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 Back  Vignettes | Washington | September – October 2013

By Allyn Cantor

PATTI WARASHINA: WIT AND WISDOM Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Jul 12-Oct 27 When Patti Warashina got her start in the 1960s, most ceramic artists used stoneware and varied earth-tone glazes. Her aesthetic favoured white clay bodies and controlled, colourful glazes. This large retrospective features over 120 pieces from 50 years of Warashina’s career. Not only are her mostly figurative subjects innovative and immaculately crafted, but the curious pieces possess a warm spirit, satirical humour and playfulness that resides in the surreal while addressing the human condition.

CAMERA NIPPONICA: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM JAPAN, 1880-1930 Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Sep 7-Jan 5 This exhibit provides a compelling look at Japan’s photographic history. As the country ended a long period of isolation in the mid-1850s, port cities like Yokohama became gateways for foreigners, propelling the rise of commercial photography studios. In this show are stunning examples of the hand-coloured images of iconic scenery and genre subjects, souvenir albumen prints, and delicate glass lantern slides from the Meiji (1868–1912) and Taisho_ (1912-1926) eras made for the Western tourist market. The show highlights a contrasting selection of vernacular portrait photography by mostly unknown Japanese photographers during the same period.

JAMES MADISON: GENERATIONS Schack Arts Center, Everett, Aug 15-Sep 21 A member of the Tulalip Tribes, sculptor James Madison grew up immersed in Salish art and culture. He began learning to carve from his grandfather, at the age of eight, and his father – an abstract painter – encouraged Madison to embrace sculpting as well as carving. His skillful pieces contain traditional Salish designs with a contemporary approach to ideas and materials. Madison works in bronze, wood, glass and stainless steel. His pieces have been shown throughout Washington, as well as in New York, Alaska and Canada.

JAQ CHARTIER: SUBOPTIC Platform Gallery, Seattle, Sep 5-Oct 12 Known for her paintings inspired by scientific imagery, Jaq Chartier pursues that direction in her new body of work, which stems from her interest in landscape, biology, maps of Earth, weather and storms. For this exhibit, Chartier focuses on coral reefs. Her abstracted forms are created through a visual investigation that combines paint and stains on wood panels, reflecting the clustered patterns of sea life in reefs. In some of these pieces, colours will intentionally fade in time, referencing the environmental problem of mass coral bleaching.

RACHEL DENNY: OUTSIDE IN Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, Oct 3-31 Through her warm sculptures of animal subjects, Rachel Denny seeks to reconcile our human relationship to the natural world. Her subjects have a static taxidermy-like quality, while the use of soft familiar materials brings Denny’s sculptures to a very approachable and empathetic place. Colourful knit surfaces cover the entirety of animal forms, making them feel like part pop-culture objects and part poignant symbols for the declining habitats where these animals live and survive.

Patti Warashina
Patti Warashina

Camera Nipponica
Camera Nipponica

James Madison
James Madison

Jaq Chartier
Jaq Chartier

Rachel Denny
Rachel Denny

 Sat, Sep 7, 2013