Don’t miss JiaYing Grygiel’s wonderful itinerary in ParentMap for a family adventure in Volunteer Park, including the conservatory, water tower, and Seattle Asian Art Museum (including posing on the camel replicas!).
Call all tourists and staycationers! It’s Seattle Museum Month again, when you get museum admission deals with your hotel stay. Curiocity has all the details. The museum also got a staycation shoutout from Listette Wolter-McKinley for Seattle Refined.
There were some final mentions of Anthony White: Limited Liabilityin Crosscut and on KUOW. The artist’s debut solo show at SAM in honor of his Betty Bowen Award win is now closed, but the museum has acquired one of the molten plastic paintings for its collection.
Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel takes in the new Seattle Convention Center, focusing on the numerous artworks in the new addition (designed by LMN Architects, who created the renovated and expanded Asian Art Museum!).
For the Seattle Times, here’s Gary Faigin with an obituary for artist Gregory Blackstock, who has died at the age of 77. Blackstock’s drawings catalogued all kinds of ephemera, including vegetables, animals, and buildings.
Local media news, via Daniel Beekman of the Seattle Times: The Seattle Chinese Post has ceased publication and Northwest Asian Weekly is going online only. The sister publications were led by Assunta Ng for the past 41 years.
“But the Northwest Asian Weekly will keep churning out stories for online readers, so the project that Ng began will endure. She hopes younger news hounds will take over soon, because the truth that motivated her in 1982 remains relevant.”
Zachary Small of the New York Times on Kenneth Tam’s exhibition at Marfa Ballroom, Tender is the hand which holds the stone of memory, which honors “the lives of Chinese laborers in Texas who helped build the country’s railroad system.”
“Mounted on the walls surrounding the museum’s runway floor were collaged black and white images of 13 Black female performers, Josephine Baker, Diahann Carroll, Marpessa Dawn, Lena Horne, and Nina Simone being among them… ‘To see these monumental figures, take up such space in a setting that celebrates their elegance and talent,’ Thomas told ARTnews, is a ‘moving moment.’”
“Bey and Weems act as interpreters and eyewitnesses, asserting Black history as American history. Through their reflection of personal memories and their reimagining of critical sociocultural events, the past reverberates and resonates with the contemporary moment. Economic and institutional forces — racial global capitalism, political divisiveness, and gentrification, to name a few — shape collective ways of seeing and being. Antithetical to these oppressive, isolating processes, ‘In Dialogue’ asks us to pay attention, question, celebrate, and be present.”
“‘This exhibition is a rare opportunity for the public to see a body of work that has mostly been in storage for decades,’ said [curator and author David F.] Martin…‘Contrary to what the public might presume, Tsutakawa’s earlier works are highly informed by European Modernism and not Japanese art or technique, that came later in his career. So, George really transcended labels and was truly an independent modern American artist.’”
Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine with “7 Art Shows We Can’t Wait to See in 2023”; he mentions a few shows with SAM connections, including Sarah Sze’s show at the Guggenheim (there’s an incredible work by the artist now on view at SAM!) and the Georgia O’Keeffe show at MoMA (which will feature SAM collection work Music–Pink and Blue No. 1).
“‘While we’re here, it allows us more freedom, in this building that’s kind of a laboratory,’ said Wardropper. ‘It’s almost the antithesis of the Gilded Age mansion, where we can experiment more easily. We’re hoping we develop audiences and ideas here that we can take back to the mansion.’”
With his first solo SAM exhibition, Limited Liability, coming to a close in a few short weeks, 28-year old Seattle artist Anthony White woke up bright and early one December morning to meet Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art José Carlos Diaz in the galleries of his exhibition before the museum was open to the public. Sitting around the retro lunchroom table—the centerpiece of SAM’s 2021 Betty Bowen Award winner’s gallery—the two spoke about the response he’s received to Limited Liability, the meticulousness of his practice, queer representation in art, what’s next for Seattle’s rising star, and what it means to artistically render this moment in time.
Read the full interview below and experience Anthony White: Limited Liability at SAM’s downtown location before it closes Sunday, January 29.
José Carlos Diaz: I want to start off here by thanking you and SAM curators Catharina Manchanda and Carrie Dedon for putting this exhibition together. Limited Liability was the second exhibition that opened after I joined SAM in July 2022, and it’s been a joy getting to know you and to see visitors interact with your paintings. So, my first question is: What has been the response to this exhibition. What have you observed? What have you heard visitors say while seeing your artwork at SAM?
Anthony White: Overall, the response has been great. I think people are excited to see work like mine in an established institution. My work is vibrant and modern, and I think it can be refreshing to see in a museum gallery. It’s always fun to see people stumble on artwork they weren’t really expecting to see at a museum. I will say, everyone is infatuated with my age. I didn’t expect I’d receive so many comments about that.
JCD: Did they think you were older?
AW: Yeah. Generally, people are surprised that someone my age is able to do this.
JCD: It’s definitely incredible that someone your age has a solo exhibition at a major regional museum.
AW: Totally, but it’s still incredibly surprising to me. And a lot of people did reach out to say that it was nice to have something that they could relate to. There were a lot of people that would identify with certain symbols and objects that came out of very specific time periods. It’s really cool to see how my artwork connects with people, even if in the smallest degrees.
JCD: That’s great to hear! Many people may not yet know this, but SAM actually acquired one of your works from this exhibition. The artwork that the curatorial team and the board approved is UNTIL THE END OF TIME (2022). It was really important to our team to acquire this particular artwork because it really reflects the diversity within SAM’s collections, but it’s also a representation of an artist who is living and working in Seattle. But, as a curator myself, I was curious how you’d like to see your artwork displayed and used in the future when you visit SAM? Maybe in a different context? With similar or different artworks? Is this something you’ve thought about?
AW: First, I want to say how excited and honored I am to have my artwork in SAM’s collection. It’s an incredible way to be connected to this institution for a long time. But I do often find myself thinking about what happens to artworks that end up in collections. I think most institutions either keep their works either independently displayed somewhere or they pull it into a group installation to give it additional context. My hope is that UNTIL THE END OF TIME is shown alongside other artworks at SAM that tell the stories of time.
JCD: Would you be interested in seeing it integrated into the European galleries, as having a conversation or even challenging the Old Masters?
JCD: I think that’d be a really fun conversation to have! Many of the European artworks in SAM’s collection capture a specific moment or time in history. With your artwork alongside these other pieces, I think they’d be talking about the same exact things but across vastly different time periods. I love it!
AW: I think there are endless opportunities for my artwork to interact with historic artworks throughout SAM’s collection. It’s fascinating to see how our interpretations of everyday life have changed over time.
JCD: Plus, it’s the first artwork in the collection featuring Kim Kardashian.
AW: She should be honored. Someone tell her!
JCD: I was so thrilled that you’ve gotten so much press from this exhibition. But what’s made me the most proud is seeing all of the national press you and SAM have received about the work that’s being done in Seattle in showcasing LGBTQ+ art.
That being said, the work I find myself gravitating toward the most in Limited Liability is JOYRIDE (2022). Because you have such a deep visual archive, I was blown away when you revealed—at least to me—that the format of this painting is based on Picasso’s Still Life With the Caned Chair (1912), which was a really groundbreaking moment for Picasso. But then, looking deeper at your painting, this idea of a joyride, it has such a coded language specifically around queerness and blackness; It’s almost like a special language. Walking up to this painting—even as someone who works at the museum and has seen it many times—it’s clear that there’s so much joy in it. So, I wanted to ask you to elaborate on your use of coded or visual languages throughout your art.
AW: Yeah, I think JOYRIDE offers people a way of getting to know me, my practice, and my experiences that my other works may not do so much. There is a slightly discreet symbolism and language that I’m using in this work and that has led to the invention of an entirely new way of speaking within my practice, I think.
I don’t like to spoon-feed people and give them only one way to see, think, and interpret my work. For example, JOYRIDE includes a sticker that says ‘cruisin’ that can be interpreted in two totally different ways. You could either think about it within the context of hard culture and vehicle cruising, or think about it as speaking toward a homoerotic experience, activity, or participatory event. So, the decision to interpret pieces and little details like those throughout my work is ultimately up to the viewer.
JCD: I can definitely see the nature of the symbolism you’re talking about. I think there’s also this playfulness with the inclusion of the Lisa Frank stickers and the young anime woman in red. And, in looking at all the works in this gallery, I think you once told me that you make one self portrait per year. Is that true?
AW: It is true.
JCD: Can you talk about the origins of this tradition? How is your process of depicting yourself different from that of the rest of your work?
AW: Every year, there comes a month where I feel an unrelenting need to get my feelings and the way I’m seeing myself onto a canvas. It’s been a very strict practice that I’ve had for the past five years. I think it’s just as important to depict myself within a specific period of time as it is to depict the cultural objects and symbols that define it.
My self-portraits are also a bit more dramatic than my other works. I feel more comfortable and honest with the subject since it’s myself. In HYPNOSIS (2022), I’m lying horizontally on my stomach, staring deep into the void.
JCD: The void being the cellphone.
AW: Yes, It’s that constant endless rabbit hole that we all get sucked into these days. I think this was a pretty daring piece to execute and I didn’t want to inaccurately represent someone else with a piece like this.
JCD: The subject is you but I think the work is really representative of all of us today. It’s a beautiful piece.
You’ve had many people ask you about your complex process. When I first saw your work, I thought they were textile-based. They almost looked like quilted pieces of material—even your self portrait. I know you’ve talked about your use of melted coils of colored plastics quite a bit but I think it’s a very revolutionary medium—I think it’s called polylactic acid. The device you use to paint is very meticulous too. You’ve mentioned that it can take over a hundred hours to complete a single painting.
AW: It can. Sometimes longer.
JCD: But you’ve also previously mentioned that there is a sort of intuition to creating your paintings; that it’s an organic process. How do you balance the strict boundaries of using polylactic acid with your organic, or intuitive, process?
AW: There are definitely some set boundaries with the process. The methods I use to melt the plastic and draw lines on my canvas are very specific. But, there’s also this sort of synthetic or artificial nature to it that I find complementary to what I want to represent on each panel. That was really fun to stumble on at the very beginning of my practice. Although everything is very systematic, there’s a natural intuition that comes into play the more I work with this medium. Like an oil painter, I create my own palette for each work.
JCD: Your use of this medium is incredible. There’s an intense satisfaction that I think everyone receives from seeing your work in person. Have you faced any challenges with the digital life of your work? It’s interesting because you source so much content from the digital world in your art, and now that art is part of our collective digital archive. Is this something you’ve thought about?
AW: There are challenges with not being able to translate my works accurately in a digital image. As we move forward in our technological world, there may be a time when our methods of documentation of works such as my own are displayed differently. But there is so much satisfaction with seeing my, and all, paintings in person.
That’s not to say I want my work to be an exclusive viewing experience—I want anyone and everyone who wants to see my work to see it! But, I’ve heard many people say they had no idea of the meticulousness of my art until they saw it in person. Only then do they understand how much complexity there is within each of my works. You can see the evidence of my hand, every line that I make, what direction I led my pen, and the decisions I made with every mark.
JCD: I never like to ask an artist what inspires them, but I can’t stop myself this time. What is actually inspiring you right now?
AW: At this specific moment? A lot of podcasts.
JCD: I wouldn’t have guessed that.
AW: Of course, my main influences are social media, but a lot of the things I listen to while working are podcasts about white collar criminals, corporate fraud, technological advances, and the state of the world. All of my canvases are inspired by what I’m listening to and my perception of the direction our world is headed in, but I think that does change over time. One day, I want to be able to look at the archive of my work and pinpoint precise moments of my life. I’ll create a timeline by identifying certain symbols and objects across every work.
JCD: But that’s not to say your work itself is dated. It captures specific moments in time but has longevity in its interpretation.
AW: And the world moves so fast, too. So, I think it is accurate to say that some of my works are dated. Certain objects pictured within them are already obsolete.
JCD: It’s interesting to think how future scholars will interpret the artworks being made during this period in time, especially yours. That’s the dream, right?
AW: Yes, but I think they should be a bit more concerned with the state of their existence. There’s a meme I recently saw that said if you showed somebody back in 2000 how much content we consume now, they would have a meltdown. It’d be so overwhelming. Our past selves would be stunned by the pace of life today. Hopefully, it slows down in the years to come but you never know.
JCD: I’ve never thought about that.
You have an exhibition coming up, Extended Warranty at Greg Kucera Gallery, opening in January. It sounds like you’ve got no plans of slowing down in 2023. So what’s next? What can the public expect to see in that exhibition and what else are you working on in the coming year?
AW: Yeah! That’ll be a smaller exhibition than Limited Liability, but it’s sort of an extension of thought that resulted from building the body of work that’s on view at SAM. As this exhibition opened, I was still thinking through these ideas of materialism and digital culture and wanted to extend them into the exhibition at Greg Kucera Gallery. So, both exhibitions—Limited Liability and Extended Warranty—explore similar threads. I have these trains of thought that I’ve been exploring since I became an artist and I want to continue seeing them out in the months and years ahead.
“‘We all have a stake in righting things that were wrong, and the first step is really to acknowledge wrongs and tell the stories,’ [exhibit developer Mikala] Woodward said. ‘Telling these stories is a step along the way to naming what needs to happen, and fighting together… giving visitors an invitation to become part of that is what we really wanted.’”
“I know we are not here forever and there are quite a lot of things I want to achieve,” [Boafo] said. “My game plan is to bring as many people through the door as possible and build something here that we can manage here.”
“Both poetic accents and metaphorical embodiments of what lies ahead, geographies appear majestically in Yang Yongliang’s two 4K videos, The Return and The Departure. Here, the artist marries images of cities with organic material to create a kind of dystopia. ‘Besides Yang’s reference to Song Dynasty-era ink paintings, the images speak of Seattle, where new skyscrapers mushroom everyday,’ Foong notes.”
And check out SAM’s video interview with another Beyond the Mountain artist, Lam Tung Pang.
“The ‘I Spy’ nature of the paintings gives them a fun, gamelike quality, while the overcrowded canvases cause a sense of mental overwhelm — the work recreates the experience of navigating the full-throttle, consumeristic society we live in today. We hate ourselves for spending hours scrolling Instagram, yet we cannot put our phones down.”
“It’s tricky business—which is why some artworks in Sound Transit’s light rail stations, particularly the more recent ones, are so striking. Unlike many of their earlier, inert cousins, they’re a little strange, unusually absorbing. They want to talk to you, sometimes in a whisper and occasionally like an ancient choir from a distant civilization singing in a long-forgotten key.”
“When artists fold spiritual practices into their artwork, many withhold explanation—those familiar with the context will understand the symbols, while others will still be privileged to enter what has become a blessed space, even if they’re not aware of its implications.”
The Seattle Art Museum and the Betty Bowen Committee are proud to announce Portland artist Elizabeth Malaska as the winner of the 2022 Betty Bowen Award! The juried award comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. This year’s committee included chair Gary Glant, Mike Hess, Mark Levine, Catharina Manchanda, Llewelyn Pritchard, Greg Robinson, and Norie Sato.
Malaska’s grand tableaux respond to a history of Western painting and power dynamics that often assigns women the roles of submissive accessories. In search of more potent and less pleasing feminine subjects, her tour de force paintings unpack historical genres, such as the reclining nude, and offer up challenging and introspective visions. Malaska is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, as well as the recipient of fellowships from The Joan Mitchell and Hallie Ford Foundations. Recent group exhibitions include Time Being at Oregon Contemporary and Making a Better Painting: Thinking Through Practice at Lewis and Clark College. Her work is in the collections of The Portland Art Museum, The Hallie Ford Museum, and The Schneider Museum of Art. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition in 2023, with dates to be announced.
Klara Glosova won the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award and Rafael Soldi won the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award, in the amount of $2,500 each. Finalists Sam Hamilton, Tim Hutchings, and Ric’kisha Taylor will each receive Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250, awarded annually since 2020. The six finalists were chosen from a pool of 532 applicants from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to compete for the $23,750 in awards.
“Selecting the Betty Bowen Award winner is always a formidable task, and this year was no exception with an extraordinary pool of applicants,” says Gary Glant. “We are thrilled to see Betty’s legacy live on with this year’s winners, who all represent the incredible artistic talent and vision to be found in the Northwest.”
Founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen, the annual award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. Betty Bowen (1918–1977) was a Washington native and enthusiastic supporter of Northwest artists. Her friends established the annual Betty Bowen Award as a celebration of her life and to honor and continue her efforts to provide financial support to the artists of the region. Since 1977, SAM has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the selection committee chooses one artist from the Northwest to receive an unrestricted cash award, eligible to visual artists living and working in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
“I am profoundly honored to have been chosen by the committee as the recipient of this year’s Betty Bowen Award,” says Malaska. “This is an exceptional opportunity, and I am already exhilarated thinking about the paintings I’m going to make. I wholeheartedly believe that art has the capacity to transform our world for the better. It is extraordinary to me that Bowen’s passion and legacy continues to support Northwest artists. Such a sustained reach of vision is deeply inspiring to me and something that I aspire to through my own work.”
The 2021 winner was Seattle artist Anthony White. His solo exhibition, Limited Liability, is currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum through January 29, 2023. Learn more about Malaska and all of the 2022 Betty Bowen finalists here.
– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations
Images:Photo of Elizabeth Malaska by Mario Gallucci. Photo of Klara Glosova by Jonathan Nesteruk. Photo of Rafael Soldi by Jess T. Dugan.
Via Capitol Hill Seattle: Joe Bar, a beloved Capitol Hill coffee shop known for its art shows, will be closing after 25 years. Don’t miss the final group art show—titled The End—before it closes October 26.
This week included Indigenous Peoples’ Day; Crosscut gathered six of its recent articles “that honor the robust Native heritage and history in the Pacific Northwest.”
The Seattle Queer Film Festival launches this week and runs through October 23 at various locations. Dominic Baez of the Seattle Times previews the festival’s opening night film, What the Funk?!, a documentary on the “popular, all-people of color, funk-centric burlesque festival.”
“Part of my motivation for documenting this was, you know, the only person that’s going to be the best at telling your history is going to be you,” [Mx. Pucks A’Plenty] said. “When you look at burlesque history, there’s not a lot of Black and brown burlesque history that survived, or was even recorded in comparison to our white counterparts.”
“Most of these works were created by graphic designers and illustrators for social media platforms; however, they represent only one of the diverse art forms being produced in contemporary Iran. In response to the current unrest, many have abandoned exhibition and performance for the ‘anonymous’ expression of political views through graffiti and ephemeral installations.”
Every year, SAM and the Betty Bowen Committee give the Betty Bowen Award, a juried award that comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. The award was founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen and honors a Northwest artist (from Washington, Oregon, or Idaho) for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. In addition, two Special Recognition Awards in the amount of $2,500 and three Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250 will be awarded by the Betty Bowen Committee.
Recent winners include Anthony White (2021; his work is now on view at SAM), Dawn Cerny (2020), and Lynne Siefert (2019); the 2016 winner, Wendy Red Star, will have a new commission debut on October 20, 2022 as part of SAM’s exhibition, American Art: The Stories We Carry. The connections between SAM and these exceptional artists from our region continue over the years.
Today, we are announcing the six finalists of the 2022 award who were selected from a pool of 532 applicants. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on November 1!
Klara Glosova – Seattle, WA
Made during the pandemic, Glosova’s recent body of work—one example is featured above—comprises introspective paintings that reflect a sense of loneliness, isolation, and a turn inward. Focusing on members of her family who had to cope with the loss of loved ones, her portraits capture a collective sadness, anxiety, and feeling of disconnect. Windows, mirrors, and screens of various kinds demarcate the threshold between the domestic interior and the world at large, while the architectural interiors stand in for the inner lives of those portrayed.
Sam Hamilton – Portland, OR
Hamilton’s current project, Te Moana Meridian, is an experimental opera that doubles as a genuine proposal to the general assembly of the United Nations: to relocate the Prime Meridian from its current location outside Greenwich, England, to its antipodean coordinates in the South Pacific Ocean. The work is conceived as a five-channel video installation with singers performing the proposed text in English and Māori. If realized, the changes proposed by this work would replace the vestiges of colonial supremacy that marked the United Kingdom as the universal center of time and space, with a new measure for global equity.
Tim Hutchings – Beaverton, OR
In Hutchings work, play and poetry are actualized through systems of gameplay. Hutchings creates intricate and imaginative games and exercises that exist at the intersection of visual art and game-centric dynamism, often disguised as something else entirely, such as a book or a journal. The resulting installations command engagement and interaction, prompting the viewer-turned-participant to reflect on collective memory, loss, and shared emotional experiences.
Elizabeth Malaska – Portland, OR
Malaska’s psychologically probing paintings explore and rupture the traditional gender hierarchies in Western art. In her revisionist undertaking, she cites visual elements from depictions of women in past and more recent painting, assembling them in new ways. In doing so, Malaska activates these histories and implied patriarchal hierarchies, to question their validity and propose more complex and potent feminine subjects.
Rafael Soldi – Seattle, WA
Soldi uncovers the ways in which aspects of identity, particularly queerness and masculinity, interact with normative sociopolitical structures and adolescent rituals, particularly in Latin American societies. Soldi’s most recent work, CARGAMONTÓN, is a series of photogravures depicting the adolescent roughhousing that is at once violent and homoerotic, reflecting on his own experiences as a youth growing up in Peru.
Ric’kisha Taylor – Seattle, WA
Taylor’s rich assemblage works draw on music videos, history, performance, fashion, and news articles as well as adult magazines. Rich and seductive in color, pattern, and materials, with a particular interest in textiles, her work draws the viewer close. Her subjects vogue and vamp, but grotesque distortions disrupt their easy consumption. The resulting collage works expose and challenge the sexualized stereotypes of Black bodies in popular culture and the media.
– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations
Welcome to Noticed, in which we spot connections among, within, and without the walls of the museum.
The last few years in Seattle, it’s been the talk of gardeners, naturalists, parkgoers, and urban dog walkers alike: What’s up with all these rabbits everywhere?
That question was also the headline of a recent feature in the Seattle Times’ Pacific NW Magazine, in which reporter Brendan Kiley investigated the seeming population boom across Western Washington of the Sylvilagus floridanus, or Eastern cottontail rabbit. His journey brought him to the domain of one very special rabbit: King Bunny.
That’s the name given by SAM staff to a particularly large, healthy, and seemingly prolific rabbit who resides in the Olympic Sculpture Park with his many friends and offspring. Kiley spoke with SAM’s Facilities and Landscapes Manager, Bobby McCullough, about King Bunny and Co.’s frolics around the nine-acre sculpture park, where they chomp on grass and clover, attempt to avoid predators and excited leashed dogs, and, we hope, enjoy the monumental sculptures that fill their home. King Bunny can be tough to spot, so don’t miss SAM’s latest installment of “Botany with Bobby,” our TikTok series exploring the sculpture park, in which Bobby tracks his friend down for all of us to see. McCullough also shared his perspective on what to do—if anything—about their increased presence.
“The park’s S. floridanus population has spiked in the past three or so years, McCullough says, and bunny-noticers have divergent attitudes. Some feel protective, calling for a gardener to ‘Do something!’ if they find a rabbit half-chewed by a raptor. Others regard the critters as a problem, suggesting McCullough set out traps and poison bait. ‘As long as I’m working here, that won’t happen,’ he says. ‘I get more joy from seeing them sunning themselves on the grass than frustration at chewed-down fern fronds.’”
McCullough’s live-and-let-live approach to the rabbits must have had an effect, because once we started seeing bunnies around the sculpture park, we noticed that they were simply…everywhere. Back indoors at the Seattle Art Museum, local artist Anthony White celebrates his Betty Bowen Award win with his solo exhibition, Limited Liability. The artist is known for his densely packed compositions that he painstakingly “paints” with PLA (a melted biodegradable plastic, primarily used for 3D printing). Crammed with recognizable products, name-brand logos, and digital logos, they pull you down the rabbit hole of our increasingly intertwined analog and digital lives. They’re also a few literal rabbits dotting these Y2K-nostalgia landscapes: a self-portrait of the artist in the all-too-familiar pose of gazing at a smartphone screen in bed includes a number of bunnies hopping around his aura like phantoms; up above is a ransom-note scrawl saying, “SILLY RABBIT, YOUR IPHONE STORAGE IS FULL.” And the smallest painting in the exhibition hangs above them all at the entrance like an idol: An Energizer Bunny seen behind a cracked cell phone screen, questioning the relentless pursuits of capitalism.
Of course, bunnies aren’t always harbingers of doom. Kiley’s story also notes the diverse cultural meanings of rabbits: “Old stories characterize the rabbit as arrogant (Greece), cowardly (Tibet), a great warrior (China), tricky (lots of places) and prototypical prey (lots of other places).” He notes their association with fertility in early Christian Europe and their appearance as a resilient “catch-me-if-you-can” figure in Puget Sound stories of Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Muckleshoot and other traditions. SAM’s global collection is a veritable rabbit hunt; one work on view right now at the Seattle Asian Art Museum is a beloved late 19th-century Japanese netsuke of an ivory hare (we know, it’s technically a different species, just go with it) with real amber eyes. Barely an inch all around, it’s a noticeably smaller presence than King Bunny, and it’s not as difficult to spot as it’s protected in a glass case, but in its tiny form and glittering eyes it makes a charming and surprisingly powerful impact. We think it’s wise to keep a close eye… just in case.
– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations
Images: Installation view of HYPNOSIS (detail) as part of Anthony White: Limited Liability at the Seattle Art Museum, 2022, Photo: Alborz Kamalizad. Netsuke modeled as a hare with amber eyes, Japanese, late 19th century, ivory, amber, 1 1/16 x 7/8 x 1 1/8 in., Duncan MacTavish Fuller Memorial Collection, 33.438, Photo: Elizabeth Mann.
Hiding within the busy city streets of Pioneer Square sits an intimate artist’s studio unlike any other. In this small, square room, SAM 2021 Betty Bowen Award winner Anthony White creates mesmerizing paintings crammed with products, name brand logos, and digital icons that assess our increasingly intertwined analog and digital lives.
“It’s my happy place,” says White. “It’s nice to have a space that’s reserved only for creating art.”
White spends most of his days in this space. It’s quiet and personal, with an ever-rotating array of his creations adorning the walls. It’s here that many of his completed artworks sit before they’re delivered to their next—or final—destinations. In the back corner sits a small desk, a focused space where White first sketches his paintings. Pink, brown, blue, green, purple, yellow, and more, endless rolls of polylactic acid—White’s medium of choice and the same material used in the 3D printing process—occupy the other corner, adding a pop of color to the room. A black leather couch hides next to the door, a place for guests to sit, talk, model.
“I don’t have many guests,” says White. “It’s only when I’m collaborating with someone or asking a friend to model that someone else is in here with me. Otherwise, it’s just me and my art.”
Where White spends the most of his time, however, is in the center of the room. With an unfinished canvas sitting on a sawhorse, it’s here that White paints. With his headphones in, White will work anywhere from eight to 10 hours a day. Circling the canvas, he is precise and careful with each line of polylactic acid he paints.
From his studio to museum walls, experience Anthony White’s breathtaking artwork on view in Anthony White: Limited Liabilityat SAM’s downtown location through January 29, 2023. Meet the artist and hear from him in SAM’s galleries on Thursday, September 15 at 6:30 pm as we celebrate the opening of White’s first solo exhibition at SAM. There’ll be a public reception in the Susan Brotman Forum with a bar and music by Seattle’s own DJ Housepartysea. Reserve your tickets to this free event—space is filling up fast!
“The immersive, multimedia exhibition is small—a casual viewer could survey the handful of pieces in minutes—but it’s one that rewards a more thoughtful approach, revealing new layers and details the longer you look. Each artist relates classical forms with timely themes, addressing topics from street protest to quarantine.”
Lonely Planet’s “8 best beaches in Washington State” includes the pocket beach at the Olympic Sculpture Park, noting that “at low tide, you (and the kids) can explore tidepools brimming with marine life, from sea stars to chitons, all within view of the Space Needle.”
SAM Remix: The clouds didn’t keep you beautiful people away! We were thrilled to bring back the late-night art experience to the Olympic Sculpture Park last Friday–and thrilled for the shoutouts from The Stranger, The Ticket (new site alert!), Seattle Met, and Seattle Times.
“What’s delightful about the piece is that even though the garden of PNW plants is virtual, it still grounds me in reality. Vichayapai’s personal rendition of Seattle’s summer made me think about the foliage and smells and textures I associate with the season.”
“Mr. Kulzer, an art teacher at Eden Valley-Watkins High School who specializes in sculpture, spent two years shadowing Ms. Christensen in order to learn the intricacies of working with cold butter, which is harder to manipulate than the soft-water-based clay he’s accustomed to…Teaching is the second-best job in the world, he said. ‘The first is carving butter heads.’”
The Seattle Times arts team helpfully gathered all the “ways to stretch your entertainment dollars in the Seattle area” with free or discounted tickets and events. They mention the free days at SAM’s three locations—Seattle Art Museum (First Thursday!), Seattle Asian Art Museum (Last Fridays!), and the Olympic Sculpture Park (365 days a year!)—as well as other hot tips for free or discounted admission. Now, go ART!
Though the exhibition was no longer on view when Savita Krishnamoorthy’s International Examiner review of Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time was published, it’s still very much worth a read. And you can still see Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s neon installation Kali (I’m a Mess) in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s park lobby.
“We are witnessing an aspirational South Asianfuturism, dreaming of a world without war and human suffering.”
“‘You felt a sense of community in the fields because it was people talking your language, people hearing the kind of music you hear at home, people eating the foods you eat,’ [Exhibition subject Luz] Iniguez said. ‘It really felt like a community of people that were just working hard trying to make the most of a situation that was hard.’”
“‘I’m calling this the poetics of restitution, which is something I’m trying to explore in the work,’ Julien said in a telephone interview from London. ‘The debates that we’re having today that seem contemporaneous were happening 50 years ago, if not before. I think that’s really interesting.’”
“As a woman artist on the cutting edge of her field, Cunningham’s story is an important one to tell,” says Carrie Dedon, SAM’s Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. “She undertook artistic collaborations with Ruth Asawa and Martha Graham, and I hope viewers leave not only with an understanding of Cunningham’s innovation and experimentation, but also her collaborative and charismatic spirit.”
“‘There’s so much evidence that she embodies the ethos of a Seattleite—being adventurous, being a free thinker and really embracing nature. And being such a gutsy woman so early on,’ says Elizabeth Brown, an expert in the history of photography, UW lecturer, and former chief curator of the Henry Art Gallery.”
“‘Contributing to the rise and the presence of African American choreographers, to me that is the big legacy. Dani worked tirelessly. I don’t know what’s going to happen with all of that now that dani’s not here,’ said Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater.”
“As a Black artist, I want that freedom and liberty for people to experience my painting on their own terms, with or without having a built-in, overly structured narrative of the Black plight attached to it.”
“She says she wants to ‘keep doors wide open’ in the museum to communities that might not see the museum as a place they belong, in the way she felt comfortable roaming the halls of MoMA when she was younger. ‘For me, every citizen of Seattle owns the art museum,’ Rice says. ‘I want them, when they walk in, to feel like I felt years ago as a kid: welcome.’”
“Arguably the most popular seafood spot in the North End…expands to downtown Seattle with a 60-seat restaurant inside the Seattle Art Museum. All of its greatest hits are here: lobster rolls, fried soft-shell crab, seafood chowder and fish and chips.”
“There are stories and ideas in “mymothersside,” currently occupying several rooms at Frye Art Museum, but we only catch fragments and echoes, like we’re overhearing something — or being permitted to overhear little bits of something that isn’t ours to fully comprehend.”
Artnet’s Melissa Smith has the first major interview with Naomi Beckwith since she became chief curator and deputy director of the Guggenheim; Beckwith talks about why she’s exactly where she needs to be.
“I heard ‘Psalm’ first,” he says, “and I was blown away, because I knew it was rare, that he never played it in public, except in France. But then when I turned the tape over and realized here’s Joe Brazil doing his matinee set, then it ends, then the next thing is the opening fanfare [of “Acknowledgment”], and — Oh my God, I realized the whole suite is here!”
“They remain relevant, and become increasingly more so as time passes,” [Rebecca] Romney said. “One of the cards depicts a scientist interacting with microbes; another shows something very akin to a Zoom session…Looking at these cards is a bit like catching up with a friend you haven’t seen since high school—that contraction of time in which it feels as if you experience two time periods at once, thinking of all that was different in the past, and how much has changed now.”
positive images of ourselves that are done with love,” said Muholi. “Let us
consume this self-love because our forefathers, our foremothers that came
before us never had the opportunity to speak for themselves.”
“Swift’s video, no
more than 10 minutes long, grapples with the concept of home, being home,
having a home, feeling at home in one’s body and community. In that
way, it fits well at Wa Na Wari. Where
do we belong?”
Artforum reports that Werner Kramarsky passed away this week at the age of 93; a formidable
collector, he donated 25 drawings to SAM over the years.
SAM director and CEO Kimerly Rorschach shared the museum’s position on proposed changes to Washington State’s overtime rules. These changes are long overdue, and SAM has been a leader in implementing adjustments. However, a slower ramp-up would be more sustainable for non-profits.
Author Toni Morrison
died this week at the age of 88. This New York Times obituary celebrates her “luminous,
incantatory prose resembling that of no other writer in English.”
“Ms. Morrison animated
that reality in prose that rings with the cadences of black oral tradition. Her
plots are dreamlike and nonlinear, spooling backward and forward in time as
though characters bring the entire weight of history to bear on their every
Artnet looks back at their 20 favorite stories of 2018—including their in-depth look (which SAM participated in!) into how institutions have—or have not—moved the needle on showing and buying art by Black artists.
“We can’t even fathom what new African museums could be, and what they could do. Look at Latin America, for example. The museological innovations there — unique types of exhibitions, involvement with the communities — challenge in all the best ways what big museums around the world have been doing. When you think about the talent and expertise born from an enriched African museum landscape: that’s exhilarating.”