First Thursday is upon us, which means it’s time for new shows at the galleries downtown and in Pioneer Square. Don’t the let the viaduct closure scare you off; light rail and the street car still make it super easy to get to the galleries. If you are coming from Capitol Hill, take the streetcar to to its final stop in Pioneer Square near Occidental Park. The streetcar is free on Thursdays during the viaduct closure. Afterward, you can wander back toward Downtown, where a new, temporary arts space will be open in an unexpected location…
C. M. Ruiz, Wormhole Visuals at The Lusty Lady – Personal Pick
Artist C. M. Ruiz has collaborated with artist Megumi Shauna Arai in creating multimedia works that will be displayed in the former location of legendary strip club, The Lusty Lady, across from Seattle Art Musem. The lower floor has temporarily become an arts space while the building is being developed as a boutique hotel. From Ruiz’s statement on the event page:
The Lusty Lady was a physically dark and shadowy place, but also a place for dancers and patrons to claim their sexuality and empowerment. Now that the space is unoccupied I want to create pieces that are linked with reflection, time, space and power to fill the space with light. I am using new techniques to directly reflect how our city, the building and the world around us are evolving.
Part of the proceeds from art sales will support LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) and SWOP Seattle (Sex Workers Outreach Project). It looks like quite a few works will feature one of our favorite local musicians and fashion plates, Duh Cripe of youryoungbody. It should be an energetic, youthful vibe and a unique opportunity to see the interior of landmark of Seattle’s demimonde in transition. Doors at 6 PM at 1315 1st Ave.
Patti Warashina, Thinking Clearly at Abmeyer + Wood
Ceramicist Patti Warashina is trying something new in her latest body of work, Thinking Clearly, as she includes blown glass elements in her sculptures for the first time in her decades-long career. She was inspired by her 2013 residency at Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and though the two mediums are wildly different in nature, Warashina’s oddball humor and honed sense of composition and proportion deftly combine them in works that will delight old fans and new.
On display May 5 through May 31 at Abmeyer + Wood (1210 2nd Ave)
The Tashiro Kaplan Block
Patte Loper, From Here to There at Platform Gallery
Platform Gallery looks at works made over the past decade by artist Patte Loper. Loper has been showing at the gallery itself, fairs and other events, and even those familiar with her work may be something for the first time. The subjects vary (from prancing deer to amorphous constructions), but Loper always gives a tinge of the otherworldly, whether it is negative space that eats away solid ground, atmospheric effects or an observation deck for a bottomless pit.
An accompanying catalog features an essay by Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum. From Here to There is timed to coincide with Loper’s installation at Suyama Space in Belltown, which opens on May 20. Titled Seeking Higher Ground, it will be the penultimate installation at Suyama Space before it closes at the end of the year.
On display May 5 through May 28 at Platform Gallery (114 3rd Ave S)
Gala Bent and Susan Seubert at G. Gibson Gallery – Personal Pick
Two artists at G. Gibson Gallery create ambiguous images, but with very different moods. Gala Bent‘s abstractions meld animal and mineral, fur and frond, wave and particle, earth and air, and so much more. The effect is playful, even when things take a more surreal turn. The photo and encaustic works of Susan Seubert are much more melancholy—a string of clouded memories that imply disaster, decay and gradual loss. Her patinated scenes suggest that time heals all wounds, but it also never stops wounding.
On display May 5 through June 11 at G. Gibson Gallery (300 S Washington St)
Around Main St.
Chase Langford, Land Marks at Foster/White Gallery
One does indeed get a sense of landscape in some of Chase Langford‘s new works, but only because the horizontality of the lines, the earthy hues and the irregularity of forms that rise like hills, bosks and mountains in the distance. These are landscapes whose idea was taken in hand and then crushed. The order is disturbed, but hidden colors come through instead, hinting at the essence of a place as seen through one artist’s eye.
On display May 5 through May 21 at Foster/White Gallery (220 3rd Ave)
Celebrating 10 Years Group Show at Gallery IMA
Last month, Gallery IMA and owner Young Choi celebrated a decade in Pioneer Square. It was one of the first galleries that really caught my eye when I moved here (at almost the same time it opened), and the gallery’s stable has grown quite large in that time. This group show is packed with dozens and dozens of pieces from represented artist, including sculptures by Carol Gouthro, Ruth Borgenicht and Paul Metivier and abstract paintings from Selene Santucci, Staci Chappell and Eric Adrian Lee. If you are new to town, now is a good time to get a look at the modern, accessible style offered by this gallery.
On display through May 28 at at Gallery IMA (123 S Jackson St)
Andrea Joyce Heimer, Justin Duffus and Polina Terehsina at Linda Hodges Gallery – Personal Pick
Three artists; three shows; three distinct approaches; one central subject—humans presented in an almost voyeuristic manner. Andrea Joyce Heimer colorful, cubist scenes are filled with figures that recall Matisse, and the titles allude to familiar adolescent rites of passage while the overall compositions become surreal, even sublime. I’m a fan. Justin Duffus is more literally domestic, but equally voyeuristic with his subjects: family dinners, poolside scenes and garden parties. His painterly brushwork blurs the images, giving them distance from the viewer while making them more inviting with their textures. Polina Tereshina keeps things simpler and flatter and obscures her scantily clad subjects with swaths of color or even a pair of giant leaves. These portraits share space with resin and primo wall sculptures that recall innards, ground meat and folds of flesh, extending the vision squeamishly close to the body.
Peter Ferguson, Life Boats of a Sinking Witch Roq La Rue – Personal Pick
I never miss a chance to recommend seeing the work of Peter Ferguson. If you look at any genre of painting, you’ll find genuinely savvy artists and then skilled (and not so skilled) imitators. If Ferguson is considered pop-surrealism because of his eccentric mix of fantasy and history, alternate worlds and nostalgia from our own, so be it…but in composition and palette, he is most akin to Dutch masters (think Brueghel and Van Honthorst) crossed with the exuberant and satirical eye of Hogarth (with some giant arthropods thrown in). The paintings recall a past or future war, viewed from a neutral territory where we can see both the aggressor and refugee as desperate humans trying to make sense of the world, and occasionally losing our humanity in the process.
On display through May 28 at at Roq La Rue Gallery (532 1st Ave S)
Klara Glosova, Caddy Shack at GLASS BOX Gallery
The show examines two pivotal moments from the movie Caddyshack: the Baby Ruth moment and the synchronized swimming pool scene.
This description may sound absurdly trivial, but artist Klara Glosova has a knack for turning mundane scenes into paintings (and a few sculptures) that are both graphically appealing and emotionally profound. There’s also a common theme of sports and physical activity in her subjects, but always as a point of entry into how we conduct ourselves as fragile, physical beings…as spectators and participants. In the scenes that inspired her latest work, the key is the uncertainty that befalls us the sense that—as the PR puts its—”you never know if what you discover is shit or candy.”
On display May 5 through 28 at GLASS BOX Gallery (831 Seattle Blvd S)