Continuing through December 18, 2010
Martin Creed is a Scotland-born artist who won the U.K's prestigious Turner Prize for a set of lights going on and off ("Work No. 227"). In his first solo show in Seattle, "Open/Closed, Big/Small, Full/Empty, On/Off," Creed shows four similarly-minded pieces of what could be called minimalist performance art. Familiar objects - a lamp, a curtain, a bunch of balloons, a pair of dogs - are put in the service of art.
Two live animals occupy the gallery; this is "Work No. 591." As the title suggests, one is big, and one is little (an Irish Wolfhound and a Chihuahua, respectively). Another piece is, simply, a lamp switching on and off. The space of one room is full and empty of silver balloons. And a huge curtain opens and closes before an outsized window. The dichotomies of the show's title are illustrated via these slow-moving sculptures in a compelling exhibit with quite a lot of negative space, a strong sense of quiet, and a generous dose of playfulness. Creed's art does force a reaction, his uncanny wit asking us to contemplate the question, not look for the answer.