by Brian Goslow
“Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945” remains on view through April 24 at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, Mahaney Center for the Arts, 72 Porter Field Rd. (just off Route 30), Middlebury, Vermont; the show, organized by Art Services International, is built around nearly 200 works drawn from the Levenson Collection, the world’s premier private collection of Japanese art in the Deco and Moderne style, as well as 20th-century examples of metalwork in traditional styles. The five-section show spotlights the “cultural, formal and social aspects of Japanese Deco.”
Alicia Dywer’s “Body of Armor” exhibition, on view from March 9 through April 1 at ArtSpace Gallery, 63 Summer St., Maynard, Mass., combines sculpture, painting and drawings that explore how “armor dress can translate into a metaphor of how women protect their bodies/selves in the world.” Painted in black-and-white oil on board or sheet metal cut-outs, the works alternate between being toy-sized, life-sized and blown-up, and feature Dwyer’s decorative helmets, metal flowers and the playful inclusion of tiny toy soldiers. “The work is imbued with elements of flight, whimsy, drama, and shiny reflective metal shaped to catch the viewer’s eye.”
Two great events inspired the “Nan Hass Feldman: Antipodes: Paintings Inspired by Mexico and the Southern Pacific” show taking place from March 10 through April 10 at Fountain Street Fine Art, 59 Fountain St., Framingham, Mass. — Feldman’s “falling in love” with a small lily pond north of Boca de Tomatlan (near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) while on vacation, and seeing a contemporary exhibit of Aboriginal paintings in Brisbane, Australia. Feldman’s colors are always among the most magnificent in any gallery, and her grabbing additional inspiration for this series from Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh guarantees that making the early spring drive to see this show will be well worth your trip.
Fifty-four contemporary artists from around the world contributed artists’ books to the “Reading with the Senses” exhibition that will displayed from March 10 through April 17 at the Roberts Gallery at the Lunder Arts Center, Lesley University College of Art and Design, 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass. Guest-curated by Ruth R. Rogers, curator of special collections at Wellesley College, the show is meant to cause visitors to stop and ponder the effect each book — created out of non-traditional structures and materials — has on their senses. “Themes of time, space, movement, material presence, memory, language and music are explored” through the work, with the expectation that the viewer’s experience will continue long after they’ve left the gallery.
“Surprise! New Works in Ink and Color by Kathleen Swift” — a show that features new work by Swift, a sumi-e ink artist who uses “Japanese brushes and ink or Western oils to capture life forms, landscapes and still life” and has recently been exploring new Japanese techniques — opens March 10 at Long River Gallery, 1 Main St. (on the Common), Lyme, New Hampshire. The gallery, which has been the base for artists from the Upper Valley/Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Regions of Vermont and New Hampshire since 1991, is supported by a collective of 150 artists and craftspeople.
Alexa Horochowski: Club Disminución — an installation combining sculptures made from cochayuyo (giant kelp that grows off the coast of Chile), bronze and “bits of flotsam,” with large-scale black-and-white photography accompanied by video projections and a transformational soundtrack — can be experienced from March 14 to April 16 at the Cantor Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross, O’Kane Hall, One College St., Worcester, Mass. Translated as “The Club of Diminishing Returns,” the exhibition’s goal is to give visitors an idea of what a post-human Earth would look and feel like after nature finally wins the war on humankind’s attempt to control it.
The work of New England fine art photographers Bill Claybrook, John Kennard, and Jennifer Montgomery Johnston are joined by German-born photographer Stefan Hagen (who has shot commercially for American Express and Campbell‘s, and may best be known for providing the visual component to the popular children’s books by Sloane Tanen) in Spring Photography Show, from March 22 through May 10 at Three Stones Gallery, 115 Commonwealth Ave., West Concord, Mass.
“Discovering John Singer Sargent,” a Loft Artists Association members exhibition of figurative and portrait work, has an added special feature: a circa 1890 Sargent portrait of Amsterdam financier J.P. Wolff that had been confiscated from a prominent Dutch dealer by the Nazis and gifted ti the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in 1955. Curator Kirsten Brophy will give a talk on the painting’s history at the show’s opening night reception on April 9 from 6-8 p.m.; the exhibition continues through May 1 at the Stamford Loft Artists Gallery, 575 Pacific St., Stamford, Conn. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m.
The first exhibition at Sprout, a new gallery at the recently opened coworking space in the Rising Sun Mills Complex, 166 Valley St., Providence, RI, is a group show featuring paintings, photography, and sculptural work by Jide Adeleke, John Fazzino, Vesper Guo, Ho Jae Kim, Betsey MacDonald and Mark Winsor. You can check out the space during the first Gallery Night Providence of 2016 on Thursday, March 17 from 5-8:30 p.m.