At G. Gibson Gallery, local photographer Michael Kenna shows new works from Italy and Egypt. The British-born transplant has traveled widely—from Hong Kong to the Pyramids of Giza—and captures landscapes in exquisite black-and-white photos. His images are incandescent—and not just because he’s working with gelatin silver prints. He’s after the quality of light that often requires nighttime exposures of up to 10 hours. Of particular note are Kenna’s moody twilight scenes from Venice, with gondolas that arch out over the water like crooked necks. Reception from 6–8pm. Kenna will be at G. Gibson on Saturday, April 3, for a talk and signing of his new book Venezia (2010) and Michael Kenna Retrospective (2009).
Starting today, a long-awaited exhibit opens at Seattle Asian Art Museum: Fleeting Beauty: Japanese Woodblock Prints, featuring more than 60 ukiyo-e prints by artists from the 18th and 19th centuries, including Harunobu, Utamaro, and Hokusai. There’s Hokusai’s famous Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of a handful of pieces from the Thirty-Six Views of Mt Fuji series; here, the mountain appears as a small triangle in the background, a seeming afterthought dwarfed by the wave. Prints of silent and snowy landscapes, “castle-toppler” beauties—women whose beauty was so great it could bring down empires—and kabuki actors with dramatic grimaces were so common at the height of the Edo (Tokyo) period, they were used as wrapping paper and kites. Now they make up a truly impressive collection. Free public tour at noon.
As part of Western Bridge gallery’s New Year series of weeklong solo exhibitions, Corin Hewitt —who recently showed at SAM—dissects the materials of three walls surrounding his workspace in three separate videos. More literally, he rips out sections of the wall and rebuilds them with new materials in an effort to take the tidy, tucked-in appearance of the art gallery experience and gut it. This meta-studio commentary should be interesting enough, but if only these walls could talk . . .