Henry Art Gallery

University of Washington

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15th Ave NE & 41st St
Seattle, WA 98195
(206)543-2280

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Exhibitions:

2003 Exhibitions:

Flirting with Rodchenko

North Galleries

October 17, 2003January 11, 2004

In 1921, Russian avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko executed what were arguably the first true monochromes (artworks of one color), and proclaimed “I reduced painting to its logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red, blue, and yellow. I affirmed: this is the end of painting.” For artists of the Russian Revolution, Rodchenko’s radical action was full of utopian possibility. It marked the end of easel painting-perhaps even the end of art-along with the end of bourgeois norms and practices. It cleared the way for the beginnings of a new Russian life, a new mode of production, a new culture. Through the repetition by contemporary artists of Rodchenko’s gesture, monochrome’s extreme nature was fully analyzed and made meaningful. Whether represented by paintings, drawings, prints, or sculpture, the contemporary artists represented in “Flirting with Rodchenko” stopped short of making pure monochromes, thereby flirting with its concepts. Anne Appleby, Sue Arrowsmith, Fandra Chang, Annette Lemieux, Sol LeWitt, Florence Pierce, and Richard Tuttle creatively repeated, varied, differentiated, and held in productive tension monochrome painting’s contradictory poles: both the death of art and its resuscitation.

Curated by Robin Held, Associate Curator
The Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle and the Henry Art Gallery’s Contemporary Art Fund. In-Kind support provided by the Grand Hyatt Seattle.
Featured artists: Anne Appleby, Sue Arrowsmith, Fandra Chang, Annette Lemieux, Sol LeWitt, Florence Pierce, Richard Tuttle