Peacock in the Desert continues to strut:
The exhibition was included in The New York Times’ overview of “Art to See This Fall,” which says it’s “the next best thing to visiting the clifftop Mehrangarh Fort Museum overlooking Jodhpur.”
It was king of KING, with segments on the station’s Evening Magazine and New Day NW—the latter featured an interview with His Highness Maharaja GajSingh II and his daughter Baijilal Shivranjani Rajye.
“Spanning five centuries, Peacock is an eye-popping look at a royal-family legacy. It uses video, audio and room-filling installations, along with dozens of fantastically detailed paintings (magnifying glasses are provided so you can study them closely), to immerse you in its world.” —Michael Upchurch, Crosscut
Also: You may have seen Amy Sherald’s Saint Woman on the cover of this week’s Real Change (cash or Venmo accepted!); reporter Lisa Edge reviews the SAM show In This Imperfect Present Moment for this week’s centerpiece story.
“’It’s like she’s thinking about something else. She’s in command of her own space. Her own time,’ said curator Pam McClusky.”
Seattle Magazine’s annual list of the city’s movers and shakers is out—and Priya Frank, SAM’s Associate Director of Community Partnerships, is on it! She’s named “one to watch”—we couldn’t agree more. Congrats, Priya!
Very sad news: Yoko Ott, an artist and curator with connections to numerous Seattle organizations, died last week at the age of 47.
Tschabalala Self! That, and other offerings, are part of the exciting lineup coming up at the Frye Art Museum announced this week.
Sharon Salyer of The Everett Herald speaks with artist Romson Regarde Bustillo about his show on view at Edmonds Community College that asks, “what’s in a name?”
“’Art is information as much as it is something inexplicable,’ Bustillo said. ‘When we look at it, we have an emotional and a visceral reaction, but it is not removed from the way we’ve been conditioned to process information.’”
Oh, Canada. Smithsonian Magazine reports on the latest humane news from our northern neighbor: Doctors in Montreal will soon be able to prescribe museum visits to their patients.
And in Germany, museums are the subject of a TV show. It will feature noted creatives—like Vivienne Westwood and Karl Ove Knausgård—leading tours in inside eight historic European museums.
And come through, America (well, NYC)!: The just-released budget for the city features a record-breaking $198.4 million for cultural organizations.
It’s a Halloween tradition! To all you ghouls and goblins, I present: The Pumpkin Dance.
– Rachel Eggers, SAM Manager of Public Relations
Image: His Highness Maharaja GajSingh II of Marwar-Jodhpur and Baijilal Shivranjani Rajye of Marwar-Jodhpur in Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India at Seattle Art Museum, 2018, photo: Stephanie Fink.
Unless you’re looking at this image on a gigantic screen with perfect resolution, you’re missing the impact of this Saint Woman. She’s slightly larger than life, which fits the premise of the artist who elevates her subjects to a status that goes beyond our normal vision. Amy Sherald paints portraits that are not trying to convince you they are a substitute for the actual person. Instead, she paints archetypes. She is taking the time to change our minds about what a portrait can be, an evocation of a saint whose name you do not know, but who is standing and waiting for you to recognize them.
This saint is surrounded by a halo of what may appear as bright yellow on your screen. If you’re just seeing a flat expanse of color, you’re missing the depth of a painted surface that is full of nuance, with swirling dimensions that activate this setting. The same nuances of color are true of the skin, which is in variations of gray. Amy Sherald chose this color shift for a reason, “to exclude the idea of color as race.” She also has this woman’s body face forward, while her head is turned in profile. What captures her attention is unknown, and it challenges you to wonder why she’s holding herself so still while her dress is blown in a breeze of urgency. It’s the stance of a saint who’s worth coming to see in person. Visit her with a trip to see In This Imperfect Present Moment, an installation of artworks by 15 artists conveying vibrant narratives that resonate across global boundaries.
– Pam McClusky, SAM’s Curator of African and Oceanic Art