Category: Seattle Art

Robots: The Way We Look At Them Now

We humans have long been fascinated by the thought of machines built in our own image. From ancient times, inventors have tinkered with mechanical helpers to do our bidding, and storytellers have told cautionary tales about the dangers that lie along that path. Today, robots — a word not coined until the early 20th century — are everywhere in our daily lives. Far from the clunking, clattering, vaguely humanoid creatures of old sci-fi movies, modern robots build our cars, vacuum our floors, and are learning to be more like us every day.

Preston McGhee’s Mini-Bot Charm

In part because of their constant presence in our lives, robots have become the focal point of the creative message for many environmentally conscious artists. They build the non-functioning humanoids from discarded parts left in cellars or curbside salvagables, with the goal of creating something people can relate to visually, while finding innovative uses for waste.

With the Best of Intentions

All paintings begin to disintegrate right after you do them,” artist Robert Ryman admitted in a panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art last night. “But as long as things are on the wall, they’re pretty safe.”

The rest of the time, artists’ paintings and other pieces are under the care of the sorts of collectors, gallerists, curators, and conservators that filled the audience for the event, to listen to Ryman, fellow artists Tony Feher and Jim Hodges, and Yale University Art Gallery director Jock Reynolds discuss the role of artists’ intent in making conservation decisions.

Such conservation choices are becoming increasingly complicated as contemporary work made from unusual materials begins to age. PaceWildenstein’s new endeavor Artifex Press, which organized the event, has been able to harness technology for its mission of preserving online “catalogues raisonnés”, but there are not always easy solutions to the problems posed by the rotting food, decaying plastic, and obsolete electronic equipment that make up so much contemporary art.

Outsider Art in Seattle

Let’s take a closer look at a few places that promote Outsider Art in Seattle: Garde Rail Gallery 

Southern Folk Art

ANNIE TOLLIVER (Picture: Adam&Eve)
Annie Tolliver lives just around the corner from her father, Mose T’s, house in Montgomery. When I entered her house, I was met by a figure that was sitting in front of a screen door. The light from outside was creating a silhouette which makes it somewhat difficult to see who or what it was… The silhouette was Annie Tolliver, as she said “Hi, I’m Annie” when I asked. Please come in and take a look around my place.”

Annie Tolliver didn’t start painting until the mid-80’s. Her father was a painter as well and a he was unable to satisfy the growing demand from collectors and gallery owners, he taught his children the art of painting in exactly his style. His children painted for him, they produced the painting, after which Mose Tolliver (‘T’) would sign the paintings with his signature (“Mose T”), of course with a backward “s”. Though several collectors were shocked when they learned this and want to have their collections revaluated, most collectors and gallery owners didn’t really mind because all was produced within one family and all the work still falls into the category and definition of American Folk Art.

Five must-see Seattle art shows

“Graphic Masters: Dürer, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Goya, Picasso, R. Crumb,” Seattle Art Museum: Don’t miss your chance to see this unusual show of artworks using only lines and shading (the definition of “graphic art,” whether it’s printmaking or putting pen or pencil to paper). Goya’s “Los Caprichos,” the riveting heart of the show, makes you feel you’re plumbing the unconscious of a whole nation: Inquisition-era Spain.

R. Crumb’s epic-length ink-on-paper treatment of “The Book of Genesis” (207 cartoon panels!) is must-see, too, for fans of the underground comic artist who came to fame in the 1960s.

Seattle Art Fair: This isn’t just a biggie — it’s a sprawling monster. More than 80 exhibitors from across the globe are taking part in it, along with quite a few Seattle art galleries. Out-of-town exhibitors include Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) with paintings by Robert Motherwell and Mark Ryden, Other Criteria (New York and London) with hand-painted porcelain sculpture by Damien Hirst, and SCAI THE BATHHOUSE (Tokyo) with sculpture by Mariko Mori.

Pioneers for Seattle Parks

It is some years back now, but throughout 2003, there were many reminders of the centennial for the arrival of the Olmsted Brothers firm. To celebrate the contributions of these pioneer landscape architects, the Seattle Parks Foundation featured monthly walking tours through 12 city parks that were shaped by the firm, the most celebrated of national activists in the progressive “city beautiful” movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The first tour began at the Conservatory in Volunteer Park Saturday at 10 a.m.

See also this interesting Kyle McCoy video:

In the more than 30 years that followed the 1903 introduction of its comprehensive plan for Seattle parks, the firm was involved in 37 park projects.

Its influence is felt even more if we add boulevards, designs for many private local gardens, and master plans for making over the University of Washington campus as well as the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

Seattle Art Museum demands repeat visits

The Seattle Art Museum – So much art. So little time.

Though the Seattle Art Museum is open so many hours each day, this grand downtown Seattle masterpiece building still won’t allow you to see all there is to see inside in just one day.

And that’s just fine. Just make sure you’ll be returning. Over and over again.

The museum hosts so many new shows and exhibits, and there’s a good chance that each time you return, you’ll discover something new, something that has been improved or upgraded.

And of course, the impressive light all through the building. Oh yes, the light. The building is famous for its light that gently spreads out, through and over each of the museum’s floors like gossamer. It is like the light in the museum is “bringing things to life.”

In January 2006, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) closed to allow for a huge expansion.  This was needed to make room for the growing exhibition programs and collections of the museum. So just one block south of Pike Place Market, at the museum’s original location, a brand-new 16-story building was connected to the existing museum that also underwent a complete renovation.

The project cost over $86 million in total and doubled the gallery and public space. The huge expansion was including amenities such as a new restaurant and museum shop, galleries with white oak plank floors, terrazzo floors in all of the museum’s public spaces, and, on the 3rd floor, an impressive gallery dedicated to contemporary art.

The Importance Of Outsider Art


People would have thought it crazy, 25 years ago, to imagine the sort of frenzy that’s now driving the creation of the first new art museum in New York in more than three decades. Back then, art dealers couldn’t unload paintings by such self-taught artists as Bill Traylor, a former slave who didn’t start drawing until his 80s, for $300.

One of his paintings recently sold at a Sotheby’s auction for a record $303,750. Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio scramble to score the work of Joe Coleman, whose visionary paintings depict everything from sideshow freaks to serial killers. “He’s a big cult figure,” says Ann Nathan, Coleman’s Chicago dealer, who says there is a long waiting list for his work.

Digital Art can be very sensual

Several years ago, Los Angeles-based artist and designer Rebeca Mendez traveled to the Netherlands for a conference, where the new-media star met editor and critic Adam Eeuwens.

They fell in love, and for almost a year their relationship consisted of passionate emails and telephone calls.

Then Adam received a strange attachment to one of Rebeca’s missives. He opened it up, and there on his Dutch computer saw Rebeca’s Los Angeles hands, caressing the screen of her scanner as she whispered “I love you, I love you” over and over.

Adam did the only thing he could: He turned off his computer, packed his bags, and moved to Los Angeles. He and Rebeca soon married. Rebeca later converted the image into a limited-edition print that is now owned by several major museums.

The ghost of the body transmitted over the Internet has found a body that it is because of the artist’s ability valuable enough to be stored, conserved, and venerated.

Seattle Art Museum – Conserving Asian Art

When the Seattle Art Museum’s new downtown building was opened, there also was a show that highlighted Asian art and conservation problems related to a few classic masterpieces. These included a monumental and impressive Korean Buddha scroll as well as a dramatically beautiful Japanese screen (12-panels) that shows flocks of black crows that are swarming on a magnificent gold ground. Both masterpieces are dating back to the 17th century.

The next historical works had been brought to the museum and into our modern era through the acquisition of two local Pacific Northwest collections. One features specific Ukiyo-e woodcuts by Hiroshige, Hokusai, and some other famed artists. The second masterpiece conservation show was focusing on Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting style that was used during and after the Japanese Meiji era, and highlights conservative resistance in relation to Western influences.

The second masterpiece conservation show was focusing on Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting style that was used during and after the Japanese Meiji era, and highlights conservative resistance in relation to Western influences.

Asian Art Museum takes on bigger role

Works of art are frozen in time, but Art Museums are living entities that can change and grow…

This is also the case with the Seattle Art Museum (commonly referred to as ‘SAM’). SAM closed its downtown location earlier to allow for an extensive remodeling process that almost doubled the museum’ exhibition space.

In 1994 the Volunteer Park facility reopened as the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In 2007 the Olympic Sculpture Park opened to the public, culminating an 8-year process. Since 1994, the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) has been located in the original Deco/Moderne SAM facility (dating back to 1933) in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, Seattle.

So the museum shifted its operations base to a landmark Seattle building. The Seattle Asian Art Museum was now located in Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. In 2007, the Olympic Sculpture Park was open to the public, which culminated an 8-year long process.

The Art Deco masterpiece, designed by Carl Gould, a famous Seattle architect, was actually the first Seattle Art Museum. Carl Gould has designed quite a few significant buildings in Washington State such as the famous quadrangle of buildings of the University of Washington (known as “The Quad”), a structure in the Collegiate Gothic style, and another famed building from his hands is the Everett Public Library.