By Matthew Kangas
JEFFREY GIBSON: LIKE A HAMMER
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle. To May 12
Only 47, Jeffrey Gibson has been hailed among the few Native American artists who have not only drawn upon Indigenous traditions, but also totally assimilated postwar abstract American art. He blends these influences with pop music lyrics and queer disco culture into a hybrid of tribal sculpture, political text-titles, video and dance. Gibson was educated at the Royal College of Art, and Like a Hammer is his nationally touring show of work created since 2011.
image: COURTESY OF JEFFREY GIBSON STUDIO AND ROBERTS PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES, CA PHOTO: PETER MAUNEY
DEBRA BAXTER: WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME
Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle. Apr 4 – 27
Debra Baxter studied in Florence as well as at Bard College. Her latest Seattle show continues her exploration of punk and S/M jewelry: chunks of crystal and alabaster “protective ornament” doubling as sculpture is her signature style, combining precious stones, gems and metals. Her creations have been widely commented upon and seen in Vancouver, New York, Miami and New Haven, Connecticut.
DARREN WATERSTON: VISTAS
Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle. Apr 4 – Jun 1
Former BC resident and longtime Equinox Gallery artist Darren Waterston has had subsequent sensational success through a mixture of promise, shrewd talent and good timing. Filthy Lucre (2015), his idea to alter James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room at the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Gallery caught international attention for its audacity in “violating” an American icon’s Gilded Age commission and its use as a backdrop/decor for an elaborate government party. The new Vista paintings are his take on 16th-century Dutch landscapes.
JANE ROSEN: WRITTEN IN STONE
Traver Gallery, Seattle. May 2 – Jun 29
Jane Rosen’s work, chiefl y stone and glass sculptures of birds, has attained considerable recognition over her 45-year career. Originally a resident of New York, where she exhibited extensively in SoHo, Rosen moved to northern California after becoming enchanted by the “accessibility of nature” there. She has been twice honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and selected by the US Department of State’s Art in Embassies o ce for showings in Iraq, Tunisia and China.
Prographica / KDR, Seattle. May 16 – Jun 20
Los Angeles–based ceramist Elyse Pignolet’s new work juxtaposes seemingly inoffensive blue-and-white porcelain wares with in-your-face misogynist slurs. Each plate or vase is slyly covered with winding floral borders that conceal slanderous words and phrases for promiscuous women. Pignolet subverts the decorative-arts heritage of porcelain to make points about society, ceramic cultures, and contemporary attitudes toward women. Having traveled widely in Europe and Asia, she has also exhibited outside California in New Jersey, Texas and Bulgaria.