Visual Arts Picks

THE FIGURE IN CONTEMPORARY ART

To celebrate the acquisition of a major new painting by Eric Fischl (seen in black-and-white, above), the semi-private Wright Exhibition Space has opened its doors to the public. (Although only a crack: It would have been nice to offer more than a few weekday afternoon hours so people who have to work for a living could see it, too. But I digress…) "The Figure in Contemporary Art" includes the new untitled Fischl as well as other superstars of late 20th century art, and offers a tantalizing glimpse of the depth and quality of the Wright's collection (most of which is destined for SAM). There's Anselm Kiefer's Lilith, in which a girl's dress and lock of hair leap free of an anonymous urban landscape; the creepy, posed photographs of Cindy Sherman; a marvelously lush painting of European souvenirs by Malcolm Morley; and a garish bit of religious kitsch by Jeff Koons. But the main attraction is the new Fischl, which exists as part of the larger Krefeld Project. In 2002, Fischl hired two actors to hang out in the Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld, Germany, a home-turned-museum designed by Mies van der Rohe. The pair lounged about in various states of undress for four days while Fischl shot photos. The result: a painting of a photograph of actors pretending to be a couple who are partly obscuring themselves (he behind a drink, she behind a chair) in an art museum that was once a house, with three other well-known works of art hanging in the background. It's a potent, complicating image for the age of reality TV. Go take a long lunch break and have a quickie at the Wright. Wright Exhibition Space, 407 Dexter Ave. N., 206-622-1896. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thurs-Fri. ANDREW ENGELSON

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