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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | June/July/August 2017

By Matthew Kangas

WHITING TENNIS: PAINTING, DRAWING AND SCULPTURE Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, Jul 1-Sep 24 With his debut in Barcelona at age 26, Tennis has also exhibited widely in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Oregon, where his mid-career survey was held at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. MONA curator Kathleen Moles focuses on drawings, paintings, and sculptures that trace line and form. An anomaly who excavates aspects of early modernism without a whiff of irony, Tennis had an earlier solo show at White Columns in New York City. We need to take a closer look at this perplexing, often uneven, artist.

DORIS CHASE Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Jul 8-Oct 1 The toast of New York in the 1960s – ARTnews and Artforum loved her – Doris Chase (1923–2008) started out as a Seattle painter, showed in Manhattan to great acclaim, and moved there permanently in 1972. A pioneer of modular sculptures as props, Chase’s videos of the performers led to her current status as the historic godmother of dance video. The Henry will show these early videos and perhaps some of her later, one-woman playlets for Swiss television with aging stars such as Luise Rainer, Anne Jackson, and Joan Plowright.

SARAH FETTERMAN: PAST SELVES Center On Contemporary Art, Seattle, Jun 17-Jul 29 Collaborating with software engineer Jack Christoforo and dancer Hannah Simmons, Fetterman videotapes the aftermath of Simmons immersing herself in flour and rubbing against the COCA walls (à la Yves Klein). As visitors enter, they trigger a video stream by sitting on a sculpture, layering their presence with Simmons’s. Fetterman advances Doris Chase’s dance videos and expands the whole notion of performative sculpture.

PAUL KOMADA – MONUMENT IN MEMORY: ABSTRACT ALASKAN WAY Gallery4Culture, Seattle, Jun 1-29 Using a rare King County government cultural grant of USD $6,500, multimedia artist Komada addresses the past, present and future of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct – the hideous 1954 two-level concrete barrier between downtown Seattle and its waterfront, due to be demolished in 2019 after a new tunnel is built. Using video, soft sculpture, Chroma-key technology, and sound, he explores “what the Viaduct is to me and how it is a non-monument monument.” Two flat-screen TVs, a blue-tarp “tapestry,” and found film footage complete the installation.

GAYLEN HANSEN Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle, Jun 1-Jul 1 Now 95, the Washington State University professor emeritus leapt onto the national art scene when legendary curator Marcia Tucker put him in Sustained Visions at the New Museum in New York in 1979. Personal figurative-narrative painting couldn’t have been more outré at the time, but Tucker could tell Hansen was way ahead of the curve. This led to successful shows in Berlin and New York, and four retrospectives with monographs. Hansen examines impending natural ecological catastrophes, agricultural disasters, and other mishaps – all treated humorously and painted with a marvelous dry touch.

Whiting Tennis
Whiting Tennis

Doris Chase
Doris Chase

Sarah Fetterman
Sarah Fetterman

Paul Komada
Paul Komada

Gaylen Hansen
Gaylen Hansen

 Mon, May 29, 2017