Visual Art WACK! and Seattle Art Museum
posted by October 2 at 15:00 PMon
Curious about why the huge historical feminist exhibition “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” chose Vancouver, B.C., as the Northwest stop on its U.S. tour (it opened in L.A., went to N.Y. and D.C., and opens in Vancouver Saturday) instead of, say, Seattle, I called Seattle Art Museum chief curator Chiyo Ishikawa.
SAM had a chance to take “WACK!,” Ishikawa said. The exhibition was offered to SAM. But SAM already had its own show of Salish art scheduled. The Salish show had been bumped twice already, first to make way for an exhibition of Spanish art a few years ago, and then for the museum’s expansion. “WACK!” got pushed out by a traffic jam.
That’s a drag considering that SAM just expanded its building precisely in order to solve its perennial traffic-jam problem, especially in order to take important shows like “WACK!” Regardless of whether “WACK!” turns out to be a great show, it is a landmark in the history of art, and an amazing catalyst to talk about everything from race to gender to international relations smack in the middle of an election year. This is Seattle’s loss.