Editorial : Recommendations
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Mika Tajima
at Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
Recommendation by Adriana Grant

Continuing through June 17, 2012

Mika Tajima’s show, “After the Martini Shot,” refers to a film industry phrase for the last shot of the day. The latest of SAM’s NEXT series of up-and-coming artists, Tajima’s exhibit includes wooden contraptions, Plexiglas paintings, a video projection, tall lights, and paintings on plywood. The installation of numerous objects, which are placed at odd angles to one another, indeed resembles an abandoned film set.

A woo'den storage contraption that occupies the gallery’s center houses art and objects in the manner of a storage rack. Andy Warhol’s print of a young, longhaired “Mick Jagger,” and two pieces by Joseph Albers, one of which is “Study to Homage to the Square, Accordant” (1957), and a second Warhol print, “Flowers” (1970) immediately capture the attention of anyone familiar with modern art. One can only see these famous pieces by peering between Tajima’s geometric paintings or looking at their reflections in her mirror-surfaces. It’s a shock to regard such iconic images stacked as if in storage rather that hung to be the center of our attention. The presentation also raises issues concerning the museum’s now defunct rental agreement with the late bank, Washington Mutual. How will we see all the great art now in storage?

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