We are currently closed for installation! We are so excited to be working with internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton for her building-wide exhibition the common S E N S E, opening October 11th.
Hamilton’s last exhibition at the Henry was in 1992, entitled accountings. Get ready for this highly anticipated, large-scale show; it will be a big one!
In the meantime, here are a few things happening in Seattle right now/coming up that are worth checking out!
@ SAM City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India, on view August 30, 2014 – February 15, 2015 City Dwellers features works from a few of India’s leading artists, who are influenced by religious traditions, popular movie culture, and digital technology.
#SocialMedium, on view September 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Crowd-curated exhibition in which, by the use of social media, works from the Founding Collection were chosen by 4,000 people from around the globe. We can’t wait to see what’s been chosen!
Each year, the Henry presents the University of Washington’s School of Art Master of Fine Arts and Master of Design annual exhibition. This special Arts Dawgs event offers for a reception and tour of the exhibition. The artists will be present. The UW Alumni Association and ArtsUW have partnered once again to offer UWAA members exciting opportunities to experience the arts as an insider. Learn more about the program here. Tickets will be available at the door tonight.
Summer Field Studies is a presentation and interactive program series that invites visitors to explore contemporary art and ideas not only at the Henry, but out in the surrounding landscape.
Artists, musicians, permaculture advocates, curators, activists, sailors, poets and explorers were invited to participate in the creation of a series of interactive field guides for the Henry’s Test Site. These field guides will introduce visitors to a variety of individual and collaborative projects from in around the Pacific Northwest that deal with landscape as a means to facilitate personal reflection and as a discursive space. Projects range from outdoor residency programs, floating concerts, visits to secret gardens, and much more.
Featured artists: Meagan Atiyeh, Sara Edwards, Nat Evans, Jason Goods, Amy Harwood, Tessa Hulls, Garek Jon Druss, Joanne Lepreore, Molly Mac, Daniela Molnar, NKO, Michelle Peñaloza, Clyde Peterson, Ryan Pierce, Susan Robb, Kerri Rosenstein, Lisa Schonberg, Elizabeth Spavento, Allyce Wood
Moment by moment we live our lives; come learn how to be more mindful with us among the art.
Closing this Sunday!
This is the last week you’ll be able to see The Brink: Anne Fenton. We have been honored to show this emerging Northwest artist at the Henry. Not only is her work thoughtful and engaging, but it’s fun — much like the artist herself. Do yourself a favor and come check the show out this week!
VIDEO//YOGA is part of a series of yoga classes taught side-by-side with video art; creating an immersive visual and yogic experience that activates and engages all the senses. Julia Greenway, instructor and curator at Interstitial Theatre, invites you to enjoy the enriching experience of yoga in an environment of freedom, creativity, and compassion. FREE EVENT. Space is limited please RSVP.
In Mirror Check, one of Joan Jonas’s earliest works, a performer uses a small, round hand-held mirror to inspect all visible parts of her exposed body. Mirror Check marks an important theoretical and artistic turning point in her practice, when mirrors cease to be a material utilized in her sculptures and become actual instruments in her live performances.
Food trucks, art, and live performances – join us in the best neighborhood party in Seattle. Look for the ArtsUW booth to win prizes and free tickets!
Museum Week Northwest and International Museum Day
From May 16 – 23, enjoy Museum Week Northwest, a celebration of our region’s museums and cultural institutions in conjunction with the American Alliance of Museums annual conference in Seattle. More than 55 organizations have created special programming and admission offers. Check them out!
May 18th is both International Museum Day AND Art Museum Day. We’re celebrating by offering FREE admission to the Henry and a special curator-led tour of “Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane” at 2 pm. Join us!
Please enjoy the this guest post on our upcoming screening of Jellyfish Eyes by writer/scholar Zack Davisson.
Japan loves monsters. They write books about monsters, draw comics about monsters, make movies about monsters, and even name their foods after monsters. Whether it is from the magical menagerie of Japan’s traditional yōkai or the post-war, towering beasts of destruction like Godzilla, Gamera, or Ultraman; or the endless parade of modern Pokemon (which translates into English as Pocket Monster); Japanese children are weaned on monsters. They find these strange beasts as friendly of companions as American children find Snoopy and Yoda. It comes as no surprise that one of Japan’s premier modern artists, Takashi Murakami, loves monsters, too.
Murakami has always included monsters in his artwork. When he was searching for an artistic style free of Western influence—something “uniquely Japanese”—he found was he was looking for in Japan’s monsters. His Superflat* exhibitions summoned all of Japan’s monsters, from the distant Heian period prints to the garish extravaganza of modern pop culture, and smashed them together into an organic style that speaks both of Murakami and Japan.
In his first film Jellyfish Eyes, Murakami again summons monsters. They are monsters of his own creation but with a nod to two fellow Japanese artists in particular—Shigeru Mizuki and Toru Narita. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Murakami states that Jellyfish Eyes is “… inspired by ‘a manga called GeGeGe no Kitaro’ from the 1960s,” a comic that “accidentally formed the basis for the rest of [his] life.” In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he expands, saying “My life is heavily influenced by two television shows – Ultraman [1966-1967] and Ultra Seven [1967-68] – because of the artists behind them, especially the Ultraman series artistic designer Toru Narita.”
Murakami is in good company. These artists—Takashi Murakami, Kitaro-creator Shigeru Mizuki, and Ultraman-designer Toru Narita—are torch-bearers of Japan’s monster culture. Shigeru Mizuki rescued Japan’s folkloric yōkai monsters from the ashes of WWII, recasting them as down-to-earth working class heroes with very human motivations and adventures. Mizuki is a mix of the sacred and the profane, pursuing serious scholarly research into yōkai for his Yōkai Encyclopedias, all the while injecting his comic Kitaro with his own earthy sense of humor—fart jokes and all. Toru Narita dove into the future for his monsters, more inspired by the American Buck Rogers and alien attacks than mythical yōkai. He gave the children of Japan a sense of hope for the future and a much needed escape during a time of social upheaval and transformation.
These three artists are also not content delivering mere entertainment. Mizuki turned his beloved Kitaro characters into history teachers, brutally confronting Japan with its own past in his comic series Showa: A History of Japan. Narita also used his monsters to personify social problems, creating physical manifestations of complex issues for Ultraman to smash. In the same way, Murakami promises that Jellyfish Eyes will use the approachable, familiar, and friendly faces of these cute little monsters to educate the children of Japan about concepts as grim as the inevitability of death and the certainty of periodic failure.
And, I have no doubt, at the same time Murakami will inspire a new generation of Japanese monster-lovers to carry their strange beasts into the future.
See Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes this weekend at Henry Art Gallery – get tickets here.
*”Superflat” is a term coined by Murakami to describe the way various forms of graphic design, pop culture, and fine arts are compressed or flattened in Japan. Want to learn more? Join us at 6pm on May 2nd, before the 7pm screening of Jellyfish Eyes, for “Collections in Focus: Superflat” with UW Associate Professor James Thurtle for a FREE conversation and viewing of works from our collection. Thurtle will make connections between Murakami’s work, manga, anime, and the ‘flat’ images of 17th, 18th and 19-century Japanese printmakers.
Zack Davisson is a translator, writer, and scholar of Japanese folklore, ghosts, and manga. He is the author of Yurei: The Japanese Ghost and the translator of Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan. He also created the popular Japanese folklore website Hyakumionogatari Kaidankai.
Join us in the galleries on the first Thursday of every month for a midday concert series featuring performances from solo and chamber musicians from the University of Washington School of Music.
Critical Collaboration Session: Politics
Thursday night get down and gritty in Seattle politics while using Seattle’s Aurora Avenue as a point of departure. Discussion will publicly address issues of identity, place, and civic infrastructure through design.
Artist Lecture: Daniel Baumann
Join us Thursday night for the latest lecture in an annual series is organized to accompany the course Art 361/595 Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice, taught by guest lecturer Eric Fredericksen.
Due to the popularity of this series, we encourage you to RSVP. Doors open at 6:15pm and seating is first come first served for those with reserved tickets. All unclaimed seats will be released at 6:50pm. If you were unable to RSVP, please come by the Henry front desk, as a limited number of standby tickets will be made available 10 mins prior to the lecture.
To view videos of previous lectures in this series, click here.
Collection in Focus: The Problem with Objects — DATE CHANGED to 3/20
Join artist and Cornish Professor Ephraim Russell on Thursday night for a conversation about contemporary sculpture. Examining a selection of sculpture from the Henry’s permanent collection, Russell will explore how cultural expectations around utility and the function of objects define the way we value and respond to sculpture.
ArtVENTURES at the Henry: Dig In!
Bring the family this Sunday because it is time to dig into the sculptures of Katinka Bock and excavate themes of history and archeology in the exhibition Katinka Bock: A and I. We’ll explore the transformation of natural materials in an interactive way.