Seattle Art Museum

Richard Serra – RIP

I was fortunate to have met Richard Serra on several occasions. The first time, Judy Chicago called Sidney Felsen and arranged for me and Suzanne Lacy to visit Gemini Studio late one night. Mark Stock was assisting Richard at the press. Suzanne and I honored the creative process, knowing well not to interrupt; but observing the artist at work was a singular and rewarding experience. Decades later I viewed the work from the night at his retrospective at SFMOMA with my son and grandson. The next time we met he was in Bellingham considering the site for his piece on the campus of Western Washington University. It was an honor to sit next to him at the dinner the university hosted celebrating him. And it was exhilarating to hear him talk about art history, the importance of artists like Picasso and Pollack. When he returned for the installation of Wright’s Triangle he allowed me to shadow him for several days while he worked with the installation crew. He took an interest in my old German camera, a Leica IIf which was unobtrusive, except for an accessory viewfinder (Vidom) which piqued his curiosity. The morning following the installation and site clean-up I found Richard in deep concentration, observing his newly completed work, looking at the site with pathways to be redesigned. As with any change, and especially something new and bold, it took a while before people learned to love it.
The last time I saw him was in Seattle in Belltown, near what would eventually become the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. We spoke that day about an exhibition curated by the late Gene Baro, of Black and White Drawings which included works by both of us. A few years later our works hung side by side at an exhibition at the former Seattle Art Museum Pavilion in a selection of art from Seattle’s Portable Art Collection.
As of this writing, I am preparing to move to a live workspace very close to where we last spoke, and like Wright’s Triangle that I experienced daily over many years, I look forward to many visits to Wake.
Fred A. Bernstein writing in the Washington Post offers a moving obituary

Richard Serra – Reverse Curve

Seattle Art Museum – Olympic Sculpture Park

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Seattle Art Museum – Olympic Sculpture Park

I’d been wanting to visit the sculpture park again for some time, to see new additions to the collection and to revisit works by three of my favorite artists, Serra, Calder, and DiSuvero. I went on a brisk, overcast day just before the new year.

I was reflecting on the first time I saw Richard Serra’s Wake, 2004, just after it was installed. It is first seen from a long distance, from above, and as you approach the work it grows and grows; by the time you reach it, you are immersed within it.

Seattle is fortunate to have a classic Alexander Calder, from 1971, Eagle. It is a sculpture worthy of repeated visits, to see how it captures northwest light in the different seasons and times of day.

It was exciting to see Mark di Suvero’s, Schubert Sonata, 1992, with Eliot Bay as a backdrop. As with all of DiSuvero’s signature work, it is like a drawing in steel, and I look forward to spending more time with it during upcoming visits.

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Seattle Art Museum – Flesh and Blood

Seattle Art Museum – Flesh and Blood


Currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum is a beautiful exhibition of Rennaisance & Baroque painting and sculpture from the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples, showing through January 26, 2020. I’m including some phone images to whet your appetite. If you live in the area and haven’t had a chance to see it yet, or if you’ll be in Seattle soon, it is a great opportunity to see some beautiful art that isn’t often on view in the Pacific northwest. The exhibition includes works by Titian, Raphael, Gentileschi, de Ribera, Reni, Cavallino, and others. Visit the website for the exhibition here Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples.


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Jeffrey Gibson – Like A Hammer

We were in Seattle recently, on one of those rare March days when many people were outside, enjoying unusually warm sunny days with the arrival of spring, having left their jackets and sweaters home. As such, many indoor activities were calm and quiet. It was a perfect afternoon to venture indoors, no ticket lines, no crowds, just the right amount of space amongst an appreciative art audience. Regular visitors to this blog know that I occasionally write about some of the exhibitions that I see, though not all, especially if it’s too near the closing date. If you visit my IG account you’ll see occasional posts from some of those exhibitions. Continue reading →

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Seattle Art Museum – Graphic Masters

Seattle Art Museum – Graphic Masters

There were several good, ambitious exhibitions in Seattle this summer, timed to coincide with the second annual Art Fair. To get a sense of what is going on in the Pacific Northwest and learn about those ambitious undertakings follow these links: Art Fair and Out of Sight v.2 at the King Street Station and Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art COCA – now relocated to their new space. UW’s Henry Gallery, presented Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures, a captivating exhibition featuring her sculpture, installation, and videos that were exciting to see in the Pacific NW.


Rembrandt, installation view Graphic Masters, Seattle Art Museum

Last June I referred to the now closed exhibition of Graphic Masters at Seattle Art Museum and other printmaking shows Continue reading →

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