Blog Contributors
Abigail Goodman
Alicia Faxon
All Blogs
Anya Ventura
Arlene Distler
Art Basel Miami Beach
Art New England
Bansie Vasvani
Blogs
Bonnie Barrett Stretch
bret chenkin
Christian Holland
Collin Dunbar
Craig Stockwell
Debbie Hagan
Debra Cash
Demelza Durston
Dennis Kois
Dina Deitsch
Ethan Gilsdorf
Fran Bull
Fran Siegel
Henry McMahon
Judith Tolnick Champa
Julia Kelley
Kat Kiernan
Kathleen Morrison
Leah Triplett
Lois Tarlow
Mark Gabriele
Martha Buskirk
Martha Hoppin
Mary Bucci McCoy
Miami 2013
Miami2012
Monroe Denton
Pam Campanaro
Patricia Rosoff
Rebecca Uchill
Robert Moeller
Shawn Hill
stephen vincent kobasa
Susan Mulski
Susan Rand Brown
Trevor Fairbrother

All Blogs

Jul 1, 2014
Ann Chernow: Noir

Ann Chernow: Noir Albert Merola Gallery Provincetown, MA Albertmerolagallery.com

June 6-24, 2014

From the darkness a beam of light falls on the mane of blond hair, setting it ablaze. Then it glances off a profile, picks up the tip of a cigarette, an aquiline profile. This is Ann Chernow's latest work and it is all inspired by film noir, the post-WWII Hollywood genre in which the action often takes place in darkness, in shadows, and where the themes of mystery, illicit rendezvous, and subterfuge play out.

Chernow's painting always has been woman-centered and often tinged with nostalgia, its images taken from old family photographs and magazines. Her latest work evinces a desire to go deeper into women's psyche to explore the private, darker side, the danger zones of passion, heartbreak, physical beauty and intrigue. She investigates above all the part that fate plays in the lives of both men and women. 

Jun 23, 2014
Energy Necklace at the Jackson Homestead

Energy Necklace at the Jackson Homestead

Historic Newton, 527 Washington Street, Newton, MA

April 3–July 18, 2014

Susan Israel, curator

www.EnergyNecklace.com; www.historicnewton.org  

Milan Klic; Acquisitions of Light, aluminum alloy, resin, steel, 9’ x 12’ x 4’; photo credit, Susan Israel

The debut of Energy Necklace at the Jackson Homestead and Museum is also the debut of a public sculpture exhibition for the distinctive institution itself. Cindy Stone, Jackson Homestead museum director, explains: “Once a stop on the Underground Railway, the Jackson Homestead sought to stop the exploitation of people just as the Energy Necklace seeks to curtail exploitation of the earth. They seemed like complementary...

Jun 10, 2014
Chaos Controlled: A Constructivist’s Memoir

Chaos Controlled: A Constructivist’s Memoir

Iva Gueorguieva Samsøn Projects www.samsonprojects.com/ April 18 – May 31, 2014

The Owl’s Failure 2014, acrylic, hand painted collage, oil on canvas, 100 x 80 inches

Samsøn director and curator Camilø Alvårez first met Bulgaria-born painter Iva Gueorguieva back in 2005 after presenting a lecture at the Skowhegan School in Maine. One of the things that must have drawn him to her work is the fact that Gueorguieva is a collector of images: not technically, perhaps, but rather in the way her work resonates with, and riffs upon, the very distinct visual narratives offered up by artists like Picasso, Dubuffet, and the arid landscapes of Pollock’s drip paintings. Formally speaking, the strongest historical connections date back to Constructivism and a host of Russian painters and sculptors. Yet direct links to the past,...

May 8, 2014
Flatmansquared, new stainless steel and bronze sculpture by Ernesto Montenegro

Flatmansquared, new stainless steel and bronze sculpture Ernesto Montenegro May 3–May 31, 2014 R. Michelson Galleries Northampton, MA www.rmichelson.com

 

When first seen Ernesto Montenegro’s new sculptures suggest cruel contraptions that contain disassembled but living humans. His arrangements of sectioned bodies in stainless steel boxes at once reveal and remove their subjects. Some of the open boxes contain voids of body sections as though figures are equally present and disappearing.

A ‘figure in repose’ (Montenegro does not title his pieces), seems at ease in a somewhat angular way, but it is an ease suggestive of vital reduction—a slightly living figure, existing between life and after-life. An arm rests on the top of a box that contains the chest adjacent to the arm of a ‘normal’ figure. Bent at the elbow, it angles down to the floor, three finger...

Mar 21, 2014
Solar Power: Little Sun

Olafur. Eliasson, Din Blinde Passenger,2010

by Robert Moeller

The Council for the Arts at MIT announced last October that Olafur Eliasson had won the Eugene McDermott Award. The award includes a cash prize ($100,000.) and campus residency for the artist and a gala held in his honor. The Berlin-based Eliasson, mainly know for his large spectacular installations—notably The New York City Waterfalls and the weather project at the Tate Modern—is at heart a collaborator. Whether it is with scientists, engineers or architects, he seems most comfortable out in the world of ideas, picking someone’s brain while at the same time formulating a way to insert his artistic practice into the contemporary mix. The results are hard to codify as they veer out across so many disciplines and engage a host of issues. One is reminded of Leonardo’s wandering mind, visible in his notebooks, when considering Eliasson’s work.

Recently, in March, Eliasson was at MIT’s...

Mar 11, 2014
Accumulation 2: The Lightning Speed of the Present

 

Márcio Carvalho and Shannon Cochrane

by Shawn Hill

Accumulation 2 The Lightning Speed of the Present 808 Gallery, Boston University Through March 30, 2014

As part of the challenging and experimental Lightning Speed of the Present exhibition at Boston University's 808 Gallery, local performance artist Sandrine Schaefer has staged a multi-week performance series called Accumulation. The concept is simple and open-ended: each week a new artist performs on Wednesday. Whatever they bring or use must be left behind for the next performance.

Effectively (as my friend and fellow habitual attendee Maggie Cavallo said at Week Three) it's like having a season pass to a concert series, only it's free and you have no idea what to expect from week to week. A clue to the goings-on...

Feb 5, 2014
Wendy Seller: Visual Metaphors, New Paintings
Wendy Seller, Fictitious Portal, 2013

by Alicia Faxon

WENDY SELLER:  VISUAL METAPHORS, NEW PAINTINGS

Bannister Gallery, Rhode Island College . Providence, RI ric.edu/bannister

January 23-February 19, 2014

 

Wendy Seller is a painter of fragments, digitally realized.  Her reconstituted landscapes and imaginary portraits draw on paintings and photographs as well as her own paintings, combined in evocative and mysterious ways.

Originally a neo-surrealist painter, she connects new techniques to capture an invented world, unsettling and imaginative in nature.  Her landscapes are taken from different areas in Ireland, a landscape she has documented in recent years. Her portraits echo mainly Renaissance...

Jan 24, 2014
Some Thoughts About Deborah Grant: Christ You Know it Ain’t Easy!!

by Monroe Denton

Editor’s Note: There are several national celebrations upcoming related to the content of this blog. African-American History Month is February 1-28; Women’s History Month is March 1-31, and Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, falls on April 27-28. Various Gay Pride rallies occur nationwide every spring.

Deborah Grant: Christ You Know it Ain’t Easy!! January 25 – February 28, 2014                                                                                          Drawing Room, The Drawing Center, NY Opening Reception: Friday, January 24, 6–8pm  

Curated by Claire Gilman                                   ...

Jan 7, 2014
Daisy Rockwell: The Topless Jihadi and Other Curious Birds

New Works by Daisy Rockwell Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT Closed December 30, 2013

By Bret Chenkin

Daisy Rockwell is primarily known as a scholar in East Asian studies, especially India. She has translated various works from the Hindi, composed reviews, and is currently at work on a novel. However, based on the prolific and quite colorful output exhibited at the Bennington Museum (although the voluminous amount of notes accompanying the show may indicate otherwise), one would have to argue that her real passion lies in painting. The show encompassed the entire hallway of the Regional Artists Gallery, with seven different subject groupings—all of which touch on feminist-socio-political themes, with no gloves on.

Rockwell’s work is mostly intimate in scale and tonally and compositionally appears to pay homage to the Mughal/Rajasthan Schools of court painting from 17th to 18th centuries. This is certainly the case with the preponderance of pastels,...

Dec 18, 2013
Floor van de Velde: Score for a Color Field

By Robert Moeller

My icons do not raise up the blessed savior in elaborate cathedrals. They are constructed concentrations celebrating barren rooms. They bring a limited light. —Dan Flavin

The somewhat awkward formulation put forth by Dan Flavin simultaneously raises and dashes the notion of religiosity in his work. Light, even the fluorescent version, imbues a work of art with a distinct ethereality, whether spreading out from a single candle present within a painting by Rembrandt or through the controlled neon sprawl emitted in any of Flavin’s work.

Floor van de Velde’s exhibition Score for a Color Field at the 17 Cox Street Gallery in Beverly is all about light, and darkness as well. In the small, unlit gallery her simply arranged forms cast an array of disembodied shapes and patterns that produce an upending of the formal space that contains them. Interestingly, too, there is an organizing presence as well that arrives as the viewer begins to process...

Dec 8, 2013
Day 3 Miami/December 6

A remarkable start to this day was visiting the Perez Art Museum on Biscayne Bay. Herzog & de Meuron have produced a beautiful, bountiful museum. Its internal centerpiece is an open auditorium, a series of wooden stairs that function as seats to ascend to the second floor in a manner reminding me of the surprise of the ancient Pergamon Altar. Workmen scrambled to complete mortaring the pavement outside and the road leading to the museum is not yet built but the stupendous auditorium was drama incarnate. It faced a very large screen of projected Ai Weiwei commentary.

Coming upon Chinese art/activist Ai Weiwei's jade handcuffs and floor pieces and videos upstairs, as part of his Ai Weiwei: According to What? special exhibition that had traveled to Miami to help inaugurate the Perez, was a terrific encounter. This exhibition was a perfect choice since this museum is dedicated to 20th and 21st-century international art. In the portion of the lobby that is called...

Dec 6, 2013
Miami Day 2/Report for Dec. 5

A most incredible day at the Miami art fairs began with the Aqua Fair at the intimate Aqua Hotel and culminated at the Art New England/deCordova Museum/Skinner poolside party for New Englanders at the gargantuan Fontainebleau Hotel.

The New England galleries William Baczek Fine Arts (Northampton, MA) and Rice Polak Gallery (Provincetown, MA) had terrific exhibitions amid the 45 exhibitors, each with a hotel room of its own. The riveting monkey-man portraits by Travis Louie were showstoppers at Baczek, as were Rice Polak's offerings of Michael Snodgrass, especially his Art Critic with Blue Pants.

When I visited Tom Shirk, ace hotelier and art curator whose White Porch Gallery is in his beloved Provincetown, he was in the process of opening R House in Miami's Wynwood, preparing for his opening night bash. The paintings of German artist Dietmar Brixy were beautifully installed in his inaugural exhibition in America in the flexible, inspired, retrofitted club-like interior...

Dec 5, 2013
Day 2 in Miami was a busy one for deCordova!

by  Dennis Kois

 

I spent some time previewing the main Basel fair, running around to prep an itinerary for a "walkaround" tour in the afternoon for a few of our patrons who are down this week. I was juggling looking for interesting work, trying to not get lost in the maze that is the exhibit halls (I heard one collector telling her friend that she likes to think of the Basel layout, with it's central layer of blue-chip galleries surrounded by aisles and aisles as the seven levels of hell...), talking to gallerists and chatting with the friends I ran into in the fair (Barbara and Jonathan Lee, Boston area collectors and all-around ecumenical arts supporters, Andrew Witkin from Barbara Krakow, Olga Viso, Director of the Walker Art Center, artist and Rappaport Prizewinner Orly Genger, and others I've forgotten already... it was a blur!).

All that is to say I was not exactly...

Dec 5, 2013
Day 1, December 4, Miami

The Art Basel Miami Fair at the Convention Center, the mother of the multitude of Miami fairs running now, is always an overwhelming event at first. With such a sampling of international blue-chip art, each booth so carefully installed, and the Fair issued floorplan in one’s moist hand, it is an environment exactly like no other. This is true especially early on in the process, when the gallerists retain their complete energy and focus. One’s looking starts and one soon remembers why one loves art—its richness and the many discoveries it never ceases to yield are fundamental to its pleasures. The more one looks the more one knows, and here one wants to interrogate gallerists with questions related to their selections, and talk about the other works one knows to which their sale items may refer. In turn the gallerists have fantastic stories to tell, curatorial and entrepreneurial. They are very engaging and knowledgeable about their artists, what they have selected to show in their...

Dec 4, 2013
Dennis Kois: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013
Left Boston this morning on the early AA flight down, which as always was packed to the gills with Boston collectors, museum folk, and artists, and we compared notes and itineraries as we waited to board. Saw Magda Campos-Pons buying coffee, and became jealous of the ability of Paul Ha, the Director of MIT's List, to sleep sitting up. He was still snoozing a few rows ahead of me as we touched down. That's a skill I need!   After adjusting to the glaring Miami sunshine (ahhhh! I'm melting!) I dropped off bags at the Fontainebleau, and snapped a quick pic of the pool terrace where deCordova's party (sponsored by Art New England and Skinner, thank you!) for all us New Englanders will be held Thursday night. Beautiful as ever- very Miami Beach! While sitting on the terrace catching up on emails, saw Susan Talbott, the Director...
Dec 3, 2013
Body and Soul: New International Ceramics

by Mary Bucci McCoy

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

New York, NY

Through March 2, 2014

Independent curator Wendy Tarlow Kaplan has had a dedicated career in the fine arts in Boston, with positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, the former Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, as curator for the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, and the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis. In the case of her latest curated exhibition, she has brought together diverse ceramic work from 24 artists in an international exhibition in New York. She examines contemporary figurative clay sculpture as a vehicle for social commentary, with topics including violence, identity, sexuality, and oppression. Nearly half of the artists are French; the remainder are from the United States, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

As a sculptural material clay is versatile: its possibilities include hand building, molds, fashioning on the potter’s wheel; carving; and extrusion. Some...

Nov 29, 2013
Outside of Philadelphia
I write on Black Friday. Art is apparently dead today and Walmart is alive. We need Wearable Art! and our March/April issue will be dedicated to that.   Judith
Oct 24, 2013
Just Happy to Be Here!

by Robert Moeller

  All images by Pat Falco are Untitled, 2013. Above: Photograph of installation, C Street, South Boston, MA.

Pat Falco is an artist from Boston, the self-proclaimed “Master of Light and Shadow” and regarded by many of today’s finest art critics as “Who?” On a more serious note, Pat was selected for the 2013 deCordova Biennial, which runs through April 13, 2014; he was part of the 2013 Fountain Art Fair in New York; and was one of six artists nominated for the best artist category by The Phoenix. The title of this column is borrowed from Falco’s late-summer exhibition at Montserrat College of Art. We spoke recently. —RM

Robert Moeller: In talking about your work, a familiar jumping-off point might include an artist like Barry McGee. Is that an apt comparison?

Pat Falco: Definitely. Barry, [the late] Margaret Kilgallen and many more of those...

Oct 22, 2013
LOCALLY MADE
by Anya Ventura Jane Masters, Control Freak, 2005.  Museum purchase: Gift of the Artists’ Development Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation. RISD Museum of Art Through November 3, 2013 I was greeted by a man in pancake makeup and told to grab a goodie bag filled with a comb, a pencil, and a piece of bubblegum. Inside the packed gallery, several performance art pieces were being enacted at once. I watched as a man in drag swayed softly alone, encircled by a talismanic array of potato chip bags. Bubblegum wrappers were piled on the floor like a Gonzalez-Torres installation. This was “After School Special,” an event part of the RISD Museum’s exhibition, Locally Made, in which different local artists are given free reign in the museum’s experimental installation space, School House Long House. Such creative chaos appears to be the charter...
Oct 8, 2013
Seeing It Loud in New York

 by Henry McMahon

The National Academy Museum, on Fifth Avenue, is now hosting See it Loud, an exhibition of paintings by seven painters—Leland Bell, Paul Georges, Peter Heinemann, Albert Kresch, Stanley Lewis, Paul Resika, and Neil Welliver. Their deep influence on the sensibilities of at least two generations of painters in this city is reflected—some will think this perverse—in inverse proportion to their standing in the art market.

It’s a well-known story that the big budget galleries’ domination of New York’s artistic landscape has transferred influence away from teaching institutions and museums. Insofar as the Academy’s traditional role of disseminating the ideas of important artists has become the purview of the commercial gallery, Chelsea, more than any place, reflects the true academic art of our time. In this context, See it Loud is best characterized as an anti-academic show.

 
Sep 26, 2013
1,000 pianos/ 37 cities/ 1 Boston

by Demelza Durston

The article that follows is based on an interview with the visual artist Luke Jerram on September 20, 2013. It took place in his offices on Park Street, Bristol, UK.

Courtesy of the author: "Luke Jerram With Sphere" 

It really creates a visual and acoustic sense of community. It gives focus to a street.—Luke Jerram, artist-producer of Play Me, I’m Yours [installation in Boston September 27th- October 18th, 2013]

Boston, with its Berklee College of Music and historically thriving music scene, shouldn’t be surprised when it awakes on Friday morning to find hand-painted pianos have been scattered across familiar urban streets and landmarks. For the past 16 years since his graduation from the University of Wales, Cardiff (1997), Luke Jerram, an internationally active visual artist based in Britain, has long been...

Aug 27, 2013
Found Redux

by Bansie Vasvani

The current exhibition continuing through August 23rd at the Talwar Gallery, New York, entitled Found, features the work of Indian and Sri Lankan artists Aishya Abraham, Muhanned Cader, and Srinivas Prasad. Grouped together for the first time for their use of found materials, these artists communicate in a language that speaks beyond the context of their immediate surroundings. Their visions converge in presentations appealing to universal feelings for time and history, and they stir a strong sense of nostalgia.

Ayisha Abraham’s grainy, amateur videos En Route or Of a Thousand Moons, 2011, gathered from discarded family archives, offer little in terms of actual documentation of time, place or history. Segments from various videos are presented in a seamless trajectory deliberately without reference to any specific tale or narrative. What emerges from these disparate montages of found footage is reference to irretrievable moments of bygone years—simple...

Aug 19, 2013
Reading the Ruins

Holy Land: Photographs by Joy Bush Through September 8, 2013

Mattatuck Museum Waterbury, CT 203-753-0381 www.mattatuckmuseum.org

---

by Stephen Vincent Kobasa

Joy Bush, Holy, 1997. Image courtesy of the artist.

A Holy Land laid waste seems closer to the truth somehow, if one thinks only of the present day in which the square outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has been filled with tear gas, and a thirty-foot wall marks the western border of Jerusalem. But the inaccurate model of that landscape spread across nearly twenty acres of a hillside in Waterbury, CT, was not intended—by John Greco, a Waterbury attorney who began its construction in 1955—to be a lesson in current events. Neither did he imagine it becoming a long, continuing history of decay after its closing thirty years ago.

Aug 13, 2013
Play Me, I'm Yours: Luke Jerram's Street Piano Extravaganza Comes to Boston

By Debra Cash

Sound links its listeners in a net of attention; it is an orientation device and an opportunity.

Since 1997, sound has been British artist Luke Jerram's raw material for his sculptures, installations, and public art works. The Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Fine Print Research at the University of West of England, Jerram has created a giant, stainless steel aeolian harp whose metal tubes vibrate in the wind; rigged tiny, hypersensitive microphones to plants growing in a botanical garden to amplify their barely perceptible acoustic emissions; designed a talking silver ring etched with a twenty second loop of his voice proposing marriage to his girlfriend Shelina (she said yes); and launched a "sky orchestra" of seven hot air balloons that wafted music into people's bedrooms at dawn to infiltrate their dreams.

Aeolus installed at Lyme Park Estate,...
Jul 31, 2013
Bedlam…

Raul Gonzalez III Los Nuevos Guerreros July 17- August 31, 2013

Carroll and Sons 450 Harrison Avenue Boston carrollandsons.net

---

By Robert Moeller

The Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez is a killing ground. In the five years leading up to 2011 roughly 9,000 people were murdered there. This includes the unsolved slayings of several hundred women, many of whom came to Juarez to work in the maquiladoras, which are large assembly plants situated near the border with the United States. The products made in these factories are not the only things exported from Juarez, as it is also a center of the Mexican drug trade and a vital transit hub for people seeking to enter the United States illegally. At times, raging gun battles between rival drug cartels have crippled the city and troops have been called in to restore a semblance of order. Over the last several years, things have improved and the violence has decreased, but Juarez, by any standard, remains...

Jul 29, 2013
Thoughts on encountering paintings by Jim Peters, Figurative Revisionist

By Susan Rand Brown

For a painter like Jim Peters, “on the scene” in galleries and museums since the late 1970s, to have his art ignored—that is, seen but not seriously considered—would be cruel punishment. No need to worry. His paintings have never been wallflowers. Peters’ figures are hard to ignore, even as acolytes, questioning or straddling the fence. They are women and men, positioned in the dingiest of (bed)rooms, windows darkened and seemingly blocked, where they read and lounge pre- and post-coitus—the aureole around which Peters’ coal-dark scenarios revolve.

Given the postcard-like work that flourishes in summer galleries like so many Cape Cod cottages in July, the two Jim Peters exhibitions in Provincetown’s East End right now, the retrospective curated by John Wronoski at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (through August 11) and the other at the artSTRAND Gallery (through August 7) speak highly for the future of serious painting,...

Jul 3, 2013
Some thoughts on Ana Flores’s Earth History, Selected Sculptures 1997-2013

By Patricia Rosoff

Some thoughts on Ana Flores’s Earth History, Selected Sculptures 1997-2013 [Part of Poetry of the Wild recently installed on the Sculpture Walk at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art, UConn at Avery Point, Groton CT]

Ana Flores, Enlightenment, 2010, wood, cement, metal. 8' x 36" x 16"

Two currents move through the work of Ana Flores as encountered, recently installed both at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery and along the windswept Sculpture Walk by the Sea. One is private and figurative, expressed in lyric attentiveness to details of relation, to color and to material. The other is public, site-specific and multi-disciplinary (literary and narrative), inviting viewer exploration and interaction. Both engage the viewer in three dimensions, in works that spring from forms “found” in nature that are then formally “staged” in architectural or natural...

Jun 25, 2013
Seven on Site

by Martha Hoppin

To say someone paints en plein air, a French term for “in the open air,” is to conjure up an artist seated at an easel outdoors, under an umbrella, depicting specific landscape features more or less faithfully. This held true for much of the 19th century, when the practice originated, but today’s artists have expanded the concept. The range of contemporary approaches to plein air painting can be seen in the exhibition Seven on Site, on view until the end of June at the Oxbow Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts. Seven on Site features an informal association of landscape painters who live and paint across the country. The seven—Martha Armstrong (Hatfield, MA); Sasha Chermayeff (Hudson Valley); Jane Culp (California); Judy Koon (Chicago); Ro Lohin (Long Island); Lynette Lombard (Galesburg, IL); and Megan Williamson (Chicago)—joined forces to show together out of a shared commitment to painting on site. Their unconventional works emphasize expressive...

Jun 20, 2013
The Paintings of Luc Leestemaker: Beyond the Horizon

Galerie d’Orsay, in the Back Bay, Boston, has mounted the memorial exhibition, touchingly called The Paintings of Luc Leestemaker: Beyond the Horizon, through July 1, 2013. The late Dutch artist and writer (1957-2012), self-taught, was active in Amsterdam and beginning in the 1990s in Los Angeles. The landscape paintings in this exhibition, from his period in LA when he surrendered to the practice of painting, are confident, large-scale, mostly square paintings, mixed-media on canvas. Rightly called “lyrical” by the gallery, they also creatively conjure, without ever emulating slavishly, the paint handling tradition of Dutch abstract expressionist Willem DeKooning and Karel Appel, of the Cobra movement.

Emily Lau representing the Estate and Sallie Hirshberg, gallery owner, at Galerie d’Orsay.

But Leestemaker draws on the still deeper tradition of Dutch 17th-century landscape painting—with...

Jun 11, 2013
Biennale Dispatch #2/2: Thoughts on the Art of the Poetic Protest

Fran Siegel

These are tense times throughout the world, and as the Venice Biennale might well be considered a form of cultural Olympics, the stakes here could be high. This is why many were surprised at the offensive tone of Danish minister of culture, Marianne Jelved, in her speech that inaugurated the provocative pavilion of artist Jesper Just. Ms. Jelved explained that walling off the front of the Danish pavilion was at odds with the mission of culture and that this work portrayed Denmark as isolationist, blocking out the outside world. Viewers were guided instead to enter the multi-roomed video work through the back.

Jesper Just- View of the former front of the Danish Pavilion

Catty-corner to the Danish pavilion is artist Sarah Sze’s contribution for the US. Triple Point is housed in the Palladian style building with its rotunda entrance blocked,...

Jun 4, 2013
The 55th International Art Exhibition of The Venice Biennale Opens

Fran Siegel

I attended the 2013 Venice Biennale preview during May’s last 3 days which did not resemble the shimmering glam of yesteryear. Instead, clusters of make-shift raincoats and umbrellas soggy shoes, and layered mismatched outfits meandered through town hoping to stay warm and dry amidst the downpours. Despite only two years to prepare and the high curatorial bar set by dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel last year, Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni chose the ambitious title “Encyclopedic Palace” based on his pseudo-surrogate Marino Auriti, (also an Italian American) who filed a patent in 1955 for an imaginary museum that could “house all world knowledge.” Gioni used the framework of this “temporary museum” to speak about the channeling of images in an information age, artistic obsessions, surreal dreams and hallucinations, and ultimately the transformative power of the imagination. Unfortunately as the manic organization of several artists’...

May 17, 2013
A Precise Coda…

Scott Hadfield: New Paintings April 27th- June 1st Barbara Krakow Gallery Boston, MA

Scott Hadfield, Installation View, Courtesy Barbara Krakow Gallery

There is an unnerving level of grace present in this focused sampling (just six paintings) of recent work by Scott Hadfield at the Barbara Krakow Gallery in Boston. The feeling is almost unsettling. Hadfield’s quiet, meditative exploration of nearly identical forms, and the ruggedness of the painted and scraped terrain that accompany them yield profoundly precise constructions.

That precision, however, is something of a ploy. Hadfield, who greatly admires Jasper Johns, subtly shifts the armature of shaped lines that these works share, creating the illusion of movement passing through time. The lines here are stock-still, yet the painted surfaces around them abound with gestures and edited...

May 10, 2013
A New Cosmic Mix: Now in 5D! An Interview with Maggie Cavallo
Image: Hexbeam courtesy of the artist

Maggie Cavallo is an experimental curator and educator based in Boston, MA. Committed to celebrating and contextualizing contemporary art in Boston and beyond, Cavallo specializes in live and experiential aesthetic experiences. Recent projects include ☢ SPACE CASE: ZILLABOSTON ONLINE RESIDENCY, NEAR DEATH performance art experience curated by Vela Phelan, NOTHING & NO THING curated by Robert Yoder and INSTANT MESSAGING co-curated with Anthony Greaney. Cavallo is also Curator of Education at Montserrat College of Art, where she programs over fifty visiting artists into the curriculum each semester. Her latest project is A New Cosmic Mix: now in 5D! at the Museum of Science’s Charles Hayden Planetarium May 12th at both...

May 6, 2013
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR “That’s how the light gets in”

By Monroe Denton, New York

Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed American Folk Art Museum January 24-May 26, 2013

A special exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum introduced the wide-ranging career of a New England painter, born in Bath, Maine in 1806.  It opened almost exactly 140 years after his death in Boston.  The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which is the primary repository for Prior’s works, had organized the show of almost forty Prior portraits (and two other works) plus a handful of works by his relatives, housepainters who turned their hands to images under his influence.  The lessons of history and contemporary art which the exhibition offered left at least this viewer excited beyond anticipation.

“There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in,” Leonard Cohen sings over and over in my imagination.  I wonder:  is art the way that the light gets in?  It isn’t the quality...

May 1, 2013
Pain(t)ed Justice: The Curious, Troubling Case of Portrait of Wally

Pain(t)ed Justice: The Curious, Troubling Case of Portrait of Wally

by Ethan Gilsdorf    

Egon Schiele’s “Portrait of Wally” (1912) Courtesy of The Leopold Museum

The trials and tribulations surrounding Portrait of Wally are by now largely known in the art world. A famous Egon Schiele painting, stolen by the Nazis and "misplaced" in a famous museum's collection, gets unearthed and justice is restored. A new documentary, which bears the same name as Schiele’s coveted 1912 painting, is the first effort fully to connect the controversy's many sub-plots and dead ends. Andrew Shea's Portrait details the controversy, and subterfuge, surrounding the painting that, as the film's tagline hyperbolically claims, was the "The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits." Well, not a thousand. But several. To recap the backstory: Female nudes were Austrian painter...

Apr 17, 2013
negation/nostalgia/love letter

Among From With Andrew Witkin: Platform 11 deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum through April 2, 2013

Installed in the hallway and two galleries at the top of the deCordova Museum is Andrew Witkin’s Among From With. The installation is attentive to the borders that exist in a museum and attempts to break these down.

In the hallway are several minimalist plywood chairs aligned and spaced along the wall with black felt-like banners hung on the wall. The chairs occupy both the space of sculpture and the function of a space for waiting. The banners contain long lists of names and fragments of thoughts. The names are mostly art names with musicians and baseball, etc. The thoughts are about art and being. This hallway smells good, all that fresh wood. The lists accumulate as a love letter: to those who have influenced and sustained both in thought and presence. The love letter is to the world of art and thought. I am reminded how small a world it is since many of the names...

Apr 16, 2013
An alternative gallery: making a museum-sized exhibition space

Sheffield van Buren & Katherine Porter: Paintings April 4 – May 31, 2013 Thursdays through Sundays, 1 – 6 pm 100 Holton St. Allston, MA (behind warehouse at 184 Everett) 

 

[Photo] View of Installation at 100 Holton St.

Down a nondescript alley, just past Jump on in Parties and the Boston Auto Body Shop, you will notice the hand-painted sign with the words GALLERY. Follow the arrow and you will be amazed to find an art exhibition to rival a museum—with soaring ceilings and a beautiful installation of thirty oil paintings by two established artists. What is the source of this unusual gallery?

Artist Sheffield van Buren searched for several years for an alternative exhibition space before locating an “industrial box” in a warehouse section in Allston. The building is one of many vacant or underutilized buildings in the area owned by Harvard...

Mar 26, 2013
About “Great and Mighty Things”

by Henry McMahon

Some of the most striking works in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, are the sculptures of William Edmondson, who was born in 1874 to former slaves and held various manual labor jobs until his mid-50s, when a series of divine visitations—and the commandment to take up stone carving—prompted two decades of remarkably accomplished sculpting. Immediately recognizable as the subjects they depict, each of Edmondson’s carved limestone sculptures (Woman, Angel, Horse with Short Tail, Horse with Long Tail, Three Birds, and Sheep) takes form by a subtle interplay of simple planes. They are solid and believable without being overly descriptive (rough chisel marks denote the sheep’s fleece, the horses’ coats, the woman’s hair and the angel’s wings), deriving their power from a restrained economy of means.

Boffo. William Hawkins, American, 1895-1990....
Mar 6, 2013
Who, What, When, Where?

By Martha Buskirk 

Book reviews of Ming Tiampo’s Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Judith Rodenbeck’s Radical Prototypes: Allan Kaprow and the Invention of Happenings (MIT Press, 2011)

How is it that certain examples come to stand as shorthand markers for an artist’s work, or even an entire movement? The first gambit in any such reassessment is likely to involve proffering an alternate slate on which to build the analysis. For event-based work there is the further challenge of sifting through the traces, documents, and residue relating to manifestations that remain tantalizingly beyond any opportunity for direct experience.

      Left: Judith Rodenbeck’s Radical Prototypes: Allan Kaprow and the Invention...
Feb 20, 2013
Paint Things: Beyond The Stretcher

Through April 21, 2013 deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Lincoln, MA

Like many intersections, the intersection of painting and sculpture can be approached via many avenues, recast in deliberate contemporary terms as an edgy departure from the canvas or perhaps more sensibly in an historical sense as an ongoing process of exploration. This, of course, ignores the broader human impulse simply to decorate and alter the shit out of anything they can get their hands on (not, we are reminded, a uniquely artistic urge). One needs only to recall (perhaps imprecisely) the original jarring colors of ancient Greek temples, or the elegant simplicity of the pyramids at Giza draped in white paint to remember the strength of this impulse. More formally, it would be easy enough to look back to the combines of Rauschenberg as a beginning of sorts. And just as quickly, in this path, an astute art historian would point you further back again in time.

Feb 11, 2013
The Profundity Of The Caravan Project

By Bansie Vasvani

Eikokoma, Caravan, courtesy MoMA, New York

For a first-time viewer, Eiko and Koma’s slow moving yet highly sculpted performance piece entitled the Caravan Project, at the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby at MoMA, New York, was a treat. Staged beneath Tony Smith’s canvas, Untitled (1962), and in front of Rodin’s Monument to Balzac (1898), this free flowing “museum by delivery” installation carved out and held a distinct place amidst its distinguished company.

The Caravan Project is performed in and around a specifically modified trailer fitted for the setting. At MoMA, the internally lighted trailer resembled the warm interior of a bird’s nest. Leaves, potato stems, and other organic detritus hung from the walls and lined the inner surface of the caravan that was open on all four sides for easy viewing. Then two somnambulant...

Feb 4, 2013
Interview with Sandrine Schaefer

By Robert Moeller

Sandrine Schaefer is a Boston-based artist, educator, and independent curator. Her ephemeral artwork examines the shared experience of understanding the body in space, corporally and conceptually. Using a site-sensitive approach, she exercises durational endurance to explore the parameters of real time and investigate invisible space.

She is the recipient of several awards, grants, residencies, and exhibits internationally and is co-Founder of The Present Tense, an art initiative that produces and archives live art events, festivals, exhibitions and exchanges. We spoke recently.

 

RM: I was struck by how neatly you wove these disparate elements together for the show, Insider/Outsider that you recently curated at Lincoln Arts Project. The work sometimes was just traces of things, fragments. How did the internal organization initially cohere?

SS: My concept...

Jan 24, 2013
Bernd Haussmann

By Craig Stockwell

Bernd has a studio in Marblehead, MA, located on the third floor of an aged building in the scenic old town with a view through to the harbor. I had met Bernd in Provincetown and was interested in his painting and have enjoyed his enigmatic Facebook postings entitled, “Now.”

Bernd is an accomplished painter raised and trained in Germany and his commitment to the rigors of private studio practice were immediately apparent as was his general disapproval of the slightness of much of contemporary art. What’s interesting is that he is in the midst of a changing practice wherein he is moving on to new projects that reflect on the nature of painting, and the idea of what an artist, is in a way that is opening possibilities fundamentally different from those of where he’s begun.

Darwin’s Coral

Haussmann has been involved in a variety of current...

Jan 17, 2013
Salvage Material: Kyla Coburn Designs in Central Falls, RI

By Anya Ventura When, in 2008, artist Kyla Coburn first purchased a 19th-century mill in Central Falls, Rhode Island, she and her partner Andy Trench carted away dumpsters full of garbage. The accumulated layer of trash on the ground was so thick that it formed a kind of artificial sediment. The mill was without basic heat or plumbing, long abandoned to the urban wilderness, but the couple saw the raw potential. Today the mill has a garden, a hot tub, and a scenic view overlooking the Blackstone River that cuts through the city; it is a Central Falls success story writ small.

     

While...

Dec 27, 2012
Beast in the Living Room

By Stephen Vincent Kobasa

Is there any sculptor so resistant to domestication as Sir Anthony Caro? The reality of this fact is, perhaps unintentionally, made clear in a concise retrospective currently at the Yale Center for British Art.

Anthony Caro, Catalan Scrawl, 1987–88, steel, rusted and fixed, 41 x 40 x 13". Private collection, London.

The Yale installation reads like a roadside menagerie with an assemblage of too small cages in which animals pace frantically back and forth on the way to madness. More benignly, it appears like a latter day natural history cabinet with its species-specific groupings of objects presented as coffee table artifacts. The radical edge balancing of these works, resentful of their pedestals, suggests an advertisement for executives’ office toys. They are gizmos deployed with a preference for their illusory...

Dec 13, 2012
Gregory Gillespie: Transfixed —Selected Work 1995–2000

Gallery NAGA, Boston, MA www.gallerynaga.com Through December 15, 2012

By Mary Bucci McCoy

The late Western Massachusetts painter Gregory Gillespie came of age as a painter in the 1960s. Rejecting the dominant paradigms of that era, and choosing to live in western Massachusetts rather than New York, he pursued a deeply personal, introspective path through idiosyncratic and eclectic realism often pushed in magical and surreal directions. Yet he was hardly an outsider artist, and by the time he died by his own hand in 2000 at the age of sixty-four, he had long had a very successful career, with gallery representation in New York (including a stipend) and Boston, work in significant collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and numerous exhibitions including a retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.

Gillespie’s estate is now represented in Boston by Gallery NAGA, which is showing a broad...

Dec 13, 2012
Endnotes

On the last day of the fair I ventured over to the Miami Art Museum to hear a talk. The museum, on West Flagler St, is housed in a somewhat run-down building designed by Philip Johnson and set in a area of the city that, on a Sunday morning at least, feels abandoned. The abandonment seems to extend to the people camped out on benches and wandering the cultural plaza beside the museum. Next year the museum is moving into fancy new quarters down on Key Biscayne Bay, right on the water. The new setting, I presume, more in line with art's growing intersection with the luxury trade and entertainment business. As one art-world insider said to me, "We are all just extras here...", and indeed that was the case. Traveling in air-conditioned comfort via taxis and shuttle buses you passed across the city fooled into thinking you were part of some pampered elite, even if just for a moment.

Party...

Dec 10, 2012
Best in Show.

Perhaps because it was curated, "Untitled" stood out as the most cohesive of the fairs. Gone was the clutter and noise on display everywhere else. Set right out on the beach, the work here seemed more a conversation between friends than the shouting match that ensued elsewhere as dealers and their artists vied for attention.

Work by Franklin Evans

And Jim Richard

Plus...

Dec 9, 2012
The Miami Model

Oscar Murrillo spent the summer at the Rubell Family Collection using one of the large galleries as a studio.

Work by Secundino Hernandez

The most expensive car in the world?

Courtyard Sculpture

Budweiser Installation

Robert...

Dec 8, 2012
The Secondary Market, The Streets...

The streets surrounding the Rubell Family Collection, which is housed in a former DEA warehouse.

Robert Moeller is the website coordinator for ANE

...

Topnotch

©2014 Art New England, All Rights Reserved
Designed and Developed By: T. Montgomery