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.

Local galleries include G. Gibson Gallery (photographs by Lee Friedlander and Julie Blackmon), Greg Kucera Gallery (sculpture by Deborah Butterfield) and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (a large-scale installation by Togo artist Clay Apenouvan). Satellite exhibits and arts events — including a dance performance by Bebe Miller and Darrell Jones, 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St. — are part of the package.

“IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation,” Prographica/KDR: This group show, featuring artists who “share a deep dedication to creating artwork by way of a traditional method,” inaugurates Prographica/KDR’s new Pioneer Square space (shared with Davidson Galleries). “Traditional method” doesn’t mean staid, however. The oils on canvas of F. Scott Hess, for instance, play with psychological tension and spatial disorientation in a novel and unsettling manner. See also this post on the Seattle Art Museum.

Davidson Galleries, meanwhile, is showing “Francisco Goya: Disasters of War,” Aug. 4-27; free (206-624-7684 or These prints by the Spanish artist, dating from 1810-1820, document “the ravages of war and its power to dehumanize everyone involved.” And speaking of Goya …

Anna Watson, Foster/White Gallery: The Toronto-based artist creates colorful abstract images evoking turbulently organic forms, using mixed media on panel with resin. Her titles — “A Bit Chaotic But Totally Honest,” “Slam Dunk Whatever,” “Colourful Eels Recognizing Each Other Like Italics” — suggest introspective musings with a quirky sense of humor.

“Bodies + Beings,Abmeyer & Wood: Curator Jonathan Wood brings back one of last summer’s gallery highlights: an invitational figurative sculpture exhibition exploring “the human and animal figure along with fantastical beings that bridge the gap between the real and surreal.” This year’s edition includes eye-catching work by Haejin Lee, Calvin Ma, George Rodriguez and more than a dozen others. So come again, too little time, too much to see…

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