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Doris Totten Chase: Changing Forms Exhibition

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Date(s) - 07/08/2017 - 10/01/2017
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Henry Art Gallery


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ArtsEarth Article by Amanda Alfonso

In a career spanning six decades, Doris Totten Chase (U.S., 1923–2008) showed an insatiable hunger for experimentation. At a time when modernism was preoccupied with establishing singular personal styles, Chase chose to challenge herself and her audiences by constantly changing mediums and methods to create a brave and standalone career path. Though Chase is primarily known in Seattle for her monumental sculptures Changing Form (1971) at Kerry Park and Moon Gates (1999) at Seattle Center, the complexity of her lifelong work and contributions remains largely under recognized.

Chase started her career formally in the mid 1950s as a painter and her early work is heavily influenced by the Northwest School. Her interest in organic geometry, as well as in recording transformation and physical change would eventually lead her to sculpture and then to film and video. In the 1960s, Chase launched her practice—at age 47—wholeheartedly into film and video. Her first film, Circles I (1970), is widely regarded today as a classic early computer film.

In her long commitment to film and video, Chase centered her practice of the medium along a thematic axis that explored in moving pictures, sculpture, artistic agency, collaboration, and feminist issues. The work selected for the exhibition shows a commitment and insistence on figurative abstraction and an anti-narrative style that moves from an expressive register to a more conceptual form. This exhibition, organized on the occasion of a major gift by her two sons constitutes not only her first comprehensive retrospective in the city of her birth, but also a permanent return to the Henry, a place central to her artistic development.

Gallery Hours

  • Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun: 11 am – 4 pm
  • Thurs: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Mon, Tues: Closed


Doris Totten Chase: Changing Forms is organized by Luis Croquer, former Deputy Director of Exhibitions, Collections, and Programs, with project management by Susan Lewandowski, Manager of Exhibitions and Registration. The exhibition is made possible by ArtsFund and through a generous gift of art made by Randall J. Chase and Gregary T. Chase.

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