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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Light Season

posted by on March 21 at 12:13 PM

It seems like everywhere you turn lately, there’s a show about light, or a magazine cover story about a show about light. (We’re in the game, too: last week we ran Bruce Nauman’s Mean Clown Welcome on the paper’s cover in reference to the exhibition of his neon works at the Henry.)



Then comes the news this morning that the Tacoma Art Museum will lux it up this summer, in what could be a promising exhibition that will mix local and national artists. Here’s the museum’s press description of what will be in the show:

One of the themes of the exhibition explores the idea of celebrity and fame. The gallery will be populated by selected celebrity images of Kurt Cobain (the legendary lead singer of Seattle-based band Nirvana) by Seattle photographer Alice Wheeler and a promotional campaign by for United We Stand, a non-existent film starring Penelope Cruz and Ewan McGregor. The Myths by Andy Warhol feature Uncle Sam, Santa Claus, and Howdy Doody, each with a patina of diamond dust. Each of Warhol’s characters pinpoints the changing nature of the American psyche. A central theme is self-perception. Works by Marilyn Minter, Kathryn van Dyke, and Josiah McElheny, and assume vivid astro focus examine the fleeting nature of identity and pleasure. Minter twines desire and sexuality in her stunning images of jewelry and designer shoes. McElheny and van Dyke both employ mirrors to fragment reflections and destabilize a sense of solidity and unity. Installations by Alex Schweder and Monique van Genderen also reflect a sense of self-perception through color and movement. The sculpture Anywhere But Here by Jack Daws uses the metaphor of found pharmaceuticals as a commentary on American culture’s growing use of medication to mitigate society’s complexities and contradictions. The painting of Gift-Wrapped Doll #14 by James Rosenquist captures the fascination with new and perfect consumer goods. A giant inflatable flower by Jeff Koons, a deer encrusted in Swarovski crystals by Marc Swanson, a pixilated image of a Northwest forest by Claude Zervas, and Anya Gallacio’s delicate recreation of a small tree all serve as reminders about the fragility and artificial constructions that define the human interaction with the natural world. The idea of the ephemeral qualities of memory are highlighted by a large, knitted Mylar sculpture by Oliver Herring and the exquisite light sculpture by Jim Hodges. Working on minimalist impulses, both Herring and Hodges use light to suggest loss and memory. Issues of race and justice are explored by Glenn Ligon and Donald Moffett. Ligon’s coal-dust painting references the experience of an African American, while the series What Barbara Jordan Wore is Moffett’s tender homage to many contributions of the distinguished politician and civil rights leader.

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