Bellevue Art Museum—Twenty self-taught "outsider" artists contemplate the millennium in "Visionary Voices." One hundred works portray the odd mix of apocalypse and calm that characterizes the times. Organized by the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, this one is bound to make some humorous, if far-out comments (through 11/1). 301 Bellevue Square, 425-454-3322. 301 Bellevue Square, 425-454-3322.
Frye Art Museum—The Frye gets a blast of pop culture: "Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip" shows more than 130 original drawings and traces the development of comics since 1895. Included in the show will be work from the Katzenjammer Kids, Dick Tracy, Blondie, Doonesbury, and Mutt (9/18-11/8). 704 Terry, 622-9250.
Henry Art Gallery—Through 10/4, visitors can see what Weekly critic Kristian Kofoed calls "one of the richest, most sensual shows of the year." "Views from the Bay Area: The Shift Toward Figuration" highlights work from major Bay Area figurative artists (1955-1968) who broke away from abstract expressionism: Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Paul Wonner, Nathan Oliveira, Joan Brown, and Manuel Neri. Continuing the exploration of figurative art is "Surrogate: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture and Photography" (10/8-2/7), with work by Ann Chu, Roni Horn, Mariko Mori, Thomas Schutte, Thomas Ruff, Kiki Smith, John Coplans, Annette Messager, and Tony Oursler. Opening in November, "Deep Storage, The Arsenal of Memory" explores the issues of archive and storage as related to late-20th-century culture: What do artists choose to keep (and why?), how do they organize it, and how do they give the public access to it? Organized in Munich by the Haus der Kunst and Siemens Kulturprogramm, the show features works by 40 German and American artists including Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jennifer Bolande, and Lynn Hershman (11/5-1/24). University of Washington campus, 543-2280.
Portland Art Museum—A show of everyone's favorite impressionist, Monet, features 22 paintings of the Giverny gardens on loan from the Musée Marmottan in Paris. Accompanying the exhibit will be related examples of 19th-century art from the Portland Art Museum's permanent collection (9/18-1/3/99). The new year opens with another crowd pleaser, M.C. Escher (1/15/99-3/28/99). 1219 SW Park, Portland, 503-226-2811.
Seattle Art Museum—Critics writing on Cindy Sherman always seem more interesting than the works themselves—until you see her photos live. Curated by Trevor Fairbrother, "Allegories" includes 14 images from Sherman's celebrated Untitled Film Stills and 20 examples of her edgier works. These bright chromogenic prints tackle our culture's beauty myths head-on. Seeing the works in full scale, you can't help marveling at Sherman's technique, humor, and innovation (through 1/24). Also showing through next year is an homage to the late George Tsutakawa; 40 paintings, drawings, woodcuts, and sculptures demonstrate his deep reverence for nature. Advice: See these two shows before the Big One overwhelms the museum in October: "Egypt, Gift of the Nile." Organized by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in conjunction with the Dallas Museum of Art, "Egypt" presents some 140 works, including royal portraits, mummy masks, jewelry, hieroglyphs, and a colossal, 12.5-ton wall from a funerary chapel. Four gallery rooms will be transformed into ancient settings: a noble's home, a pharaoh's palace, a temple, and a tomb (10/15-1/10). 100 University, 654-3100.
Tacoma Art Museum—An exhibit on Picasso features 60 rarely shown ceramic pieces on loan from the artist's granddaughter, Marina Picasso. Accompanying the exhibit is a set of Picasso drawings and prints (9/27-1/10/99). 12th and Pacific, Tacoma, 253-272-4258.
Galleries & Alternative Spaces
Center on Contemporary Art—Taking place later this month is the annual fund-raising extravaganza "They Shoot Painters, Don't They?" This year the soirée features Geoff Garza, David Tupper, David Kane, Susan Dory, and many others (9/25-26). In October: "At the Threshold of the Visible: Minuscule and Small-Scale Art" shows contemporary works that are smaller than 3 by 3 inches, from Yoko Ono, Joel Shapiro, Piero Manzoni, and some 20 others. Accompanying the exhibit will be microminiature sculptures by Hagop Sandaljian, whose works are literally smaller than a needle's eye. Viewers must use a microscope to examine them. What you'll see: tiny sculpted likenesses of icons and figures like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Mickey Mouse, Napoleon, and Pope John (10/17-11/15). 65 Cedar, 728-1980.
Howard House—After a show of paintings by Mark Takamichi Miller, Howard House spotlights sculptor Wendy Hanson (10/3-11/2). In an exhibit at the Kirkland Arts Center last year, Hanson showed mixed-media sculptures and installations made of unusual found objects: dried rose petals, old clothing, and fake fingernails meticulously sewn together. Pretty from one perspective, discomfiting from the other, Hanson's work offers sharp commentary on femininity and romance. 316 Federal E, 726-8754.
Greg Kucera—Closed for September, Greg Kucera re-opens in October at a new location on Third Avenue. The larger show space boasts a mezzanine, a main floor, and an outdoor exhibition garden. The inaugural exhibit will show wood-and-glass sculptures by John Buck. 212 Third S, 624-0770.
Meyerson & Nowinski—Through 10/11, the gallery features emotionally resonant collages and box constructions by Hannelore Baron (1926-1987), whose works are owned by the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Accompanying the show are paintings by Seattle artist Ken Kelly, whose works are filled with bold, tattoo-like lines and evocative Rorschach-like blots. In mid-October, renowned artist and Pilchuck board member Ginny Ruffner shows new installations and glass sculpture that juxtapose high art with kitschy everyday images (10/14-11/8). 123 S Jackson, 223-1700.
Ming's Asian Gallery—Sometimes bawdiness can be beautiful. "Pleasure and Passion" is a large collection of fine paintings, prints, and woodblock prints from ancient Japan, India, Persia, China, and Korea that demonstrate that sex, sex, sex can be good for the soul. One caveat: This show is not for the prudish or those underage. Due to explicit material, the gallery will not admit anyone under the age of 18. Through 9/27. Following is a show of Chinese snuff bottles from the 17th through the 19th centuries (10/1-11/8). 10217 Main, Bellevue, 425-462-4008.
Jeffrey Moose Gallery—"Making Tracks" exhibits Australian Aboriginal artwork by Una Ratara and Linda Syddick. Also included are dot paintings by Clifford Possum, one of the major founders of the Aboriginal art movement in the '70s (through 11/1). Then it's a solo show by Inupiat Eskimo artist Larry Ahvakana, who creates masks and sculptures out of marble, bone, wood, metal, and glass (10/16-11/30). 1333 Fifth (Rainier Square), second floor, 467-6951.
On the Boards—With a move to new digs (ACT's former theater), the fall season is truly a new beginning for 20-year-old OTB. Slated for the year are collaborative works blending dance with visual arts, music, theater, and poetry. In November, renowned installation artists Gary Hill and Ann Hamilton work with Belgium-based choreographer Meg Stuart to merge the visual and performing arts. Hamilton/Stuart's collaboration Appetite is performed 11/12-15; Hill/Stuart's piece Splayed Mind Out follows on 11/19-21. 100 W Roy, 217-9888.
Francine Seders—After a show on local painter, poet, and arts activist Alan Lau (9/11-10/4), the gallery shows "Diverse Landscapes" by Juliana Heyne, who captures the faces and spirit of contemporary Berlin, Prague, and Budapest. Later, an exhibit of works by Northwest veteran Barbara Earl Thomas, whose new texture-rich paintings in egg tempera meditate on civilization at the brink of the new millennium (11/6-29). 6701 Greenwood Ave N, 782-0355.