Henry Art Gallery, Respite

HENRY ART GALLERY

So much is going on at the Henry right now, it's kind of sick. First of all, there's James Turrell's "Knowing Light," otherworldly chambers of light that throw wide the doors of perception, and Turrell's Skyspace, the new permanent pavilion that magically re-frames the sky as a field of flat color (catch it near dusk if you have the chance). Then there's the traveling show "Crosscurrents: Contemporary Art from the Neuberger Berman Collection," an electric jolt of candy-colored fabulousness. Nothing wispy or subtle herejust oversized, high impact pieces like Gregory Crewdson's inexplicably hilarious chromogenic print of a mountain of junk in a suburban back yard (shown above) and Don Brown's shiny all-pink cast resin sculpture of himself. Also on view is "On Wanting to Grow Horns: The Little Theatre of Tom Knechtel," surreal, decadent, vaguely allegorical paintings that draw on zoology and Freud: Aubrey Beardsley meets James Audubon, and while I loathe it, I can't look away. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sun; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs. UW campus, 206-543-2280. DAVID STOESZ

RESPITE

The renovated Panama Hotel, now home to a stylish, soothing teahouse on the ground floor, is one of many hotels once owned by Japanese-Americans in the International District (part of which was once known as Nihonmachi, or Japan Town). These old hotels are packed with historyalthough many of them were sold at rock bottom prices or torn down after the World War II Japanese internment. Immigrant cannery workers, fishermen, and itinerant laborers all sought cheap rest in places like the Panama and for three days this week, the arts collective TESTPATTERN will set up shop in a room adjoining the teahouse, creating a public-private space for meditation, rest and respite. And you're invited to join them. Artists Claire Cowie, Jean Hicks, and Julie Johnson will be living in the space and will be there to quietly change the water in the foot baths and the linens on the beds and perhaps gently rouse you if you nod off a little too long. Your job will be to find a way, in the middle of the afternoon, to slow down and confront silence, blankness, relaxation. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri. Aug. 22-Sun. Aug. 24, Panama Hotel, 605 1/2 S. Main St., free, 206-405-4382. ANDREW ENGELSON

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