Chappell show.
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • Chappell show.

It's hard to get an abstract painting right. Gestural abstraction still hasn't totally come out of the shadow of Pollock's autobioerotics, his million imitators, his generation of mockers. A good painting has something to do with pleasure and with sustaining curiosity over time. In Seattle in the last few years, a handful of interesting abstractionists have emerged, including Nicholas Nyland, Susanna Bluhm, and, now, Stacie Chappell.

Chappell uses various acrylics, inks, enamels, and dyes, and on her surfaces, the action is swirling and changing constantly, one type of application (stencil, say, or spraypainting) leads relentlessly to another. Her current show at Gallery IMA is her fourth in Seattle since 2009.

But one giant caveat must be issued, and it is not to the artist but to the gallery.

Dear Gallery IMA,

If you continue to play that Muzak, we are not coming in anymore. For the sake of your artists, reconsider.

People With Ears As Well As Eyes