Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The guilt free zone

Calder mobile, Polychrome dots and brass on red, 1962

Last week I went to Seattle for a conference, finally had time to go the Seattle Art Museum.

I have been feeling guilty about NOT being able to renew my membership. My membership and support of the area museums has been important, but with the economy being what it is, and me owning an art gallery, funding of museum memberships has not been a high priority as it has been in years past. This year has been a year of figuring out how to get through the year and survive as a business.

Running across the street, between meetings and dinner, to SAM I went through the revolving glass doors, walking up the stairs directly to the membership desk and said to the woman behind the desk, "I want to renew my membership but at different level!"
The time was 15 minutes before closing.

Just enough time to take in the Calder exhibition, if I rushed through it. I thought at least I would get to see the show. As the membership clerk handed me my temporary card and a ticket to the Alexander Calder show, she said that I did not have to rush as tonight was a member night and they were open late! Hooray. Timing is every thing!

Taking the escalator to the top floor, noticing the amazing African figures were moved around, the drumming and chanting was still evident, but the whole corridor was no longer about African tribesman and their activities.

There at the end of the corridor was this huge amazing Alexander Calder mobile. It was all white. It was not reacting with the fans that were placed above it to move the air around and a staffer trying to get it to parts of the mobile to spin and sway in the air. It was magnificent. It had a whole room devoted to it. I wanted to blow on it, so parts would move. The mobiles are such beautiful works of movement. I wanted to be able to walk under it and look closely.

I do not remember the title of the mobile but it was marvelous, the sense of creativity and whimsy, just made me smile. I spent the next half hour wondering through this exhibition of large and small scale mobiles, stabiles and even a bit of jewelry. There are miniatures/maquettes of pieces that are wonderful small scale works Kudos to the Shirley’s for sharing this collection with the public.

In the last exhibition space is an old movie featuring the circus characters that Alexander Calder made. He loved the circus, making his cast of characters out of bits of wire and cloth. All these pieces had movement of some sort by either being pulled, pushed, or flying down a wire. Such simple wire toys were crafted with such imagination and simplicity. The film of the Circus has been restored, watching the movie one gets to glimpse the artist surrounded by the world he created. In one of the display cases is a wire toy.

If you are in Seattle, Take the time to see this show. Wonderful!

This is from the press release of the show

"From miniature maquettes, works on paper and jewelry to monumental sculptures and one of the artist�s largest mobiles, this exhibition offers viewers a sense of the range of Alexander Calder�s work from 1927 through the mid-1970s. More than forty original works of art—many of them from Jon and Mary Shirley's extensive collection, which is rarely seen by the public—trace the development and amazing creativity of the American master sculptor, with particular depth in his most celebrated period, the late 1940s. Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act is complemented by a related exhibition of photographs showing the artist at work, organized with the help of the Calder Foundation.
Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act
October 15, 2009–April 11, 2010
SAM Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries Now on View

Youtube movie on the the circus from 1927Circus Movie
A few links on the works of Alexander Calder: Calder foundation

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Notes from the gallery

Joan Stuart Ross, Little town, mixed media encaustic, 12 x 12

Artstock, this last weekend, the fall festival of the arts was a wonderful event.
The weather co operated. Looked to be a few new faces wondering around the galleries.
Lots of positive feedback on the educational aspect with technique demonstrations going on.

Have not heard much about how sales have been. To be continued.

At waterworks we had a great time with the smell of fresh molten wax. Check out a few photos at waterworks gallery.
Always exciting to have clients and the artist mixing it up, chatting, and most importantly for the public seeing how the artworks are created and get a glimpse of the inner workings the artist's mind. I have noticed the simpler something looks, the more complicated to create.

David Eisenhour,called the other day with some fabulous news, he will be having a show in NYC in November of this year. This is a very exciting event, as having a New York show is seen as very prestigious! The artist is exposed to a much larger viewing audience. If interested in seeing his show, contact me and I will get the details.

Catherine Eaton Skinner, has a show opening in Seattle with a new series of works.
Very beautiful and Zen like mixed media encaustic images.

Locally, at the IMA Island Museum of Art, a small sculpture show is currently up. This exhibition is a good cross section of the local sculpture scene with representation from all the islands in San Juan County including by Tom Small, Matthew Palmer to list a few. If in town stop by and visit.

As the weather is turning a bit cooler, and the fall foliage is making it's appearance, at the gallery I am starting to gather artists for the gallery's Annual Holiday Show, opening Thanksgiving weekend with new works by Island favorites Jaime Ellsworth [check this out, we are the fall back cover of Art Access [woo woo & thanks to Jaime] Tom Small.

Enjoy the fall leaves and the golden light that is truly a Northwest experience!