Spring Arts: Visual Art

Our picks for this season's can't miss visual art events
Degenerate Art Ensemble Cuckoo Crow
A sample of the Degenerate Art Ensemble's otherworldly costuming (here, from Cuckoo Crow)

Breadth: A Cross-examination of Seattle Portraits
THE DRAW: Some of Seattle’s hottest painters, sculptors and photographers will be in the same room—on the same walls!—in this amazing group show, including work by Dan Webb, Gretchen Bennett, Joseph Park, Joey Veltkamp, Klara Glosova, Mandy Greer and many others. They’ll all give their take on local places and people, with the intriguing constraint that no piece can exceed 20 inches in width. 

THE DRAWBACK: Great big art is going to seem so over after seeing this.

THE DETAILS: 3/18–4/16. Times vary. Free. Gage Academy Steele Gallery, 1501 10th Ave. E; 206.323.4243; gageacademy.org

Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth
THE DRAW: Fabric sculptor/performance artist/dancer Nick Cave’s art is both otherworldly and grounded in the stuff of reality—wildly colorful head-to-toe “suits” sewn from old sweaters, plastic bags, buttons, human hair and crocheted doilies. His “soundsuits” contain percussive elements (bells, metal scraps) that transform the garments into musical instruments when worn.

THE DRAWBACK: Begging, bargaining and bribing will not work—you still may not try on a soundsuit.

THE DETAILS: 3/10–6/5. Times and prices vary. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave.; 206.654.3100; seattleartmuseum.org

Degenerate Art Ensemble: The Exhibition
THE DRAW: Seattle performance art collective the Degenerate Art Ensemble never fails to deliver an outrageous mix of music, dance, theater, costumes and sets. The Frye has captured some of its most astonishing accoutrements in this show (similar to last year’s exhibit of props and costumes from another local performance art group, Implied Violence). DAE’s new site-specific performance, The Red Shoes Project, will take place at and near the Frye on several evenings. 

THE DRAWBACK: You might quit your lucrative day job and become a performance artist.

THE DETAILS: 3/19–6/19. (Performances: 5/12, 5/19, 5/26 & 6/2.) Times vary. Free. Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave.; 206.622.9250; fryemuseum.org

The Talent Show
THE DRAW: Selected pieces by 18 artists—including Andy Warhol and Chris Burden—whose work takes on such tricky dichotomies as artist/audience, observer/participant and notoriety/privacy, with particular attention to how and when those lines become blurred. If you’ve ever seen a reality TV show, used Facebook or Twitter, or wondered about those surveillance cameras in the parks, this show is for you.

THE DRAWBACK: You might start believing you’re the star of an endless art experiment.

THE DETAILS: 5/7–8/21. Times and prices vary. Henry Art Gallery, 15th Avenue NE and 41st Street; 206.543.2280; henryart.org

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