression of the female psyche.” The highly abstracted female forms might be at home in any mind (a beautiful headless, armless torso swirling from a conical base might even make an appearance in a serial killer’s fantasies—just sayin’), but I leave that for you to decide.

Room 104 – Personal Pick

Linda Davidson’s massive grids of small paintings are a mixed media marvel. I have been hooked since I saw her cover a whole wall at Catherine Person Gallery (which was in the space that Grover/Thurston will soon be vacating… *pout*). She has another mosaic of 250 panels at Room 104 which opened last month and continues through February 22. Also on display in the same space are Natalie Niblack’s mysterious paintings of wrapped objects. The play of light and darkness in the drapery straddles the line between figurative and abstract work while also recalling religious and architectural subjects.

A monotype diptych of rockaway beach

Wendy Orville, “Rockaway Beach Diptych.” Image courtesy of Wendy Orville and Davidson Galleries.

Around Occidental

Gallery IMA

Gallery IMA presents two artists with a fondness for vivid colors. The child-like images of C.L. Utley are populated by an infinite panoply of creatures in candy colors, sunset hues and chalkboard drawings. The landscapes of David Berridge are nothing revolutionary at a glance, but earthy and attractive with their fiery oranges and reds and deep shadows.

Davidson Galleries

Three artists are featured this month at Davidson: the figurative painter Robert Ernst Marx, printmaker Wendy Orville and legendary graphic artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Marx’s work is deeply humane in its rough, irregular representations of human forms and faces. Orhttp://vanguardseattle.us/wp-admin/post-new.phpville’s stark monotypes are breathtaking in their virtuosity and simplicity. And Hundertwasser is just a fantastic feast for the eyes. It’s an eclectic mix not to be missed.

Stonington Gallery

Ravens and crows—you see a lot of them in art and t-shirts. I love the creature, but a few years back I began to joke that all cafes had to have at least two crows in the art on their walls…and some galleries, too. This love-hate relationship flies out the window at Stonington Gallery, where the actual mythology and stories surrounding Raven (an important figure in First Nation legends) is addressed by earnest craftsmen in a large group show. The show Thinking of Raven includes glass, prints, woodworking, jewelry and metal sculpture. I am already coveting this necklace by Joan Tenenbaum.

301 Occidental Storefront

The 301 Occidental Storefront space currently curated by Juan Alonso will feature large older works by the artist himself, and as an added treat, at 6 and 7PM during art walk, Paul Rucker (an artist, composer and musician) will give cello performances to the crowds in the capacious corner space.

Oh-en Tanaka, "Moon and Autumn Grasses." Image courtesy of Azuma Gallery.

Oh-en Tanaka, “Moon and Autumn Grasses.” Image courtesy of Azuma Gallery.

Along First Avenue

AXIS Pioneer Square – Personal Pick

Here’s a BIG one. The gorgeous Axis showroom will host works from twenty artists from the Gage Kang-O’Higgins Atelier. Featured artists include Marina Trujillo, Vikram Madan, Sullivan Giles and Sean Clemens. Students of the KOH Atelier are trained heavily in drafting and painting, especially of figurative subjects, but the themes and idioms widely vary. It should be a good crowd with a lot of proud, emerging talent.

Linda Hodges Gallery

Contemporary portraiture by Jack Chevalier and Kate Vrijmoet show two very different approaches side by side; Chevalier’s images have a clean, graphic, bold approach that has a natural tension while Vrijmoet’s ooze and bubble. The tension has burst and her subjects are dissolving—and some seem quite fine with this state of affairs. They are both visions of modernity and it should be interesting to see them both in one space.

Azuma Gallery

Gorgeous gold screens galore fill Azuma Gallery through the middle of this month. The gallery is celebrating 35 years, and the glittering assortment of beautifully crafted screens (mostly from the last century) is a treat for those who appreciate Asian art and shiny things.

AJ Fosik, "Bit the Grass." Image courtesy of AJ Fosik and Roq La Rue.

AJ Fosik, “Bit the Grass.” Image courtesy of AJ Fosik and Roq La Rue.

Art XChange

Another form of Asian art is on display at ArtXChange’s show Tradition Unwrapped: Korean Bojagi and Joomchi Now, which features work by bojagi (pieced textiles) artist Chunghie Lee and joomchi (textured handmade paper) artist Jiyoung Chung. It’s a colorful and tactile mix of surface design. Lee’s bojagi is especially dynamic in its composition, and both artists’ works look distinctly modern in their palettes.

Roq La Rue – Personal Pick

Last but never least is Roq La Rue, whose group show Unpredictable Gravity continues through the end of this month. With so many artists contributing so many different works, it is impossible to summarize, but there really is something for every taste here—from the soft, pensive, somehow sensual silhouette of Brett Armory’s “Waiting Study #20,” to the brute but whimiscal metal sculpture of ThreeA, to the magnificent miniature in a bell jar “Strike Anywhere” by Thomas Doyle, to the gloriously wild trophy from another dimension “Bite the Grass” by AJ Fosik. Don’t miss it.

 

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.