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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | February-March 2011

By Allyn Cantor

MING WONG: LIFE OF IMITATION Frye Art Museum, Seattle, closes February 27 Singapore-born artist Ming Wong re-interprets classic films of world cinema in video installations that have been exhibited primarily in Europe. In Love for the Mood is an adaptation of Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love (2000); a meditation on love and infidelity set in the 1960s. Life of Imitation pays tribute to Douglas Sirk’s Hollywood melodrama Imitation of Life (1959), which addressed issues of racial identity, gender, and language. In Four Malay Stories, Wong plays sixteen different characters in an interpretation of films by Malay “showbiz” icon P. Ramlee.

OUTBREAK: PLAGUES THAT CHANGED HISTORY – Paintings by Bryn Barnard Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Port Angeles, closes March 13 Outbreak includes original paintings and excerpts of text from San Juan Island-based artist Bryn Barnard’s book Outbreak: Plagues that Changed History (2005). The full suite of 30 pieces reveal an invisible world of microbes and the effect of infectious diseases on entire populations throughout history. With a background in history, anthropology and the sciences, Barnard is able to convey highly believable historical episodes.

RICHARD HEISLER | TYLER STARR: TOKYO PAINTINGS & MIXED MEDIA WORK Cullom Gallery, Seattle, closes February 26 Tokyo’s contemporary urban neighbourhoods fuel the creativity of two American artists. Richard Heisler’s series One Hundred Views of Tokyo presents street scenes like snapshots of life wih a photorealist style. The title pays quiet reference to the 19th century woodblock print One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). Tyler Starr applies gouache paint, graphite and intricately cut layers of thin ganpi paper to sparse compositions that examine political, military, and municipal constructions and events in present-day Tokyo.

Richard Heisler

THOMAS ALLEN: NEW PHOTOGRAPHS G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, March 3-April 16 Using a shallow depth of field, Michigan-based artist Thomas Allen photographs three-dimensional tableaux he has constructed from vintage paperback covers with attention-getting graphics. With their 1930s characters and lurid colours, the racy dioramas recreate narratives of pulp fiction. The effect is quirky, engaging and humorous. Allen’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications including Harper's and The New Yorker, and he is represented by galleries in New York, Seattle and Minneapolis.

MASTER OF DECEPTION: THE FURNITURE OF JOHN CEDERQUIST Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, closes May 15 Nationally recognized woodworker and furniture artist John Cederquist’s inventions are part sculpture and part illustration with witty graphic imagery and an immaculate sense of craftsmanship. In his first solo show at a Northwest museum, he applies images inspired by Popeye cartoons, Japanese block prints, and two-dimensional inlaid patterns to three-dimensional surfaces. The pieces are playful and mildly surreal with utilitarian purposes.

Ming Wong
Ming Wong

Bryn Barnard
Bryn Barnard

Richard Heisler
Richard Heisler

Thomas Allen
Thomas Allen

John Cederquist
John Cederquist

 Mon, Feb 7, 2011