Online platform: August 19, 2020
Exhibition: July 29 – August 28, 2021
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Lux Aeterna installation view, 2021. Photograph by Jueqian Fang.

Lux Aeterna was a year-long research platform and exhibition that traced and troubled the currents of technical migration and image circulation, featuring 10 new commissions by Zack Davis, Dan Paz, Aurora San Miguel, Norie Sato, Lynne Siefert, Stephanie Simek, Rafael Soldi, James Allister Sprang, Charles Stobbs III, and Studio for Propositional Cinema, alongside works by Pierre Huyghe + Philippe Parreno, Ariel René Jackson + Michael J. Love, Afroditi Psarra + Audrey Briot, and Evan Roth.

Lux Aeterna considered how works are shaped by the devices that produce them and by the networks by which they are circulated and consumed, raising timely questions about origination and ownership. Dynamics like these have profound implications on the interplay between our aesthetic preferences and how we understand our own mutable sensory experiences.

A pair of works by Pacific Northwest media art pioneer Norie Sato highlighed the shifting nature of media production and consumption over time. The first is her 1974 videotape “Horizon,” not seen since its debut. The videotape showed on two television sets — one from the 1950s, another from the 1990s — in effect having a conversation with itself. Sato’s sculptural installation “Dis/Connect 2021” recreated and updated a 1993 piece about the passage of time and the elusiveness of image.

Other works in the exhibition speculated about the future of technology in the midst of ecological crises and economic instability. Studio for Propositional Cinema’s “Ancient Knowledge Survivalist Manifesto,” questions what media humans might use to preserve their knowledge once humanity become obsolete, and Lynne Siefert created a 16 mm Morse code / SOS flicker film about the sea waters encroaching upon the Marshall Islands due to climate change.

Lux Aeterna installation view with Afroditi Psarra & Audrey Briot, Evan Roth, and Norie Sato. Image by Jueqian Fang.
Lux Aeterna installation view with Dan Paz, Norie Sato, and Afroditi Psarra & Audrey Briot. Image by Jueqian Fang.
Lux Aeterna installation view with work by Zack Davis, Rafael Soldi, and Lynne Siefert. Image by Jueqian Fang.
Lux Aeterna installation view with work by Rafael Soldi, Lynne Siefert, and Pierre Huyghe. Image by Jueqian Fang.
James Allister Sprang’s Aquifer of the Hum & Aquifer of the Ducts at On the Boards on May 15 & 16, 2021. Image by Jueqian Fang.
Lux Aeterna opening reception. Photograph by Caean Couto.
Lux Aeterna opening reception. Photograph by Caean Couto.

Related programming:
James Allister Sprang: Aquifer of the Hum & Aquifer of the Ducts on May 15 & 16 at On the Boards Merrill Theater

Lux Aeterna opening reception with 16mm films from Canyon Cinema on July 29, 2021.

Angel of History
January 28 – February 28, 2020
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Marisa Williamson, Angel of History (installation view), 2020. Image: Jueqian Fang.

Angel of History presented newly commissioned work by the 2020 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident, Marisa Williamson. In Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of the Paul Klee painting, Angelus Novus (New Angel) in his Theses on the Philosophy of History, he explains Klee’s angel as moving away from something he is fixedly contemplating. Since 2013, Williamson has been fixedly contemplating the life, work, choices, and legacy of Sally Hemings, enslaved mother of four of Thomas Jefferson’s children. This exhibition moves out from that extended contemplation, engaging with questions of monument and memory.

A monument, like a scale, is a tool for weighing and comparing the past to the present. A monument, like a screen or distant figure in profile, is projected onto and animated by the fantasies of others. A monument, once by definition immobile, site-specific, unchangeable, and inert, can now perhaps be a meme, a metaphor, a performance, a reenactment, a temporary intervention ⁠— mobile, roving, resistant to dominant histories and hegemonic modes of storytelling. This exhibition endeavors to show the past, not necessarily “the way it really was” but, as Walter Benjamin describes, “…as it flashes up in a moment of danger.” Angel of History looks backward. It awakens the dead in Seattle using a modular and collaborative strategy. Measuring progress, sometimes playfully, the work aims to provide insight not only into how history is understood but how it is felt.

Marisa Willamson is a project-based artist who works in video, image-making, installation, and performance around themes of history, race, feminism, and technology. She has produced site-specific works at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (2013), Storm King Art Center (2016), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2016), the University of Virginia (2018), SPACES Cleveland (2019), and by commission from Monument Lab, Philadelphia (2017) and the National Park Service (2019).

Williamson has been awarded grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. She has been a resident artist at Triangle Arts Association, the Shandaken Project, and ACRE. She was a participant in the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2012 and the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2014–2015. Williamson holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from CalArts. She is an Assistant Professor of 4-D Foundations at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.

The Runaway
January 28 – February 28, 2020

As part of the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency, Marisa Williamson held a concurrent exhibition at SOIL Artist-run gallery, titled The Runaway as part of a multi-year collaboration between the Jacob Lawrence Gallery and SOIL. “Critical fabulation,” Saidiya Hartman explains, “was central to being able to resurrect forgotten histories; lost lives, the millions of stories that were lost in the middle passage.” The Runaway, is a staging ground for this resurrection. It is a space of escape, consisting of a tent, campfire, and the fugitive’s spare belongings. It is a site for retelling stories of anarchist freedom-loving women of today, yesterday, and the future. Here, their stories, previously lost in time, can be retold in passing transit through the stars.

Marisa Williamson, The Runaway (installation view), 2020.

The Practice and Science of Drawing Against a Sharp White Background
January 23 – February 28, 2019
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

In The Practice and Science of Drawing a Sharp White Background, Chicago-based artist Danny Giles presented new work created during the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency. Giles’ work brings together live performance, video, and sculpture to address the dilemmas of representing and performing identity and to interrogate histories of oppression and creative resistance. In this exhibition, Giles examines how Western aesthetics have structured whiteness, by responding to various moments in the interwoven histories of Western science and visual art practice. Giles appropriates and intervenes within the imagery of William Hogarth’s aesthetic treatise Analysis of Beauty, the art historian Johann Winkleman, and others in new drawings and collages.

As part of the Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency, Giles held a second exhibition Figura at SOIL, Seattle’s oldest not-for-profit arts space. 

Danny Giles is a Chicago-based artist who makes work that often brings together live performance, video, and sculpture to address the dilemmas of representing and performing identity and interrogate histories of oppression and creative resistance. Giles received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011, his MFA from Northwestern University in 2013, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. Giles’ work has been exhibited, performed and screened at the Luminary, St. Louis, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, El Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Giles is currently a 2019 BOLT Artist-in-Residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition. Giles is part-time faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Academic Director of the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency in Saugatuck, MI.

Related programming: 
The Black Embodiments Studio Talk by Danny Giles on Tuesday, January 22, 5:30 pm

February 7 – March 2, 2019

Danny Giles, Figura (installation view), 2019. Image: Jueqian Fang.

For his solo exhibition at SOIL, Chicago-based artist, Danny Giles, presented a set of abstract portraits that explore the representation of the Black figure as a construct built through collective projections and which finds form through the picturing of public figures in both mass media and visual subcultures. In this suite of new works, Giles reappropriated the likeness of Barack Obama from cartoonish representations of costume masks and images of impersonators to further transform and expand his image. The image of Obama’s face becomes less about the 44th president than the notion of representation itself.

Giles’ work made reference to moments of 20th-century abstraction including Dada, Cubism, and Surrealism in which European artists appropriated non-Western visual traditions in an effort to expand the boundaries of pictorial representation and to level critique on Western society. Sculptural works in this show referenced “life” and “death masks”, traditionally made by taking plaster casts from the faces of important public figures and criminals alike to both commemorate greatness and study the supposed biology of dispossessed and transgressive individuals.

Giles explored notions of mimicry and abstraction and questioned monolithic presentations of identity at the intersection of celebrity and race. In these masks and performances, we find both aspirational mimesis and derogatory mockery, both of which equally comprise our collective experience of Black identity. These images ask the viewer to contend with contradictory visions of Blackness and to navigate the multiple streams of memory and perception that constitute our readings of race and identity in America.

Apple of My Eye
November 29 – December 29, 2018
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

An exhibition of new collages and charcoal drawings by UK-based artist Clotilde Jiménez that used fruit, a traditional symbol alluding to sexuality in Western art history, to explore the constraints of sexual identity in Western culture. Employing everyday and texturally rich materials such as wallpaper, images cut from magazines, and plastic bags, the collages brought pointed humor and formal rigor to the representation of the Black, queer, masculine body.

As an artist, Jiménez was inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s use of form and color to tell stories: “Jacob Lawrence was one of the few artists who showed me that it was not only possible to depict my life as a Black person in my own way but that it was also important and needed. Jacob Lawrence’s forms and color palette gave me the courage to look to my own Black American Puerto Rican roots to channel some of that essence into my work while also candidly telling my own story in the time that I live.”

Clotilde Jiménez (b. Honolulu, Hawaii, 1990) is a visual artist based in London. He received his MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2018. In 2015, Jiménez was awarded the Nesnadny + Schwartz Visiting Curator Program by MOCA Cleveland and was the recipient of a studio visit by Naomi Beckwith, Curator at MCA Chicago. Also in 2015, Jiménez was the Artist-in-Residence at Fljóstunga, Reykholt, Iceland, and the Slade’s London Intensive. His work has featured in VICE’s The Creators Project and New American Paintings issue #125, which selected him as a noteworthy artist. Jiménez’s work is featured in noted public collections, including Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Print Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio; and The Fljótstunga Art Collection, Reykholt, Iceland.

Emily Zimmerman interview with Clotilde Jiménez in MONDAY, Vol 3.

Related Programming:
Conversation between Clotilde Jiménez and Emily Zimmerman on December 1, 2018 at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

University of Washington MFA Summer Works Exhibition
September 27 – October 13, 2018
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

10 Études for Summer (installation view), 2018. Image: Jueqian Fang.

10 ÉTUDES FOR SUMMER was an exhibition of work created over the summer months by ten MFA students: Granite Calimpong, Lucy Copper, Abigail Drapkin, Jackie Granger, Baorong Liang, Sean Lockwood, Brighton McCormick, Charles Stobbs, emily charlotte taibleson, and Connor Walden.

Études was a series of exhibitions named after the short form musical pieces, often for piano, focusing on the technical aspects of a particular technique. Études serves as a flexible platform for the exploration of methodology in contemporary art practices. The series pays homage to Ligeti’s 18 études for piano, which were broken into three books, with the titles for each étude bringing poetic terms alongside technical ones.

Related programming:
September 26, 7:30pm: The Apotheosis of Matt, a performance by Connor Walden.
September 26, September 28, October 5, October 12, 11am–2pm: Maître D’ Broadcast with Charles Stobbs.

Standardized Patient
July 27 – August 25, 2018
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

An exhibition focused on Kerry Tribe’s installation Standardized Patient, commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MoMA). Standardized Patient offers insight into the work of Standardized Patients or “SPs,” professional actors trained to portray medical patients in simulated clinical encounters. When working with medical students, SPs remain in character and manifest specific symptoms while simultaneously evaluating their doctors-in-training for constructive feedback and grading. Developed in close collaboration with professional clinicians, communication experts, and SPs working at Stanford Medical School and the University of Southern California, Standardized Patient continues Tribe’s ongoing inquiry into the life sciences and medicine while raising questions around performance, communication, and empathy.

As with earlier works like H.M., 2009, and Aphasia Poetry Club, 2015, the internal structures of its narrative development and the physical conditions of the Standardized Patient installation mirror the social and cognitive conditions of its subjects. The installation’s central projection screen presents a progression of medical students meeting with their SPs on one side, while, on the other, there is a synchronized montage of supporting materials offering glimpses of the scripts, snapshots, and diagnostic flow charts that inform each party’s perspective. Standardized Patient will be shown alongside a series of twelve letterpress prints produced for Standardized Patient as well as process pieces related to Exquisite Corpse, Tribe’s 51-minute film on the L.A. River, which will be screened during the exhibition’s run.

Kerry Tribe was born in 1973 in Boston, MA, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 356 Mission, Los Angeles; the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; the Power Plant, Toronto; Modern Art, Oxford; and Camden Arts Centre, London. It has been included in significant group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. The recipient of a Herb Alpert Award, a Creative Capital Grant, and a USA Artists Award, Tribe’s work is in the public collections of MoMA, the Whitney, the Hammer, and the Generali Foundation, among others.

Related programming:
Screening of Kerry Tribe’s Exquisite Corpse in Occidental Square in conjunction with the Seattle Art Fair on August 4, 2018, at 8:30 pm.

November 8 – December 9, 2017
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Can painting and sculpture be time-based arts? The pieces in Material Performance transformed over the course of the exhibition, harnessing the forces that continually shape and reshape matter. This two-part exhibition brought together artistic practices that investigate the behavior of materials and the lexicon of their movement, extending the legacies of kinetic art and process-based artworks. 

Material Performance is organized by Emily Zimmerman, Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. Please use the hashtags #MaterialPerformance and #BeTheJake when tagging the exhibition in social media.

Each of the artists’ pieces changes over the duration of the exhibition — by growing, mutating, and decaying — often addressing the materiality of the Gallery. Material Performance deals in the kinds of material experimentation that artists continuously undertake in their practice. The exhibition included the work of: Nola Avienne, Rebecca Farr, Leon Finley, Perry Hall, Jason Hirata, Francesca Lohmann, Amie McNeel, Robert Rhee, Jenny Sabin, Jono Vaughan, and Mark Zirpel. 

Related programming:
Friday, December 1, 7:30–9pm: Jono Vaughan Dyeing to Draw Performance
Saturday, December 9, 1:30–3 pm: Margie Livingston Artel Performance

University of Washington MFA Summer Works Exhibition
September 28 – November 4, 2017
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Can painting and sculpture be time-based arts? The pieces in Material Performance transformed as they are were exhibited, taking up the forces that continually shape and reshape matter. This two-part exhibition brings together artistic practices that investigate the behavior of materials and the lexicon of their movement, extending the legacies of kinetic art and process-based artworks. The first part included the most recent work of artists beginning their second year in the MFA program at the School of Art + Art History + Design. 

Related programming:
Thursday, October 5, 6 pm: Perceptive Processing
Thursday, October 19, 6 pm: AI and the Collective Lexicon
Monday, October 30, 2:40–3:30 pm: Invitation Only

July 7 – August 18, 2017
Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Untold Passage presented the work of artists recovering the unwritten histories of immigrant communities alongside the work of contemporary poets representing the unquantifiable aspects of those experiences. It took up the politics of narrative that structure the representations of our world in words, the interface between visual arts and poetry, and the increased interest in historiography and recuperation of lost narratives.

The exhibition’s title holds a doubled meaning: untold, referring to that which is incalculable and unarticulated, and passage, pointing not only to the movement of bodies but also a fragment of text. Untold Passage featured artists Zhi Lin, Mary Ann Peters, Rodrigo Valenzuela, and collaborative duo x y x as well as poets Stacey Tran + Becky Win (Gramma Poetry Press), Ocean Vuong, and Javier Zamora (Copper Canyon Press). The exhibition’s accompanying catalog was made possible with the support of Gramma Poetry Press.

Related programming:
Friday, July 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm: Poetry reading by Stacey Tran & Becky Win
Saturday, August 5, 12–1:30 pm at King Street Station: Monument a Surface: a studio visit with Dan Paz

March 26 – May 08, 2016
Henry Art Gallery

Six Weeks, in Time  was an exhibition of time-based work—from live performance to performative sculpture—that explored the qualities of being within and structuring the flow of time. Rather than frame time as a definitive quantitative system regulated by standardized clocks, the works approached time as a fluid material. Driven by questions such as the nature of efficiency, the horror of an endless present, and the relationship between human and cosmic activity, the works probed the various internal and external forces that shape our perception and experience of time. The meaning of productivity, the value of delay, repetition, and accumulation, as well as the social dimension of time recurred as connective threads throughout the exhibition that included works by Amy Stacey Curtis, David Horvitz, Tia Kramer & Tamin Totzke, Lisa Radon, Mårten Spångberg, and Lou Watson. The exhibition was completed by a robust series of performances and events.

Related programming:
April 3, 2016, noon – 3:00 pm: Variations on Time
April 9, 2016: Alice Gosti: a tiny act of kindness performance
April 10, April 30, May 8: Mårten Spångberg: The Planet (late at night) performance
May 7, 2016, noon — 3:30 pm: Corrie Befort: Soft Body performance

Image credit: Jonathan Vanderweit 

January 23 – July 17, 2016
Henry Art Gallery

In Gift City, architect and theorist, Keller Easterling assembled a heaping pile of gifts to make visible the flood of assets and advantages that cities, like Seattle and Detroit, already bring to the table for their investors and citizens. The project sought to demonstrate the value of urban arrangements and relationships by which cities around the world might reappraise their worth and make a better bargain for their future. 

Related programming:
November 4th, 2015: Keller Easterling Extrastatecraft talk presented in partnership with the UW College of Built Environments

January 29, noon: Re-Imagining Urban Scholarship: Differencing the Data
February 27, 1 pm: City Wealth: Hot Money and Seattle in the 21st Century
March 19, 1 pm: A City’s Disposition with Minh Nguyen
April 14, 7 pm: Buster Simpson Artist Talk
April 16, 1 pm: Surface City: A participatory workshop by Tivon Rice
June 16, 7 pm: A Space of One’s Own: A Conversation on Affordable Housing and Work Space for Artists

Image credit: Hami Bahadori

March 22 – April 28, 2012
BRIC Rotunda Gallery

January 25 – March 29, 2013
Art Center of the Capital Region

An exhibition devoted to the translation of images to words, So to Speak brought together the work of four artists that weigh the difference between the two forms of expression, reflecting on the faults, slippages, and tensions that arise when representing images with words. Curated in conjunction with the Loris Ledis Emerging Curator Fellowship. Artists include: Fiona Banner, Hollis Frampton, Melinda McDaniel, Klub Zwei. 

An expanded version of So to Speak traveled to the Arts Center of the Capital Region (Troy, NY) with the work of six artists – Leona Christie, Hollis Frampton, Paula Gaetano, Melinda McDaniel, Fernando Orellana, and Klub Zwei. The exhibition included a lecture by Johannes Goebel, Speaking So to Speak.

So to Speak Exhibition Brochure

November 18, 2010 – January 29, 2011
Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center

A group exhibition confronting anxiety in contemporary art, Uncertain Spectatorasked individuals to cross a threshold — to place themselves in situations riddled with tension, confront deeply charged emotional content, and grapple with feelings of apprehension. The exhibition included new commissions by Anthony Discenza and Marie Sester, and works by Graciela Carnevale, Claire Fontaine, Kate Gilmore, Susanna Hertrich, Jesper Just, SUPERFLEX, and Jordan Wolfson.