CLOSE TO HOME
ART COMPLEX MUSEUM
189 ALDEN STREET
By Suzanne Volmer
Because of their tactile quality, there is often a compelling urge to touch the installations in “Close to Home,” on view through January 14, 2018, at The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Mass. Expertly curated by Elizabeth Michelman, the show spotlights narrative approaches by nine women artists who range from emerging to late-career talents.
Women often define themselves by their relationship to home, with a sense of personal value absorbed from an intimate subculture of family and friends. This show contextualizes where and how attachments form in that trajectory of experience.
As an exhibition devoted to installation art, “Close to Home” taps into childhood and adult experience. The show includes sculptural approaches, drawing, painting, photography and video; however, the purity of single media often turns into a mixed-media approach to facilitate communication and to achieve desired aesthetic outcomes. The “Close to Home” conceptual footprint of storytelling is intertwined with process. It is interesting that the idea of home has such vastly different connotations in this exhibition from artist to artist.
The Art Complex Museum’s main exhibition space has a gallery-within- a-gallery configuration. There is a central cubical space where excerpts from the permanent collection are shown. A larger rectangular space picture frames that interior gallery. “Close to Home” is located in the framing space. Michelman, a longtime Artscope contributor, has maximized this configuration conceptually by choosing home as a contemporary subject, relating to the historical museum objects of domestic utility in the permanent collection. She has done well to make the two spaces visually function in concert with each other.