by Matthew Kangas
C.T. CHEW: NON SEQUITUR
BONFIRE Gallery, Seattle. To Nov 27
C.T. Chew’s prolific career in printmaking and sculpture took an abrupt turn in 1987, when he opened the Contemporary Carpet Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. Designing tapestries made in Nepal that achieved great interest from collectors, Chew supplemented his studio practice with teaching. His first solo show since 1994, Non Sequitur displays digitally printed silk scarves along with ink-on-paper digital collages. Also featured is a large tapestry titled Skagit Delta: Winter Landscape (2018), woven on a computer loom in North Carolina.
MOLLY VAUGHAN: PROJECT 42
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island. To Feb 20, 2022
Producing intriguing and visually arresting works, Seattle artist Molly Vaughan has been honored with the Betty Bowen Award and an exhibition at Seattle Art Museum. BIMA showcases a midway point in the artist’s search to document and honor 42 murdered transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, with 42 representing the life expectancy of trans people. Seeing 21 elaborate gowns and garments, visitors are jolted into awareness of grief embodied with assertive presence.
KENJIRO NOMURA, AMERICAN MODERNIST: AN ISSEI ARTIST’S JOURNEY
Cascadia Art Museum, Edmonds. To Feb 20, 2022
Kenjiro Nomura (1896-1956) was a renowned Seattle artist of the modern era. Nomura’s calligraphic background made him a natural for the gestural style of Abstract Expressionism. This survey, his first solo show since 1960, spotlights work of the 1950s, after his great successes of the 1930s, when he represented the Northwest in exhibitions in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Art historian Barbara Johns has written a definitive account of the artist’s life in the accompanying catalogue.
BRATSA BONIFACHO: CELEBRATION
Foster/White Gallery, Seattle. Dec 2 – 24
Born and educated in Belgrade, Bratsa Bonifacho, now 84, has managed a lifetime of bicontinental artistic achievement, with as much recognition in Belgrade and Warsaw as in Vancouver, BC, and Seattle. He is celebrating a lifetime spent continually evolving a language of representation and abstraction with this show plus retrospectives in Canada and Serbia. Always blurring image and word, the new work explodes hemmed-in letters, in vivid, symbolic colors, “varying from readable to almost hieroglyphic in nature.”
JACK CHEVALIER MEMORIAL EXHIBITION
Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle. Dec 2 – 31
The Vietnam War had a profound impact on the life and art of Jack Chevalier (1948- 2021). He was a victim of Agent Orange, the toxic aerial spray used by the US military. Moving to Seattle in the late 1970s, Chevalier created a life and career in painting, with considerable success in New York in the 1980s and 1990s. Ranging in media from abstract constructions to photo-based images of political violence in our own times, Chevalier overcame tremendous obstacles to make art of enduring beauty.