Visual Arts Picks

PATRICK HOLDERFIELD

Holderfield's exhibit "Doubt Has a Place (the raft)" features a suite of drawings and two installation/sculptures that act as metaphors for the constructive side of doubting one's chosen course of action. These works refer visually and conceptually to Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa, which illustrates the catastrophic results of a sea captain's overconfidence. Holderfield's own sculptural "raft" harnesses opposing visual energies to create a visceral sense of drama. The downward rush of a solid bruise-colored, wave-like form counters the upward scattering of smooth yellow two-by-fours, which then morph into a graphite drawing on the wall to which they're attached. Several of Holderfield's drawings create a similar sense of geometric structures coming apart as more fluid lines and shapes gush and coalesce. Doubt thus creates a wide-ranging spirit of inquiry for Holderfield, one that serves a regenerative purpose by weeding out faulty assumptions and pruning hubris. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave. S., 206-903-6220. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Runs through Feb 14. ELISE RICHMAN

PRATT INSTRUCTORS JURIED EXHIBIT

Newly ensconced in the Seattle Tower, the prosaically-named SAM Rental/Sales Gallery hosts a show of paintings and drawings by instructors from the Pratt Fine Arts Center. Curated jointly by SAM R/S director Barbara Shaiman and Pratt's former Executive Director, Greg Robinson (now leading William Traver's new Tacoma gallery), the fare is heavy on abstraction, including Drake Deknatels' fabulously intricate large piece "The World at 7" (pictured). Eva Isaken's mixed-media works on canvas are embedded with layers of delicate collage and then excised with wispy lines of black. In Juan Alonso's paintings, thick layers of paint capture organic forms, while Claire Cowie's eccentric watercolors evoke strange, anonymous figurines. Also in the mix are Kamla Kakaria's paintings of dental-like abstract figures in encaustic; Linda Paris' bird-field-guides transformed into specimens; and what appears to be a scribble of random data on graph paper by Marc Dombrosky. SAM Rental/Sales Gallery, 1220 Third Ave., 206-343-1101. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Runs through Feb. 14. ANDREW ENGELSON

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