Chinese Paper Cuts at Suzzallo

I was strolling through Suzzallo Library today when I noticed that there is a new exhibition going up in Room 102 (it’s on the left after you walk through the main entrance). It is an exhibition of Chinese paper cut art called Cutting Ribbons for the Olympics. The theme of the show is Chinese folk sports, in celebration of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The East Asia Library has collaborated with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco to bring this traveling exhibition to the University of Washington. The official opening ceremony is this Thursday, June 5 at 3pm (open to the public), and the show runs until August 3. I am amazed by the beauty and detail of paper cuts. Check it out.

Courtship, by Han Jing (from

DXARTS Video Screening Tonight

UP: DXARTS Undergraduate Student Video
Wednesday, May 21, 5 PM
Henry Auditorium

DXARTS presents a special screening of video shorts created by students in the course “Experiments in Digital Video: The Architecture of Time.” These works are final projects from this intensive, year-long sequence that explores the ideas and methods from the beginnings of the moving image up to contemporary digital cinema and video art. These emerging filmmakers have honed their skills in all areas of the production process including cinematography, sound, and lighting to non-linear editing, compositing, and effects presented in a diverse array of short features.

Animation on the streets

More video! This one has been posted around the interwebs this week, and I thought it should be seen on Hankblog. It’s a wall-painted animation called Muto, and it’s by Blu, a street artist from Bologna, Italy. This is a pretty amazing clip, not to be missed. Blu is one of several artists that will create giant murals on the outside wall facing the River Thames at the Tate Modern in London this summer.

From the Tate Modern press release:
“Blu works primarily with drawing, albeit on a large scale. His images often portray a mildly macabre fascination with death and the inner workings of the human body. His work begins as a sketch before being transferred directly on to walls using many traditional painting techniques. Blu’s inspiration, like many Street Artists, stems from the desire to transform ordinary decaying places into beautiful and interesting environments.”

The old Bankside Power Station is going to be a sight!

BBC News article here.
Blu’s blog here.


I recently discovered that Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) are now showing their work at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. The show goes until June 15. SANAA designed the new New Museum building, which appears as a stack of boxes, each one shifted off-center from the level above or below it. It made me happy to see that there are a bunch of Rabbit chairs in the cafe! SANAA had their first U.S. exhibition at the Henry from November 2007 to March 2008.

Dean Kaufman

The New Museum of Contemporary Art, photo by Dean Kaufman.

Seeing the Big Bang

Here’s another informative lecture hosted by the Henry! If you are a fan of Josiah McElheny’s The Last Scattering Surface, you won’t want to miss this one.

Seeing the Big Bang: Lecture by Thomas Quinn
Thursday, May 15, 7 PM

Josiah McElheny brings together the diverse fields of conceptual art, studio art and cosmology through his installation The Last Scattering Surface. In this presentation, Thomas Quinn (UW Research Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics) will discuss the way The Big Bang is visualized in the field of astronomy through images and animations selected in relation to McElheny’s work.

Josiah McElheny. The Last Scattering Surface. 2006. Handblown glass, chrome plated aluminum, rigging, and electric lighting. Courtesy of the artist and Donald Young Gallery, Chicago.

MFA Solo Shows at the CMA

Since the Master of Fine Arts annual exhibition opens in one week, we thought you would be interested to know that some of the artists will also have solo shows at the Ceramic and Metal Arts (CMA) Gallery at the UW (4205 Mary Gates Memorial Drive – Google Map). Each artist will have an opening reception at 6pm on the first day of their show. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11am–6pm.

May 13-17 Rachel de Conde
May 20-24 Kinu Watanabe
May 27-31 Alicia Basinger
June 3-7 Evan Blackwell (The image below is detail from one of his Straw Masses).

Straw Masses, Evan Blackwell

The Gates: Screening at the Henry this Saturday

Wolfgang Volz

The Gates
Saturday, May 10, 2 PM

In 2005, Christo and Jeanne-Claude completed The Gates, one of the largest art installations created in history. Beginning with footage from the artists’ first announcement of the project in 1979, this new HBO documentary by renowned filmmakers Albert Maysles and Antonio Ferrera chronicles the 25 years Christo and Jeanne-Claude dedicated to their ambitious work of art and its impact while on view in New York’s Central Park from February 12 through 27, 2005.

Nine Spaces, Nine Trees

As a University of Washington student, I pass by the Henry Art Gallery and continue through the western entrance of the campus fairly often. I’m a somewhat recent transplant to Seattle, so when the installation of Robert Irwin’s Nine Spaces, Nine Trees began (on the lawn immediately to the east of the Henry), I didn’t know what to expect, nor did I know the history of the piece. The install progressed slowly over many months, and I would always walk by, wondering what the space would transform into.

When it was finally completed, I honestly didn’t know what to think. The purple chain-link fencing just seemed so out of place. But thanks to some great art news and reviews from around town, now I know why. Brand new on Artdish is Gary Faigin’s review. Jen Graves wrote about her visit to the site last month on the Slog. Their perspectives have helped me to understand Nine Spaces, Nine Trees a little better.

It is true that people still don’t come into this public space very much. Even though it provides a meeting place, large tables and benches, and even a decent place to people-watch (with some amount of privacy), it is underused. It just doesn’t seem all that inviting from the outside. Maybe this will change as the weather warms up, but I wonder. Maybe it would help if people knew of its history at the old Public Safety Building in town.

It will be interesting to see how people adapt to this space over time.

Nine Spaces, Nine Trees by Robert Irwin (Photo by Kurt Kiefer)

Save the Date: The Violet Hour Opening Celebration

Comfortably Numb (still). 2006 Single channel video.

The Violet Hour
Opening Celebration: Friday, June 20, 8pm
Member and Patron Preview: 6pm

Food, Drinks & Summer Revelry
in the Henry’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Sculpture Court

Live music by Zeke Keeble!

FREE Members
$8 Students & Seniors
$10 General Admission

The Violet Hour is curated by Henry Associate Curator Sara Krajewski. Major support is provided by Arts Fund, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and PONCHO. In-kind support is generously provided by OutBack Power Systems and Silicon Energy.