NORTHWEST ANNUAL

Ever since Duchamp's urinal, artists have faced the dilemma: If anything can be art, what constitutes work, skill, or originality? Several of the entrants in CoCA's Northwest Annual have found novel ways to search for answers. Brian Goeltzenleuchter, for instance, makes cheap candle reproductions of Art 101 Masterpieces (in this case, Rodin's "The Kiss") and then creates a painting of the work, layering art upon kitsch. Seattle artist Paul Margolis creates a quilted replica of a two-by-four in "Stud," while Junko Ijima's "Object Study" meditates on diversity and uniformity by creating felt and ceramic variations on Mickey Mouse ears. The most striking experiment with kitsch, however is Peter Mundwiler's borderline-compulsive quest to re-create cheap Christmas displays in "Eighty Tiny Reindeer": He bought eight papier-m⣨頲eindeer, meticulously made exact replicas of each, and then returned his versions to the store where he bought them. The "originals" are on display, in a wry examination of mass-production and craft. Not all the works in this exhibit juried by Esther Luitikhuizen (formerly co-owner of Seattle's Esther Claypool Gallery and now with Pierce County's Arts and Cultural Services) are about kitsch. Greg Lukens' strange "The Challenge of Accepting Poetry" offers an indecipherable allegory about sexuality and the American heartland while Melissa Furness, an assistant prof at Eastern Washington U, creates accomplished views of public baths in Hungary using digital photo prints, resin and paint. Center on Contemporary Art, 1420 11th Ave., 206-728-1980. 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Ends Nov. 19. ANDREW ENGELSON

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