Elizabeth Malaska: All Be Your Mirror @ Seattle Art Museum

Goopy and revealing 🪞

📸: “Fountain” by Elizabeth Malaska | 2021, oil, Flashe, and pencil on cavas-wrapped panel

🗓 On display thru Sunday, June 16th, 2024
📍 Seattle Art Museum: 1300 First Ave, Seattle
⏰ Open Wednesday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm

“Please put down your hands / Because I see you,” German singer Nico croons on The Velvet Underground’s low-key love song, “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” from which Portland painter Elizabeth Malaska’s new exhibition at Seattle Art Museum, All Be Your Mirror, gets its name. And that sentiment rings true in her show. Malaska snagged the Seattle Art Museum’s coveted 2022 Betty Bowen Award, winning $15,000 and a solo exhibition at the downtown museum. “I wholeheartedly believe that art has the capacity to transform our world for the better,” Malaska said in a statement announcing her win last year. 

In All Be Your Mirror, up through June of next year, the painter dips into the traditions of Western paintings to explore womanhood and femininity in contemporary life. Like in “The Doorway,” Malaska depicts a nude woman balancing on one foot, holding her other foot behind her back as her cat scutters out of frame. It’s a bit unnerving but entrancing. And in “All Be Your Mirror,” a nude woman reclines on a patterned couch while a painter tries to capture her image as a regal-looking dog stares straight at the viewer. Amidst all that goopy, streaky paint, Malaska’s works are reflective surfaces, serving as her own kind of mirror to our lives, our society, ourselves. 

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An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.