While creating his installation “Divination X,” which will be installed on the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade from January 6 through June 29 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, St. Andrews, Jamaica-born Nari Ward explored his personal responses to the question, “What does my future hold?” Described as “a contemporary piece that resembles anx-ray of a cowrie shell reading,” the work is the result of a recent return stint as the Gardner’s artist-in-residence by Ward, who weaves personal narratives with cultural and historic associations from “systematically collected material.” The show’s announcement release notes, “In certain cultures, cowrie shells were first generally regarded as currency and later as part of the paraphernalia of sacred practices in many animistic religions. Although not a devotee of these practices, Ward has a profound regard for the origins and spiritual dimensions of these rituals and wants us to consider how nature’s mysterious designs can both inspire reverence as well as the yearning for control.”
Using petri dishes, plant life and underwater creatures as her inspiration, Candace Cotterman Thibeault’s work becomes an active playground for the inhabitants of her imagination — and her work. “I enjoy creating an environment where different components can co-exist together,” she explains on her website. “Bacteria, molds, and viruses are the terrain for many of my works. Flat renditions of biological elements are illustrated and embedded between resin. Wax carvings are placed between layers of resin to emulate floating vessels. Clay is manipulated, glazed and fired before it becomes coral, strategically placed within layers of the paintings. Resin is never evenly poured, and the overall design of my pieces are not strategically planned out in advance.” They’ll all come together from January 13 through February 12 when an exhibition of Thibeault’s creations will be displayed at the Wallace L. Anderson Gallery at Bridgewater State University, 40 School Street, Bridgewater, Mass.
We first were drawn to the work of Jeffrey Marshall through his “New Orleans Drawing Project” that began in 2006 in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina — and which continues to this day. The Gloucester resident’s “Knots: Drawings and Paintings” exhibition that runs from January 15 through March 15 at the Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, Mass., will bring warmth to anyone who’s ever walked the shoreline of Cape Ann and come across remnants of the fishing trade, especially lobster traps that had been mauled by collisions along the boundaries of water and land. “I am attracted to these mangled, man-made structures because they are echoes of the frenetic energy and power of the ocean waves,” Marshall said. “In Gloucester, fishing and lobstering are elements, like the sea and air. Over time these components combine into molecules specific to this place. These colorful, twisted wrecks are portraits, and each one reflects the insistent beauty of this city.”
Building on the positive response to Gloria Garfinkel’s “Origami Interpretations” at the neighboring George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum (where it remains through April 26), the Springfield Museums is also presenting “Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami,” which will spotlight large-scale installations by nine international artists intended to change the way you look at the Japanese paper folding art form. Curated by freelance art curator Meher McArthur and organized by International Arts & Artists of Washington, D.C., a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure, the show, which features Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine, Vincent Floderer, Miri Golan, Paul Jackson, Dr. Robert J. Lang, Yuko Nishimura, Richard Sweeney and Jiangmei Wu, runs from January 20 through April 20 at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, Mass.
Hopkinton, Mass.-based sculptor Michael Alfano’s latest exhibition portrait in a modern style that reinterprets the human image to speak to timeless subjects in a contemporary style. Two life-size female torsos, “Torsos of Positive and Negative Space,” that investigate “the dualisms of the seen and unseen, and the beautiful facades within the hidden, industrial structural support,” were carved out of building lumber. The show’s central work is a series of faces within faces, standing over seven feet high, made out of stainless steel and granite. Made to slide past each other, their overlapping creates “a kaleidoscope of multiplying forms that imply growth through interconnectedness” and express “a rippling effect, where there is a definite impact though the outcome is uncertain.” Experience Alfano’s “Evolution” for yourself from February 3 through 28 at the Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park Street, Attleboro, Mass.
Seeing the art of Marc Chagall in person has to be among life’s greatest pleasures. Spaightwood Galleries, 120 Main Street, Upton, Mass., iscurrently displaying over 130 Chagall original lithographs and Letchings — some hand-painted by Chagall — made between 1923 and 1984. They include etchings from early in Chagall’s career as a printmaker, works from The Fables of La Fontaine (1927-1930), Lithographs for the Bible Verve (1956 and 1960), and De Mauvais Sujets, plus works from the pages of literary texts (including Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and depicting places (particularly Paris and rural Russia, small-town life, or the circus). Along with those on display through the end of March, another 50 Chagall works are viewable by request. The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday from noon-6 p.m. and by appointment at (800) 809-3343.
For more exhibition previews and reviews, visit zine.artscopemagazine.com.