Shades of Blue for a Beacon Hill Brownstone

THE STORY - These past 6 months we have had the pleasure of working on a commission with a couple located in Beacon Hill. They came into the gallery during our Collected Stories exhibition and by chance had the opportunity to meet Holly Harrison, one of our represented artists who was on view.

THE ARTIST - Holly Harrison’s latest work, Color Fields, relates sections of color with elements of mixed media. In this new series, the bands of color serve as the subject, contrasting with her previous work that was mostly image-based. A crucial element to Harrison’s work is the mixed media component, giving each artwork texture, depth and most importantly: an imbedded story. Often the layers include old shopping lists, vintage comics, book and magazine pages, printed papers, junk mail, her daughter’s early doodles, and pieces of her husband’s works on paper. These components are covered with a wash of paint, joining the disparate pieces together while also obscuring their content. After discussing their shared love for comic books and New York City, the couple decided to commission two artworks by Holly for their dual fire places.  

COMMISSION PROCESS –  For this project, Harrison wanted to ensure the work was a perfect balance of her artistic expression and a representation of the clients’ lives and family. She spent time getting to know them, looking at selections from their vintage comic book collection as well as drawings and homework samples by their children that the couple had assembled for her to use. She also searched online and in vintage shops for antique prescription bottle labels and old medical illustrations of the brain as an ode to the clients’ careers in medicine. In additional to the personalized collage elements, the clients also hoped the finished works would aesthetically match their home in shades of blue.  

For every commission there is a conversation between the artist and clients where the artist gets a sense of the client’s preferred style, size, and scope of the project. Once the artist is about 75% complete with the artwork, they share progress photos with the clients which allows one or two rounds of feedback (or they say they love the progress and have no changes!). From there, the artist finishes the work and we set up delivery and installation. 

OUR ADVICE - Commissions are a wonderful way to acquire an artwork specifically customized for your space. If you love a certain piece, but it isn’t quite the right size for your home - always ask the gallery if there is the option to create a new work in the size you need. 

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Announcement: Wilhelm Neusser at Rijksmuseum Museum

Wilhelm Neusser, Woods (1530), 2015/2018, Oil on linen. 24 x 32 in.

We are thrilled to announce that Woods (2015/18) by Wilhelm Neusser has been selected for Long Live Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The exhibition showcases Rembrandt's impact on artists today across all media, genres and styles. Rembrandt remains best known for his mastery of the human figure, not just in his stunning self-portraits, but also in biblical scenes and those depicting bourgeois life.

Painters of the Dutch Golden Age are a constant source of inspiration for Neusser as he envisions contemporary landscape. Rembrandt’s The Stone Bridge, held by the Rijksmuseum, has hung for years as a postcard in Neusser’s studio. “Not in order to copy or imitate what Rembrandt was able to do with paint on panel (I couldn’t),” said Neusser, “but in order to draw from his incredible play with dark and light, the sublime mood and atmosphere in this painting.”

Around the time Neusser began painting Woods, he became enamored of a series of online lectures on Rembrandt by John Walsh, especially the art historian's emphasis on the Dutch master's technique and surface treatment. The forest landscape in Woods was determined by the nature of the painting material itself. According to Neusser, “the topography of the subject matter and the canvas became one.” 

Long Live Rembrandt: On view July 15, 2019 to September 15, 2019, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Landscape with a Stone Bridge, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1638 oil on panel, h 29.5cm × w 42.5cm × d 5.5cm Image Courtesy of Rijksmuseum

Press Release: Collected Stories

New artwork by Holly Harrison & Kristina McComb
December 19, 2018 – February 17, 2019
Opening Reception: January 4, 2019, 6-9 pm

“Flash,” Holly Harrison, Mixed media and found papers on wood panel. 30 x 30 in., 2018

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present Collected Stories, a duo exhibition featuring new works by Holly Harrison and Kristina McComb. Both Harrison and McComb are drawn to the idea of creating a visual story that documents the passing of time. Holly Harrison is an artist, writer, and poet; appropriately, her artwork is comprised of multiple bands of imagery and collage, the layers work like stanzas of modern verse, with bits of meaning half-hidden underneath like symbolism and subtext. The work reads as a narrative when paired with Kristina McComb’s recent documentation of the Boston Athenaeum. Each photograph highlights the minute details of the books in the library, worn and weathered through age and use. Together, Harrison and McComb combine elements of past and present, embracing imperfections as means to tell a contemporary tale.

Holly Harrison’s Color Field series relates sections of color with elements of mixed media. This new series is a return to using stripes as structure In this new series, the bands of color are themselves the subject, contrasting with her previous work that was mostly image-based. A crucial element to Harrison’s work is the mixed media components, giving each artwork texture, depth and most importantly: an imbedded story. Often the layers include old shopping lists, vintage comics, book and magazine pages, printed papers, junk mail, her daughter’s early doodles, and pieces of her husband’s works on paper. These components are covered with a wash of paint, acting to join the disparate pieces and also to obscure their content.  What remains is an impression or hint, encouraging the viewer to look more closely. Harrison also questions the emptiness or fullness of each block of color, her draw to poetic forms leads Harrison to build her own organic shapes that push against an established boundary.

Kristina McComb’s photographs capture the hidden history of the books within the Boston Anthenaeum. As their artist in residence for the past year, her plan for this project was intentionally vague, allowing for the individuality of the books to catch her attention. As she worked, McComb deliberately did not interfere with how the books were positioned, only documenting exactly as she found them, the unedited truth of how they exist in the library. These striking photographs bring attention to the tears, folds, broken spines, and cobwebs that mottle their surface; celebrating their imperfections rather than shunning them. By freezing the books in their current state and giving them a new life through digital reproduction, she starts the cycle anew, letting the images age much like the books themselves have aged. McComb finds profoundness in the life lived by both the object and those who have interacted with it. Whether a single image or the series in its entirety, the work tells the story of a collection through intricate maps across the surface of the books.

“Boston Athenaeum 0008,” Kristina McComb, 2018, Photograph - framed, Ed. 1 of 10

Holly Harrison is a mixed-media artist living and working in Concord, MA. Harrison received her MA from City College of New York and her BA from Wesleyan University. Harrison’s work has been featured at galleries and museums throughout New England and New York such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Concord Art, and is held in private collections across the country and internationally. Harrison was selected for the 2018 and 2015 Artcetera Auction as well as the 2017 MassArt Auction. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Dick Blick Materials Award and the 2012 Attleboro Museum Certificate of Merit. 

Kristina McComb is an interdisciplinary artist from Western Massachusetts. She graduated with Distinction from Greenfield Community College, receiving her Associates of Science in Visual Art with a concentration in Photography. McComb also holds a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Her work has been exhibited since 2014, most notably at the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center in Brattleboro, VT, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, and The Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, MA. McComb has also exhibited in galleries across the country including Manifest Gallery, in Cincinnati, OH, and the Mark Arts in Wichita.

Collected Stories, Holly Harrison & Kristina McComb, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery

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.