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Upcoming Exhibits



Ambiente432: An Interactive Sound Sculpture by Trimpin

April 6, 2018 – May, 2019

The museum has commissioned Trimpin, a ground-breaking Seattle-based sound sculptor, composer, engineer, and inventor, to complete a major new work for the WSU community. Ambiente432 is a site-responsive installation that explores the sound/space continuum demonstrating how an architectural environment can coexist and harmonize with a kinetic sound sculpture. Visitors will be immersed in a spatial and aural world where their movement, throughout the gallery, will affect the sound composition, and thereby, their immediate experience.

Comprised of 12 motion-responsive resonator horns, suspended from the ceiling and organized in strategic configurations, the installation is tuned specially to 432Hz. This vibration frequency, and reoccurring number, has been shown in the tuning of ancient Tibetan singing bowls, Stradivarius instruments, as well as in compositions of Mozart and Verdi, elsewhere, physicists have calculated the Earth’s rhythms at a cycle close to the fundamental frequency of 432.

Trimpin, who goes only by his last name, was born in Germany, in 1951, near the Black Forest. He spent several years living and studying in Berlin, working as a set designer and collaborating with artists from both Germany and the United States. He has worked and lived in Seattle since 1979. Trimpin received a MacArthur “Genius” award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for his investigations of acoustic music in spatial relationship, both in 1997. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Musical Arts from California Institute of the Arts, which he was awarded in 2010.

Video from the Bill and Ruth True Collection
April 6 – October 6, 2018

The True Collection is an unparalleled private holding in the Northwest of cutting-edge art assembled by Seattle-based collectors, Bill and Ruth True. Containing important works in video, photography and other media by an international roster of both established and emerging artists, the Trues have been steadfast in their patronage of contemporary art, daringly collecting fresh and emergent forms of art-making.

In a two-part presentation, the museum will consecutively highlight six room-sized video projections from six international artists, all selected from the True Collection. Part 1: Altered Time and Shifting Perspectives will include artists Dara Friedman, Wolfgang Staehle, and Catherine Yaas. Part 2: Entertainment and the Public Sphere will include artists Stephen Dean, Daniel Plufmm, and Takeshi Murata.

Part 1, Altered Time and Shifting Perspectives
April 6-June 30, 2018

Niagara, 2004. Wolfgang Staehle
DVD, 60 minutes looped, with sound
Staehle shot Niagara with a video camera from the same vantage point as Fredric Church’s panoramic painting, Niagara Falls from the American Side (1867). Although 19th-century audiences and today’s audiences are vastly different, Staehle’s decidedly 21st century approach calls into question how the mechanics of digital presentation mediates our experience of nature vs. those of painting or still photography.

Government Cut Freestyle, 1998. Dara Friedman
DVD projection, 9 minutes 20 seconds, silent
From a pier on the southern tip of Miami Beach, an endless stream of civilians jump into the Government Cut, a shipping channel connecting the Atlantic to Biscayne Bay. Their graceful descents, slowed down, repeat endlessly and variously, like jets of water from a fountain.

Descent, 2002. Catherine Yass
16mm film transferred to DVD, 8 minutes 11 seconds, silent
For her film Descent, a camera was lowered to the ground from a crane over a construction site at Canary Wharf, London, through thick fog. Yass adds to the perspectival distortions by screening the film upside down.

Part 2, Entertainment and the Public Sphere
July 17 – October 6, 2018

Mixed Behavior, 2003. Anri Sala
Digital color video, 8 minutes 17 seconds, sound
A DJ, working on a rooftop during a rainstorm, appears to respond to—or even control—the chaotic fireworks exploding around him as part of the celebration on the New Year in Tirana, Albania.

Volta (with Badeira), 2003. Stephen Dean
Single channel video transferred to DVD, installation with fabric enclosure, 8 minutes 52 seconds, sound
Fabric swaths create an immersive enclosure for footage of chanting, pulsating crowds, smoke bombs and sirens at a Brazilian football match.

Monster Movie, 2005. Takeshi Murata
Single channel video transferred to DVD, 4 minutes, sound by Plate Tectonics
A shower of bright color and sound, Murata uses genre movies as raw material (in this case, 1981’s forgotten Caveman). By tweaking codec software used to compress images and other data for digital storage, Marata converts motion in the original into painterly, moving abstractions.

Jeffry Mitchell: The Death of Buddha, Elefant Lanterns, 2 Giant Roosters and a Large Gampi Print
April 6 – August 4, 2018

Jeffry Mitchell’s exuberant art is at once innocent and affable, welcoming to all, yet at play within his motifs are provocative meditations on sexuality, class, and spirituality. Identifying himself as a “gay folk artist,” Mitchell creates work both highly autobiographical and resolutely democratic. Suffused with a desire to accept, and embrace the flawed aspects of ourselves and others, it could be said that Mitchell’s overarching subject is love itself. For over twenty-five years the Seattle-based artist has produced distinctive drawings, prints and sculptures, weaving together references that span folk, craft, and decorative arts traditions within the context of contemporary art. He is best-known for his work in ceramics, transforming low-brow kitsch forms into recast studies of universal human experience.

We are pleased to announce for his upcoming project with the museum, Mitchell will debut The Death of Buddha, Elefant Laterns, 2 Giant Roosters and a large Gampi Print, an immersive gallery installation combining many of the artist’s hallmark materials, methods and reoccurring forms. Thematically the installation navigates a world of dualities; childhood domesticity and earthly life to visions of death and potential for enlightened being, free of intrinsic suffering.

Jeffry Mitchell was born in Seattle, in 1958, and currently lives and works in the city. He received a BA in painting from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas then moved to Japan to teach English. After an apprenticeship with a production potter in Seto, Mitchell received his MFA in printmaking at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. Recent one person exhibitions of Mitchell’s work include: Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, 2012-2013, Henry Art Gallery; Some Things and Their Shadows, 2009, Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA; and Shiny Happy Pretty (with Tina Hoggatt), 2008, Missoula Art Museum. In 2016, he completed residencies at both the Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell Colony.

Marie Watt: Companion Species (Underbelly)
April 6– September 1, 2018

“We are received in blankets, and we leave in blankets. The work…is inspired by the stories of those beginnings and endings, and the life in between…Blankets hang around in our lives and families – they gain meaning through use.”

“I am interested in how an underbelly is both the soft fleshy vulnerable part of a body, but also how it is associated with dark hidden areas.  Lately, I have been reflecting on dogs—canis familiars— as pets, mythological guides, and first teachers. Companion Species addresses the reciprocal relationship humans have with canines throughout history, this story is one of ignorance, stewardship and reciprocity.” –Marie Watt

Marie Watt makes fiber constructions, sculpture and prints that explore “human stories and rituals implicit in everyday objects.” The wool blanket in particular, rich in social and cultural history, has been one of the artist’s primary materials for over 15 years, as she has traced it’s realm through symbol and metaphor; a painful remembrance of colonialism, and yet,  an authentic, tactile symbol of socially-binding collectivism. In working with blankets, to make wall textiles or sculptural forms, her process is both solitary and collaborative. Small works are personal meditations, while larger-scale works are often made in community, notably in public “sewing circles.” Watt’s own heritage, stemming from both the Seneca Nation and the ranches of Wyoming, informs her interest in multiculturalism, Iroquois proto-feminism and indigenous art forms, as well as, twentieth-century modernist abstraction.

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1967, Marie Watt has studied at Willamette University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Yale University School of Art. She has exhibited at such venues as the New York Museum of Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, the Seattle Art Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Portland Art Museum, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She has received many awards and fellowships and has given lectures at colleges and universities across the country.


Person(a): Portraiture from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation
April 6 – August 4, 2018

Person(a): Portraiture from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation assembles a captivating selection of contemporary portraiture offering new perspectives on one of art’s oldest genres. Including a wide variety of makers and subjects, as well as artistic mediums, this exhibition spans portrayals steeped in intimacy to highly manipulated and mediated visages. Within the latter category are works that contend with printmaking and photography’s ability to produce multiples and alterations of their original subjects—begging consideration of the individual in light of the mass-produced icon. Elsewhere the exhibition focuses squarely on how we define the self, questioning a static representation in lieu of hybridized and ever-changing formations of identity. Intrinsically dovetailed to cultural recognition and commemoration, portraiture has been historically incomplete in fully representing the breadth of  humanity—always at stake within the genre is who has been represented and by whom. This exhibition seeks a far-reaching, inclusive array of art and artist, emphasizing less-recognized—even marginalized—members of society.

Highlighting over twenty artists including foundational, preeminent figures of 20th and 21st centuries, such as Chuck Close, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol, as well as groundbreaking voices from the contemporary scene including Lalla Essaydi , Kota Ezawa, Glenn Ligon and Mickalene Thomas, Person(a) demonstrates the genre’s continued creative force and cultural resonance.  Drawn from the vast collections of Jordan Schnitzer and his Family Foundation the featured works testifies to Mr. Schnitzer’s passion for art of broad perspective and stimulating thought.

Hearts: Selections from the Jim Dine Print Collection
April 6 – June 30, 2018

Internationally renowned artist Jim Dine has utilized many reoccurring autobiographical themes—tools, robes, ancient Venuses, Pinocchio—yet no motif in Dine’s work more clearly declares his romanticism and giving spirit than the image of the stylized heart. Neither too abstract nor too realistic, the stylized heart has become a familiar symbol for sentiment and synonym for love—and in Dine’s hands, an opportunity for a strong fervent, expressionist sensibility. Above all, Dine’s hearts are statements of creative love and love of making the work.

In the spring of 2014, Jim Dine donated 201 complete works of art from his personal archives to the Museum of Art at Washington State University, in honor of art patron Jordan D. Schnitzer and as a stimulus to the campaign for a new museum building on the Pullman campus. Dine commented at the time of his unprecedented gift, “It’s about education, it’s about enriching the culture of the state and it’s about exposing young people to what’s called art.”

April 3 – May 5, 2018
RECEPTION: April 6, 6-8 pm (in original gallery)


Welcome WSU Moms! This exhibit opens in our Collections & Learning Gallery, located in the original museum gallery. This annual showcase represents the culmination of two or more years work by the Master of Fine Arts graduate candidates. This exhibition always provides a wide range of styles and stimulating experiences for faculty, students and local museum visitors.