April 28, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 17
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ART EXHIBIT - 'DoubleTake' - EMP's exhibit of impressionists and contemporary masters draws lots of attention
ART EXHIBIT - 'DoubleTake' - EMP's exhibit of impressionists and contemporary masters draws lots of attention
by E. Joyce Glasgow - SGN A&E Writer

The most exciting thing about "DoubleTake", an exhibit of art from the collection of billionaire, Paul Allen, is the possibility of being able to see and study works of art by some of the icons of the art world. The atmosphere is casual and informal and feels more like the ambiance of a Pioneer Square gallery on First Thursday, than a more typical place that you may see this caliber of work, like a larger, more formal museum. The gallery space is quite small though and while you can get up close and personal with the art work, there isn't much room to admire work from more of a distance.

The intent of the curator, Paul Hayes Tucker, was to place disparate art pieces from different historical periods side by side and to engage the viewer to compare and contrast the work. Personally, this premise didn't work for me and I felt like I was supposed to be playing one man's subjective, left brain game placed in front of me. I really enjoyed the work on an individual level and loved studying Claude Monet's spontaneous and expressive blending of paints when creating "Water Lilies" (1919) or the luscious peace and silence captured so perfectly and simply by Gerhard Richter's oil painting "Candle" (1982). I'm not familiar with Richter's work, so this was a wonderful new surprise.

Of special interest is "The Five Senses: Sight", an oil by Jan Brueghel the Younger (ca.1625), which has not been seen in public for 150 years. The canvas is filled with images of life's important objects from that period and offers a curious insight for the viewer of another era long, long ago.

Willem de Kooning's "Untitled XII" (1975) is large, wildly energetic and wonderful and in contrast, two small paintings, Georges Seurat's gentle, meticulous Pointillist piece "The Models" (1888) and Pablo Picasso's sculptural, bold, full-figured women of "Four Bathers"(1921) each present in their own ways as powerful a statement as the larger work.

Kenji Yanobe's surreal "Atom Suit Project: Desert" (1998) is the type of photo image that seeps into your subconscious, and works by Paul Gauguin, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Roy Lichtenstein were impressive.

There are so many great artists involved in this exhibit. Out of respect, I could mention them all. I think I'll leave it to the readers to pick out their favorites. There is one thing that saddens me. There appears to be only one piece by a woman artist in the whole exhibit, Nan Goldin's "Stromboli At Dawn, Italy, 1996"(1996). You would think that by this point in time things would be different.

This exhibit of 28 pieces will be on display at the Experience Music Project, 325 5th Avenue N., at the Seattle Center, through September. Box Office (206) 770-2702.

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