When you think of Seattle, I’m betting that what comes to mind for most of us is probably some combination of these five things: Starbucks, Microsoft, Jimi Hendrix, Grunge, and Grey’s Anatomy.
And for those who think of Grunge first, you probably also pictured an image of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain flying across the stage.
In recognition of the impact and influence that Cobain had on grunge and modern-day Seattle, the Seattle Art Museum has opened a new exhibit that pays homage to the artist. On view now through Sept. 6, the exhibition Kurt features nearly 80 objects — from painting and sculpture to video, photography, collage and sound — that explore themes of freedom, longing, loss, desire and confusion.
Kurt was curated by Michael Darling, Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at SAM, and has been arranged thematically to include many different approaches and reactions to Cobain’s legacy.
“Most of the works date from 1994 and after, clearly suggesting that Kurt’s death motivated these artists, and so many others, to come to terms with his legacy,” says Darling. “What is truly amazing, however, is how recent a lot of the work is, as Kurt’s story continues to be relevant, meaningful and far-reaching. It is so clearly resonant in the Northwest, but it is also a global phenomenon.”
View a slideshow of exhibit images.
Below is also a video with one of the exhibit’s contributing photographers, Alice Wheeler. Wheeler’s body of work includes iconic images of Cobain during the prime of his career, but also documents the continued trajectory of his influence.