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A Seattle Painter Returns Home

Art & Design

Art and Progress

One of Seattle’s best-known, and best-loved, artists is the focus of a major exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. Painter Jacob Lawrence, who died in 2000, was a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and spent his final years (he was painting up until his death) in the area. Born in Atlantic City in 1917, Lawrence was one of the first African American artists to receive gallery representation and continued mainstream success in America. His Migration series will be on view, depicting African Americans’ exodus from the South. In addition to presenting important subject matter at a time when immigration itself is at the forefront of American minds, the works also merge a flatness and sense of abstraction with very narrative material. While his paintings are certainly indicative of larger social issues, they also demonstrate an important dialogue with the history of painting.

The Lawrence show should be more than enough to tide you over until the museum reveals its colorful new Spencer Finch installation in its sculpture park on April 1. The constellation of colored glass will capture light in new ways and offer different perspectives depending on the time of day and placement of the sun.

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