A few days prior to us going to press with this issue of Artscope Magazine, the region received the long-awaited news that galleries that had been closed since a mid-April water break flooded their exhibition spaces at 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, would finally be reopening. Could there be a more appropriate exhibition title than “Light from Above: Emerging Out of Isolation,” which will be on view from September 4 through October 31 at Galatea Fine Art?
“Returning to the gallery space feels like victory,” said director Marjorie Kaye. “It was hard fought and won. In this uncertainty, we, as a community, managed to pan for gold and 36 artists have banded together to work towards its reformation in the face of what, at one time, seemed like an impossibility.
The Eliot School will also be rejoining us with its wonderful and diverse programs. Gallery life is being rebuilt by artists and gallerists in our SoWA community and it is building in momentum. Looking over the work that will be included in ‘Light from Above,’ there is a stream of direct reaction to the pandemic, which is making its way in to so many artists’ works.”
The Copley Society of Art’s 32nd Fresh Paint, originally scheduled for the spring, will not be denied. “Fresh Paint 2020: Hidden Gems,” featuring over 50 newly painted works from gallery members, will be on view and available for bidding from September 1 through 17 on liveauctions.com. A live virtual auction hosted by Stuart Slavid, leading auctioneer and general appraiser of Skinner Auctioneers, is taking place on Thursday, September 17 from 6-7:30 p.m.; tickets to the live auction are available at freshpaint2020.eventbrite.com. The gallery’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the event supports its “innovative exhibitions of emerging and established artists, lectures, scholarships, residencies, and outreach programs.”
“Abstraction, Then & Now: Paintings by Jane Eccles,” takes place from September 4 through October 2 at Miller White Fine Arts, 708 Route 134, South Dennis, Massachusetts. “With this exhibition, Ms. Eccles brings into view works that bridge the very onset of an enduring passion for abstraction that began in New Jersey in the late 1950s to connect in the present day with items in her current oeuvre,” notes gallery director Susan Danton. “To this end, she has created a modified retrospective, mounting seven large-scale canvases from her earliest forays into abstraction and pairing them with nine smaller works which themselves resulted from a merging of complimentary influences, namely Richard Diebenkorn’s ‘Ocean Park’ series juxtaposed upon a personally-meaningful musical theme titled ‘Musical Overlays.’”
With openings on September 4 and 5, “Maggie Simonelli: Cosmic Fire” features the Manhattan-based artist whose encaustic paintings have been a mainstay each season at Gary Marotta Fine Art, 162 Commercial St., Provincetown, Massachusetts, since 2011. Marotta said that her current works combine minerals, pigments, metal leaf and even make up to symbolize transformation through destruction and regeneration. “Choosing the materials to represent this subject, I had to direct myself towards western art history,” Simonelli said. “I imagined the heart of the flame, choosing 24 kt. gold and cinnabar, cochineal and the most beautiful reds became the ‘elements’ that could describe fire as both material and intellect. The physical beauty of the heart of the fire represented by the red crackling in the flame by the gold.” The show runs through October 31.
Unmoored,” Nora Valdez’s latest series of stone sculptures, are on view from September 23 through November 1 at Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave., Boston, Massachusetts. “Expressions of both personal and collective anxiety in a time of great upheaval,” the sculptures offer the viewer, “the opportunity to resonate with themes of change, movement, security and insecurity. With no eternal tethers, these figures suggest the burden of freedom and the need for internal stability.” Valdez’s work is joined by “The Slightest Shift,” an installation of wooden architectural sculptures by Kirsten C. Reynolds guaranteed to play eye tricks on their viewers.
Regardless of the season, “Tradition & Opulence: Easter in Imperial Russia,” featuring approximately 200 19th and early 20th century creations from Fabergé and its competitors, as well as objects from Russian Easter celebrations, which remains on view through October 25 at the Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton, Massachusetts, is a unique opportunity to see some of the finest crafted works ever made. Through September 27, the museum is also featuring “The Long Way Home: A Photographic Journey with Gordon Lankton,” the museum’s founder, whose 40 plus large-format photographs document his 1956-57 motorcycle adventure that spanned 27,000 plus miles through 24 countries, from Germany to Japan.
With their semesters bouncing between on-campus and online classes, most New England college galleries will be only allowing students and members of its campus community into its spaces or offering their exhibitions online with supplementary video presentations and talks.
The Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst has scheduled a strong selection of visual and performing arts presentations for online only viewing, beginning with “Breathing While Black,” an international response to the recent and ongoing killing of Black Americans, opened online on September 1 as the first virtual offering of the fall semester from the Augusta Savage Gallery. The show features over 50 artists from 17 countries who answered the call for submissions.
“The exhibition is part of the gallery’s 2020-21 and 50th Anniversary theme, ‘Healing Bodies,’ featuring visual and performance works that raise questions, offer solutions and present new ways of viewing the vigor and wellness of bodies, defined in any number of ways.” To see this exhibition and the entire fall FAC schedule, visit fineartscenter.com/asg.
Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, Connecticut, is currently featuring “Monumental Follies,” artwork by Howard Skrill exploring the “creation, removal and absence” of controversial public monuments nationwide; it’ll soon be joined by “Group Relief,” paintings and figurative furniture sculpture by New York-based Ruby Sky Stiler from September 11 through December 19 and “Limits of Sight,” abstraction and watercolor paintings by Andrew Forge from September 25 through December 19. “We are putting our exhibitions online because the public cannot come to campus to see them,” explained executive director Carey Mack Weber. “Fairfield University, along with so many others, has closed the campus to outside visitors. Having the exhibitions online this fall will also make accessing them easier for any students who have chosen to be completely remote this semester.” Weber noted that the number of people who’ve accessed their exhibitions and offerings online are much greater than would have been able to in person. “Making our exhibitions available online is something we will do for every exhibition going forward, to increase the accessibility of the exhibition, so that people who are unable to travel to campus, for any number of non-pandemic reasons, will be able to still have the opportunity to experience the artwork.” Check out all three shows at fairfield.edu/museum/.