Last month’s art walk in Pioneer Square and Downtown was a riot of color. This month is shaping up to be much more subdued in palette, with natural and ancient forms at the fore—but it won’t be devoid of color, naturally. Here are some of my top picks for the night.
The Downtown Galleries
At Traver Gallery, artist Eric Nelsen displays a new series of ceramic and stoneware works, The Object Transformed. Inspired by the 1966 exhibition of the same name at the Museum of Modern Art, the series reproduces familiar forms (from Etruscan sculpture to modern art, such as Isamu Noguchi’s “Black Sun”), and creates new associations and views of them by slightly transforming them or pairing them with other objects.
James Harris Gallery will be presenting not one, but three distinct shows this month, with various approaches to texture and form. Pretty damn ambitious, and a must-see for me.
Developable Surface presents works by 20th master photographers, Paul Caponigro, William Clift, Emmett Gowan, Eliot Porter and Bradford Washburn. These are not traditional landscapes, but rather images of the land where texture is pronounced. (Caponigro’s “Stonehenge” is one of the most haunting images from one of the world’s most famous megalithic sites.) In conversation with these images, Harris will also feature a solo show of new monochrome photos by Amir Zaki: images of smooth wooden sculptures and craggy, massive rock formations. The third show, Threading the Needle, includes fiber works from gallery artists Mary Ann Peters, Claire Cowie and Brad Winchester, and a photograph by Vik Muniz.
The Pop of Color: Downtown, if you want a pop of color, see the show of new paintings by Richard Morhous at Harris/Harvey Gallery. Morhous’ richly colored, impressionistic urban scenes provide that idealized, romantic view we have of wending through a wet, city night. (Perhaps start here and get in that headspace if the art walk sounds like too much of a slog tonight)
Tashiro Kaplan Building
Artist Mary Coss is transforming METHOD Gallery into a tangled comment on ecological havoc through March. Her installation, Groundswell, is the culmination of a two-year partnership with scientist Roger Fuller. To quote the gallery, the installation will evolve over the coming month, from “a stark dystopian landscape of salt laden grass into a churning, ethereal swell reflecting our current social climate.” Coss’ focus in her conversations and research with Fuller were salinity, water, and the environments imperiled by changes in the delicate balance of these things.
At Specialist, artist Michael Milano is inspired by another elemental force: the sun. Milano unites stitch resist dyeing, embroidery, and cyanotype to yield works that are both peaceful and graphically bold. They aren’t just beautiful objects; the exacting, meticulous process evident in their rich blue surfaces makes them profoundly meditative, too.
The Pop of Color: For a burst of vivid color, get to CORE Gallery for a show of paintings by Kate Harkins. Titled Motherlode, it features portraits of women on fabric, wrought in neon hues and a playful, naive style.
On Main Street
Near the top of the hill, check out a new video installation by dancer and choreographer Peggy Piacenza at BONFIRE. (If you like what you see, consider coming back for one of Piacenza’s live performances in the space during March.)
At Foster/White Gallery, the natural themes that seem to be en vogue this month re-emerge with new, textile works by Cameron Ann Mason. Mason’s works are staid in color (cholorphyll green, earthy brown), with gentle silhouettes of grass and soothing blocks and striations covering the cloth. In the same space, John De Wit‘s fused glass sculptures are a textural counterpoint, but have a similar palette and organic feel.
Next door at Greg Kucera Gallery, two separate shows offer a different, equally successful balance of form. Lynne Woods Turner‘s minimalist oil on linen paintings have a casual geometry that never grows cold despite their regularity, while Drie Chapek‘s oil paintings fume and swarm across the canvas.
The Pop of Color: Pop into the fishbowl of A Gallery for a look at photos by Judy Rayl in her show Luxe Light.
Davidson Galleries presents a retrospective of etchings by a master of drypoint technique, Shigeki Tomura (b. 1951). Tomura’s precision and care render even the most rudimentary scenes in a way that feels spiritual, transcendent.
On the other side of the space, ProGraphica / KDR Gallery displays new paintings by Shay Bredimus and new photos by Sarah Elise Abramson in a joint show, Dark Room. Bredimus’ compositions for this show are inspired by Abramson’s dreamy portraiture, and rendered using tattoo ink and wax crayon on drafting film. The results for Bredimus are equally dreamy, a little moodier, and the depth and luster of the black ink on film are novel in their effect.
The Pop of Color: The second iteration of Stonington Gallery‘s group show Splendor in Spring welcomes the new season with glittering glass sculptures by Kelly O’Dell, bold shell and bead necklaces by Chloe French, carved mixed media works by Lena Snow Amason-Berns, and much more.
And down first avenue, another group show inspired by spring (really, it’s coming…we promise) continues at ArtXchange. These are the final weeks of Observing Nature, featuring paintings by Melissa Cole and Tu Duy, and (as always) beautiful sculpted lights by HiiH Lights warming the space.
Featured image: “Latte” by Richard Morhous, on display for his solo exhibit The Color of Light at Harris Harvey Gallery. Image via Harris Harvey Gallery.