A Furry Squeeze

John Grade at the Bellevue Arts Museum.

A slot canyon has appeared at the Bellevue Arts Museum, but instead of water-smoothed stone, the interior of this narrow passageway by John Grade is dressed in a coat of goat hair, softening the rounded, convex forms. It might be dark as you make your way inside, and you might experience a bit of claustrophobia. But in a few moments, the walls will begin to glow, and you'll see they're constructed from a transparent plastic resin. The piece enacts a sort of sped-up sunrise, lit from within. The pacing of the growing light is gradual, and entirely convincing, opening up a new landscape. The form is wholly (fascinatingly) false, but the light show seems genuine: It begins, as sunrises do, in blue, and grows unevenly from different parts of the close room. One round protuberance breaks the dark, and then another. Finally everything is illuminated. The space opens out both physically and visually. The piece moves from being about constriction and darkness (and perhaps worry) to being about texture. You'll want to experience this transformation more than once, as it's more pleasurable when you know where you're going. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, 425-519-0770, www.bellevuearts.org. $7. Tues.–Sun. Ends Nov. 30.

 
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