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artscope magazine: January/February 2010
Welcome Statement: Brian Goslow, managing editor
Letters to the Editor
roundtable - Three Professionals. One Question.
cornered: a conversation with an art exhibition attendee
FEATURED ARTIST GEORGE NICK - Reflections of an impermanent world
Not Your Typical Photo Place - PHOTOPLACE GALLERY
Belonging and Longing - Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Works on Paper
FIXED CHAOS at Montserrat
FEATURE - Evolution: Five Decades of Printmaking by David Driskell
FEATURE - Historic Japanese Kiri-E and Contemporary Tibetan Thangka
GOLDEN LEGACY: Original Art From 65 Years Of Golden Books
DECEIVINGLY SIMPLE - Charles Duback: Collages
wanderlust - The (Right) Brainpower Triangle: The Finest Free Art in Somerville and Cambridge
community - THE KATE: A Little Gem With A Movie Star Name
industry focus - BUY WHAT YOU LOVE
Capsule Previews
Capsule Previews
Brian Goslow

South Africa-born Gary Schneider has challenged American audiences to reevaluate what portraiture is since the mid-1970s. “Gary Schneider: Drawn from Life,” which can be seen from January 8 through February 9 at Howard yezerski Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, includes his early photographs of fragmented body parts, balancing their recognized state and a metaphorical point the artist wished to get across; as well as his series of nude portraits, which were prominently featured on a 2006 New York Times Magazine cover. Schneider’s not been afraid to move between capturing his subjects on film and digitally, and these days, his use of timed lighting — called “scripted performances” in the show’s press announcement — causes many who view the photographs to think they are paintings.

Dark World Gallery, 179 Grafton Street in Worcester, Mass. is presenting “The Art of E: Two Cents” from January 9 through February 3; E is Evan Wondolowski, whose work, curator Jon Hansen said, “takes money as its subject and medium to explore society’s evolving zeitgeist.” The show “aims to lead viewers towards considering the purpose and nature of money and its effects on our culture.” Indeed, “The Thinker,” which adopts President Obama’s head and shoulders, causes you to consider his actual effect on the world. “Can Government Fight Epidemics?” portrays the Capital Building as a hypodermic needle sapping a vaccine bottle. All make you think, and think hard, about the quandary we find ourselves in as a country. The gallery is located inside out of the Dark World Tattoo, so you’ve got two opportunities to leave with a piece of art.

Five percent of sales from the “Winter Light: Recent Paintings by Stephen Remick” exhibition, on display from January 21 through February 13 at Crowell’s Fine Art Gallery, 382 Acushnet Avenue in downtown New Bedford, Mass., will be donated to the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. “Through his strong sense of color Stephen articulates the quiet moments of winter with warmth and emotion,” owner Kate Levin said. “The result brings the serenity and joy of a New England Winter to the canvas.” Recent abstract landscapes and figurative paintings by David Paulson follow from February 18 through March 13. In addition, Levin, UMASS Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Adrian Tio and Patricia Daughton, Director of Creative Economy for the New Bedford Economic Development Office, are curating a show of New Bedford artists from Swain School of Design to the present that’ll be opening at the New Bedford Art Museum in late February.

The Ziegler Polar Expedition of 1903 planned to set up camp for an extended period of time in the Arctic. The explorers failed but left behind a collection of records that include the supply lists of the items they thought, incorrectly, would allow them to live in the region for two years. Utilizing those artifacts, Heddi Siebel, granddaughter of an assistant surgeon on the mission, created “Lumber, Coal, Fawn Skins: An Exploration Revealed in Lists.” The multi-media installation will be on view from January 21 through February 27 at the Mcininch Art Gallery at Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester.

It’s hard to believe a single person created all the components of “Wafaa Bilal: Agent Intellect;” then again, having felt the horror of war first hand when his brother was killed by a pilotless drone plane attack in Al Kufa, Iraq in 2004, Bilal has plenty of emotions to share. The four-part exhibition includes “Domestic Tension,” an archeological recreation of a 2007 performance piece that allowed Internet visitors to shoot paintball cannons at unsuspecting viewers, hoping to get them to contemplate remote controlled weaponry similar to that which took his brother’s life; “Virtual Jihadi,” an interactive video game work; “Ashes,” a series of large scale photographs, conveying Bilal’s feelings of memory and loss presented in a unique black viewing cube; and “Washing Room,” an installation that encourages its viewers to contemplate the means of death, violence and place. This heartfelt and heart-challenging exhibition can be seen from January 21 through April 4 at the Helen Day Art Center, 5 School Street in Stowe, Vermont.

David Dudley’s “Love Me, Leave Me” flies the freak flag high and Paul Cavell’s “Tales of the Midnight Carnival” celebrates the bizarre, while the Bella Curva contortion duo join the Boston (Hula) Hoop Troop and burlesque dancer Honey Suckle Duvet. All are amongst the playwrights, filmmakers, musicians, dancers and roustabouts appearing during “Carny Knowledge: A Sideshow Extravaganza of Original Plays and Extraordinary Oddities.” The Fort Point Theatre Channel will be setting up shop for six days of carnival-inspired plays and performances anchored in the mid-18th century to 1950s, when sideshow barkers would introduce acts that allowed carnival goers to travel around the world without leaving their home town. Go ahead and gawk from January 29 through February 6 at the Cambridge yMCA Theatre, 820 Mass. Ave. in Central Square, Cambridge, Mass.

It’s quite possible the artists featured in the Williams College Museum of Art’s upcoming “Landscapes of the Mind: Contemporary Artists Contemplate the Brain” exhibition have a better idea of what’s going on inside your head than you do. After her own experience as a neurology patient, master printer Susan Aldworth watched Royal London Hospital patients undergo brain scans, and turned them into a series of “Brainscans” etchings. Another Brit, conceptual artist Andrew Carnie, created a magic kingdom “explaining” the life cycle of neurons in “Magic Forest” while Jessica Rankin explored what makes our memory, intuition and interpretation tick by turning large embroidered pieces of organdy into “mental maps.” New York sculptor Katy Schimert’s “Brain” utilizes light bulbs, metal pins and wire mesh for her view on the inner workings of the brain. This fantastic voyage begins on January 30 and continues through May 2 at the WCMA on Route 20 in Williamstown, Mass.

Many artists use music as a backdrop for their creative sessions or a motif in their work, but fewer have the courage to visually present an all-time great classical composition. Painter Gordon Goetemann is one such artist. “Our capacity to imagine and to be awed by our visions pale quickly in the shadows of our mortality,” he notes in the preface for his “A Narrative of Life and Glory: Mahler’s 2nd Symphony” exhibition. “Yet through it all we hope for our future immortality. Faith is our greatest gift and without it there is no exit from the suffering and the anxieties with which life confronts us daily. Such is the content of [this] heroic narrative of life and glory.” You can see the series of colorful, expressive paintings at the Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester, Mass. through January 31, after which time it will be transported to the Andover Newton School of Theology Meetinghouse, 210 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, Mass., where it will open on February 8 and remain on view through April 10.

“Western society orders the land according to its most pressing need, logistical efficiency … For me these structures are at once monuments to the power we exert over our environment and, at the same time, latent ruins representing a self-destructive society,” writes Romanian born painter Armin Mühsam, whose art captures that moment where, these days, it seems life and video games are one. His images seem identifiable, but, he said, “These landscapes are completely artificial, consisting of basic parts drawn from a pool of man-made elements such as dikes, tunnels, excavation holes, roads, foundation walls … all set in a pictorial atmosphere that aims to communicate a sense of misgiving, of unease, of shifting ground despite the concreteness of the portrayed structure.” These “Replacement Landscapes” can be seen from February 16 through March 13 at Albright art + craft, Downstairs at 32 Main Street, Concord, Mass.

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