The way curator Greg Bell explained it, there is no given narrative for the newest exhibition at Pivot Art + Culture in South Lake Union (609 Westlake Ave. N.).
“You don’t come in to find one piece, and go to the next piece, next piece, next piece,” he said. “The idea is for you to come in, look at the works, and see the relationships they have to each other.”
Color & Pattern opened last weekend, and will be on view until July 23 with an array of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and ceramics from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. As the name suggests, the exhibit is devoted to the exploration of color and pattern by artists in both modern and contemporary works.
“When you don’t have a narrative, you don’t know what the next piece should say to the next piece,” he said. “When you have a narrative you can very easily lay [it] out, whether chronologically or the way things develop stylistically. I wasn’t interested so much in that, I just wanted to have this selection of work that really allowed the visitors to make their own connections between things. The advantage of that is I don’t have a particular structure that I have to build everything upon.”
Among the artists represented are British painter David Hockney, sculptor Anish Kapoor (best known for the colloquially-known stainless steel ‘Bean’ in Chicago’s Millennium Park) and Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. The works span 100 years, with a bulk of the pieces created after 1950.
“It’s an opportunity for people to come in and just see this range,” Bell said.
The exhibition also features one local artist, with a sequence of ceramic platters produced by late UW professor Robert Sperry.
“There’s just some really amazing pieces here,” Bell said. “The quality of work within the show, I think, is amazingly high.”
Each work is also accompanied by a brief written introduction, designed to serve as an entrance point for visitors regardless of their artistic knowledge.
“The idea is that anyone should be able to come into an art gallery and see work and, if they don’t understand it, then there should be an entrance into it,” he said. “The advantage of having a show like this is I think that there’s many ways that people are going to approach it.”
Bell said there’s a “totally different feel” to latest show compared to Pivot’s last few exhibits, including the preceding portraits show that closed last month.
During the run of the show, there will also be several chances for visitors to take part in tours, talks, and other events, including a walkthrough with Bell on May 19 at 2 p.m. Seattle artist Mary Ann Peters, and UW School of Art + Art History + Design Director Jamie Walker will also be involved in event programming.
“I’m just really excited to have this work here,” Bell said. “It’s not often that you get to see such amazing pieces as we have here, and it’s such a joy to be able to share them with the public, and that Paul is out there allowing us to bring these works out to everyone.”
For more information on the exhibit, or Pivot Art + Culture, visit www.pivotartandculture.org. Daily admission is $5, and event programming is included. Pivot is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.