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V I G N E T T E S
quick takes on
current shows

September / October 2017 Washington State Vignettes

By Matthew Kangas


ADRIAN ARLEO
Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, Sep 7-30

The Missoula, Montana-based, artist who studied at American University in Rome before completing her undergraduate and graduate studies in ceramics in the US, is exhibiting new figurative sculptures that draw on her background as an archaeological field-worker in Italy and eastern Washington state. Crusted, aged and yet renewable, the male and female figures are drenched in glaze resembling bronze patina and are joined by animals with mythological histories such as lions, owls and bees.

SHAWN HUCKINS
Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, Oct 5-21
Denver artist Shawn Huckins has sent canvases that trawl 18th- and 19th-century American art history, then violate its durability as nationalist verity. Overlaying canonical artworks of historical figures with jargon from Facebook and other social media, the New Hampshire native extends portraiture into political critique and analysis. For example, among Gilbert Stuart’s iconic portraits of George Washington, Huckins has painted over part of one and added the phrase “lol nope.”

MIKE KELLEY
Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Sep 23-Dec 31

The late Los Angeles artist (1954-2012) has not been widely seen in the Pacific Northwest. The Frye rectifies that with his feature-length film, Day Is Done (2005), 32 separate video sections that exemplify Kelley’s “desire to expose the social unconscious of American society.” We do not get to see the installations or drawings that so enchanted New York, London, Paris, Rome and Berlin, but a follow-up show could fix that. Mike Kelley. Still from Day Is Done, 2005–06. Single channel video, color, sound. Art © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All rights reserved/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Rachel de Conde

ULRICH PAKKER
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island, Thru Oct 1
The 66-year-old Essen, Germany, native has lived in Seattle for decades but this is his first museum survey, one that is well deserved. BIMA curator Gregory Robinson has concentrated on Pakker’s smaller-scale works, which grow out of Constructivist and organic forms combined in abstract circles of stainless steel and bronze. Pakker won a UNESCO award for his launchpad gateway sculptures in Huntsville, Alabama, near Redstone Arsenal.

Parker Thiessen
CODED THREADS
Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Sep 27-Dec 8
For this show, curator Seiko Purdue chose 14 female artists who are integrating textiles with industrial technology. Wearable art, public art, installations and sculptures are created out of man-made and organic materials, and filtered through LED lights, sensors, microscopic viruses and data from laboratory experiments. This is a rare chance to see the work of Lia Cook and Anne Wilson, America’s leading contemporary fiber artists. Skagit County artist Sheila Klein is also included.
Miriam Rudolph
 

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