By Matthew Kangas
ALFREDO ARREGUÍN: LIFE PATTERNS
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island. To Feb 3, 2019
Alfredo Arreguín has been honored by the National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. This show, his third US museum retrospective, includes recent works focusing on ecology, nature and icons of Mexican cultural history. Now 83, the University of Washington–educated artist combines rigorous formal compositions of linear grids with imagery of natural scenes, endangered jungles, and cultural and political fi gures associated with la Raza (Hispanophone communities throughout the world).
BAM BIENNIAL 2018: BAM! GLASSTASTIC
Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue. Nov 9, 2018 – Apr 14, 2019
Part of a curatorial policy shift away from crafts and design, the fi fth Bellevue Arts Museum biennial survey will be the museum’s “last materials-based biennial.” This may prove a bad idea, since the museum’s strengths have historically been with clay, glass, fiber, metals and wood. A blue-ribbon jury selected 48 artists, most with ties to Pilchuck Glass School. New work is on view, with much specially created for the event. Two US$5,000 prizes will be awarded.
FAST FORWARD: SKATEBOARDS & PADDLES
Stonington Gallery, Seattle. Dec 6, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
It’s entirely appropriate that non-Indigenous artists are included along with First Nations and Native American artists in Fast Forward: Skateboards & Paddles, since the annual winter invitational’s theme emerges out of a non-Native pastime, skateboarding. Canoe paddles are added, newly decorated, to complement the boards covered in tribal ornaments and signs. Some designs mimic gra ti while others adapt formline totem-pole imagery to the curves of skate decks and carved paddles. Canadian artists exhibit alongside Americans to underscore meaningless national borders.
BETSY EBY: I AM OCEAN
Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle. Dec 15, 2018 – Feb 6, 2019
Though rooted in her myriad observations of nature in a considerable geographic expanse, Betsy Eby’s paintings use melted wax and oil pigment for their varied textural effects. For her eighth show at Winston Wächter since 2003, the artist creates paintings based on her summers on the Maine coast. Highly abstracted scenes of crested waves beneath looming black and blue skies follow from work seen in her successful exhibition last year in London at Cadogan Contemporary.
IN TANDEM: WORKS BY FAY JONES AND ROBERT C. JONES
James Harris Gallery, Seattle. Jan 9 – Feb 23, 2019; G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle. Jan 26 – March 1, 2019
While Robert C. Jones was teaching art at the University of Washington, his wife, Fay, was home raising their four children – and painting nonstop. Both slowly developed their careers at di erent paces, until Fay’s figurative fantasies attained the same recognition as Robert’s thickly gestured abstractions – the result of his three-week miracle master class with Hans Hofmann in 1952. Now in their 80s, Jones and Jones build on a clutch of solo art museum surveys, extensive critical writings and numerous gallery shows.