By Brian Goslow
One of our “25 Artists to Watch” in our 2013 seventh anniversary issue, Christina Pitsch has her first solo show at Boston’s Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., #43 from July 1 through August 2. “The show will include grand porcelain and brass sculpture highlighting intersecting dichotomies,” Pitsch explained. “The series explores fluid and shifting boundaries between high brow and low brow, beautiful and macabre, elegance and kitsch.” Central to the show are her chandelier forms created during her residency at the New Art Center in Newton.
If you’re a fan of traditional and modern folk art (also known as Visionary or Outside Art), you’ll want to see the “Inward Adorings of the Mind: Grassroots Art from the Bennington Museum and Blasdel/ Koch Collections” exhibition that opens July 3 and continues through November 1 at the Bennington Museum, 75 Main St. (Route 9), Bennington, Vermont. The show features over 150 eccentric items, “ranging from textiles, ceramics (including 19th century period bold cobalt decorated works from Bennington Pottery) and weathervanes to drawings, paintings and sculpture” created by individuals with little or no formal training in art and working outside the framework of the traditional art market, including “Grandma” Moses, Jesse Howard, Mose Tolliver, Inez Nathaniel Walker, Joseph Yoakum and more.
Located at one of New England’s most scenic locations, Gallery 4, 3848 Main Road, Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island, is presenting “[email protected],” a stimulating collection of works intended to entertain and distract you, temporarily, from its picturesque surroundings from July 5 through September 8. “From works on steroids, like Mark Wholey’s towering sculpture ‘Hephaestus Rising,’ to the striking diminutive bronze heads of Victoria McGeoch, the shimmering impressionistic canvases of Susan Strauss, the bold Fauvist, Kandinsky-esque works of Joseph Edwards Alexander, the pure geometric abstractions of Harry Nadler, and the minimalist Chinese theme paintings of Gedas Paskauskas, this show is a feast for the eyes,” promises the gallery, which is also featuring the 14-artist “Cast of Creatives: An Artful Summer” exhibition.
“Possessions: Prized and Otherwise,” which runs through July 23 at the Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park St., Attleboro, Mass., is the result of a nationwide call to artists to use any and all artistic mediums, regardless of size or how outrageous the concept, to explore the meanings behind “the things we hold dear – and the things we just plain hold.” The 80-plus works — juried by Nancy and Lucy Grogan of Grogan and Co. Fine Art and Jewelry Auctioneers of Boston and curated by museum executive director Mim Brooks Fawcett — include family heirlooms, travel souvenirs, treasured bric-abracs and items that inexplicably survived moving day.
Alison Horvitz’s “Memory Jars/Containment” series goes on view on July 31 and remains on display through September 4 at the Brookline Arts Center, 86 Monmouth St., Brookline, Mass. “On the surface, my current series of work explores abstraction of color, line, pattern and texture, contained in a closed unit orshape,” Horvitz explained. “These shapes have become my mandalas, a place to explore materials and ideas.” Her work, which she said is informed by beauty and imperfection in nature, guides her as she grapples with issues of the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. She begins with wide, irregular brushstrokes, placing color over color; as the layers build, she reacts with the form that will lead to its final state. “Sometimes I push paint through pieces of my grandmother’s lace tablecloths and doilies, forming patterns with the thick splotches of paint that ooze through the spaces. My process is largely intuitive, allowing for chanceresponse and fine-tuning. Layers of color, shape and texture build, then are pared down to their simplest form as the painting becomes a visual diary, a record of process, a history of the life of the piece.”
“Traditional and Transformational,” the New Bedford Art Museum’s main summer exhibition curated by Jiyoung Chung, features over 50 artists from around the world, including May/June 2015 Artscope centerfold artist Ania Gilmore, in a show that blends the coastal city’s long fiber history with that of the Joomchi — “an ancient Korean technique once used by peasants to make sturdy paper cloth in place of woven fabric that was an unaffordable luxury. The process of making paper fabric takes only water, paper and eager hands,” noted exhibitions manager Lindsay Mis. Undergoing a resurgence in interest, contemporary artists “are pushing the envelope” in what can be done with the art form. “This artistic process, similar to felting, takes time, but is extremely meditative.” The show continues through at August 21 at NBAM, 608 Pleasant St., New Bedford, Mass.
Painting with brushes and palate knives, Annie Wildey explores the powerful characteristics of the ocean and waves in the new body of work in her second solo exhibition at Cate Charles Gallery, 251 South Main St., Providence, R.I. Much like the sea, her work seems to be in constant motion. “I work at the combative edge;” Wildey said. “The paint wants to push out into chaotic abstraction, but the image pulls back against that force towards representation.” This battle between freedom and control, and her activated, textural surfaces, convey energy and movement of the subject and place the viewer within. The show runs from July 16 through August 15.
Many of the artists who’ve been featured in these pages have either shown at or taken classes at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, and the beloved institution has taken a huge step toward making it possible to welcome and host more artists and play an even greater role in its community. With the help of a Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund capital grant of $600,000, it is looking to purchase the historic Edgewood Farm, one of the last large tracts of public land in Truro. It is envisioned that the circa 1849 original farm homestead would feature a large renovated barn to include five bedrooms, a guest house, cottage, flower gardens, a spacious studio cabin, writing shed and seasonal yurt for visiting artists. To raise funds for the purchase, they’re hosting the Farm to Table: Full Moon Gala at Edgewood Farm on August 29; the event will honor artist Janet Echelman (whose aerial sculpture remains over the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston through early October). For more information on the event or tickets, visit castlehill.org.