Reclaimed

A companion to SAM's larger ongoing landscape show (Bounty: American Art in an Age of Exploration), Reclaimed carries the subtitle "Nature & Place Through Contemporary Eyes." Postindustrial disenchantment follows B&B's romantic visions. "Natural" majesty has disappeared. The trees, gold, and salmon have mostly been removed; the rivers have been dammed; and here come the tourists in their air-conditioned RVs. (By way of a threshold between the two eras, SAM supplies a row of Darius Kinsey logging photos—history bisected by crosscut saw.) Dominating the Reclaimed galleries is Whiting Tennis' Bovine, a full-size pickup-bed camper made of cheap scrap wood, that also suggests the cattle of the once-open range. (Yes, that's a mournful Hank Williams tune, "Alone and Forsaken," you hear playing from within.) The surrounding photographs offer testimony to a diminished and depleted Western geography. Glenn Rudolph's black-and-white 1980s shots of the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad line across Snoqualmie Pass (now a hiking/biking trail) echo the earlier, heroic photos of Carleton Watkins and William Henry Jackson in Beauty & Bounty. The straight new iron tracks once led to 19th-century wealth and adventure; yet in Rudolph's 1986 view of the crumbled Hall Creek trestle (since rebuilt), the broken rails point wildly askew. They lead to the abyss, not destiny. BRIAN MILLER

Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: July 1. Continues through Sept. 11, 2011

 
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