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Wednesday 01.18.12

« Tina to Williams | Main | Sandra Percival leaves YU »

10th NW Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum Opens

It is an even numbered year and like clockwork 2012 is predictably a giant survey show year. The first of them, the 10th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum opens Saturday and explores the multinational region from Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington States as well as the British Columbia Territory of Canada. In fact, it is the first time the Canadians have been invited to play and let's hope it spurs on more trans-border exhibitions (it's true that it is easier for humans to cross the US/Canadian Border than it is for art). Of the 30 artists 13 are from Portland (including myself, look I did try to dissuade/dare them I have a history of disliking these shows). In March Hide/Seek will open in the next galleries over so there is an interesting programming confluence here... by not being in Portland, Seattle or Vancouver BC perhaps Tacoma can sidestep or at least juggle some very local politics? Designed by Antoine Predock TAM's is the best Museum building in Cascadia.

Sean M. Johnson's Family Portrait (2008)

According to TAM, "The 10th Northwest Biennial will examine the vital questions of who we are as residents of the Pacific Northwest, what we look like, and what are our aspirations for our communities. The Biennial will seek artworks that address the critical issues that underpin the larger issues of identity and community including the fluidity of regional identity in an age of global capitalism, increased urban migration, and the virtual diffusion of a discernible regional style. Because of the extraordinary complexities of these issues, The 10th Northwest Biennial will focus on the newly revitalized and resurgent forms of interdisciplinary art practices."

Yes I've seen the show in an unfinished state and I'm happy to report there are at least 5 large installation pieces of which at least 3 are new works and there is a lot more video than we've seen in recent TAM Biennials. Importantly, being focused on “ interdisciplinary art” a good deal of it is not traditionally craft or landscape oriented but with this many artists you know it is going to be a bit of a zoo of a show. It is also important that many participants are not represented by galleries (though their presence is felt). Most prominent Northwest galleries tend to be a bit conservative and relying on them for bleeding edge trend analysis is not the best idea.

Artists: Cynthia Camlin (Bellingham, WA), Pamela Caughey (Hamilton, MT), Dana Claxton [Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux] (Vancouver, BC), Harrell Fletcher (Portland, OR), Flicker Art Collabratory [Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic (Vancouver, BC), Wynne Greenwood (Seattle, WA), Wendy Given (Portland, OR), Gray & Paulsen [Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen] (Portland, OR), Laura Hughes (Portland, OR), Allison Hyde (Eugene, OR), Abraham Ingle (Portland, OR), Ariana Jacob (Portland, OR), Jeff Jahn (Portland, OR), Sean M. Johnson (Seattle, WA), Susie J. Lee (Seattle, WA), Benjamin Love (Boise, ID), Kirk Lybecker (Portland, OR), Jeremy Mangan (Fife, WA), Matt McCormick (Portland, OR), Kelly Neidig (Portland, OR), TJ Norris (Portland, OR), Paul Pauper (Seattle, WA), Juliette Ricci (Tacoma, WA), Paul Rucker (Seattle, WA), Reza Michael Safavi (Pullman, WA), Seattle Catalog LLC [Gretchen Bennett, Matthew Offenbacher, and Wynne Greenwood] (Seattle, WA), Henry Tsang (Vancouver, BC, Matika Wilbur [Swinomish/Tulalip] (Seattle, WA),Jin-me Yoon (Vancouver, BC), Joshua Zirschky (Portland, OR)

Opening Reception • January 21st • 6:30 - 9:00 PM
Tacoma Art Museum • 1701 Pacific Avenue • Tacoma, WA 98402
Free for Members • Non-member Guests $10

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 18, 2012 at 22:38 | Comments (0)


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