One of Patricia Bellan-Gillen's paintings at Butters shows a monkey sitting atop a jack-o'-lantern, an orange sailboat floating over its right shoulder. Bellan-Gillen also likes to paint frogs and billygoats, titling her series on the latter Scapegoat. Some of these animals she renders atop beautiful abstract backgrounds. It is a pity to ruin such lovely backgrounds with gaggingly "whimsical" simians. Other paintings are presented in lovely, elaborate frames. It is an equal shame to ruin such distinguished frames with such undistinguished paintings. In the back gallery at Butters, gallery co-owner Jeffrey Butters debuts two of his new abstractions. A gifted painter who has been influenced by his friend, artist David Geiser, Butters has let his works slowly trickle out in group shows and at the Cascade AIDS Project's "Art for Life" live auction. In the new works, Zen and Quiet Glow, he plays with process, generating an organic physicality that comes from the ooze and flow of oil paints. 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor, 248-9378. Closes April 29.
Seattle artist Mi Wu's installation at Ogle consists of powdery rectangles on the gallery floor, the smooth surface interrupted by regularly spaced anthill-like forms. The artwork, which was made from Fred Meyer baking flour, transcends its medium to become a startling etude on monochromatic minimalism. 310 NW Broadway, 227-4333. Closes April 29.
Jason Lee Parry fills Sugar Gallery to the gills with a technically accomplished but thematically uneven photography show. He gives us women in leotards, a pistol in closeup, cityscapes, fashion photography, and chicks kissing in the back of a limousine. The show's two best photos have a sexy, Ryan McGinley-like enigma. Mexico shows a mustachioed man wearing retro sunglasses in a fleabag motel, sitting on the edge of a bed, oblivious to the nude women cavorting behind him. For Vulnerable Flesh, the photographer bribed a Roseburg man with a 12-pack of beer to strip to his skivvies on a back road and don a freshly gutted deer carcass. A meditation on vegetarianism, the image is flat-out gross but perversely sexy and positively unforgettable. 420 SW Washington St., Suite 500, 222-7722. Closes April 30..