Tag

Seattle Art Museum

Browsing

Above photo: Infinity Mirrored Room–Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, Yayoi Kusama, 2016.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” travelling exhibition opened today at the Seattle Art Museum. Although it will remain open until Sept. 10th of this year, and although all timed-entry tickets are completely sold out, limited ones are set aside/reserved and available on a daily, walk-in basis. Ours is the 2nd U.S. city that her popular artwork is on display in, featuring lighting installations, sculpture, paper works, and her paintings. For the first showing at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC, the first 9,000 people received free tickets and it sold out in 6 minutes, which crashed the site. SAM also reported tickets selling out extremely fast here as well.

Ms. Kusama’s infinity rooms have both a sense of whimsy and yet an eternal quality to them. Two or three people are immersed in a small, intimate setting, viewing each room for 20-30 seconds, in some cases, walking amid her work. But there are also mirrors which repeat and repeat within that space, and the guest’s own reflection becomes part the room. These exhibits, with often a repetition of motifs (such as polka dots or reflections) feature a wide spectrum of this 87-year old artist’s work from the 1950s to present day.

Dots Obsession-Love Transformed into Dots, Yayoi Kusama. Photo: Seattle Art Museum

After unusual and possibly traumatic early life experiences, Yayoi Kusama, received an encouraging letter from American artist Georgia O’Keefe then moved from Japan to New York City in the 1950s to pursue her art. One of her contemporaries was Andy Warhol, and her varied work sometimes explored anti-war and sexual themes filtered through her own lens. For over 40 years now, after a mental breakdown, she has lived voluntarily in a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo, Japan. She checks herself out of the hospital daily, walks to her studio nearby to work, then returns at night: a combination of structure and freedom which allows for her continual, infinite creativity.

“This effect of continual repetition calls out to the human senses, and in return, deep inside our heart we yearn for true amazement.”
Yayoi Kusama, Hirschhorn Museum interview, Dec. 2016.

Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016.  Photo: Tomoaki Makino. Courtesy of the artist © Yayoi Kusama


In the midst of the digital age, many are astounded that film still even exists. Everyone has digital film and video capabilities, and film Is very expensive, so, why bother right?

While that may have been what you thought once upon a time, your mind will be forever changed once you see the brilliant art made on and with film by artist Jennifer West at her Seattle Art Museum installation “Film Is Dead”.

In this revolutionarily inventive show, West uses 70mm, 35mm and 16mm analog film strips to create beautiful and visually compelling works of art. She treats the film with common household items including food coloring, nail polish, coffee, vinegar, bleach and more to create patterns and unplanned but stunning effects by eroding the films emulsion, staining it and letting the film take one whatever characters it might.

West’s SAM exhibit features film strips and remnants that have been treated and manipulated by the artist in this way, hung from the ceiling, and spanning almost the entire length of the gallery.

In addition to the physical installation at SAM, West has taken many of these works and digitized them to create a film that explores the differences and relationship between the analog and digital qualities of the film medium, creating another layer to this thought provoking artistic experiment.

Jennifer West is a Los Angeles based artist with some history in the Seattle. West received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia before returning to her home state of California to earn her Masters in Fine Arts from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

West’s works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions across the country and the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR and many more.

Her love affair with film dates back more than ten years and she boasts a very interesting and varied portfolio of works including photographic and video works using different and rare types of film and film techniques, light play, performance and her unique film quilts and magic lantern works. West’s style and aesthetic are likely different from any you’ve seen before, exploring and challenging the differences between modern digital photographic art and classic analog film techniques. Her style simultaneously evokes nostalgic feelings and encapsulates a modern and almost futuristic aesthetic, and over all seems to challenge films obsoleteness and the digital waves supremacy.

If you share a love of visual arts, interesting techniques, the fusion of arts and science or simply subscribe to the thought that everything old is new again, “Film Is Dead” is a show worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see something beautiful before it’s gone.

JENNIFER WEST: FILM IS DEAD . . .

Exhibit on display through SUN MAY 7 2017

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES

 

The Seattle Art Museum has become bolder and brighter with its newest exhibit, Pop Departures. Vibrant pieces from 1960s artists make big statements against the museum’s white walls, an explosion of the movement’s roots in our pop culture-obsessed world. Pop Departures explores the beginnings of aggressive advertising, commercial culture, and mass media through images that were progressive for the time. The pop art movement changed our understanding of art and trickled through audiences to support our pop culture obsessed society. Works from iconic pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana, and Roy Lichtenstein are on display.

Pop Departures opens to the public on October 9th and runs through January 11th, 2015. A special media event was held for members of the press on October 7th. Check out a sneak peak of the exhibit from those lucky to attend the private opening: 

Featured photo found here