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  • Western Washington University & Western Gallery: June 26–August 31, 2024

    Albers | De Maria | Holt | Judd | Martin | Morris | Nauman | Noguchi | Serra | di Suvero

    The Washington Art Consortium is proud to be part of the multi-layered experiential Primary Research Lab exhibit, curated by Lee Plested. Primary Research Lab highlights both the university’s nationally-recognized Outdoor Sculpture Collection and the Consortium’s stellar collection of post-war era Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists. Both collections were assembled through the visionary philanthropy of Virginia Wright, who for many years has dedicated herself to providing fine art experiences of the highest caliber to the residents of Washington.

    Primary Research Lab: Minimalist Labs and Field Research

    Primary Research Lab research area at Western Washington University's Western Gallery, Bellingham WA.

    Weekly events throughout the summer offered visitors an array of ways to engage with the public art collection and the extensive repository of reference materials in the research area adjacent to the gallery. Documents and interviews reveal the artists’ thoughts, discussions of their project, and the physical forces that went into their constructions. Tours, talks, performances, films, and events continue throughout the summer, highlighting regional and international artists as well as the collections.

    Primary Research Lab exhibit

    Primary Research Lab exhibit, curated by Lee Plested.

    July’s events included a tour of the Outdoor Sculpture Collection by Paul Brower, Preparator for the Western Gallery and WAC; a tour and in depth analysis of works by Holt, Nauman, and Serra by Professor Barbara MIller; an informal picnic and conversation hosted on Bruce Nauman's Stadium Piece; and the performance of a new work by Matt Drews and collaborator Gil Bar-Sela, commissioned for the exhibit and created in response Scott Burton’s Two Part Chairs, Right Angle Version.

    Primary Research Lab reading chair

    Primary Research Lab reading chair with Bruce Nauman's Wax Template of My Body Arranged to Make an Abstracted Sculpture, 1967.

    August continued with a tour of the Outdoor Sculpture Collection by curator Lee Plested and professor Sebastian Mendes; a performative ephemeral sculpture installation utilizing selected public artworks by artists Colleen Brown of Vancouver and Dawn Cerny of Seattle; AFJD Studio presents their line of public furniture made of mycelium biocomposites (mushroom spores and sawdust, grown in molds). The last events before the exhibit closes on the 31st include Anya Gallaccio’s Motherlode, an exclusive conceptual dining experience, and Gareth Moore’s presentation of a work commissioned for the exhibit, based on the sculptural use of sound.

    Plested's thorough examination of the seminal collections at Western offer a unique opportunity to both experience the art and the story behind it making, with events that highlight connections between the collections and contemporary artists' work. Primary Research Lab is a magnificent gift to both the Western community and the region.