With all the buzz around Seattle Art Fair and its satellite parties and events, one mustn’t forget the local galleries themselves. Some are finalizing their shows this weekend, while others have just opened. Here are nine shows from around town that we recommend.
Harris/Harvey Gallery: On Paper
It’s all works on paper from thirteen gallery and guest artists at Harris/Harvey Gallery this month. The mediums include prints and pastels. I am particularly impressed with some examples from the latter. Terry Furchgott has a colorful boudoir nude in an impressionist vein, and Tony Peters has two dark and vivid urban scenes. Then there are Tess Hulls’ intricate cut paper sculptures with gouache painted figures and a gorgeous watercolor by John Lysak.
Preview the full show on the gallery’s site. On display through September 2.
Mariane Ibrahim: Mwangi Hutter’s Falling In Love Again
There are so many shades of black and white in Mwangi Hutter‘s Falling in Love Again…and how beautiful they all look together. The artist is a duo who identify as a singular entity, and this is reflected throughout the show. At first glance, Mwangi Hutter’s works rely on stark contrast to show a simple, complementary view of love and being, but on deeper reflection there is much greater multiplicity. There is no real black and white dichotomy here, though that reductive notion (and what it means to be separate as a human being) is explored and exploded.
Aside from this more conceptual aspect of the work, the paintings are sensual and touching. This is the final weekend to see them. See a preview online.
Greg Kucera Gallery: Gee’s Bend Quilts by Three NEA Fellows
The internationally famous quilting community of Gee’s Bend in Alabama is a national treasure. Three of the chief artists and custodians of this cultural legacy are Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta Pettway and Lucy Mingo. They each received National Heritage Fellowships in 2015 and quilts from each of them are now on display at Greg Kucera Gallery. The oldest work dates to 1960, but they all look as distinctly modern as ever. See more on the website.
TREASON Gallery: Shepard Fairey’s Printed Matters
Shepard Fairey‘s Printed Matters exhibition series began in 2010, and the latest iteration has just launched at TREASON Gallery. The series focuses on the variety of printed material in Fairey’s work, including serigraphs on paper, editions on wood and collage. The graphic ephemera that inspires Fairey (advertisements and war-time propaganda) are themselves a printed matter, so Fairey’s sardonic remix of materials feels convincing if nothing else. Printed Matters is on display thorugh September 2. See a preview of the works online.
METHOD Gallery: White Room by Damien Davis
It’s floor-to-ceiling whiteness at METHOD Gallery this month, both literal and metaphorical. Artist Damien Davis has created a site specific installation that covers nearly every inch of the floor of the gallery. Geometric and illustrative designs interlock like a giant puzzle that one walks across to see small mixed-media sculptures on the wall, using consistent motifs. It’s all part of Davis’ ongoing work to develop a graphic vocabulary of his own while he interrogates the nature of white cube exhibition spaces, which ostensibly attempt neutrality…something that David says is impossible.
Here directly from the artist this weekend when he gives an artist talk on Sunday, August 6 from 3-5pm (talk starts at approximately 3:30pm). Read more about the installation online.
Gallery IMA: Gunyong Kim’s Expressive Ceramics
Gallery IMA has a strong stable of ceramics artists, and one of my favorites is Gunyoung Kim. Her technical strength as a sculptor is matched by her sensitivity to facial expression. But it’s never just a face in her work. The theatrical poses and props incorporated into her sculptures evoke a whole story in the viewer, though that story (and its protagonist) will differ from person to person. See a preview of the work online.
Bryan Ohno Gallery: Mirage by Laura Hamje
Artist Laura Hamje takes a break from painting on canvas to display a bevy of still painterly pastels on paper. Urban and suburban views that might otherwise be a little banal become strange and drunk with color and light. See the mirage yourself at the gallery through August 26. See a preview of the works online.
GLASSBOX: Neon Saltwater Unvirtual
It’s a glowing estuary of seapunk and kitsch at GLASSBOX during the installation of Unvirtual by Neon Saltwater. The three rooms are a little slice out of space and time, glowing with the greens and pinks and blues of net aesthetics (and the fashionable return of the 80s). Sound design by Andrew McKibben completes the experience. You can check out another room by Neon Saltwater at Out of Sight, as well.
Because the rooms are best experienced with minimal daylight, the gallery has changed its hours. Though the schedule is shifting a bit, it’s safe to check in around 5-9, Thursday through Saturday (and later during art fair). Contact the gallery in advance if you want to plan a trip.
studio e: Treasure Island
Three long-time friends and renowned Seattle artists have combined their work in one big show at studio e. Sculptor Jeffry Mitchell shows a display of new lamp sculptures, while painters Ken Kelly and Alfred Harris cover the walls with big colorful abstractions. Mitchell’s crowded sculpture of a dying buddha surrounded by countless little animals was a highlight for me. It is a perfect subject for Mitchell, whose style seems sweet, playful and melancholy all at once. See a preview online. On display through August 12.
Featured image: View of White Room by Damien Davis. Image courtesy of METHOD Gallery.