All posts in “Art Around Us”

Muse/News: Planets align at art fair, community rules in Tacoma, and photographs shape-shift at SAM

SAM News

The fourth edition of the Seattle Art Fair took place this weekend. SAM hosted Pluto (yes, the planet—or celestial snowball, whatever). Sarah Anne Lloyd of Curbed Seattle has details on Chris Burdens’ scale model of the solar system that originated at Gagosian’s booth and traversed Pioneer Square and downtown.

And hopefully you didn’t miss 1 ROOM. Here’s City Arts’ Margo Vansynghel on the group show curated by studio e’s Dawna Holloway that featured work by 50-plus Northwest artists in a former storage room near the fair (a golf cart took folks back and forth).

Barbara Brotherton, SAM’s curator of Native American Art, appeared on KKNW-AM’s ARTbeat Northwest to talk about Double Exposure during drive time.

And a visit to SAM’s “awesome” exhibitions is included on Thrillist’s round-up of “actually cool things to do when someone visits Seattle.”

Local News

Gayle Clemans of the Seattle Times reviews Summer Dreams, a group show now on view at Winston Wächter; in it, she sees “enticing, delightful, wistful glimpses of what is both possible and impossible.”

All aboard! Brangien Davis of Crosscut travels the newly completed SODO Track mural installation; with 50 murals from 62 artists, it’s now the longest in the world.

This month’s City Arts takes a deep dive into the creative life of Tacoma, with the cover story by Margo Vansynghel and reflections from local artists such as from Renee Sims, Asia Tail, and Christopher Paul Jordan.

“These days, the word ‘community’ is brandished so frequently that its meaning is eroding. Not so in Tacoma. Conversations with more than a dozen artists crystallize the sense that in Tacoma, together is better. Collaboration trumps competition. People show up for each other.”

Inter/National News

Jori Finkel of the New York Times reports on the hiring of MoMA PS1’s Klaus Biesenbach as the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art—which is being greeted with both cheers and jeers.

HuffPost’s Yashar Ali broke the news that Beyoncé has unprecedented control over Vogue’s September cover; she’s selected Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot Vogue’s cover in its 126-year history.

Genevieve Gaignard—whose work is now on view at SAM—also has a show in New York right now; it includes the artist’s shape-shifting photographs and three “mise-en-abîme” environments.

“Gaignard’s photographs. . . . feature women who immediately seem poised and self-confident, secure in their identity regardless of whether or not the viewer is able to pinpoint their racial background. That is intentional. ‘I just want to portray females in these empowered ways,’ said the artist. ‘There’s enough damsels in distress.’”

And Finally

Practice the art of good citizenship: Here’s how to return your ballot for tomorrow’s primary election.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Image: CHRIS BURDEN, Scale Model of The Solar System, 1983 (detail), plastic, steel ball bearings, plexiglas, dimensions variable © 2018 Chris Burden / licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathaniel Willson © Courtesy Gagosian.
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Muse/News: SAM on The Advocate, what libraries can do, and a farewell to Gold

SAM News

Project 42: Jono Vaughan is featured on The Advocate! Their post includes the SAM-produced video featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Jono Vaughan in her studio and moments from the pop-up performances held throughout the show’s run. Catch the solo exhibition of the 2017 Betty Bowen Award-winner before it closes on Sunday, August 5.

“A vast and at times splendid show.” Margo Vansynghel of City Arts reviews Double Exposure, exploring its themes of flux, ambivalence, and narrative ownership.

And Frank Catalano of Geekwire explores three examples of how museums are incorporating virtual and augmented reality, including “mesmerizing” examples at Double Exposure.

Local News

Michael Upchurch of Crosscut on what Mickalene Thomas’s mother said that will make you cry at the Henry Art Gallery’s current exhibition.

If you enjoyed the schooling provided by #LibraryTwitter last week, don’t miss Ambreen Ali’s story for Seattle Magazine on how the Seattle Public Library has reinvented itself to be “the community’s great equalizer.”

Cultured Magazine interviews director Nato Thompson on what to expect at the Seattle Art Fair’s fourth edition.

“I feel like this fair will demonstrate a unique blend of sardonic humor, dystopic futurism, historical imagination, indigenous radicalism and a homespun dreaminess.”

Inter/National News

Zachary Small of Hyperallergic reports on the controversy surrounding a Vogue Paris fashion editorial by Juergen Teller that uses the signature aesthetic of Mickalene Thomas.

Lou Cornum for Art in America reviews On Whiteness, the Kitchen’s current show created in collaboration with Claudia Rankine’s Racial Imaginary Institute.

RIP to the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold; Janelle Zara of Artnet offers this remembrance that reminds us that Gold’s poetic writing was partly informed by experiences as a performance artist.

“I had fully intended that, in fact, I would kill the chicken in the midst of this performance. But chickens aren’t that stupid.”

And Finally

If Timothée Chalamet had posed for Caravaggio.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

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Muse/News: Love at the museum, Afrofuturistic visions, and painting the blues

SAM News

Travel + Leisure was among those sharing the results of OkCupid’s 2018 Dater’s Choice Awards; in Seattle, SAM was singled out as the “Spot That Sparks Conversation.” Come fall in love at the museum!

Wall Street Journal subscribers: Don’t miss this review by photographer William Meyers of New Topographics, an installation now on view on the museum’s third floor.

Jeffrey Gibson: Like A Hammer is now on view at the Denver Art Museum and heads to SAM early 2019; Kealey Boyd of Hyperallergic dives into questions found in the exhibition.

“Does it make sense to distinguish Native American art today from other contemporary art? Does the category perpetuate generalizations and patterns of thinking? By blurring Native and non-Native elements, Gibson keeps these questions alive and insures that the art remains central to our answers.”

Local News

If you miss Mickalene Thomas like we do at SAM, go see the new show at the Henry Art Gallery. Margo Vansynghel of City Arts interviewed the artist about her intimate show that features photography, video, and one of the artist’s signature “living room” installations.

Brangien Davis of Crosscut on Coming Soon, an installation appearing across several Central District parks of construction notice-like signs that appear like “Afrofuturistic visions of a dream deferred.”

Emily Pothast has a fantastic story on Hyperallergic about AFTER LIFE (what remains) at Alice Gallery, a recent group show featuring Indigenous and Asian Pacific American artists.

“What does it mean to own the land? In a nation founded on violence against indigenous peoples, the question invites us to examine our own complicity in perpetuating that violence. Ownership is a powerful designation, and yet it is ultimately fleeting when we consider the possibility of mass extinction. Perhaps the only way to truly inhabit a place forever is to haunt it.”

Inter/National News

The New York Times continues its important Overlooked obituary series, revisiting the fascinating and tragic life of Amrita Sher-Gil (1913–1941), who they call a “pioneer of modern Indian art.”

“That was Sacha Baron Cohen? What a nutcase. God bless him.” I gotta give this round to Christy Cones. Artnet’s Naomi Rea on how the Laguna Beach art consultant fared on the comedian’s new show, “Who Is America?”

Antwaun Sargent for Artsy interviews Henry Taylor, the 60-year-old Los Angeles-based artist whose first major monograph about his work (once called “the visual equivalent of the blues”) is due out this fall.

“Throughout his career, Taylor has remained committed to uncovering stories—about his family, about black people, about power and despair. ‘My painting is about…trying to be about some love shit, you know what I mean?’ the artist said.”

And Finally

Barbara Kruger for New York Magazine.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Photo: Robert Wade
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Muse/News: Storme’s cover, Mickalene’s inspirations, and Artemisia’s revenge

SAM News

Hot off the press! On the cover of the current edition of Real Change: Will Wilson’s tintype portrait of artist Storme Webber. Don’t miss Lisa Edge’s review of Double Exposure inside the paper.

“Displaying Curtis’ work alongside contemporary Native artists is part of a growing shift among art institutions, which are becoming more critical of themselves and inviting visitors to do the same. They are becoming more conscious of who is telling the narrative.”

And the exhibition and SAM are both referenced in this New York Times story by Ted Loos on changes at the Art Gallery of Ontario spearheaded by their curator of Indigenous art—and how they reflect changes happening at museums across the U.S. and Canada.

Also: Seattle Business Magazine interviewed SAM director and CEO Kim Rorschach for this feature story on how to collect art; SAM Gallery is also included as a resource for art buyers.

“Most galleries are happy to let you pay over time. And you may need to try out something at home before committing. Says Rorschach: ‘It’s just about having an honest and forthright conversation.’”

Local News

Brendan Kiley of the Seattle Times reports on the future of Pivot Art + Culture, which once presented works from Paul Allen’s private art collection; it will soon house a “putt-putt pub.”

City Arts has a great round-up of visual arts picks, including quilts of Gee’s Bend at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art and photography by and inspiring to Mickalene Thomas at the Henry Art Gallery.

John Stang of The Globalist on The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture, set to open early 2019 in south Seattle. It will be the “first major museum devoted to Latino history in Washington State.”

“’Latinos have made incredible contributions, not only to the economy, but to the citizens of Washington state,’ said Erasmo Gamboa, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Washington and one of the leaders of the museum project.”

Inter/National News

Those production values tho! Watch this “My Favorite Artwork” video by the New York Times Magazine in which artist Glenn Ligon discusses a self-portrait by Adrian Piper.

Artnet’s Sarah Cascone reports that the Association of Art Museum Directors has launched a paid internship program at museums across the U.S. in an effort to diversify museum staffs.

The Telegraph announces that the National Gallery has acquired a self-portrait by Renaissance artist Artemisia Gentileschi; it is only the 21st painting by a female artist in the gallery’s permanent collection of 2,300 works.

“One of a handful of women who was able to shatter the confines of her time, she overcame extreme personal difficulties to succeed in the art of painting. This picture will help us transform how we collect, exhibit and tell the story of women artists throughout history.”

And Finally

Seattle Met on the local champions of French fry artistry. (Ed. note: The ones at Presse are best.)

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Photo: Nina Dubinsky.
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Muse/News: Trickstery art, tree stories, and unfinished histories

Just out in the latest edition of the Stranger: This glowing review of Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson by Rebecca Brown.

“But you should see what SAM has done with Double Exposure. The jolts between Curtis’s ‘noble’ (his word) Natives in traditional dress (their own or others’) standing near the lively, light-filled, trickstery art of Wilson, Rector, Nicolson is just exhilarating.”

Prepare to cry: Juan “Neeto” Old Chief Betancourt honored his great-grandmother Antone with an invite to prom, held recently at the Seattle Art Museum. The Seattle Times’ Lauren Frohne and Erika Schultz share the heartwarming story.

Brangien Davis of Crosscut profiles artist RYAN! Feddersen and all her exciting work on view around the region—including her “Post-Human Archive” installation created for the Double Exposure education gallery.

Local News

The Seattle Times’ Brendan Kiley reviews Walla Walla artist Juventino Aranda’s “disarming, arresting” solo exhibition, now on view at the Frye Art Museum.

In their July issue, Seattle Magazine names @seattlewalkreport “the city’s best Instagram account.” The artist’s hand-drawn accounts offer “a charming composite portrait of the city in the midst of a sea change.”

“A cacophony of arboreal anecdotes:” Brangien Davis of Crosscut on artist Katherine Wimble’s crowd-sourced project “Forest for the Trees,” which tells stories through our county’s trees.

“’My hope is that people will read these stories, see trees differently and think about their own connections to trees,’ she says. ‘Their lives are intertwined with ours.’”

Inter/National News

Philanthropist and collector Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice Fund announced another round of grants totaling nearly $10 million, going to artists, writers, and policy makers who are working to advance criminal justice reform.

Cultured Magazine names “9 Curators You Need to Know in 2018,” including Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors curator Mika Yoshitake.

Teju Cole for the New York Times Magazine on photography, cultural appropriation, and “getting others right.” The work of Edward S. Curtis is discussed.

“It is not about taking something that belongs to someone else and making it serve you but rather about recognizing that history is brutal and unfinished and finding some way, within that recognition, to serve the dispossessed.”

And Finally

“In a democracy, we do not put children in cages.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Image: Installation view Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson, Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Natali Wiseman
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Muse/News: A brilliant show, subversive sculpture, and the future of art

SAM News

Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson was highlighted by AFAR Magazine as one of “10 Brilliant U.S. Art Exhibitions Worth Traveling for This Summer.”

And our curator, Barbara Brotherton, was interviewed about the exhibition for a story in London-based Huck Magazine.

“’The work of these artists stands in sharp juxtaposition to the elegant Curtis photographs with their romanticized approach that casts Native people in the past,’ Brotherton concludes. ‘Native people did not vanish. They are resilient and deeply engaged in the issues of identity today.’”

Lots of love for SAM and the Olympic Sculpture Park: Both are recommended in the Stranger’s 2018 Visitor Guide on their list of “Best Places to See Art.” Condé Nast Traveler features SAM as one of their “Best Things to Do in Seattle” on their newly revived site, and Dwell Magazine kick off their list of “Top 8 Outdoor Sculpture Parks” with the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Local News

“’Painters Who [Expletive] Know How to Paint’ is not a shy title for an exhibition.” Darn right, Gayle Clemans. Here’s her Seattle Times review of the “vigorous” show now on view at Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA).

Crosscut’s Michael Upchurch reviews Castoffs, now on view at the Henry, calling Martha Friedman’s deconstructed sculptures of dancer Silas Riener’s body “mischievously subversive.”

The July edition of City Arts is out! It’s the Interview Issue; don’t miss the cover story featuring a conversation between Ijeoma Oluo and Emmett Montgomery.

“Freedom and progress look like something I can’t even envision yet. And I think art is very similar—the future of art doesn’t look like anything you see right now. That’s maybe the next five minutes of art.”

Inter/National News

I say, more Beyoncé videos. But seriously: Alina Cohen of Artsy takes a look at the challenges museums face in this article, “How Art Museums Can Remain Relevant in the 21st Century.”

Check out the University of North Carolina’s “Archivist in a Backpack” project that seeks to “make archive creation more accessible by offering resources that can easily launch community partners on memory projects.”

Remember when the Baltimore Museum of Art announced they’d sell big-name artworks to fund purchases of contemporary art by women and artists of color? Don’t you want to know what they bought??

“’You can’t stop now,’” Bedford says. ‘You have to acknowledge that you will never, at least in our lifetime, get to true equity within the museum. But I think there is virtue in continuing to push for it relentlessly.’”

And Finally

A doozy of a Long Read: Thomas Chatterton Williams on Adrian Piper for The New York Times Magazine.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Image: Installation view of Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson, 2018, installed at Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Natali Wiseman.
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Muse/News: A prescription for art, life-changing DJs, and an epic visit to the Louvre

SAM News

The Seattle Times explores “why art is becoming part of doctors’ education at Virginia Mason in Seattle” with a recent front page feature. The Art & Medicine program at SAM uses art education techniques to teach medical residents skills like visual literacy, empathy, and self-care.

The Stranger’s Charles Mudede visits the Lessons from the Institute of Empathy installation, finding connections to the blockbuster film Black Panther and to Afrofuturism.

“These African masks, African jewelry, African clothes—made to be worn by fictional figures who run a fictional institute that deals with things like Empathy Deficit Disorder, and made to exist in real and virtual spaces—now have, for young and old Americans, a mainstream point of reference.”

Priya Frank, SAM’s Associate Director for Community Programs and co-chair of the museum’s Equity Team, shares her reflections for the NAEA’s Museum Education blog on the work of centering racial equity and creating an institutional culture shift. Priya was also a recent guest on the No Blueprint podcast and profiled in profiled in UW’s alumni magazine Columns.

Local News

Don’t miss this incredible story in the Seattle Times—a collaboration among writer Jerry Large, photographer Bettina Hansen, and videographer Corinne Chin—about a Seattle attorney’s collection of “some ugly, some inspiring” historical artifacts.

To know Riz is to love him: The Stranger’s Charles Mudede with a beautiful and convincing piece for their Queer Issue on “how DJ Riz Rollins changed Seattle.”

I can’t believe it’s almost July. Seattle Magazine has great picks for cultural happenings next month, including an upcoming show at the Henry featuring Figuring History artist Mickalene Thomas as photographer, designer, and curator.

Inter/National News

The New York Times’ Roberta Smith reviews the Met’s exhibition History Refused to Die (great name!); it features work from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, whose focus is self-taught Black artists of the American South.

Hyperallergic’s John Yau takes a look at The Morgan Library & Museum’s show of Wayne Thiebaud’s works on paper.

“I may need to lie down.” Yes, the art world and everyone else recently went—well, you know—when Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a new joint album and a video shot at the Louvre. Artnet has a good round-up on the mania.

And Finally

The art historical and cultural resonances of APES**T will live forever—but this is the reaction I laugh about DAILY.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Image: Installation view Lessons from the Institute of Empathy, Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Natali Wiseman.
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Muse/News: New visions, final bows, and happy little Zzzz’s

SAM News

Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson is now on view! Last week, Kim Holcomb of KING5’s Evening Magazine got a sneak peek of the exhibition, interviewing Barbara Brotherton, SAM’s Curator of Native American Art, and featured artist Tracy Rector.

Brangien Davis of Crosscut looks at both our show and the Deconstructing Curtis show at the Suquamish Museum.

“These added perspectives emphasize that Native Americans are contemporary Americans. They continue to adapt while preserving a long legacy of strength and struggle.”

Fred Wong of The International Examiner interviewed curators Xiaojin Wu and Ping Foong about their transformative vision for the future Asian Art Museum. If you’re a SAM member, hopefully you’ve reserved your spot to hear more at their sold-out Conversations with Curators lecture this Wednesday.

“It promises to be a mixture of old and new treasures: the magnificent Art Deco building, the vast Asian Art collections, and the bold re-imaging of the objects’ stories by Drs. Xiaojin Wu and Ping Foong, the two new treasures at [Seattle Asian Art Museum].”

Local News

After 16 years with the company, dancer Karel Cruz took his final bows with Pacific Northwest Ballet. The Seattle Times’ Moira Macdonald offers this farewell to this “master of partnering.”

Aileen Imperial and Stephen Hegg of Crosscut take us into the growing Ball and House culture of Seattle with this video story.

Here’s City Arts’ Brett Hamil on Chad Goller-Sojourner’s live multimedia memoir, Marching in Gucci: Memoirs of a Well-Dressed AIDS Activist, coming to Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute June 21–23.

“More than a remembrance of those he lost, it’s an expression of his determination to make art out of those frantic years, in which he fought to save others while doing harm to himself. It’s an account of improbable survival.”

Inter/National News

Happy little Zzzz’s: Laura M. Holson of the New York Times on the voice—which can only ever be described as “dulcet”—that’s now lulling users of the Calm app to sleep.

I miss having Kerry James Marshall’s work on view at SAM, so I enjoyed this Vancouver Sun review of his new solo exhibition at the Rennie. Also, his Vignette (The Kiss), which debuted in Figuring History, sold this week at Art Basel.

Speaking of the Swiss fair “best known for presenting the bluest of blue-chip European art,” Julia Halperin of Artnet notes the eager interest of buyers for works by African American artists.

“It’s great people are interested,” the dealer Jack Shainman says. “But the big question is why did it take so long, and why was it so hard to get here?”

And Finally

Contemporary art space SITE Santa Fe announced the lineup for their SITElines.2018 Biennial in a most melodic way. Could this be the future for press releases?

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations

Image: Installation view Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson at Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Natali Wiseman
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The Art of Ikebana

The art of Ikebana, creating forms with cut branches and flowers, traces it origins back to the 8th century when monks began placing flower offerings on the Buddhist shrines. In order to understand the essence or soul of the art, however, it is helpful to go back much further to its ancient roots in the Shinto tradition. It is stated in the early verses of the Nihongi, “The Chronicles of Japan,” that everything has its own voice. The mountains, the waters, the plants, the teapot, everything speaks to us. People who practice Ikebana become continually aware that the many different plants have many different voices. Listening carefully to what they say is the key. Becoming intimate with nature in this way, one grows ever more appreciative of life’s precious moments, which in turn provides focus along with a sense of rest and tranquility.

Perhaps this helps explain how, in the 16th century, the art evolved from a strictly monastic practice into a samurai warrior discipline. Doing Ikebana before battle provided warriors sharp focus, and Ikebana afterwards allowed them to express gratitude for another day of life. And now in modern times, Ikebana is practiced by people from every culture around the world. Along with creating beautiful forms, one experiences presence in the moment along with a sense of peace in one’s own heart.

Ikebana differs radically from western floral design in that rather than gathering a multitude of flowers into one space and having them speak in a chorus, Ikebana strives to provide each element with a solo appearance highlighting its own unique voice. The idea is to provide a conversation among the various materials used in the design. As with any good conversation, the key word is space. Ikebana is essentially an art of space. Space in which to listen, space in which to speak. When you view an Ikebana piece and you feel drawn in, then the designer has been successful and the work can be considered good Ikebana.

Evolving from its traditional classical forms, Ikebana in the early 20th century underwent a similar transformation as did western art. Rather than trying to imitate nature, artists began creating out of their own personal impressions of what they saw simply with their eyes. This has led to abstract expressionism in the art of Ikebana as well. The spirit, the soul of Ikebana, is sometimes referred to as a flowing river whose waters cannot be stopped. It will continue to engender new forms on into the distant future. And this is at it should be.

Seattle’s Chapter 19 of Ikebana International, a worldwide organization of Ikebana teachers and students, will hold its 59th annual exhibit downtown in the University street entrance of Seattle Art Museum on the weekend of  May 26 and 27. View works from Ikebana’s classical periods as well as its modern abstract expressions along with demonstrations at 1 pm on both days.

– Charles Coghlan, Hana Design Ikebana Instructor

Images: Nina Dubinsky
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