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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | April – May 2014

By Allyn Cantor

LAURA HAMJE, ANNE PETTY Prographica Gallery, Seattle Mar 29-Apr 26 Laura Hamje and Anne Petty have in common an expressive and textural handling of paint, creating strong moods with their subjects. Hamje beautifully models bridges, construction sites and loose architectural elements, which almost dissolve into powerful backdrops of land, sky and semi-abstracted space. Petty uses the human figure to bring forth a compelling psychological presence told through posture and body language. Both artists use the luscious qualities of oil paint to create captivating compositions.

ERIC ZENER Foster/White, Seattle  May 1-31 Eric Zener is known for his hyper-realistic depictions of swimmers floating in underwater space. As a metaphor for renewal, Zener’s imagery speaks of the desire for transformation, with figures in elated states that suggest the surrender of journeys and fantasy. Layering resins and paint with a photographic process, the northern California artist achieves luminosity and intrigue in his works. His paintings have been exhibited in New York, San Francisco and Boston. This is his first solo show in Seattle.

FRAGILE FORTRESS: THE ART OF DAN WEBB Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue Mar 7-Jun 15 Dan Webb is a self-taught wood carver who explores themes of life’s fragility and human resilience in his wonderfully crafted sculptures. This 15-year exhibit survey includes both iconic pieces and never-before-shown works. Webb’s pieces are mostly figurative, conceived with tongue-in-cheek humour. His highly refined chiselled forms are contrasted with rough, natural surfaces, accentuating the push and pull of what is and what could become. Symbolizing self-invention for the artist, Webb’s process of carving acts as a metaphor for life’s possibilities.

MARK TOBEY AND TENG BAIYE: SEATTLE/SHANGHAI Frye Art Museum, Seattle Feb 22-May 25 Mark Tobey and Teng Baiye first met in the 1920s in Seattle, where Teng had come to study sculpture at the University of Washington. Tobey studied calligraphy under Teng, forming a close friendship with the Chinese artist. Tobey’s subsequent trip to Shanghai and the artistic discourse between the two would prove to be formative in developing Tobey’s “white writing” paintings. Through mature examples of works by both artists, this exhibit contextualizes Tobey’s Eastern influences and sheds light on the under-recognized work of Teng.

PAINT: THE PAINTED WORKS OF LYLE WILSON Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Mar 30-Jul 6 A major figure of Northwest Coast art, Lyle Wilson draws on his Haisla heritage to create a very personal vision that builds on the trajectory of traditional native art forms. Originally from northern British Columbia, Wilson studied printmaking at Vancouver's Emily Carr University of Art + Design. This large show includes mostly his paintings, but also some of his exceptional woodcarvings. The two-dimensional artworks, have refined graphic quality that encompasses iconic tribal symbols. The more than 50 pieces in this comprehensive exhibition highlight his original style.

Laura Hamje
Laura Hamje

Eric Zener
Eric Zener

Dan Webb
Dan Webb

Mark Tobey
Mark Tobey

Lyle Wilson
Lyle Wilson

 Sun, Apr 6, 2014