An important part of the local arts landscape are several smaller galleries that specialize in showing work that is edgy, experimental, and challenging. Dealers who show such work must be prepared to cultivate and educate a clientele — making a commercial go of selling such art is never easy. In Seattle, one of the most respected and lively of these spaces is the James Harris Gallery in Pioneer Square, just across the street from the much larger and more venerable showcase of the avant-garde, Greg Kucera. This month’s exhibition at the Harris Gallery, highlighting the work of Seattle artist Patrick Holderfield is, true to form, very one-of-a-kind. Here with our review is KUOW art critic, Gary Faigin.
The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and the collapse of the World Trade Center towers are just two recent traumas that have called into question both our collective sense of security, and our trust in technology. Two hundred years ago, the sinking of the French sailing ship Medusa and the lingering, lurid death of most of its crew on a tiny raft, created a similar sense of unease in Europe. The disaster was immortalized in one of the epic paintings of art history, Gericault’s colossal, "Raft of the Medusa," now at the Louvre.