A PURR-FECT TRIBUTE TO DR. SEUSS John P. Stapleton There are many ways that we can think about a cat wearing a hat, but the first one the mind jumps to is almost always Dr. Seuss’ favorite furry friend, The Cat in the Hat. In anticipation of its new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, scheduled to open this June, the Springfield Museums have put on the “Cats in Hats” exhibit, featuring over two dozen works of art that depict just that — cats wearing hats. In Russ Cox’s “Draculitier,” we see The Cat in the Hat in a macho-aggressive pose, similar to a Latin American cartoon style, but also donning a cape and vampire teeth. At the back wall of the exhibit is one of the more somber depictions of the character. “Seen Better Times,” by Gary A. Lippincott, shows a very old Cat in The Hat in poor health, hooked up to a number of tubes and machines. The reimaginations of the … [Read more...] about A PURR-FECT TRIBUTE TO DR. SEUSS
MIXING TURTLES WITH TRADITION John P. Stapleton Cartoons, illustrations, and their history are important to Springfield Museums. From various exhibits to their gift shop and their sculpture garden, hometown hero Dr. Seuss is always present. But for their new exhibit, “Turtle Power,” they delve into this subject from a new, yet still local, direction: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and the Japanese warriors that inspire them. “The goal of the exhibit is to bring together a pop culture icon with ancient objects and imagery that informed this phenomenon,” exhibit curator Julia Courtney said. “In short, the exhibit demonstrates how ancient culture informs pop culture and provides a context for both.” When you walk into the room, you’re met with four long banners, each with a representation of the Turtles from the original 1980s comics by Northampton … [Read more...] about COWABUNGA, DUDE!
DIGGING FOR ANSWERS AT LASELL Elizabeth Michelman “Is This Something?,” a fiveperson exhibition curated by Janet Kawada at Lasell College opening on January 24, grew out of her conversation with Deborah Klotz after Klotz returned from an archaeological dig in Israel. Klotz had spent a day sifting sand and searching among shards for any that might have greater personality than the rest. Each time she picked up a fragment and inspected it she wondered, “Is this something?” Klotz came home to the realization that she brought this same expectant awareness to her own art process, and that often it was the most humdrum of artifacts that sparked a “Eureka” moment. Kawada thinks all artists hover in anxiety as their process falls into place. “Is this something?” they constantly ask. “Is it even anything?” One might well wonder — at what point does a process of no apparent value … [Read more...] about NOW THAT’S SOMETHING
HOPPER BEQUEST OPENS NEW DOORS Laura Shabott Ninety-six drawings by American painter Edward Hopper, 69 drawings and watercolors by his wife Josephine Hopper, and 22 of her diaries were donated to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum this past fall in memory of Mary Schiffenhaus. It is one of the largest donations in the 102-year history of the museum. The story of the Hopper acquisition began over a decade ago when PAAM was a leaky building in desperate need of renovation. Executive director Chris McCarthy championed a complex renovation that led to a LEED Silver Award and inclusion in the American Alliance of Museums. With the proper storage and exhibition space, its collection tripled to 3,500 works by over 800 20th Century and contemporary artists who worked or now work in Provincetown and the Cape. It is a beautiful museum, making it a good fit for the largest … [Read more...] about A GIFT OF LOVE AT PAAM
FALCO IS JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED Don Wilkinson Apprehension, malaise, unease — call it what you will, but anxiety weighs heavy on the zeitgeist and informs our collective discourse. Humor, however, can take the edge off a bit, and Bostonbased illustrator-cartoonist Pat Falco provides the prescription. Falco, a 2010 graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with concentrations in illustration and the history of art, has a distinctive style drawing from a wide range of influences. His work — which includes a wide range of media from acrylic painting and papier mâché to site-specific installations — perfectly marries the pictorial with the written word, those words kept to a very contemporary and appropriate length. The people who populate his cartoons look a bit like Chester Gould’s Prune Face or Mumbles of Dick Tracy fame, yet with a clear … [Read more...] about A PRESCRIPTION FOR HUMOR
PERIPHERY SPACE IS ON THE GRID Suzanne Volmer Expressing a contemporary saturation of process, Robert Paasch’s paintings are installed as an organized swipe of abstract information in “Reality Duality — Paintings from the Open Block Grid Series,” the third exhibition presented at Periphery Space in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In constructing his paintings, Paasch employs two techniques that join in forming a single work. The first involves a background layer that looks like emulsion smears or magnifications of residue from the peel-way paper discards of a Polaroid Land Camera. The second layer functions as foreground, composed as a floating checkered grid of thickly painted pixels behind which the background can still be seen. In the paintings, subtleties of white reveal a presence where the surface ground is allowed to show through; or, in foreground, color unites in … [Read more...] about PAASCH’S REALITY DUALITY