Fall Preview: 5 Must-See Museum Exhibitions

Fall is one of Boston’s busiest times of year - back to school, September moving day, exciting local events like Hubweek and We-BOS week, and the end of baseball season (go Sox!). We always recommend taking a moment to slow down and enjoy the exhibitions on view at our local institutions. Here are five exhibitions you can’t miss seeing in person:

 Andy Graydon,  City Lights Orchestra , 2018, used street lamps, steel, airline cable, Courtesy of the artist, Photograph by Clements Photography and Design, Boston. Source: deCordova website.

Andy Graydon, City Lights Orchestra, 2018, used street lamps, steel, airline cable, Courtesy of the artist, Photograph by Clements Photography and Design, Boston. Source: deCordova website.

1. PLATFORM 23: Andy Graydon, City Lights Orchestra at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
August 23, 2018 – August 31, 2019
51 Sandy Pond Road Lincoln, Massachusetts 01773

Andy Graydon’s playful City Lights Orchestra on display at the deCordova invites visitors to explore sound through an installation of hollow, plastic lamps. Once used as beacons of light, these discarded Cambridge street lamps now serve as “sculptural instruments”, meant to make noise and be played by visitors and musicians alike. Try your hand as a drummer this fall!

2. Empresses of China’s Forbidden City at the Peabody Essex Museum
August 18, 2018 – February 10, 2019
East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA

Empresses of China’s Forbidden City explores the influential role of imperial women during the Qing Dynasty, China’s last dynasty. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the formation of U.S.-China diplomatic relations, nearly 200 precious objects are on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing. This collaborative exhibition is the first to investigate the role of these powerful women in the dynasty, thus shining new light on this historical time period.

  Empress Dowager Cixi with foreign envoys’ wives in the Hall of Happiness and Longevity (Leshou tang) in the Garden of Nurturing Harmony (Yihe yuan).  Photographed by Yu Xunling (1874–1943), Guangxu period, 1903–05, print from glass-plate negative, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, FSA A.13 SC-GR-249. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, purchase. Source: Peabody Essex Museum website.

Empress Dowager Cixi with foreign envoys’ wives in the Hall of Happiness and Longevity (Leshou tang) in the Garden of Nurturing Harmony (Yihe yuan). Photographed by Yu Xunling (1874–1943), Guangxu period, 1903–05, print from glass-plate negative, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, FSA A.13 SC-GR-249. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, purchase. Source: Peabody Essex Museum website.

3. French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
June 30, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue , Boston, Massachusetts 02115

If you’re a texture junkie, won’t want to miss this incredible collection of soft pastel pieces currently on display at the MFA. Over 40 works from the MFA vault and on loan from private collections are temporarily returned to the spotlight, providing visitors an exclusive tour of this delicate medium. Masterpieces from a variety of artists are featured, including Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Jean-François Millet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Odilon Redon, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

 Edgar Degas,  Dancers Resting , 1881–85. Pastel on paper mounted on cardboard. Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection. Source: MFA website.

Edgar Degas, Dancers Resting, 1881–85. Pastel on paper mounted on cardboard. Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection. Source: MFA website.

4. Wangechi Mutu: A Promise to Communicate at the Institute of Contemporary Art
January 20, 2018 – December 31, 2018
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston MA 02210

Mutu uses coarse, gray rescue blankets from humanitarian aid crises to create a disorganized and deconstructed map of the world. Colored pencils hang from the ceiling on thin strings, allowing visitors to communicate freely with each other on the wall. As described in the press release, the installation encourages “visitors to explore ideas of public space, communication, and free speech, addressing the idea of a world that despite its increasing potential for collectivity struggles to communicate in a comprehensive way.”

 Wangechi Mutu, A Promise to Communicate, 2017. Installation view, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2017. Photo by Charles Mayer Photography. Source: ICA website.

Wangechi Mutu, A Promise to Communicate, 2017. Installation view, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2017. Photo by Charles Mayer Photography. Source: ICA website.

5. The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night at MASS MoCA
March 3, 2018 – December 31, 2018
1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247

 Wilhelm Neusser,  Nocturne/Doublemoon (1728) , 2017, Oil on Canvas, 57in. x 67in. on display at MASS MoCA. Source: Wilhelm Neusser Instagram (@wilhelmneusser).

Wilhelm Neusser, Nocturne/Doublemoon (1728), 2017, Oil on Canvas, 57in. x 67in. on display at MASS MoCA. Source: Wilhelm Neusser Instagram (@wilhelmneusser).

The darkness of the night invites imagination to run wild. In The Lure of the Dark, our imagination comes to life through a collection of contemporary paintings exploring the mystery of the darkness. Over a dozen painters are featured in this group exhibition, including Patrick Bermingham, William Binnie, Cynthia Daignault, TM Davy, Jeronimo Elespe, Cy Gavin, Shara Hughes, Josephine Halvorson, Sam McKinniss, Wilhelm Neusser, Dana Powell, Kenny Rivero, and Alexandria Smith.

We’re particularly excited about this show because Wilhelm Neusser’s piece in the exhibition, Nocturne/Doublemoon (1728), is the sister piece to our Nocture/Doublemoon (1729) hanging on our wall in our October group exhibition. Be sure to stop by and see both pieces!














Announcement: Allyson Boli as Gallery Director

 Allyson Boli. Photo by Chris Anderson / CDA Media

Allyson Boli. Photo by Chris Anderson / CDA Media

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is thrilled to announce the appointment of Allyson Boli to Gallery Director in Boston, MA. Since joining the team in 2017, Boli has collaborated with gallery owner Abigail Ogilvy to create numerous exhibitions that support the promotion of contemporary artists in Boston today. With an eye for challenging materials, Boli seeks to engage the local community through new and interesting artists working in original media. Boli works to broaden our view of contemporary art through the exhibition of local and international artists, most recently in welcoming Oklahoma-based artist Rena Detrixhe to a solo exhibition in September of 2018 which led to reviews and mentions in The Boston Globe, The Improper Bostonian, Delicious Line, and The Arts Fuse. Additionally, her curation of the group show, Domestic Memory, earned the artists a review by Art New England Magazine. Boli’s dedication to rigorous exhibition programming and commitment to building collections new and established has been admired by gallery visitors and clients alike. Beyond supporting the gallery artists, Boli has mentored over a dozen college undergraduate and post-graduate students through the gallery internship program. She is supported by our newest gallery associate, Kaylee Hennessey, who joined the team in April of 2018. Hennessey is both an art historian and fiber artist.

Artist Spotlight: Daniel Herr

Daniel Herr, White Nights, Oil, chalk pastel, and collage on canvas, 56 x 56 in. Image courtesy of Lindsay Comstock.

Daniel Herr is an abstract painter whose expressive brushstrokes and vibrant colors combine to create dynamic landscape imagery. Originally from California, Herr has done numerous residencies internationally, completed his MFA at Boston University, and is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. His nomadic lifestyle lends itself to his artwork’s focus on place, where one comes from, and where one feels at home. His memories and experiences with places provide reference to his work. This is specifically visible in his piece, White Nights, currently on view at Abigail Ogilvy gallery until October 28th.

Herr reflects back to when he created the painting, “There was a bridge I used to walk across at night to my apartment in Cambridge from my studio in grad school. I loved the idea that I could wake up, walk over the river to go to work, walk back at night.” The nighttime view was mostly mundane institutional buildings, but at night they seemed to have a magic to them. The river was frozen solid all winter, and as he passed over the bridge Herr kept thinking about Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh, and the idea of creating his own personal version of the painting.

Daniel Herr. Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Lindsay Comstock.

In regards to titling his pieces, he adds whimsy to his work by using what he describes as “absurd phrases”.  These phrases usually have a narrative quality to them, mirroring the story like aspects of his pieces. He explains, “I like the idea that the picture can tell a story, even if not a beginning, middle, and end. It's more like a title to a poem: it references something specific that the poem isn't saying directly.” Indeed, his art is a visual poetry: expressive, emotional, and sometimes ambiguous. Embracing this ambiguity, he describes his paintings as similar to multiple exposures, superimposed on top of each other.

He continues to expand on the energetic feeling of his paintings in what he is currently working on by creating a series of medium-scale paintings based on watercolor and quick sketches.

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Daniel Herr received his MFA from Boston University in 2011 and his BA from the University of California, Davis in 2004. Herr has completed artist residencies around the world including the Molten Capital residency at Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, Chile, Estudio Nónmada in Barcelona, Spain, and the Artist Colony residency at the Inside–Out Art Museum in Beijing, China. Herr’s work is now apart of the Inside–Out Art Museum’s permanent collection as well as having been exhibited in the United States and Chile. Daniel Herr lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Herr is currently part of a group exhibition at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Nocturne, on view from 10/3 to 10/28.