Visual

Two Takes

The cutting edge

Attend

What: Sheila Klein and Ries Niemi discuss work from "Making Up Stories and Looking at Things Sideways"

When: 4 pm Sat., May. 26

Where: i.e. gallery, Edison

Cost: Free

Info: http://www.ieedison.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Work by two prominent artists this month, Sheila Klein and Katherine Wesselman, appear very different but share a congruence in conception and execution. Each brings back something from a foreign clime, transforming it into a novel work of art—Wesselman by subtraction, Klein by accretion.

For an exhibit at the Perry and Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon, Wesselman photoshopped images from a European trip and printed them as brisk, minimalist abstractions. Reviewers have commented that she transforms the familiar into “something unidentifiable yet totaling engaging.” 

She chooses a single brushstroke in the 17th century Borromini chapel in Rome as the seed for a multi-armed crucifix. By computer manipulation she adds and subtracts color, spinning overlapping layers into a spare, modernist work of which Joseph Albers would approve.

Her “Fritz” is a softly abstract photograph of pastel colors on burlap —the subject is a wall in a Danish workshop upon which designers had daubed colors for comparison.

“Double-take collages” are delightfully subtle and inventive abstract prints, each several layers stacked and pierced to give a pleasant sensation of depth as one approaches. Anyone who has ever worked with an X-Acto knife will appreciate the discipline involved.

Sheila Klein, last year’s recipient of the prestigious Washington state “Arts Innovator Award,” is best known for public art, particularly huge projects dressing public buildings with items such as hand-crocheted and knitted steel.

For her show at i.e. gallery in Edison, Klein brought from the streets of Buenos Aires awnings, burlap, plastic mesh, Argentine-flag-colored bandera shade cloth, handmade lace, hankies, towels and napkins to bricolage into tapestry wall pictures. 

In her “Still Life” we find a rectangle of delicate fencing behind which lurks the family cat (or is it a cow?) beneath a closed window. It’s an altogether very gentle and engaging composition. 

Beneath another delicate mesh I spy a Madonna who, upon closer inspection, turns out to be a lace doily. 

The overlapping shiny plastic fabric of “Landscape” offers a satisfying contrast to the underlying burlap. “Flag” arises from similar materials, with the addition of a charming pair of naïf, printed hankies.

Klein is joined at i.e. by her husband, Ries Niemi. His inventive and playful public art is all over Bellingham (Railroad Avenue benches and tables), Anacortes,  (Tommy Thomson trestle), La Conner (the fish bridge), not to mention Seattle and Denver.

Ries’s contribution best embodies the theme of the i.e. exhibit: “Making up stories and looking at things sideways.” Not exclusively wedded to heavy industrial techniques, he has a domestic side, expressed in embroidery, sewing and crochet. He has always made clothes, “both wearable and not” and his contributions “discuss the ever-present problem of what to wear.” Not to be missed are his fabric banners, “My wife picks out my clothes,” “How many fingers am I holding up,” and (the three-armed shirt) “I am hard to fit.”

More Visual...
Collection Conversations
Go global at Whatcom Museum

In 1979, Stacey Miller purchased a hat during a four-month overland adventure from Madrid to India. The easily stowed simple cloth skullcap from Istanbul would prove to be a harbinger of things to come.

To date, Miller has collected more than 1,300 pieces of headwear from 42 countries…

more »
Eye Candy
Seduced by surrealism

“Surrealism has been neglected,” David Cassera says. That’s why he chose to exhibit the works of Joseph Kinnebrew at his eponymous gallery in Stanwood.

The distinguished Kinnebrew has painted and sculpted in realist and expressionist modes, yet always has been seduced by the…

more »
Winging It
The birds of winter

During bouts of inclement winter weather, it can be difficult to discern the best time of day to head to local forests, rivers, beaches and trails to seek avian adventures. If you’re dreaming of birdwatching experiences that don’t include sturdy boots, down coats and waterproof binoculars,…

more »
Events
Today
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Mapping Mountains

4:00pm|Western Library

Beginners Welcome

4:00pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Wild Church

6:00pm|Marine Park

Food and Wine Pairing

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

The Slacks

7:00pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Tomorrow
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Jazz Lecture Series

2:00pm|Anacortes Public Library

Exploring Equity

2:00pm|Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Keenan's Dinner

4:00pm|Keenan's at the Pier

Trivia Night

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

Life Between the Pages Dinner Book Club

6:00pm|Evolve Chocolate + Cafe

A date with democracy

6:30pm

Bottle Club

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Pasta Party

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Woman's Hour with Elaine Weiss

6:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

An Iliad

7:00pm| Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The True Cost

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Jazz and Mariachi Night

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

WWU Wind Symphony

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

House Concert with Meghan Yates and Louis Ledford

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Friday
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cultural Arts Festival

12:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow, Fifty Shades of Velvet

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Comedy Night at Chair 9

9:00pm|Chair 9

see our complete calendar »