A gallery that takes advantage of a beautiful space, displays a wide range of interesting work in a well-designed and thoughtful way AND feels comfortable and unpretentious? These kind of galleries are my happy places. Foster/White Gallery in Seattle definitely qualifies for a spot on that list. Thanks to our time in Seattle being super limited and the tiny brain melt in which I somehow forgot that almost all galleries are closed on Monday, our only full day there and the day I’d planned to do lots of gallery hopping, I had to narrow down my galleries to visit to A) shows I really wanted to see and B) galleries that were close together. So we took a few hours before leaving on Tuesday to visit Greg Kucera Gallery, Grover Thurston Gallery ( more on that show next week ) and Foster/White Gallery, which was by far our favorite overall gallery experience.
Foster/White has been on my list of galleries to visit for quite a while and when I saw that they were showing Rachel Denny’s work, it quickly went to the top of the list for our time in Seattle. But I’m one of those people that saves the best for last, so while I saw Rachel’s work out of the corner of my eye upon entering the space, there were so many other wonderful works around each corner that I made my way around the whole gallery before I spent some time with Rachel’s amazing sculptures.
Speaking of amazing sculptures, these bent wood pieces by Paul Vexler were exquisite. The way the grain of the wood caught the light from the window drew attention to those beautiful curves. As impressive as his work was ( and there is a large hanging piece in the F/W lobby that is to die for ), Cookie the elephant by Shay Church both delighted me and drew me in.
Cookie is part of Church’s Wet Clay series, site specific installations consisting of a wooden armatur covered with clay and sand. In this series, Church focuses on elephants and whales, gentle yet imposing creatures who must survive long migrations. With each passing year, those migrations grow more and more dangerous and daunting for these animals. Cookie leans into the wall for support, seeming to struggle to stand. As the clay has dried, it has begun to crack and fall, adding to the emotional impact of the piece. We are watching Cookie deteriorate before our eyes.
Another installation that caught our eye was Bone Yard by Evan Blackwell. The white clay pieces, pinned to the way may appear to be fragments of bone, but upon closer inspection, we see that they are actually broken pieces of model jets. Perhaps a commentary on our military policies? Or our desensitization to such destruction?
The abstract, colorful reflection of Staccato Surface by David Alexander had unbelievably lovely gestural movement and a gorgeous palette. Photos do not do it justice! Finally we made our way over to Rachel Denny’s work. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since the very first time I saw one of her Domestic Trophies online and have been looking forward to finally seeing her sculptures in person. I was blown away by just how intricately constructed they are, their palettes & construction perfectly designed to catch and direct the viewer’s eye. I was just as delighted by her work as I’d hoped to be.
To see more of each artist’s work and more of the amazing work on display, please visit the Foster/White Gallery website. If you’re in Seattle, Rachel Denny & Casey McGlynn’s current shows will be up until April 28, 2012. I highly recommend a visit!