Tributes to the memory of Kurt Cobain are abundant, but where better to stage an artistic homage to the groundbreaking frontman than Seattle, the city that gave birth to Nirvana?
“Kurt,” a new exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum which opened yesterday and runs through September 6, collects nearly 80 works in a variety of media from an international array of artists, all of which document the rocker’s all-too-brief life, his impact on the world at large, and his growing mythology.
In addition to pieces and photographs by contributors like visual artist Rodney Graham, filmmaker Douglas Gordon, and Seattle-based photographer Alice Wheeler (whose familiar “red sunglasses” portrait appeared in our 2004 retrospective on Cobain), the museum will also host a variety of other events, including film screenings (not including the much-debated Cobain biopic) and lectures.
“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 the museum’s curator Michael 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.”
And for a non-visual but no less artistic homage to Cobain, read Chuck Klosterman’s captivating 2004 essay that pondered a universe in which the Nirvana man hadn’t ended his own life.
Contributors talks about Kurt as a cultural figure:
Photographer Alice Wheeler talks about the impact Kurt Cobain had on her work: