Small Works

The advantage of a group art show is that you can see a variety of work in one fell swoop. The disadvantage is that such compilations can be overly contrived or uneven. "Small Works" at Foster/White is happily neither. Under the modest rubric of "small," here meaning "not much bigger than a breadbox," the show unites an interesting array of small-scale paintings, sculpture, and glass art by various, mostly Northwest artists. The caliber of work is consistently high, and some pieces are genuine standouts. The vividly colorful, alphabet-encoded canvases of Belgrade-born painter Brasta Bonifacho look, at first glance, like bright abecedarian pictures you might hang in a child's bedroom. Upon closer inspection, you notice the letters are not in order and some are upside down. It turns out Bonifacho's symbol studies are inspired by the mysterious language of a computer virus he once encountered. Lois Graham's three small canvases are richly layered with thick, colorful swabs of dried oil paint, while James Mattei washes architectural abstract lines with patches of earth-tone colors in his four handsome contributions to the show. One of Tony Angell's finely etched black-and-white clayboard and ink crows remains from his previous solo show, perfectly evoking the chilly landscapes of winter. Local fixture James Martin is represented with five of his wonderfully eccentric gouache ink paintings on brown paper, while Elaine Hanowell's pair of floor lamps are cleverly crowned with paper shades in the shape of catfish. Foster/White Gallery, 123 S. Jackson St., 206-622-2833, www.fosterwhite.com. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; noon–5 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 23.

 
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