April’s Pioneer Square Art Walk is this Thursday, April 7 and our top picks include prints from Australia’s Cicada Press, a traveling show of works on paper from dozens of international artists, a glass sculpture, one very large Lincoln Log tower…and a tree wrapped in gold foil.
Seán Slemon at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery – Personal Pick
South African artist Seán Slemon presents three large-scale works at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, each of which examines the intersection of natural forms and society, but not merely in the usual dichotomous way (of created world versus natural world). Slemon examines how our decisions as groups and our ability to manipulate the world around us create notions of public and private, ownership and otherness, the passive ways that discrimination occurs in our midst. More from the gallery’s press release:
First presented in Johannesburg, the main site-specific installation, “In the red/ in the black” emulates notions of redemption and resuscitation of a once living tree, now dead, ornamented with gold leaf. Slemon draws links between the natural and material conditions, man’s eradication of our natural environment, and man as the master-mind of his own destruction. The gilded and suspended tree resembles man made religious statues: suggestive of man’s ability to sanctify rather than destroy. Slemon’s practice is an ongoing exercise in bringing to the fore the socio-political aspects of his body of work through an examination of equal access to natural resources and what that means for different countries and cultures.
On display April 7 through May 8 at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (608 2nd Ave)
The Tashiro Kaplan Block
Adam Ekberg Theatre of Lost Years at Platform Gallery
The carefully staged photos of Adam Ekberg at Platform Gallery are humorously absurd…and more than a little foreboding. Dominoes topple over cracked earth, parallel to a flat horizon. An upright fan turns the flames of a campfire into a sweeping blur in a twilit desert. Fluids are passed between containers and fires are extinguished—but always in ineffective and elaborate ways. In Ekberg’s mundane objects spilling and toppling toward a messy end, there is wry commentary on the folly (perhaps even impending doom) of ingenuity without greater foresight.
On display April 2 through April 30 at Platform Gallery (114 3rd Ave S)
Suitcase at Gallery 110 – Personal Pick
Italian curator Daniele Di Lodovico began her ongoing (and growing) art exhibition Suitcase in New York City in 2005, featuring ten Italian artists and ten American artists. Each had to create a work on Fabriano paper (with dimensions of 11.5 x 17 cm) and as she has traveled, Di Lodovico has enlisted more artists everywhere she goes to add to the collection. The medium allows for the works to be easily carried (in a suitcase, hence the exhibition title), and in her own words:
The reason I chose to take this project abroad was so that I could compare a multitude of experiences of the artists I had come to know with an ever growing quantity of experiences of artists from other countries.
After almost a decade, the project persists. Its most recent stay in Seattle was at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery in 2010. This month’s staging at Gallery 110, organized by This Might Not Work, will show the project’s latest international incarnation—another stop on a long journey, a specific moment in time.
On display April 7 through April 30 at Gallery 110 (110 3rd Ave S)
The Photograph at G. Gibson Gallery
G. Gibson Gallery has an impressive reserve of photos from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and this show (which opened on March 12) shows a stunning array from that collection: An iconic Flatiron Building photo by Alfred Stieglitz (1903); dreamy landscapes by Ansel Adams; portraiture by Imogen Cunningham; the softly colored abstractions of Richard Misrach; the seemingly mundane but uncanny tableaux of Julie Blackmon; and works by Joe Rudko that break photos into sculptural elements. It’s an ode to the range and possibilities of what is arguably the most influential medium of the modern era. There will be a gallery talk on Saturday, April 9 at 3:30pm with Elizabeth Brown, Rebecca Cummins and Ellen Garvens for those who want deeper insights into the medium, the artists and their works.
On display through April 30 at G. Gibson Gallery (300 S Washington St)
Artists from Cicada Press at Davidson Galleries
In this latest group show, Davidson Galleries will present new work from over twenty artists, made at Cicada Press at the University of New South Wales. The roster is international, but many of the artists are based in Australia and the work reflects this, with a mix of moody land- and townscapes and pointed views of colonialism, consumerism and class.
On display April 7 through April 30 at at Davidson Galleries (313 Occidental Ave S)
Around Main St.
Cris Bruch and Anders Bergstrom Greg Kucera Gallery – Personal Pick
Seattle-based Cris Bruch presents pieces from his recent show at The Frye Art Museum, Others Who Were Here, in addition to new sculptures and drawings. It’s sensitive work that coaxes profound beauty from the mundane, which makes it pair well with a simultaneous show of work by New York-based Anders Bergstrom, whose exquisite etchings, aquatints and woodcuts turn the grease patterns on paper carry-out bags into delicate abstractions in three dimensions.
On display April 7 – May 21 at Greg Kucera Gallery (212 3rd Ave)
George Rodriguez at Foster/White Gallery
Prolific ceramicist George Rodriguez consistently wows me (and collectors) with the detail and scale of his sculptures. This latest collection of busts was inspired by a 2010 tour of 26 countries (spanning almost a full year), and the various sculptural forms he saw along the way. His work always shows influence from his Latin American roots (especially 2014 show, inspired by Dia de los Muertos celebrations), but the faces of this latest collection are global, from a Chakam to a bunch of monkeys.
On display April 7 through April 30 at Foster/White Gallery (220 3rd Ave)
No Touching Ground at GLASS BOX Gallery – Personal Pick
The artist known as No Touching Ground has made his mark on streets around the world (and a gallery or two) with hand-painted wheatpastes produced from photographs, often with an activist edge. Between exposure to the elements and authorities and landowners who are not enamored with his artful additions to bare walls, they often don’t last long. For those who enjoy his work and would like a more permanent version of it, his multi-media solo show at GLASS BOX gallery is not to be missed.
On display April 7 through April 30 at GLASS BOX Gallery (831 Seattle Blvd S)
Preston Singletary at Traver Gallery
The crafts and ceremonial objects of PNW indigenous peoples are revived in glowing color through the work of Tlingit artist Preston Singletary. His baskets have become something of a signature form for him, but he also creates masks, statues and other vessels illustrative of the spirit world and the natural cycle of life. Alongside his sculptures, Traver Gallery will also present some of his serigraphs, also using Tlingit designs.
On display April 7 through April 30 at Traver Gallery (110 Union St #200)
Jeff Ballard at Abmeyer + Wood
Glass has never looked so fluffy. Jeff Ballard is known for his perfectly rendered, blown-glass pillows, each treated with a surreal or discomforting twist: For example, topped with drops of clear glass like dew; sagging from a rusty hook. They ambiguously suggest dreams, insomnia and desire, and the way that Ballard’s puffy creations bend and droop has never looked more reminiscent of the human body itself in his latest solo show at Abmeyer + Wood.
On display April 7 through April 30 at Abmeyer + Wood (1210 2nd Ave)
Bill Braun at Patricia Rovzar Gallery
The paintings of Bill Braun don’t look like paintings at all at first glance; they look like cut-paper collages depicting cityscapes and treetops full of woodland creatures in a child-like fashion. The colorful compositions use sophisticated trompe l’oeil to capture a sense of naïve delight in the world and one’s first attempts at representation.