Magazine article Sculpture

Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art

Magazine article Sculpture

Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art

Article excerpt

SEATTLE

Doris Chase

The fourth exhibition of Doris Chase's work since her death in 2008 focused on the decade 1964-74. Drawn from the artist's estate, the survey revealed Doris Chase before she became "Doris Chase," pioneer godmother of dance video. Chase did not arrive a nobody in New York when she moved there in 1972. Her painted and laminated wood sculptures, which predated Marisol, were hailed in ARTnews in 1965 and were seen in Tokyo that year. Abmeyer + Wood uncovered four pristine examples that suggest a semiotics of abbreviated gestures: hunched shoulders, clasping or warning hands, embracing couples, and crucially, rotating figures (Dancing, c. 1965). The latter are at the root of Chase's dance-related videos, not to mention her public sculptures, including Changing Form (1968), her best known outdoor work in Seattle.

Throughout her middle-period work, Chase continued to gather the threads of the video investigations that she had begun in Seattle and Tacoma at Weyerhaeuser and Boeing Companies research laboratories. By adapting curved, laminated wood forms into kinetic props inhabited by dancers and then filming them, Chase created some of the first dance videos to go beyond choreographic documentation and approach a new art form. This was the first gallery exhibition to exhibit the videos alongside the sculptures.

One can ask whether the small to mid-size pedestal sculptures of 1966-75 would be as important without the subsequent large-scale public art projects acquired and/or commissioned by the Seattle Arts Commis - sion, the University of Washington, and the 1970 Osaka World's Fair. …

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