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...
Moe and Singleton
Two takes on abstraction

Allen Moe’s work (now at i.e. gallery in Edison) and that of Susan Singleton (currently showing at Perry and Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon) equally result from launching into the unknown, something that Singleton describes as a “liminal” state of mind focused and conscious, close to…

more »
First Friday
Take a summer stroll

On the first Friday of every month, downtown Bellingham becomes an enormous gallery with creativity at the nexus of scores of spaces, be they traditional studios, restaurants or businesses.

If you’re like me, choosing what Art Walk exhibits to view during the four-hour span of time…

more »
Island Getaways
Art with a view

Labor Day weekend acts as a stark reminder that the pleasures of summertime will soon be a distant memory.

But whether you choose to spend the holiday weekend soaking up the sights at a nearby campground, making your way to Seattle for the creative extravaganza known as Bumbershoot, or…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Summer Book Sale Final Day

10:00am|Lummi Island Library

Rainbow Reads

4:00pm|Ferndale Library

Artist Demo

4:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Last Gasp of Summer Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

Fancy Bingo

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Trove Web
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Young Artists Club

3:00pm|Ferndale Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Kombucha Class

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Arete Quartet with Will Bernard

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Blue Brothers Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Thursday
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bringing Memoir Alive

5:00pm|Village Books

Art Uncorked!

5:00pm|Windows on the Bay

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Pub Run

6:00pm|BBay Running

Healthy Meal Planning

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Zambia Travelogue

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

Cruisin' the Fossils Coastline with Ray Troll

7:00pm|Village Books

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Sh*tty Ted Talks

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Wind in the Willows

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

see our complete calendar »

2018 Cascadia Kids CW Survey2 Blue Brothers Village Books CW Survey 1 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web