Archive for the ‘Art New England’ Category

Simon Schama’s CITIZENS

Tuesday, March 7th, 1989

CITIZENS, Simon Schama’s wonderful new book about the French Revolution, is especially fascinating to people who care about Art, because it is in many ways a book about the power of images to transform the world.

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Anselm Kiefer

Wednesday, February 1st, 1989

Anselm Kiefer uses the language of modern art to rewrite the kind of grandiose nineteenth-century history painting that modern art rejected. He paints a raging elegy for the failure of reason and civilization to overcome the evil that is part of human nature. Yet for Kiefer, only the magic of art can build something beautiful out of the wreck of reason and the failure of history.

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Jesseca Ferguson: Distant Views and Forgotten Dreams

Wednesday, February 1st, 1989

JESSECA FERGUSON’s constructions often contain old postcards, which seem to have been sent from places that have long since disappeared. Lost, ruined, or forgotten, they have left behind only pale and ghostly traces. Enshrined in little boxes, like the bones of saints in medieval reliquaries, her work celebrates the sometimes miraculous power of memory to transform the pain and complexity of real life into the stuff of dreams, and art.

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Contemporary New England Furniture

Wednesday, June 1st, 1988
Judy McKie, Monkey Chair 1994

New England is now the center of an extraordinary flourishing of traditional crafts, especially furniture, because some very talented artists have turned to crafts as a way out of the cynical and cerebral “endgame” that so much contemporary art is playing today.

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Animal as Metaphor

Monday, April 1st, 1985

Artists look at animals: the romantic fantasy animal, the primitive art animal, the hidden drives animal, the whimsical animal, the elemental animal, and other mythical beasts. As Walt Whitman wrote,
“I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.”

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Robert Ferrandini

Saturday, December 1st, 1984

ROBERT FERRANDINI’s early work featured flying saucers and monsters, imagery drawn from a 1950’s childhood spent watching science-fiction movies like When Worlds Collide and The Thing. In his new paintings of imaginary landscapes and seascapes, he has come to some kind of terms with his past and is ready to move on. His spaceship has finally landed in a world of his own making.

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Renoir: A Lesson in Happiness

Saturday, December 1st, 1984

“His hands were terribly deformed. Rheumatism had cracked the joints, bending the thumb toward the palm and the other fingers toward the wrist. Visitors who weren’t used to it couldn’t take their eyes off this mutilation. Their reaction, which they didn’t dare express, was: ‘It’s not possible. With those hands, he can’t paint these pictures. There’s a mystery!’ The mystery was Renoir himself.”

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Jean-Francois Millet: Seeds of Impressionism

Friday, June 1st, 1984

Jean-Francois MILLET saw a timeless beauty and sadness in life, in evenings dark and filled with color. “What I know of happiness is the quiet, the silence, that you can savor so deliciously, either in the forests, or in the fields,” he wrote.

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More Than Drawing

Thursday, March 1st, 1984

Drawings as a picture making, story telling, dream machine. Drawings that dance, stretch, yearn, arch, and glide across the page. The pleasures of looking emerge here not from what is observed but from how it is rendered; not the image but the artifice.

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Henry Hobson Richardson

Friday, July 1st, 1983

HENRY HOBSON RICHARDSON used the colors of the earth like paint, and handled stones and trees with a giant’s strength and a sculptor’s grace. The poetry of his architecture makes the stones sing.

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Michael Mazur

Sunday, May 1st, 1983

In MICHAEL MAZUR’s hands, the Monotype was the perfect form to convey the multiplicity of life in the natural world. The clearest, most lucid flowers are surrounded by a paler aura of other flowers, other summers, other interpretations — a riot of reeds and flowers, organic growth, confusion, and decay. Revenants of images repeat like ghostly, half-remembered things.

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Anne Neely/Robert Ferrandini

Friday, April 1st, 1983

Yet there is exhilaration in the terror, the vertiginous fall. These speedy, violent fantasies of destruction and chaos are tenderly, beautifully described. The drawings in graphite and linseed oil – the oil used wonderfully as color – and the swirls of paint in eerie sea greens or fiery reds compose a balanced, painterly surface. The language of abstraction pulls us upward, as the images plunge us into the abyss.

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New Wave Painting

Tuesday, June 1st, 1982

False masks of plastic beauty are among its moving targets. Desperate to survive the glissando of the word processor and the deadly lull of ordinary life, it rips to pieces the world’s fabric and its skin and puts it back together, obsessively recreating from scraps and scrawls and marks and images the objects of its desire and its rage.

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Otto Piene

Saturday, May 1st, 1982

As a very young man, OTTO PIENE saw the sky reflected in a sea at long last calm: “The feeling of being reborn has never left me.” Out of this rebirth came “a love for the sky, the desire to point at it, to show how beautiful it is, how it makes us live and feel alive.”

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Sky Art Conference

Friday, January 1st, 1982

Artists and scientists. working in neon, laser, steam, smoke, video, pyrotechnics, film, inflated and flying sculpture, and other celestial navigations, celebrate the sky as a medium of expression, transmission, and space.

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Kush: Lost Kingdom of the Nile

Tuesday, December 1st, 1981

Red Sea shells and polished stones from the pyramid tomb of Queen Khensa — “great of charm, great of praise, possessor of grace, sweet of love” — and other treasures from KUSH, Lost Kingdom of the Nile. A meditation on Art, Time, and the ancient river.

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The Sketchbooks of Le Corbusier

Tuesday, December 1st, 1981

LE CORBUSIER created his own myth through the organic generation of forms. His genius constantly renewed itself, pulling new phenomena into the orbit of his thought and recreating them in the purified, monumental yet human forms of his architecture.

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Flora Natapoff

Thursday, October 1st, 1981

The surface of a FLORA NATAPOFF painting is a place where battles have been fought, cities and temples built up and brought down, and on which there has been a wrestling with angels. The means of expression are abstract – marks on paper and scraps of paper that must always hold their own. But the energy to work comes from looking at something that moves her.

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The Dial: Arts and Letters in the 1920s

Wednesday, April 1st, 1981

THE DIAL was a literary magazine that published T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, as well as reproductions of artworks collected by Schofield Thayer, a Henry Jamesian character who went abroad in search of old knowledge and new art.

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Work on Paper

Sunday, February 1st, 1981

Each rectangle is like a picture of a picture, moving through a series of transformations. The tremulous drawings are like jottings, hieroglyphics, messages in bottles, unreadable postcards, ideas coming into being, the first appearances of the not-yet-visible, the impalpable images taking form before our eyes.

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Frances Hamilton: Books and Painted Stories

Sunday, February 1st, 1981

FRANCES HAMILTON has refashioned much-loved images, memories, and dreamstransforming them into a fully re-imagined universe. It is this transformation – the serious, difficult task of art – that gives her work its power to enchant.

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Ingres 1780-1980

Monday, December 1st, 1980

For a twentieth-century audience brought up on abstraction, INGRES’s greatness, his fascination, lies in the abstract qualities of his line, its restless, obsessive movement across the page. Ingres’ line has power, grace, life; it’s brilliant, dramatic, neurotic, even perverse. He told his students, “Drawing is everything; it is all of Art.”

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Gabriele Munter: From Munich to Murnau

Saturday, November 1st, 1980

A woman sits thinking, resting her head on her hand in a room filled with flowers and fruit. The room seems charged with meaning, filled with her extraordinary presence. For GABRIELE MUNTER, art was not about appearances, but about realities lying behind appearances. Abstraction was a way of seeing into the heart of things.

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Claude Le Lorrain

Tuesday, April 1st, 1980

CLAUDE LE LORRAIN depicts the moment just before transfiguration — the moment just before women turn into goddesses, or girls turn into swans, or life turns into art. His light is dusk and twilight — the darkling light that washes the physical world in unearthly beauty and fills the heart with an intoxicating sense of possibility.

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Becoming an Art Critic

Thursday, April 13th, 1978

In 1979, an 11th century Persian poem with 50,000 rhyming couplets, illuminated by tiny paintings in exquisite colors made from crushed jewels and insects’ wings, inspired my first story about art. For the next 20 years, I wrote, published, and broadcast hundreds of Stories about Art in Boston and beyond. This is how it all began.

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