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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | November 2012 – January 2013

By Allyn Cantor

ELLES: WOMEN ARTISTS FROM THE CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS Seattle Art Museum, Oct 11-Jan 13 Focusing on challenging and provocative works created by an international roster of women artists from 1909 to 2007, this exhibit covers a broad range of topics like early 20th century avant-garde, Paris photography from the 1920s to ’40s, Surrealism, Abstraction, Feminism and the pioneering surge of video, installation and performance art from the 1970s. The impressive survey represents seminal figures whose work paralleled the visual vocabulary of major art movements, including artists like Claude Cahun, Sonia Delaunay, Joan Mitchell, Frida Kahlo and Sophie Calle.

VICTORIA JOHNSON: PAINTINGS Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle, Nov 1-Dec 2 In her formal abstractions, Victoria Johnson uses overlapping curvilinear forms that warmly recall mid-century design aesthetics. Her compositions suggest a deeper investigation into the painting process, driven by the emotive quality achieved through an intuitive, non-representational approach. Soft, gentle lines glide into each other while juxtaposing chromatic choices provide a sense of subtle space. Johnson’s interplay of biomorphic forms give the perception of familiar elements in nature - arching shapes with quiet motion could be associated with floating clouds or silhouetted land.

CALIFORNIA IMPRESSIONISM: SELECTIONS FROM THE IRVINE MUSEUM Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Nov 17-Feb 17 America’s unique style of Impressionism was especially prevalent in California, where pristine landscapes vary from redwood forests to mountains, warm open deserts and an immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Drawing from European styles, the distinct spirit of the California school focused on plein air painting. In the first few decades of the 20th century, the movement was especially strong in art colonies like Carmel and Laguna Beach, where light-suffused days and warm climates made painting outdoors especially attractive.

DAVID SCHWARZ: ARCHITECTURE/NATURE Foster/White, Seattle, Nov 1-24 The enchanting glass sculptures by Northwest veteran David Schwarz are known for their intricately detailed refracting patterns creating the effect of a self-contained world within translucent space. Architectural forms are balanced by colourful natural designs, creating a surreal illusion that is just close enough to reality to be both inviting and intriguing. His signature pieces include symbiotic metal stands that have evolved onto elegant tree or nest-like forms.

ANDY WARHOL’S FLOWERS FOR TACOMA Tacoma Art Museum, Nov 3-Feb 10 In 1982 Andy Warhol proposed a super-sized flower painting for the Tacoma Dome, which never came into fruition. Thirty years later, this exhibition honours his vision while highlighting an under-recognized flower series by of one of the most influential American artists. Based on a photograph of hibiscus flowers by Patricia Caulfield, Warhol’s vibrant flower pieces are softer than most of his iconic pop-culture imagery. The exhibit includes pieces from the early 1950s to 1986 that trace Warhol’s ongoing interest in floral subjects.

Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka

Victoria Johnson
Victoria Johnson

William Ritschel
William Ritschel

David Schwarz
David Schwarz

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

 Sat, Nov 3, 2012