The art of Seattle

 

[They] sought to create art that consciously responded to the world events surrounding them. All saw art as a form of spiritual quest.

I found these words in the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) pamphlet on their summer exhibition: Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Myths & the Mystical, describing the work of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson.  As I explored their work, and the text provided by SAM, here are some juicy bits:

visualizations of the world in flux, of the human spirit transcendent, or of the cosmos. 
 
If there was any hope that the world could survive the threat of annihilation, . . .  it was found  . . .  from the closely observed cycle of life.
 
. . . symbols . . .  through close observation of the world around them – in the energy of the wartime city or in the fight for survival that defines the natural world. . .
 
. . . the visual language of Northwest Coast people as a . . .  lexicon of symbols for conveying universal brotherhood, a common spirituality  and a belief in the primacy of the laws of nature. . .

And I was compelled to see how the titles of their artwork could fit together:

The mythic and the mystical form
follows man, a rummage of
moving moments 
riding on the mountain
in the white night
searching for the morning
dove of the inner eye
to find on the seventh day
the seed was in itself

And Seattle? She was beautiful too. She is her own artwork.

 

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