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Masha Sha, New Now

Masha Sha, New Now (2017), coloured pencil on tracing paper

Bellingham National 2017 Juried Art Exhibition

Whatcom Museum
Bellingham WA – Jun 10-Sep 10, 2017

Catharina Manchanda, the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Seattle Art Museum, has selected paintings, sculpture, photographs, and other media by 28 artists from Washington State, New York, Oregon, California, Colorado, and South Carolina. Over 200 artists entered the competition, which is becoming a hallmark for the region in that larger museums such as SAM have dropped out of the juried annuals and biennials. Manchanda, who has organized shows on Miró, John Luther Adams and Moyra Davey among others, favors social-narrative imagery as well as abstraction.

Among the 11 Seattle artists, several, like Margie Livingston, have national reputations for expanding the purview of painting; in Livingston’s case, to include painted, shredded canvases. Victoria Haven, who studied at Goldsmiths College in London, reinvents minimalism with thin strands of adhesive papers that combine into wall-filling installations.

Ann Leda Shapiro of Vashon Island, WA, an artist rediscovered by Manchanda, had the distinction of being censored out of her 1973 solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, so explicit was her feminist-based imagery. Woman Landing on Man in the Moon set a transgendered astronaut on the lunar surface. This big survey should be livelier than most.

Matthew Kangas

 Mon, May 29, 2017