I’m thinking how happy I am

September 8 – October 20, 2012 For our final exhibition, we presented four works by Lutz Bacher, a sculpture by Euan Macdonald, and another by Walead Beshty. The latter two works were commissioned by Western Bridge, and document the building or its activities. In this context, they can serve as memorials or memento mori. Lutz’s […]

Roy McMakin: I Continue to Believe in the Potential to Express Hope and Sorrow through Furniture

April 28  – July 28, 2012 Roy McMakin has been an uncredited presence in every show at Western Bridge, which was designed by McMakin/Domestic Architecture and in places built by his workshop, Big Leaf Manufacturing. After serving as a congenial home for the works of over 300 artists in eight years, Western Bridge welcomed the […]

Devouring Time

February 17 – April 7, 2012 Time, death, shrouds, flowers, traces. As a second “last show,” we presented an exhibition of works whose overlapping themes and subjects invite thoughts about the end: the persistence of art, the mystery of death, and the marks and memories that remain after something has gone. Thematically, the show was […]


September 16 – December 17, 2011 Our last year of exhibitions was hard to map out. Deciding on a “last show” was paralyzing. We ended up making Repossessed as a last show, to get that idea out of the way early, freeing up options for the rest of the year. (We instead continued making last […]


May 27 – July 30, 2011 [fsg_link include=”273,269,270,271″] [/fsg_link] “Fun is not fun!” Stranger critic Jen Graves’s complaint while visiting You Complete Me stuck in our heads like a koan. What is fun, if it is not fun? This show hoped to explore that mystery, building from the acquisition of Julian Hoeber’s Demon Hill, an […]

Light in Darkness: Dark Room Trio

January 21 – April 30, 2011 For winter, we turned off the lights to present works using light as a primary medium. A literalization of the title of our earlier show Light, Seeking Light, this one took its title from the same Shakespearean speech (in Love’s Labours Lost). Our installation took inspiration from the Dark […]

Open/Closed, Big/Small, Full/Empty, On/Off

September 11 – December 18, 2010 In the fall of 2010, Western Bridge presented an exhibition of four works by artist Martin Creed, built around the oppositions contained in the title. The artist’s works are each titled with a number in a sequence, as his works have been since the start of his career. In […]

Box With the Sound of Its Own Making

May 8 – July 31, 2010 Our spring/summer 2010 exhibition appropriated the title of Robert Morris’s sculpture, held in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Morris’s work, a hand-built wood box, includes a sound recording of its construction, preserving the process of making in the finished work. This exhibition took inspiration from Morris’s box […]

New Year Project Series

January 15 – July 31, 2010   New Year was a project series running over seven months at the beginning of 2010. A baker’s dozen of artists from the US and Canada were commissioned to create new work for the upstairs gallery at Western Bridge. The invitation: to do whatever the artist would like, given […]

Euan Macdonald: A Little Ramble

January 16 – April 17, 2010 Scotland-born, LA-based artist Euan Macdonald’s A Little Ramble was a rare solo exhibition at Western Bridge. The exhibition featured video, drawings, photographs, and new two newly commissioned works. “The idea of landscape is a thread that runs through all the work,” said Macdonald, not as a scene but as […]


September 26 – December 19, 2009 Parenthesis presented work in video, installation, and photography. Inspired by a trio of videos Neil Goldberg made with his mother and father, we collected a set of pieces by artists working with their children or parents. Family relationships were viewed through political and economic frames in a video by […]

title variable

  Underwater December 4, 2008 – August 1, 2009 The title and contents of Western Bridge’s winter 2010 exhibition changed at irregular intervals, taking shape within the body of the previous exhibition Light, Seeking Light. The developing exhibition built playful relationships to context and connections between works. In place of a single theme, a series of […]

Light, Seeking Light

Light, Seeking Light This exhibition featured four artists, each given a space or two to herself, making for a spare show with a wealth of detail. The works were linked thematically by light and its affective qualities. The show stemmed from our interest in commissioning a new installation from the painter Mary Temple. She worked […]

You Complete Me

April 24 – August 2, 2008 You Complete Me took up themes from some recent conversations around interactive art and relational aesthetics through a series of works that are less viewed than experienced. Works that needed you to work to work. Martin Creed’s Work No. 360: Half the Air in a Given Space half-filled a […]


January 31 – March 29, 2008 Western Bridge’s winter 2008 exhibition was an anthology of projected video and video installation from the first half of the decade. Expanded narrative approaches and continuous loops filled the galleries, each presented independently in a dedicated space. Isaac Julien’s three-channel cowboy romance The Long Road to Mazatlan, took over […]

Insubstantial Pageant Faded

September 21 – December 21, 2007 Is art eternal when the art object is not? Drawing its title from The Tempest, this exhibition was a critique of a theme repeatedly invoked in Shakespeare’s sonnets: the contrast between life, with its transitory nature and brief duration, and art, which can render the life it depicts immortal […]

Bill Fontana: Objective Sound

May 25 – August 4, 2007 San Francisco sound artist Bill Fontana’s installation filled Western Bridge with the sounds of the surrounding Duwamish Industrial District’s activity. The clatter, hum, and wail of sirens, airplanes, helicopters, trains, heavy trucks, buses, and heavy machinery were brought inside the building by microphones and played inside a sealed room […]

Christian Marclay: Video Quartet/Kit Bashing

January 16 – May 5, 2007 Western Bridge began 2007 with Kit Bashing, a group show on appropriation and archives, and Christian Marclay’s Video Quartet, 2002. These exhibitions concluded a series of three shows built around Paul Morrison’s commissioned wall painting mesophyte. Marclay’s synchronized four-channel video installation is one of the treasures of the William […]

Into Black

September 16 – December 16, 2006 Western Bridge’s fall 2006 show looked into the darkness. Works in light, video, photography, drawing, and painting explored light—a basic precondition of images—and its absence. Building around Paul Morrison’s mesophyte, the new exhibition was titled for a photographic work by Jason Dodge. His Into Black is eight sheets of […]

Boys and Flowers

March 30 – August 12, 2006 Titled after a video by Kirsten Stoltmann, Boys and Flowers featured new commissions from Paul Morrison, Jeffry Mitchell, and Universal Nonlinear Design. Morrison’s mesophyte took over the four walls of Western Bridge’s largest gallery for this and the following two exhibitions. mesophyte mixes naturalistic and cartoonish floral and landscape […]

Crash. Pause. Rewind.

October 14 – March 4, 2005 Click here for a PDF of “Instant Ruin,” an essay by Eric Fredericksen accompanying the exhibition. It’s hard to look away from a disaster.  Crash. Pause. Rewind. gathered works by artists on destruction and its depictions. Typically operating at one remove from the depicted events, the artists re-represented the representations. […]

Daniel Roth: River Styx

May 28 – September 24, 2005 Western Bridge presented the fruits of a commission given to Daniel Roth, a German artist practicing in Karlsruhe. An installation comprising photography, drawing, and sculpture, The River Styx extended a narrative—a sort of fairy tale—begun in an exhibition at Donald Young Gallery, Chicago. That exhibition imagined an underground passage […]

19 Rainstorms

March 12 – May 7, 2005 Conceived as a response to Seattle’s perpetual spring rains, Western Bridge’s third exhibition instead opened in the middle of a near-drought. While Seattle awaited the rains of March and April, 19 Rainstorms filled our galleries with buckets of the stuff. Each work in the exhibition took rain as its […]

WOW/The Work of The Work At Western Bridge

November 6, 2004 – February 5, 2005 Curated by Elizabeth Brown, this exhibition took place at both the Henry Art Gallery and Western Bridge and featured the first loaned work in a Western Bridge exhibition, a Gary Hill video installation from the collection of Rebecca and Alexander Stewart. “WOW explores great contemporary art and why […]


May 27 – October 9, 2004 Possessed, the first exhibition at Western Bridge, gathered a large group of recent artworks in video, photography, installation, and works on paper. Organized around two key meanings of the title word, Possessed is about the things we own and the things that own us. Centered on Zoe Leonard’s Mouth […]