LxWxHx gallery (pronounced Length Width Height, but you probably already gathered that) in Seattle’s isolated Georgetown neighborhood boasts a fitting sense of aloofness, considering the gallery’s location, through their recent show Zwischerliecht. The show examines the so-called “half-light” hour between day and night. Specifically pulling work of Pacific Northwest artists, Zwicherliecht showcases some loosely conceptual pieces and various styles of painting and multimedia. The idea of twilight conjures many different emotional reactions, especially when affectively conveyed through a work of art. LxWxHx has assembled a group not dependent on traditional photography to achieve that sense of familiarity. Which is where the strength of this group of work is held.
Artist Whiting Tennis’ The Dead of the Night, a mounted nightstand drawer opened slightly inviting the viewer to gaze inside is the most conceptually minded piece in the show, including an actual unspoken instruction from the artist to look through the included “personal affects”. There is a tension between whether this piece is meant to be a sort of readymade artifact from the artists’ own personal bedroom, but upon closer inspection it is, in fact, completely fabricated; the alarm clock is crafted out of wood instead of being filled with electronic parts. This particular work conjures less of an emotional reaction, but instead one more rooted in familiarity or even empathy. Everyone has a set of memories attached to looking at the clock at 3:57am. Whether that be returning home after an extended night of drinking, or tossing and turning due to anxiety ridden insomnia, this challenges the viewer to remember what this faux digital screen forces their brain to remember and become engulfed in.
Shaw Osha’s Union and Aerosol also held an instruction; for each viewer to take away a paint swatch that spoke to them. This sort of union through color is interesting, but didn’t particularly seem to connect with the other work, which distinctly referenced the theme. Other works like Susanna Bluhm’s Who is this that looks forth like the dawn? is a more point-of-view style look at an abstract landscape changing with the natural light. The inclusion of this work pulled together the overall look of the room, creating a common thread through all of the works, including the further abstract mixed-media works by Tim Cross. As I left the gallery my eyes compared what I had just seen with the frozen architecture and residents of Georgetown; buildings reminiscent of the old west and bikers with fading tattoos. Zwicherliecht stood as a reminder of the emptiness these streets would feel hours after my departure.
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-Contributed by Emily Gorman