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Family of Doris Totten Chase Gifts the Henry With Works of Art

June 28, 2017

SEATTLE – Randall and Gregary Chase, sons of artist Doris Totten Chase, have gifted the Henry with 59 works of art by their mother, including 29 works on paper, a model for Kinetic Sculpture for Children (1971-72), and 29 videos. This generous gift adds to our collection of 42 Chase works, including six early works on paper, 21 computerized drawings, and three maquettes for her sculptures, which were gifted by the artist herself in 2004.

Many of the works are included in Changing Forms, the first retrospective of Seattle-born artist Doris Totten Chase (U.S., 1923 - 2008), which will be on view July 8 – October 1, 2017.

The exhibition offers a selection of paintings, sculptures, and videos created between 1956 and 2000, including important early films from the Dance Series, Video Sculpture, and Concept Series dating from 1970 to 1984, as well as her early gouache paintings on paper from the 1960s to prints from the 1980s and 1990s. 

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 to video art remains largely under recognized.

“We are deeply grateful to Randall and Gregary Chase for entrusting their mother’s artworks to the Henry,” says Sylvia Wolf, John S. Behnke Director of the Henry. “Doris Chase was a pioneer in film and the Henry is thrilled to share her video art with the community through the upcoming exhibition and through the collections acquisitions in the years to come.”

In a career spanning six decades, Chase showed an insatiable hunger for experimentation. The work selected for Changing Forms shows a commitment to and insistence on figurative abstraction and an anti-narrative style that moves from an expressive register to a more conceptual form.

After studying architecture at the University of Washington and starting a family, Chase began to paint in the early 1950s. She was 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, where she sought to make the viewer an active participant.

In the 1970s, Chase moved to New York City where she centered her new practice of film and video along a thematic axis that explored sculpture, artistic agency, collaboration, and feminist issues. Her first film, Circles I (1970–1971), is widely regarded today as a classic early computer film. Circles II (1970-1972) was selected for the first exhibition of American Independent Film at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1974.

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.


A museum of contemporary art and ideas, Henry Art Gallery presents exhibitions by a multi-national roster of emerging and mid-career artists. Known for taking risks and for allowing space for uncertain outcome, we anticipate the conversations and opinions that will be important and relevant in the field.


The Henry is open 11-4 on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 11-9 on Thursdays. We are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Every Sunday, admission is free.

$10 general, $6 seniors (62+); free to Henry members; UW students, faculty and staff; students, and children.


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