Seattle

April 05, 2016, 9:10am

Gallery on the Edges: Q and A with Sharon Arnold of Bridge Productions

The last time I spoke with Sharon Arnold in her first gallery in Georgetown, I found myself surprised at my own sadness. Her modest space LxWxH, hovering over a pizza restaurant, was closing. Arnold wasn’t going far—she was moving on to collaborate with another well-respected gallerist, in downtown Seattle. LxWxH was small in scale and remote by comparison, two miles south of the city center, in Seattle’s historic, industrial neighborhood of Georgetown. But its presence had bored deep into the landscape of the community’s visual art, through not only the gallery that balanced the homegrown with the sophisticated so well, but also through the accessible boxed sets of small works that she sold to foster collecting in the city. I knew I would miss this gallery’s ideas when it was gone. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Tectonic, Installation View. Image courtesy of Bridge Productions.

Listed under: Interview

August 31, 2015, 9:59am

Endless Summer: Prolonged Moments Among SEASON Gallery’s Paintings

A few weeks ago, I was lying out with a friend, beside a massive swimming pool, in the 108-degree heat of Las Vegas. The unrelenting desert sun splayed its dense rays over our skin with more thickness than the sunscreen we had put on in vain. Sweat came without the slightest movement. Our phones had gone black and refused to function. Yet, we stayed there for hours. Sometimes we slept, sometimes we swam, but mostly we just lay there, watching the stillness of the palm trees and of the people standing in the pool, lingering in a prolonged state of thought. I thought of that heat-induced slowness and its heightened state of perception when I was back in Seattle a week later, walking through two shows by SEASON. – Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Slow Enhancers installation view, including Seth David Friedman, FORTHELIVEDEVIL, 2011, Carrara marble, and Dawn Cerny, Anaheim, 2015, Gouache on Silkscreen. Image courtesy of SEASON.

Listed under: Review

August 01, 2015, 9:14am

Painting Highlights from the Seattle Art Fair and Out of Sight

No one knew what to expect from the Seattle Art Fair. We barely knew to expect it at all. This may have been due, in part, to the absence of any significant art fair in the region since the 1990s. Most us in the Seattle arts community were still holding our collective breath just several months before now, when none of the local galleries that applied for a booth knew of their acceptance status. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Seattle Art Fair entrance, including Negar Farajiani’s “Made-in-China”, presented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

Listed under: Art World

July 13, 2015, 3:50pm

Grounding the City of Angels: Erin Morrison and Tomory Dodge at James Harris Gallery

One Foot on the Ground is not a themed exhibition.” When I read this on the wall of Seattle’s James Harris Gallery, my impulse was to immediately look for a theme. After scouring the works of the six painters featured in the group show guest-curated by Los Angeles artist Alexander Kroll, I conceded that the claim held true. However, as I stood among Erin Morrison’s (NAP #97) palm tree leaves and the graffiti-like palettes of Tomory Dodge, I was drawn to their ties to the City of Angels. I might have been breaking the rules by clinging to the concrete in a show that insisted it was about abstraction. Or, maybe the show was designed so I would unearth my own themes. Maybe I had fallen into a trap that had been there all along.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Erin Morrison, Black Palm (no. 1), 2015, Ink and wax on hydrocal in maple frame, 35.5” x 37.5” 

Listed under: Review

June 05, 2015, 8:45am

The Labyrinth of Abstraction: Victoria Haven’s They all stopped walking

The hedge maze is one of the most memorable images of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In the Northwest, most of us know this labyrinth isn’t real (it was part of a constructed set) because we are familiar with Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, whose building served as the hotel’s exterior in the film and has no maze. Seattle artist Victoria Haven’s (NAP #6, #49) show at Greg Kucera Gallery, They all stopped walking, references a scene that takes place inside The Shining’s maze. At first, it was hard to see a connection between this new work and the artist’s earlier paintings and sculptures of abstracted, geometric forms that I knew so well.  The older forms even make a few appearances, as does an entire wall of words extracted from text messages that had been turned into woodblock prints and separated into pairs that only make sense together sometimes.  I found myself intrigued but unsure of how everything came together. I was on the brink of lost.

But, when Haven spoke of her desire to question abstraction in the new pieces, the pathway became clearer. The disjointedness that had felt so rigid and real—between words, between mediums, between what I had seen before and what I was seeing now—dissolved, as if it had been in my imagination all along.  In its place, I found a show that continues an artist’s longstanding pursuit by starting from a new, unexpected place.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Victoria Haven | Black Frames, 2014, acrylic on panel, 20 x 16 inches. Image courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

Listed under: Interview

March 20, 2015, 9:15am

Wrestling Between Dimensions: Q and A with Gala Bent

An unusual element of Gala Bent’s new show makes it striking from a distance. A particularly standout press image or an intriguing promise of newness are often an opening’s easiest selling points. In the case of the Seattle artist’s show at G. Gibson Gallery that opened earlier this month, it was a single work’s title that latched onto my mind and stayed there until I made my way to the painting: Wrestler (The impossibility of a single dimension in the mind of someone who lives in several). While enough of Wrestler’s forward boldness came through the thumbnail image I had seen to make me want to meet it, the idea of someone living in several dimensions was what turned the work of art into something I had to see. When I spoke with the artist about the work, the show and her practice, it quickly became clear that Bent herself is immersed in a similarly multi-dimensional existence—with a mind constantly in flux between observing and making tangible the theoretical ideas she encounters, her art living similarly between open-ended abstractions and a fixed set of controls.—Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Gala Bent | Wrestler (The impossibility of a single dimension in the mind of someone who lives in several), 2015, mixed media on paper, 45 x 52 in. Image courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery.

Listed under: Interview

February 16, 2015, 9:22am

Better than the Beyond: Bed Bath & Between at SOIL Gallery

When I think of a Bed Bath & Beyond store, all I can see are things: things lining the walls, filling the floor space, packed onto shelves, coating the store in all forms of home goods. The section filled with informercial gadgets is my favorite, for the way it makes real the items that seem particularly made up, giving the store a mildly utopic element: here, you can buy bizarre, useless things that are supposed to only live on TV. When Seattle artists Julie Alexander, Nicholas Nyland and Matthew Offenbacher announced they were curating a group show, called Bed Bath & Between, at Seattle’s SOIL Gallery, it was hard to know what to expect, given the store reference. And, what would be the outcome of changing the “beyond” into the “between?” - Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Installation view, including work by Julie Alexander, Maria Britton, and Nicholas Nyland. Wallpapers by Julie Alexander, Nicholas Nyland and Matthew Offenbacher. Photo by Julie Alexander.

Listed under: Review

October 29, 2014, 8:46am

Being There Again and Again: Joy Garnett at Platform Gallery

Most of the time, as soon as I am awake, I begin scrolling through the layers of news on my phone, while still laying in bed. The ISIS updates, the new Ebola cases, and the pithy comments on the latest art world drama barely stick during this first round of skimming headlines and images, my awareness of the day coming into focus as I work through the tweets and the “Likes.” This activity would seem to have little to do with the meticulous, studied ways we usually interact with paintings. However, Brooklyn artist Joy Garnett proves otherwise, as evidenced by her new show, Being There, which opened at Seattle’s Platform Gallery last week. Pulling images from the media—including photographs of conflicts in the Middle East and screen grabs of leaked US military videos—Garnett’s new paintings bleed and blur their scenes into places that seem as familiar as the widely-disseminated photographs they reference. However, the artist also brings out the distant, fleeting way we absorb these images, turning their subjects into things we can never fully know. —Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Joy Garnett | Standoff, 2013, oil on canvas, 38 x 44 inches. Image courtesy of Platform Gallery.

Listed under: Review

August 25, 2014, 9:06am

Amanda Manitach on Painting, Feminism, Whiskey and T-Shirts

Knowing what to expect from Amanda Manitach is a tricky endeavor. The Seattle artist, writer and curator has linked the goring of a matador to menstruation, through imagery of red platform stilettos and dripping shards of beets. She has embroidered lambs’ tongues with clusters of tiny, antique beads, discarding the meticulously renedered work upon completion. She draws and paints works on paper that fuse classical nudes, horses detailed with prominent genitalia and melancholic ghost figures. But, a pair of legs in black stilettos walk behind the lamb tongue scene, and the tongue’s bulbous shape billows like the clouds that tint her watercolors, amending the surprise that the abrubpt shifts within her body of work evoke with the sense that perhaps we should have seen this coming, after all. A similar sensation continued in my conversation with Mantiach on her new show, T-Shirts, at Seattle’s Joe Bar, during which we discussed Instagram inspiration, third-wave feminism, sex murder, and the time she lied about her relationship with painting. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Amanda Manitach | Ten Reasons Having A Dick Sucks
, ink on paper, 18 x 24 inches, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Interview

July 21, 2014, 9:29am

Painting the Uncontainable: Introductions at G. Gibson Gallery

“Central Washington Fire Not Contained,” reads the headline of the Associated Press’s silent footage showing the plumes of gray and black that presided over entire mountains full of charred treetops in Washington State over the last week. Somewhere between the brush fires that maintain a forest’s health and the catastrophic fields of flames that consume the homes and the national parks of the western United States every summer resides the invisible line that separates controlled chaos from the uncontainable. Standing among the natural phenomena dominating the paintings of Introductions at Seattle’s G. Gibson Gallery while the fires burn across other pockets of the state, the related tensions investigated by these artists take on a new level of relevancy. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Susanna Bluhm | Yosemite Rock (Pretend Feathers & Corduroy Patch), 2013, oil
and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery.

Listed under: Review

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