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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | June–August 2011

By Allyn Cantor

BEAUTY & BOUNTY: AMERICAN ART IN AN AGE OF EXPLORATION Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, June 30-September 11 This summer exhibition at SAM features 45 grand landscape paintings and some 60 early photographs by artist-explorers who ventured into the vast wilderness areas of the American West during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the works have rarely if ever been seen by the public. The legacy of artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford, and Thomas Moran is one of impressive interpretations of the “beauty and bounty” of the awe-inspiring landscape they encountered.

CARA BARER: OVERLOAD Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, August 4-27 Texas artist Cara Barer shapes discarded reading material of all kinds into mesmerizing sculptural objects set against velvet-black backgrounds as subjects for her fascinating photographs. Her manipulation techniques include soaking, curling, bending, clipping and otherwise transforming pages of obsolete, unwanted or irrelevant print information. The resultant blossoming of delicate organic pieces preserve the idea of books as tangible objects and question information loss and overload in an age of rapidly changing ways of accessing, delivering and using information.

VICTORIA JOHNSON: BALANCING ACTS Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle, July 7-31 In her own words,Victoria Johnson focuses on abstraction as an investigation of “pure form, pure surface and pure color” dedicated to her “evolving personal language”. These formal principles are applied to the act of painting itself in which multiple layers of pigment and painting mediums create multi-directional movement and flow within the picture plane. Johnson’s off-beat earthy palette is emotionally appealing and the carving of space into curvilinear interlocking forms are reminiscent of mid-century design motifs.

PAULA MARATEA FULD: TEXT – WORLD VIEW Context Gallery 110, Seattle, August 4-27 The broad topic of how evolving communication methods effect change is a point of departure for Paula Maratea Fuld in this exhibit of new works. Plaster techniques derived from old-world frescoes, and modern plastic-based mediums give Fuld a painting surface that simultaneously reflects and absorbs light. Her calligraphic marks resemble both the script of Eastern languages and computer-generated code. The intent is to deconstruct formal written text to build a symbolic language of paint, texture and light.

THINK TWICE: NEW LATIN AMERICAN JEWELRY Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, May 26-October 16 Think Twice presents a wide overview of the unique language of jewellery in an impressive exhibition of more than 130 works by over 90 Latin-American jewellery-makers from 25 countries. An exquisite display of pieces dating from the 1940s-1990s sets the design-history tone for the major collection of contemporary pieces, whether traditional or experimental and abstract in conception. There are elements of rich indigenous influences and conventional craft-making techniques fused with expressive modernist influences and innovative industrial techniques.

Albert Bierstadt
Albert Bierstadt

Cara Barer
Cara Barer

Victoria Johnson
Victoria Johnson

Paula Maratea Fuld
Paula Maratea Fuld

New Latin American Jewelry – Cucci
New Latin American Jewelry

 Sun, Jun 5, 2011