Monday, February 28, 2011

1st Thursday, March 2011

When it rains, it pours, 2010 by Jonah Sampson
gouache on vintage photograph, 6.5 x 4.25 inches
(image via G Gibson)

It looks like G. Gibson Gallery has a couple of fun shows opening. Jonah Sampson alters old-timey photographs to create sly paintings about relationships, closeted Republicans and illicit sex for his show Paintings from the Archives of the Pleasantville Historical Society.

Bear, 2004 by Thomas Allen (image via G Gibson)
chromogenic print, 20 x 24 inches, edition of 15

Thomas Allen's Endnotes feature c-prints of dime-store novels whose covers have been altered to reflect the stories within.

59.2, 2010, by Rachel Illingworth
Monoprint, 14 passes through the press, 30” T x 40” W
(image via Catherine Person Gallery)

Catherine Person Gallery's group show Contained will feature the work of Rachel Illingworth, Chris Haddad and Kim Van Someren.

COMES THE NIGHT, 2010 by Joseph Goldberg
Encaustic on linen over wood panel, 24 x 32 inches
(image via Greg Kucera Gallery)

Pushed back a week due to odd weather, Greg Kucera Gallery will be opening up a pair of great shows. During a recent conversation, the question of which artists embody a Northwest spirit came up. With his abstract landscapes, trees and owls, Joseph Goldberg definitely feels like a Northwest minimalist. See his new work in Paintings.

UNTITLED (HANDSOME YOUNG MAN), 2010 by Kerry James Marshall
Hardground etching, 22.5 x 19 inches, Edition of 50
(image via Greg Kucera Gallery

If you're like me and missed Kerry James Marshall's recent show up at VAG (I'm still kicking myself!) all is not lost - you can still get your fix at Greg Kucera's where he'll be showing Recent Etchings.

Enhanced Sunspots, After Galileo, 2010 by Rachel Brumer
Fiber, 41 x 37 inches

Rachel Brumer will be showing her several of her enhanced sunspots at Grover/Thurston Gallery. You can read about her process here.

Red Line, 2011 by Sue Danielson
36" x 36", acrylic (image via artist)

Sue Danielson will have a new show of work at Core Gallery. Touching the Wall will include paintings, sculpture and fiber.

oil on canvas 36" x 36" (image via Foster/White Gallery)

Bratsa Bonifacho's paintings read like sedimentary layers of his life. IN NUCLEO is full of interesting abstracts that reflect the electronic communication of his current environment.

Billed as “50 Ar
tists, 50 Coffins, 1 Awesome show.“, Boxes of Death 2 / Electric Coffin Studio will showcase 50 handmade coffins. Participating artists include Carlos Aguilar, Japhy Witte, Xavier Loperz, John Osgood, Parskid, Solace, Stacy Rozich, Urban Soule and many more.

Dead Reckoning (detail) Panel 9, 2010 by Claire Cowie
Gouache, Acrylic, Watercolor, India Ink and Collage on paper, 100" x 90"
(Image via James Harris Gallery)

Claire Cowie has been working on a 12 panel (100" x 90" total) painting called Dead Reckoning, "which is a term used to describe the process of estimating one's current position based upon a previously known position and the distance, speed and direction one has traveled."

Also at JHG, Efrain Almeida shows his folk woodcarvings in the front space.

Video still from Bye Bye Birdy, 2011 Andy Arkley w/ Julie Alpert
(image via SOIL)

Collaborators in life and sometimes art, Andy Arkley and Julie Alpert have transformed SOIL into a trippy funland for FLAT & BRIGHT! Blackout curtains on all the windows and the only light comes from the videos or sculptures themselves. A huge elephant squiring water, pats of butter, a RAINBOW! and much more will make this a show to remember.

Glitter Ghosts, 2011 by Joey Veltkamp
Ceramic, paint, glue, glitter

I'm super happy to be in the Backspace at SOIL with them this month; the shows have a great dialog going. the ghosts of Joey Veltkamp is a memorial to loss with 32 ceramic ghosts of heroes, villains and histories.


Also, don't miss Susan Melrath at The Virginia Inn, James Cicatko at Gallery4Culture and Marie Gagnon (and the rest of 619)!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Artist Tool Kit Series / Role of Art Criticism

The next Gage Artist Tool Kit is Thursday, March 24 from 12:30 - 2pm. I'll be presenting on The Role of Art Criticism. It will be a discussion with Gage founders Gary Faigin and Pamela Belyea.
Artist and blogger Joey Veltkamp guides you through his experiences as both an artist and a writer, helping you learn how artists can participate in the conversation of art criticism with the popularization of artist blogs and new media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday + art

Blind, 2010, by Cris Bruch (photo by Richard Nicol)
recycled wood, 85" x 42.5" x 35"

Plenty to do in Seattle are a couple of highlights. Today at noon, Lawrimore Project will host Cris Bruch's Finissage and Artist Talk. If you haven't been before, these are always great. Plus, Cris Bruch is just amazing!

Oops - I totally forgot to include Sylvia Wolf's talk at Ell
iott Bay Books today at 4pm! She'll be talking about her book, The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age.
"The Digital Eye (or is it the Digital "I"?) focuses on the emergence of what, ultimately, will be a revolution in consciousness, providing a timely roadmap that, like Alice's looking glass, intimates a tantalizing unknown." - Fred Rithcin

the still night air by Mitzi Pederson
installation photo by Julia Hensley

At 5pm today, Open Satellite will be having a Drinks + Discussion event with visiting artist Mitzi Pederson and Henry Curator Sara Krajewski.
"Glitter-edged cinder blocks form an ankle-high topography of skyscrapers." - Daily Candy


Tonight from 7-9, Pablo Pijnappel will be at Ambach & Rice for the opening of his exhibition, Fontenay-aux-Roses. And in case you're not on their mailing list, Ambach & Rice just made a big announcement - they're moving to Los Angeles in September. Two shows left - Pablo's (opening tonight) and April's show by Ellen Lesperance. Congratulations to Charlie and Amanda - they've been such great ambassadors for Seattle!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the ghosts of Joey Veltkamp / SOIL

The ghosts of Rock Hudson & Judy Garland, 2011
ceramic, paint, resin

A week from today, I'll have an opening of new work in the Backspace of SOIL. the ghosts of Joey Veltkamp consists of 32 ceramic ghosts which memorialize things like Vesuvius, Divine, 1980s NYC, Leonard Cohen, Walt Whitman and more.

The ghosts of Claude & Pinky, 2011
ceramic, paint, resin

My family has a morose habit of borrowing worry. It can be 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky and invariably someone will say, "Sure hope it doesn't rain." This outlook has helped to foster an ingrained pattern of always hoping for the best but expecting the worst. At age 39, my life remains virtually untouched by death. Yet instead of celebrating this fortunate anomaly, I spend my time attempting to mitigate the unavoidable pain that the death of a loved one will bring.

Opening reception: Thursday, March 3, 6–8pm
Artist talk: Saturday, March 5th, 2pm at SOIL
March 2 – April 2, 2011
more info here

And in the main gallery, Flat & Bright by Julie Alpert & Andy Arkley

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Say hello to Susanna Bluhm

Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows
30” x 30”, Oil on Canvas, 2010

The majority of your work can be read as abstracted landscapes, based on specific yet altered places. Can you talk about the idea of “place” and how it influences your work?

I think I use landscape as a way to start paintings. With most painters, you can kind of tell if they treat their paintings as though they’re meant to be inhabited by figures or places. (For example, I’m thinking of painters I like: Nicholas Nyland’s paintings seem place-y, Gala Bent’s read as figurative, yours read as figurative.) I think there are a lot of formal and conceptual decisions that you make instinctively. I think I gravitate towards “place” because I personally feel very oriented by where I am physically. I’m also really interested in cues and symbols in landscapes that come to have meanings and associations of their own. A palm tree means something different than a fir tree.

Your name is perfume poured out; therefore the virgins love you
40” x 40”, Oil on Canvas, 2009

In 2009, you embarked on an ambitious multi-year painting series centered around the Bible's Song of Songs. I think it's a beautiful gesture for a gay artist to use a book from the Bible as a love letter to their wife and son. Do you view these paintings as a reclamation?

That’s an interesting choice of words. I just looked up reclamation and it comes from the Latin reclamare “cry out against.” By that definition, yes, I would say the series is a reclamation. I was raised Catholic and have lost some once-dear relatives over the gay marriage debate. For me, the Bible is tainted by Christians. Yet I’ve repeatedly come across the Song of Solomon in cultural references and have decided, loudly, that this part isn’t tainted.

With great delight I sat in her shadow, and her fruit was sweet to my taste
95” x 71”, Oil on Canvas, 2009

Song of Solomon is also one of the Bible's steamiest books. I love your quote, “It’s rather amusing that some Biblical scholars believe it is about God’s relationship to the Holy Land. In that case, God and the Holy Land should probably get a room.” How do the paintings and the poem relate?

The Song of Solomon is about love and sex and relationships, and the paintings are too. The text in the poem is explicit [“My beloved thrust his hand into the opening, and my inmost being yearned for him. I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt. I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and was gone… I am faint with love.”], whereas the paintings are abstract. I’m not really interpreting the text so much as using it for my own purpose. The poem’s narrative describes a relationship between the female narrator and her lover from giddy romance to sex to anxiety to nightmares to marriage. My version has a similar arc. The first paintings in the series represent our young love and share the beginning of the poem’s aroused, verdant state. The second group of paintings represents new-relationship devotion and protectiveness [“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards—for our vineyards are in blossom.”], and the trying to get pregnant and anxious optimism after miscarriage. [“Arise my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”]

Arise, my love, my fair one. Now the winter has past, the rain over and gone
50” x 50”, Oil on Canvas, 2010

What comes next in the series? How many paintings will there be when you’re done?

I’ve done eleven paintings so far and there will be forty in all. What comes next is the part of the poem that is the narrator’s nightmare. She dreams that she’s lost her love and she’s wandering the streets searching for him. My counterpart for the paintings will be abstract renderings of the medical complications I had during pregnancy and the early, traumatic birth of our son. It has been hard to start working on these. It was much easier to throw myself into the sunny landscapes of falling in love. I don’t usually have such specifically personal subject matter in my work. It still feels weird to talk about it, but it is so connected to what the paintings are about that I can’t talk about them without talking about it.

The Parade (Costa Rica Revisit: the Mary Parade 3)
24” x 48”, Oil on Canvas, 2006

It reminds me of Claire Cowie's show Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth. I wonder how you folks manage to paint nightmares and keep them from spilling off your paintings and into your real life?

Well, in my case the nightmare was my real life for a year and a half. But it was kind of like a nightmare in that I got to “wake up” and now everybody is healthy and fine. It was this really weird feeling of an alternate reality that doesn’t show up too often in my life now. Except that I just realized yesterday that my new studio has a grand view of the hospital where I was sick and my son spent his last trimester. I’ve also got a great view of a giant March of Dimes billboard right now. Ah, irony.

You Were A Soldier From The War, Waltzing Me All The Way Home
50” x 52”, Mixed media on paper, 2007

Can you talk about the connection between your series Waltzing Me all the Way Home and The 6ths song of the same name?

Yes I can! I didn’t know anyone in Seattle when I had a show of that work at Shift in 2007 so no one really asked about it and I am just dying to talk about it. It’s a series of drawings about my lifelong crush on Paris featuring clichéd nostalgia and tempered longings and a paranormal photographic experience in the Notre Dame. (I took a bunch of pictures there and ONE came out with colorful light beams darting around and hairy lavender wisps.) Doing the drawings, I worked abstractedly from photographs of my first trip there. It was everything I’d dreamed of (and more!—how often does that happen?) and it felt like I was home in a creepy, wonderful way. The song “Waltzing Me All the Way Home” was written by Stephin Merritt and sung by Odetta on the 6ths album. It’s a haunting, lilting, nostalgic song. (You were a soldier from the war, waltzing me all the way home. I'd never seen your kind before, your every word was a poem. Thank you for giving me reasons for living, more reasons than I'd ever known. Thank you for giving me new worlds to live in and waltzing me all the way home.) In an interview, Stephin Merritt talks about how Odetta interpreted the song as being about two black, gay soliders in WWII. I love that interpretation and used it as a sentimental (and admittedly melodramatic) tribute to the impossibility of my love for Paris as an American.

Gold Umbrella (Costa Rica Revisit: the Mary Parade 4)
24” x 48”, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 2006

You recently co-curated a show, Bloom & Collapse with Amanda Manitach. Was this your first time curating?

Yes it was my first time, but Amanda has had more experience curating at the Living Room. The whole process was really exciting. We had a lot of email exchanges that featured a lot of ALL CAPS and exclamation points. It was just fun figuring out how all of these great artists would work together and hearing about what people were working on. Pairing up artists to work collaboratively was really interesting; it was fun being the matchmakers. It was wonderful to have the space, the freedom -- and most importantly -- the community to experiment with.

On the Banks of the Spree
86” x 205”, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 2005

What have you got coming up in 2011?

I’m in the process of moving my studio to the old INS building (now INSCAPE). In September I’m doing a two-person show at SOIL with Cable Griffith. It will be a painting show about Islands.


Susanna Bluhm is a member of SOIL where her work is currently on view.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kurt Timmermeister on Martha Stewart

image via Kurt's FB page

Best news I'll hear all week and it's only Monday! Local author Kurt Timmermeister will be on the Martha Stewart Show on March 1st to promote his book Growing a Farmer.

I'm such a gay cliche when it comes to my love of Martha! I've been watching her show for years and to have a friend appear is going to blow my mind. On the show, they will, "...churn some butter, bake some bread and share pickles, jam, butter, Dinah's Cheese and Francesca's Cheese..." We'll have to have a viewing party with lots of French 75s.

Tune in Tuesday, March 1st at 10am. It's on Channel 19 (Hallmark) for me. Congratulations Kurt!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2010 Portland recap (curators)

Muscle Car Memory/Carcinoma, 2010 by Sean Healy
installation view, image via

It's a couple of weeks old but Jeff Jahn at PORT published a recap of Portland's art scene, as seen through the eyes of its curators. It includes favorite shows, criticisms, complaints, advice and observations. I'm always surprised by the lack of exchange between Portland and Seattle, so it's nice to read about our friends down south. Here are some of their responses to the question, "What is your best advice for an artist?"
Meet people, volunteer for anything, and be professional and polite. Just that will get you pretty far. Oh and mostly, just keep working on your art. - Blake Shell: Archer Gallery, Clark College

Get into your studio! and get others (artists you look up to - but may not know, mentors, curators, teachers, family members, friends etc) to visit you while you are there working your b
utt off. - Kelly Rauer: New American Art Union

Your friends often define, limit and inspire you.... figure out who is helping and who isn't serious enough. Cut out the dead wood, determine what you really want and let everything else fade to the background. Some Portland artists just want a Pabst and an opportunity to be vaguely sarcastic while walking slowly, those people are worthless. Others simply like others who like them, which is a numbing strategy. Concentrate on making each show a quantum level better each time out and make each exhibition count (those uninterested in these ideas are probably dead wood). - Jeff Jahn, Curator/Critic

Saturday, February 19, 2011

FACE TIME / Vis-à-Vis Society

The Drs. Ink & Owning, photo by Rebecca Hoogs

Looking for something fun to today? Why not head over to Hedreen Gallery for FACE TIME with the Vis-à-Vis Society? They were recently profiled in Seattle Magazine's 9 Nerds of Note article as Poetry Scientists.
"Gathering data from audiences using original poem-surveys, the Vis-à-Vis Society presents its findings in humorous and informative multi-media performances which include song, dance, and live graphs." via
You might have seen them out last month at Cal Anderson Park's big red wall, asking passersby such questions as "How fast does time seem to be moving?" From 2-5pm today, the good Drs. Ink & Owning (Sierra Nelson and Rachel Kessler) will be, "will be performing, interacting, and enjoying with you many different kinds of TIME." The event is free. More details here.

Important message from 4 Culture

A message from 4 Culture...

The moment we've all been waiting for is here! King County's Economic Development bill just dropped in the House today. According to 4Culture's blog post on the subject, HB 1997 would secure a solid future for 4Culture’s arts, heritage, and preservation funding programs.

There are more than 700 people and organizations listed on the Advocate4Culture Coalition, and all of our House Reps across King County and the state need to know that we support this bill, and we need their leadership to pass it!


1. Find the contact information for your Representatives. You've got two. They both need to hear from you in the next 4 days (by Tuesday). Call or email them and tell them you support HB 1997 and that bill needs to get passed this year, or the arts/heritage programs you value in King County will be cut by 90%. This is urgent and has no impact on the current year budget.

2. HB 1997 is scheduled for a hearing this Tuesday, February 22nd at 1:30 p.m. We need a flood of advocates at the hearing. We know it's a burden for some to get off work, but if it's at all possible, YOUR attendance will make a huge difference. We can arrange transportation. Email us ( by Monday at 4pm if you want a ride and details.

3. Tell everyone you know about steps 1 & 2.

Links to help you find your legislators and more information is available here:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Norman Rockwell / Tacoma Art Museum

The Connoisseur by Norman Rockwell (image via)

My excitement-meter didn't go very high initially when I first heard that Tacoma Art Museum's next exhibition was the art of Norman Rockwell. Like a lot of folks my age, I associate Rockwell with schmaltzy paintings of lanky teens playing basketball or women being dutiful wives preparing Sunday dinners for their families. He's always seemed a bit too cliche and sentimental, even for me.

Becky Sharp by Norman Rockwell (image via)

Then I realized I hadn't ever given him a chance so I cracked open an old Reader's Digest book (Norman Rockwell's America) I had laying around around. Yes, he's done a ton of paintings of young love, quality family time, and men going off to war. It's probably safe to say that the majority of my impression of life in the 50s comes from Norman Rockwell paintings and Happy Days.

Strictly a Sharpshooter, 1941 by Norman Rockwell (image via)

But he also did a lot of edgier/non-sentimental work. In addition to his idyllic portrayals of life, he also documented the struggles of the times such as racial integration in The Problem We All Live With. He did amazing portraits and was highly prolific (322 Saturday Evening Post covers).

The Horseshoe Forging Contest, 1940 by Norman Rockwell

I'm curious to see how history will remember Rockwell. No matter what, many hold the view that "Rockwell was, and still is spokesman for the American Dream."
In 1999, The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl said of Rockwell in ArtNews: “Rockwell is terrific. It’s become too tedious to pretend he isn’t.” via
I'm looking forward to cruising down to TAM to check out American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell. There will be over 350+ works. It opens up Saturday, February 26th.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mitzi Pederson / the still night air

yellow and orange, 2006 by Mitzi Pederson (image via)
Cinder blocks, wood, glitter, glue, cellophane and aluminum tape

If you're looking for something arts-related for Friday night, make sure to head over to Open Satellite for the opening of Mitzi Pederson's the still night air. I imagine that Mitzi's aesthetic has a lot of followers here in the Puget Sound; I see a strong kinship with some of my favorite local artists.

Mitzi has quite an exhibition history and has shown at The Hammer Museum, Deitch Projects, SFMOMA, Ratio 3, White Columns, the Whtiney Biennial and many more. The opening gala will be from 6-9pm. the still night air is curated by Michael Van Horn. If you can't make the opening, the artist and Henry curator Sara Krajewski will be having an informal discussion at Open Satellite on Thursday (Feb 24).

Or if you still haven't seen the documentary, a not so still life, about Ginny Ruffner, The Henry will be screening it from 7-8:30pm on Friday. Free for members ($5 non-members)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy 17th Birthday, Linda's

Linda's Tavern celebrates their 17th birthday tomorrow! At this point, that makes it one of the hill's oldest watering holes! Legendary for its grunge-y roots, Linda's remains a beautifully strange convergence of local rock legends, crusty regulars and visiting celebs (and pretty much everyone in between).

Between the cheap beer, good food, good jukebox, pool, and when it's sunny - Capitol Hill's favorite patio, it's no surprise that Linda's remains a Seattle favorite.

Stop by Wed (2/16) for drink specials, cheeseburger happy meal deals, and a great night of music, including the DJ debut of Linda herself. Congratulations, Linda and thanks for all the good times!

Nick Cave / Seattle Art Musuem

Untitled, 2009 by Nick Cave
image via Jack Shainman Gallery

I'm so excited - less than a month until Nick Cave's Meet Me at the Center of the Earth opens up at Seattle Art Museum! I didn't realize disambiguation was necessary but recently when talking to a friend I became aware that to certain groups of people, the only Nick Cave they know sings moody, whiskey-rock. This Nick Cave doesn't sing but he is known for his soundsuits.

Nick Cave is a Chicago artist who makes elaborate suits of dyed hair, fabric, beads, toys, twigs, dryer lint and anything else he can find. They stand alone as beautiful artifacts or as you can see in the video above, they can also be worn for performances. Cave studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, so the dancing component is important. Depending on both the suit and the dance, the performances can feel sacred, joyful, or tribal. They explore religious ecstasy, celebration, and the anonymity that costumes provide. Some suits are lovable and it's hard to resist hugging them while others are menacingly dark.

Polar Bear, 2009 by Nick Cave
Mixed media (image via Jack Shainman Gallery)

For Cave, "This whole soundsuit project is really about being able to dream." I think Seattle is susceptible (in a good way) to external influences. Target Practice inspired a lot of us to rethink painting and I can already see the influence of Picasso in some peers' work. I think Nick Cave's show will do the same thing and infuse the city with a desire for color and vibrancy as we head into a beautiful Seattle spring; which is no small feat for a city that loves its black clothes and gray skies.

Nick Cave / Meet Me at the Center of the Earth
Seattle Art Museum
March 10 - June 5, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Enhanced Sunspots by Rachel Brumer

Enhanced Sunspots, 2010 by Rachel Brumer
Fiber, 41" x 37" (image via artist)

"In 1613 Galileo made 23 drawings of Sunspots. These were the source material for my pieces, Enhanced Sunspots, after Galileo. This was a random process of discovery. I use the Van Dyke photographic printing process to create images on fabric, and while researching the history of the Van Dyke print, I came across the drawings of the Sunspots and was immediately struck by the relationship, because the Van Dyke process uses the sun in the printing out process.

To create these pieces, I start with white fabric. I dyed it green, then removed a lot of the color with a discharge bleach. Then I printed the fabric using the Van Dyke method and started embroidering the sunspots with French knots. Again, I used the discharge bleach, removing much of the Van Dyke print. The petals of fabric creating the circle of the sun is made of hand dyed fabric, appliqued to the background." - Rachel Brumer

You can see the work in person at Grover/Thurston Gallery from March 3 - April 2, 2011.

Shadows of a Fleeting World / The Henry

Iwao Matsushita. Untitled. c. 1925. Gelatin silver print
Image via University of Washington Libraries

Dang it! I meant to write about this last week but forgot until this morning when I saw it while catching up on my Pacific Standard. I've been super distracted lately and have missed a few openings that I've recently wanted to get to.

Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and Seattle Camera Club, curated by Liz Brown, just opened up last Friday at Henry Art Gallery.
Shadows of a Fleeting World presents a comprehensive picture of an important yet obscure moment in the cultural history of the past century. In the period between the World Wars art photography was a popular endeavor, with numerous practitioners who reached a wide audience. Amateur and professional photographers gathered together in camera clubs and other organizations in innumerable cities around the globe, encouraging creative work among their members and sponsoring exhibitions that were open to the public. via
For obvious geographical reasons, the West Coast became a hotbed for Japanese-American pictorial photography, with hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The Seattle Camera Club was founded in 1924. "The 37 charter members of the SCC were all Japanese men, but it was not their intention that the club remain exclusively male or Japanese American; in the five years of its existence the SCC welcomed several Caucasian members and a number of women."

The images look beautiful and I think will be a really fantastic exhibition. It's up through May 8th.


If you still haven't seen Harry Shearer: The Echo Chamber, you better hurry because it closes Feb 20.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alexander Kroll / NAP blog interview

Alexander Kroll, Untitled, 2010 (image via)
Oil and Ink on Mylar, 11 x 7 inches

Erin Langner and I have started posting about Seattle-centric artists/shows for the fine folks over at New American Paintings Blog. Erin has already done a studio visit with Matthew Offenbacher and a review for Vic Haven's show at Greg Kucera. My first post is a mini-interview with artist Alexander Kroll, currently on view at James Harris Gallery.
JV: This will be your second show at James Harris Gallery in a year. How lucky for us! A lot has changed in both materials and content--can you talk about how the two shows differ?

AK: My first show with Jim was of “Network” paintings. I was exploring the idea of a diagramatic structure in a painting serving as a kind of spatial marker. This was interesting to me as it seemed to encompass abstraction as a historical proposition as well as a living, breathing mode of thought. The networks did this by speaking to both the gesture and the grid as ideas. I am really committed to the idea of painting as a mode of thought, as a theoretical activity. Ideas exist in painting not just as visual motifs, but also as objects of meaning, intensity and experience.
You can read the rest here. Next up will be Philip Miner and Susanna Bluhm.

Friday, February 11, 2011


SugarPill is the latest Pike/Pine shop to open up that's full of things you didn't know you need. Part apothecary, part grocery-store, part mercantile, they'll "...specialize in locally and ethically sourced products, and...unique mercantile of items for your body, your home and your imagination." The cute, new shop is located between Blick Art and Rock Box.

Proprietor Karyn Schwartz will be stocking "medicinal & culinary herbs & spices, gourmet salts, chocolates, cocktail bitters & pantry essentials." She has lots of experience from her time at Rainbow Natural Remedies where she perfected the art of making people better.

SugarPill will be open daily (except Sunday) from 11am - 7pm. Right now, she's doing a soft launch, so I'd call first to make sure they're open. More info at CHS.

Congratulations, Karyn -we're all so excited!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2nd Thursday, Capitol HIll

My City Is An Ashtray, 2010 by Brad Ewing
Letterpress, Polymer, 15 x 15 inches

Lots of great art to see this Thursday. Here are a couple of highlights; you can see a complete list here.

Joe Bar will be showing "Light Leaks" by NYC artists (and former Cornish students) Michael Neff and Brad Ewing.
"Ewing carefully allocates incidental moments of “lens flare” – an oft-described as “technically undesirable” phenomenon wherein natural light enters the camera lens at an oblong angle, causing refractions within the lens structure, and yielding ascending rows of polygon shaped colors darting across the surface of the image like some supernatural spill."
Tangerine Gift Box, 2010 by Michael Neff
Screenprint, 10 1/16 x 15 7/8 inches (image via)
"Michael Neff uses photography to point our eye toward the unnoticed, in this case the discarded remnants of printed materials. These production cast offs become highlights in his images,recalling Rauschenberg and Warhol. Rather than embellish the found artifact, Neff allows inspection without commentary. Finding these images out of context reminds us that image making is bound up in a material process. That process becomes object in this group of photographs."
Hot n' Cool and Bittersweet by Klara Glosova

The Living Room will be opening up Hot n' Cool and Bittersweet by Klara Glosova.
"This show is about transformation, invoking the creative feminine principle, and embracing the contradictory truths of the opposites. With reverence for the ancient art of alchemy, Klara Glosova conjures up new culinary concoctions in her kitchen. Using popsicle form as a vessel she attempts to turn bitterness and grudge into sweetness and to transform hotness into coolness. Please come see for yourself and taste the fruits of her labor."

Lion by Greg Boudreau (image via)
Spray paint stencil on salvaged wood frame

Greg Boudreau has turned his eye to big game hunting for his latest show at Ghost Gallery. It reminds me of the endless hours I spent watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom as a child.

STAINLESS by Keith Murakata
Cast Stainless Steel, Black Marble, Hidden Impurities

And if you haven't seen Captain America and Afro Picks by Keith Murakata at Pun(c)tuation yet, they're open til 7pm on Thursday.
"An exploration of iconography and radical stripping of clichés. Keith Murakata flips the eagle and burns the banner of the strangled stars of this hegemonic, struggling thing called America. Through media sources, cast metals, ceramics, and wood, Murakata creates altered figurative sculptures that reexamine the historical toll these icons symbolize (and enact) upon the American people’s psyche, and their surprising international reach. Each piece blends history with present realities, the factual with the spiritual, and deep, indigenous truths with contemporary compromises."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Head over to Another Bouncing Ball

Story of Looking, 2010 by Alwyn O'Brien
Porcelain and glaze, Two Pieces 12 1/2" x 14" x 5"

In a town with a surprising scarcity of people blogging/writing about art, the absence of Regina Hackett's voice was profoundly felt. Even if you didn't always agree with her, you always read her! I also know (and this is a made-up statistic) that for every day I don't blog, it feels like I lose half my readers. So in case you haven't been checking Regina's Another Bouncing Ball as frequently of late, go there right now because she's posted a few reviews of recent shows. And welcome back, Regina - we've missed you!