by Joseph Gallivan
AMERICAN ORIGINAL: THE LIFE AND WORK OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane. To Sep 19
The ornithologist John Audubon (1785-1851) produced his masterwork, The Birds of America, after many setbacks. His 435 lifelike watercolor and pastel illustrations were later turned into engravings for the printed edition. Bear in mind, at one point he found that rats had eaten his entire collection of more than 200 drawings, and he started again. This show of original prints (and more) is on loan from the John James Audubon State Park Museum, Henderson, Kentucky.
FLUID FORMATIONS: THE LEGACY OF GLASS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Whatcom Museum, Bellingham. To Oct 10
The Lightcatcher Building hosts the art of 57 contemporary artists working in glass, tracing the region’s stellar advance in glass art since the Pilchuck Glass School opened in Stanwood, Washington, in 1971. Staged in partnership with the Museum of Glass in Tacoma 50 years later, the show celebrates the innovation and varied processes and ideas of these glass artists, with an emphasis on how they help each other out.
by Matthew Kangas
DA VINCI – INVENTIONS
Museum of History & Industry, Seattle. Jul 31, 2021 – Jan 3, 2022
No one approaches Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to the supreme Renaissance fusion of art and science, medicine and technology, not to mention meteorology, hydraulics and aviation, all of which he invented. This touring exhibition from Italy meticulously reconstructs full-scale models of some of da Vinci’s contraptions, like the “aerial spiral,” and makes them immersive and hands-on interactive for visitors of all ages. The famous diagram Vitruvian Man (c. 1492), here animated, symbolizes the era’s connection of the human body to architectural planning.
THE YEAR OF SMALL THINGS: RACHEL CAMPBELL
ZINC Contemporary, Seattle. Aug 5 – 28
Originally from New Zealand, where she won the 1995 Telecom Art Award, Rachel Campbell has exhibited internationally; she’s been in a summer show at the Royal Academy of Art in London and had solo shows in Germany and North Carolina, where she now lives. This show focuses on still lifes, landscapes and interior scenes done during the pandemic, stressing the simplicity, silence and solitude that surrounded the lockdowns. David Hockney’s shadow is long, but Campbell’s unique talent shines through.
AMONG FORESTS AND LAKES: LANDSCAPE MASTERPIECES FROM THE FINNISH NATIONAL GALLERY
National Nordic Museum, Seattle. To Oct 17
With successive occupations by Sweden and the Russian Empire, Finland did not become independent until 1917. Before that, talented artists studied in Germany, achieving considerable attention for their landscapes. The Finnish National Gallery is housed in the Ateneum and Kiasma buildings in Helsinki. This traveling show, covering 150 years, features plenty of cooling, snowy landscapes, along with portraits, maritime scenes and, of course, birch forests. Sámi artist Marja Helander’s video Birds on the Earth is also on view.
MONET AT ÉTRETAT
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle. Jul 1 – Oct 17
While this SAM Impressionist exhibition is small—only 11 paintings and a few drawings and photographs—its stature is assured, thanks to former deputy director Chiyo Ishikawa coaxing loans from prestigious US museums such as the Clark Art Institute. To the museum’s sole Monet, Fishing Boats at Étretat (1885), Ishikawa adds eight other Monets done at the quaint Normandy fi shing village, as well as examples of the same scenes by Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, Charles Daubigny and Berthe Morisot.