The Frye Art Museum is proud to present BUSTER SIMPSON // SURVEYOR, the first retrospective survey of work by Seattle artist Buster Simpson, a pioneer in the field of urban environmentalism and art in public spaces.
For more than four decades, Simpson has been the ecological and social conscience for neighborhoods and cities in constant states of transition and renewal. His site-specific, agitprop, and process-driven art has surveyed the problems, scrutinized the context, and presented new frames of reference to provide local solutions for global issues.
Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, Simpson has been dedicated to working in the public realm; his method is grounded in a farsighted contract between the artist and where he lives. His career parallels the rise of public art in the Pacific Northwest and he has played a crucial role in establishing Seattle as a significant center for community-minded artistic practice. By acting locally while thinking globally, Simpson has contributed greatly to the national and international debate on what constitutes responsible public art programs.
At a time when Seattle is reimagining its waterfront and its identity, BUSTER SIMPSON // SURVEYOR reframes Buster Simpson’s vision of the city and presents his groundbreaking contribution to dialogues about the health of communities and the societal obligations of the artist striving to affect real change in public life. The exhibition documents and articulates for the first time the breadth, depth, and influence of Simpson’s body of work, staking a claim for his artistic legacy and defining how his methodology and regional aesthetic applies to global systems and ideologies.
Exhibitions Opening Reception
Gallery Talk: BUSTER SIMPSON // SURVEYOR