Seattle

July 14, 2014, 9:05am

A Quiet, Creeping Reality: Buddy Bunting’s Valley Fever at Prole Drift

A tortoise, a gas station, a sleeping dog, a shadowy tree and a juvenile detention facility: these are the subjects of Buddy Bunting’s five new paintings. At first sight, the mystery of their connection hangs in the air with a sense of heavy deliberation; these unlike things are somehow meant to be together, but it is hard to see how. Then, slowly, as you linger inside Seattle’s Prole Drift gallery, that sensation of heavy air becomes more pronounced and persistent across the scenes—the stillness of the dog, the haze surrounding the tree, the immobility of the tortoise. The title that gathers them together—Valley Fever—evokes the slowed pace that feverish heat commands, and this proves to be the best approach to journeying through Bunting’s thick environs. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Buddy Bunting | Antelope Valley Juvenile Detention Center, Lancaster, California, oil on linen, 2014. Image courtesy of Prole Drift

Listed under: Review

June 06, 2014, 8:30am

Prefab Paintings: William Powhida’s Unretrospective

“ANYTHING can be ’editioned.’ Repetition is your friend.” This is one of the rules in William Powhida’s The Rules, which itself an edition of sorts. Referred to by the artist as a “republication,” The Rules is an oil painting that was made by an employee of painting village in Shenzhen, China, based on a JPEG image depicting the Brooklyn artist’s text-based drawing of the same title. This republication is available in three sizes and can be purchased through the artist’s website, for the duration of his show at Platform Gallery, Unretrospective, along with any JPEG that can be found on the site.  In effect, Powhida has created a space where anything really can be editioned, and repetition is your—or at least your wallet’s—friend.— Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


William Powhida | WHAT CAN THE Art World TEACH YOU?, 2014 (republication)
oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Platform Gallery.

Listed under: Review

May 19, 2014, 4:53pm

Close Encounters with Falling Realities: Cynthia Camlin’s Divided Earth

Last week, when I heard the news of the West Antarctica’s falling ice sheet, it was hard not to think of the floating, fragmenting masses that comprise Cynthia Camlin’s (NAP #109) new paintings. For over ten years, the artist has been manipulating frozen landscapes into rich imagery that ranges from the luscious, bulbous forms of her watercolor icebergs, to graphic screen prints of broken, frozen shards made flat by their map-like, textural surfaces. Camlin’s latest series, Divided Earth, on view at Seattle’s PUNCH Gallery, reexamines her familiar subjects, which have become increasingly prominent representatives of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns.  These new, articulated ice shelves—one of which spans a colossal ten panels—loom directly above and beside their onlookers, the grid structures building an illusion so tangible that, at times, the mounds’ jagged edges feel as if they break into our space on a disturbingly intimate level.  I caught up with the artist to find out more about the new works and the way our evolving relationship with climate change has shaped her practice. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Cynthia Camlin | Water Fragment, 1-10, ink, watercolor and vinyl polymer emulsion on paper panels, 12" x 9" each. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Review

April 22, 2014, 9:03am

Mountains Made of Paper: Saul Becker’s Dead Reckoning

Svalbard is an unincorporated Norwegian archipelago that resides in the Arctic Circle, between continental Norway and the North Pole.  While its indisputable date of discovery surrounds a Dutchman’s search for the Northern Sea Route, in 1596, Scandinavians may have found it as early as the twelfth century.  In either case, a human presence made its way into this distant, arctic land filled with fjords, mountains, polar bears and arctic foxes, through a history of interactions ranging from whaling, explorations and coal mining, to the last armed German military unit’s surrender, after World War II. Svalbard is also now the site of The Arctic Circle residency program, where Tacoma artist Saul Becker (NAP #49) took in the landscapes that became part of his new show, Dead Reckoning, while aboard a grand, 120-foot schooner. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Saul Becker | Folding Coastline, 2012, watercolor, ink and gouache on paper, 29.5 x 41.5 in. Image courtesy of Prole Drift.

Listed under: Review

March 25, 2014, 9:20pm

PDX Road Trip: New Work from Ellen Lesperance, Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Wes Mills

Driving to Portland from Seattle is such an easy thing to do, most of the time I find myself there on a whim, without any concrete plans, experiencing the city in a choose-your-own-adventure style, with one experience leading into the next. When I arrived in such circumstances again last week, I ended up happening upon a survey of some of the city’s stalwart artists.  While the PORTLAND2014 biennial organized by Disjecta in a selection of discreet art venues across the city helped ensure a steady selection of shows, straying off the biennial track at times also yielded the most resonant works, with exhibitions by seasoned Portland artists Ellen Lesperance (NAP #97), Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Wes Mills representing some of the most exciting pursuits at the moment and reinforcing these artists’ positions as some of the city’s strongest voices. – Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Ellen Lesperance, Do you know that one day you lost your way, man?, installation view. Image courtesy of Upfor Gallery.

Listed under: Review

February 16, 2014, 6:44pm

The Quest of a Painterly World: Q and A with Cable Griffith

It is hard not to like Cable Griffith’s landscapes. They invite you into their fantastical scenes with a bright sense of familiarity that permeates the patterned, pixel-like worlds and is almost instantly recognizable from one of recent generations’ favorite past times—video games. Quest, the artist’s new show at G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, continues the digitally-inspired lands for which the artist has become known, but buried beneath the solid, white clouds and systematized, geometric trees, a more serious pursuit reveals itself.  As Exhibitions Curator at Cornish College of the Arts, Griffith has an abundance of experiences and networks that parallel the complexity of the landscapes he builds.   I caught up with the artist to uncover more about Quest and to talk about an exhibition of northwest painter Robert C. Jones’s work on view at the gallery he oversees at Cornish. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Cable Griffith | Terra Terma, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, image courtesy of G. Gibson Gallery.

Listed under: Interview

January 16, 2014, 12:20pm

Amanda Manitach NEW WORKS

We are excited to announce the opening of Amanda Manitach's show at Bryan Ohno Gallery in Seattle, which runs through March 1. Followers of our blog might recognize Amanda's name - She's a regular contributor!

Listed under: NAP News

November 11, 2013, 8:27pm

Best in Show: Painting Highlights from Seattle’s Affordable Art Fair

In Seattle, you may need something stronger than a Miami mojito to get through the shortest, darkest days of the year that surround our single, Affordable Art Fair, which inhabited the Seattle Center this past weekend. In a city where questions of whether enough people collect work by local artists to sustain the community and keep them from fleeing towards Los Angeles, Chicago and New York routinely float back into conversations, a fair that aims towards friendliness (pink knit graffiti shrouded the trees at the exhibition entrance) and transparency (all art had to be $10,000 or less, with the prices labeled) over exclusivity seems ripe with possibility.  Back for its second run in the city, and more robust in both scale and attendance, one highlight of last year remained consistent: despite its international roster, Seattle artists and galleries comprised the strongest moments of the fair’s fifty booths. Work that many of the area’s strongest painters created in the past year made appearances, creating a well-timed, “best of 2013” Seattle painting compilation, the highlights of which are after the jump. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Affordable Art Fair Seattle installation view. Image courtesy of the Affordable Art Fair.  Photo credit: Julia Bruk.

Listed under: Review

September 30, 2013, 8:00am

Disappearing Act: Jaq Chartier’s Climate-Changing Paintings

Jaq Chartier’s (NAP #13, #31, #61) paintings like to pose as objects other than paintings. The Seattle artist and cofounder of Aqua Art Miami is best known for Testing, an ongoing that physically experiments with her materials and processes. Chartier integrates paint with saturated inks, stains and dyes she designs to evolve over time, creating large, hyper-saturated canvases that pulse with patterns and forms that reference the imagery of contemporary science—DNA strands, glass slides, microbodies— and ultimately behave as visual experiments themselves. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Jaq Chartier | Lettuce Coral, 2013, acrylic, stains, paint on wood panel, 28 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Platform Gallery.

August 29, 2013, 9:24am

The Real Deal: Roger Shimomura’s American Knockoff

A knockoff usually refers to a copy of a more expensive original, bringing to mind tables of faux designer handbags and leather jackets on street corners. When painter Roger Shimomura creates a knockoff, his is a human version—specifically, a person, or a punch to the face, literally knocking you off. The artist mashes up imagery from American pop icons, Kabuki actors, Korean and Japanese manga characters, Hello Kitty, Lichtenstein-style faces and Chinese propaganda, into in-your-face, self-portrait battles between himself and the stereotypes that portray Asian American people as less valuable citizens, or “American knockoffs,” the title of his new show. These works from 2009-2012 on view at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA, continue the battles Shimomura has fought for over four decades, a testament to the persistence of both the artist’s pursuit and the forces he is up against. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Listed under: Review

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