Woodside/Braseth Gallery’s pairing of William Cumming’s and Jacob Lawrence’s works results in a fine show.

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Before we say goodbye to 2017, there’s more centennial honoring of beloved Washington State artists to do.

Seattle Art Museum hosted a glorious display of “The Migration Series” by Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) earlier this year, while Woodside/Braseth Gallery presented a fine show of Lawrence prints in February. William Cumming (1917-2010) was in the spotlight, too, with a showing of his long-lost 1941 farm life mural on sailcloth — 28 feet wide, 7 feet tall — at Woodside/Braseth this past summer.

Now “A Centennial Celebration: William Cumming & Jacob Lawrence” offers a chance to dig deeper into these two artists’ legacies, particularly Cumming’s.

EXHIBITION REVIEW

“A Centennial Celebration: William Cumming & Jacob Lawrence”

11 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through Dec. 2. Woodside/Braseth Gallery, 1201 Western Ave., Seattle (206-622-7243 or www.woodsidebrasethgallery.com).

In the last two decades of his life, Cumming’s compositional daring and bold colors made it clear he was cutting loose, trying any energizing notion that came into his head. One of the show’s largest works, a 2007 tempera-on-board titled “At the Park (Seattle Park Series),” is an obvious masterpiece. Its rich hues and eccentric partial glimpses of park visitors are playfully zesty.

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Its central figure, leaning over to tease a cat in his path, is dressed like a carnival barker. The cartoonlike “action” lines that animate the cat direct your eye toward a spangle of geometric shapes the passer-by has scattered to the ground to stir up some feline hunting instinct. The shapes make no literal sense. (What the heck are they?) But they’re a perfect compositional delight.

Cumming’s smaller mixed-media works of individual figures in action also find him in a fanciful mood. His subjects are variously leaping (“Boy Running”), striding (“Greenlake Walk”), toppling (“Striped Top”), twisting (“Young Girl”) or caught in a moment of contemplative repose (“Figure”).

His small tempera-on-board from 1996, “Pike Street Figures,” is a quintessential Seattle street scene. Two men, warmly dressed, one of them charging forward, the other less rushed, make their way in rich, muted colors through a soft, radiant drizzle. The scene catches the cozy/soggy essence of a Seattle winter.

Lawrence’s prints are equally invigorating work. His trio of etchings-with-aquatint, depicting “builders” in perversely non-building action, are a treat. In “Two Builders Playing Chess,” the pastime distracting them is understandable, although the way the contours of their heads and shoulders jump out at you — despite there being only partial distinctions between their body outlines and the background — is a tribute to Lawrence’s powers of visual suggestion.

A 1975 serigraph, “Confrontation at the Bridge,” harrowingly recreates the showdown between law enforcement and civil-rights protesters in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. The stormcloud-like black/red/yellow/white reflections in the water below provide a singularly effective touch.

Striking a lighter note is a 1999 silk-screen, “Play,” in which the merrily elongated figures of four kids fly across the rag paper. The sky itself, above them, seems to echo their exuberance.

In a recent email, gallery owner John Braseth explained there was more to his pairing of Cumming and Lawrence than just noting the 100th anniversaries of their births.

“I was struck by the similarities of their life and art,” he writes. Both came from rural roots and moved to cities. Both were influenced by European art movements — Lawrence by cubism, Cumming by Impressionism — but used those styles “to observe and paint their own environments.”

Braseth had a chance to introduce them in their later years. “They both were sincerely pleased to meet one another,” he recalls, “and expressed admiration for each other’s art.”

This fine show makes clear why.