Kelly Akashi: Formations @ Frye Art Museum

Bold and bronze 🖐 🥀

📸: Frye Art Museum

⏰ On display: June 17th – September 3rd
📍 Frye Art Museum: 704 Terry Ave, Seattle
🚪 Open Wednesday – Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
💰 Free 

You can really see the hand in Kelly Akashi’s pieces. No, like, literally.

The Los Angeles-based sculptor and artist incorporates her own disembodied hand into her sculptures. She casts it in materials like bronze or calcite—squeezing, ensnarling, and caressing delicate glass, bits of wire and metal, wax candles, and cast lead crystals. Though no faces or bodies are attached to these hands, there’s so much feeling in them; a longing, a tenderness, and a devoted sense of care. Using traditional tech like stone carving and new tech like CT scans and EKGs, Akashi draws on her interests in photography, botany, paleontology, and biology to craft her exquisite pieces. 

And in June, the Frye Art Museum will host Kelly Akashi: Formations, the largest exhibition of Akashi’s work to date and covering nearly a decade of her career. Formations will not be curated chronologically but instead will arranged to emphasize that “we are tethered to the lifeforms around us and are ourselves aggregate beings, formed of ancestral experiences and histories.” The exhibition is done in partnership with the Henry Art Gallery, where Akashi will unveil newly commissioned work this fall.

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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.