Enfolding Natural Processes at Groton by Elizabeth Michelman For some artists, the practice of their art form permits them to experience a meditative separation from the incursions of an urbanized, mechanized and consumption-driven society. The art of painter Deborah Barlow, photographer Kay Canavino and ceramic sculptor Ramah Commanday, whose works are on exhibit together at the Groton School’s Brodigan Gallery, enfolds natural processes into the making of their aesthetic objects and images. Whatever form their discipline takes, they use their conscious capacities to position themselves in a brief or extended moment where unpredictable factors must come into play. Despite time-consuming preparations or extensive, after-the-fact refinements, the aesthetic charisma of their objects derives from a material, defining act — an authenticating= moment that creates an … [Read more...] about Under, Above, Everywhere
Unleashing What Lies Beneath by Elizabeth Michelman Ellen Raquel LeBow’s large sgraffito paintings in her “Every border can be cross” exhibition at the Groton School resemble the familiar grade-school project of scratching designs through a wax-covered board to reveal variegated color. But there is nothing child-like in LeBow’s black-ink-on Claybord figurative panels, many of which tower seven feet high. Her monochromatic palette and all-over technique hint of Orozco’s and Jackson Pollock’s murals, and mirror the latter’s early fascination with Jungian archetypal forms. But unlike Pollock, LeBow’s vibrating figures are legible, and her line is fluid and disciplined. LeBow gathers her human and bestial forms from a universe of art sources, contemporary and classic. Mixing tradition and cliché, she treads a delicate path between reverence, pathos and irony. Despite the … [Read more...] about LeBow in Groton
Liz MacDonald's Ceramics by Kristin Nord I’m descending a steep stone staircase to Elizabeth MacDonald’s studios — past banks of glistening myrtle and her well-appointed kitchen garden. The property itself exudes Litchfield County charm, from the circa- 1790 white colonial out front to the stone walls and the way the buildings fit the land. I find the artist already at a work table, gouging crevices into wet slabs of clay. This is a process with a number of stages, and later in the day she’ll paint these slabs and dust them with pigment. Finally, after the tiles have been fired, she’ll begin to work with them, transforming them into whatever forms or scenes they suggest. … [Read more...] about Spreading Joy in CT
Addison Seeks A Connection by James Foritano An extremely ambitious, some would say busy, exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art curated by Maurice Berger intends to reveal the multifarious connections between modern art and the “birth” of American television. As a thesis, i.e., that television and modern art of the early- and mid-20th century are in any meaningful way connected, this exhibit seems to this viewer both to prove and disprove itself around every corner of the lavish multigallery installation — sometimes stepping on its own two feet as the left foot contradicts what the right foot has just asserted, and vice-versa. … [Read more...] about Modern Art and Television
Gary Duehr Isn't Just Looking by Franklin W. Liu To Gary Duehr, photographic art offers a precious, unique opportunity: a rich, life-long visual conduit to examine, to deliberate and to challenge all things attributable to humanity both great and small in life. He is a vibrant artist/thinker whose keen cultural awareness and intellectual curiosity are manifestly vigorous and infinite. Duehr is also a published poet, a teacher and an award-winning artist whose public installations and artworks have been exhibited worldwide. … [Read more...] about Is It What It Is?
Casavant's Seasonal Expressions by Taryn Plumb For Arnie Casavant, it’s not the subject itself that entices — but the light hitting it, giving it life, shadow, color, dimension, personality. “It’s the time of day that it’s painted,” said the Quincy artist. “I have absolutely no interest in painting from 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. It’s the least inspiring time. The colors just aren’t there for me. The sunlight in the morning and the evening provides me with a dramatic effect on a subject.”. … [Read more...] about Exploring Light and Shadow