Summer Preview: 5 Must-See Boston Exhibitions

Untitled, 2017 by Deborah Roberts, mixed media on paper, 30 x 22 inches. Photo Credit: Philip Roger. Image courtesy of  MASS MoCA

Untitled, 2017 by Deborah Roberts, mixed media on paper, 30 x 22 inches.
Photo Credit: Philip Roger. Image courtesy of MASS MoCA

1.     Still I Rise at MASS MoCA
On view from June 15, 2019 
1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247

MASS MoCA draws influence from Maya Angelou for its current summer exhibition, Still I Rise. The museum showcases various portraits of women of color, ranging from different ethnicities and backgrounds throughout history. The five featured artists include artists Deborah Roberts, Genevieve Gaignard,  E2 – Kleinveld & Julien, Gustave Blache III, and Tim Okamura. These selected artists have created their artworks through various forms media, ranging from photography, painting, collage, and installation. Throughout Western culture, the typical sitter for portraits would be that of a white woman, and in reaction to this common depiction, Still I Rise aims to incorporate the lacking portrayal of women of color throughout history.

2.     Ericka Beckman: Double Reverse at MIT List Visual Arts Center

May 24, 2019 - July 28, 2019
20 Ames St, Cambridge, MA 02142

Catch it before it closes; the MIT List Visual Arts Center is providing its visitors with a sensory experience through the mixed media works by Ericka Beckman. Taking concepts from her previous installations, Ericka mixes clips from various films and photography, with that of light and color. The artist’s interest in gambling and games, particularly with the video game Pokémon, are depicted in this exhibition - containing underlying social and political meaning. 

Switch Center  (still), 2003 16mm film, transferred to HD video, color, sound, 12 min. Photo credit: Ericka Beckman. Image courtesy of  MIT List

Switch Center (still), 2003
16mm film, transferred to HD video, color, sound, 12 min.
Photo credit: Ericka Beckman. Image courtesy of MIT List


3.   
2019 James and Audrey Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
August 21 – December 31, 2019
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210

Studio image of works in progress from Lavaughan Jenkins’ studio.

Studio image of works in progress from Lavaughan Jenkins’ studio.

This year, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston will hold its biannual James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibition. The museum has selected to feature works from four different artists: Rashin Fahandej, Josephine Halvorson, Lavaughan Jenkins, and Helga Roht Poznanski. Each artist will display their newly created works that range from sculpture, painting, video, and film. The purpose of this showcase is to emphasize the influence of contemporary art and to highlight local talent from the Boston arts community. Check out their website for their upcoming summer events and free admission days!

Interested in visiting Lavaughan Jenkins’ South End studio? Email us to schedule a visit! info@abigailogilvy.com

Nicole Eisenman,  Sketch for a Fountain , 2017.  Photo: Henning Rogge. Image courtesy of  Artforum

Nicole Eisenman, Sketch for a Fountain, 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge. Image courtesy of Artforum

4.  Nicole Eisenman: Grouping of Works from Fountain at the redeveloped 401 Park building in Fenway
On view starting June 2, 2019
401 Park, Fenway

Nicole Eisenman’s sculptural installation is now permanently on view at Boston’s 401 park, located in the heart of Fenway. Like her previous showcase from 2017 in Skulptur Projekte Münster, this set up reveals multiple large scale figures with missing facial features. Eisenman’s work is a lovely addition to the acre of greenery next to the recently developed office building which was bought and renovated by one of Boston’s local firms, Samuel & Associates. Her installation provides an interactive space for any of those who pass by. Additionally, her sculptures breathe contemporary life into the hustle and bustle of the cityscape that surrounds it, further encouraging people to pause and enjoy the artwork. 

5.    A Seat at the Table at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
June 12th, 2019 - Spring 2020
210 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125

Twenty artists have been selected to interpret and create their own seats for trailblazing women throughout history. These feminine influencers range from both the past and present. Our represented artist, Kristina McComb, has been chosen for this project and was given the task to create a bench in honor of Barbara Mikulski, the United State’s longest serving congresswoman. Come take a seat and learn about some of our states most powerful female leaders! 

Image taken by  Kristina McComb  of her bench from A Seat at the Table exhibition

Image taken by Kristina McComb of her bench from A Seat at the Table exhibition

5 Upcoming Artist Talks in New England

One of the unique features of contemporary art is that the creators can discuss their emotions, intentions, and process, often revealing wonderful details that allow us to understand the artwork on a deeper level. It is also a great opportunity to meet an artist whose work you admire!

Check out these 5 artist talks happening across New England between February and April:

1. Olafur Eliasson – February 26, 6:00–8:00 pm at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Eliasson is an Icelandic-Danish artist who uses elemental materials to create large-scale sculptural and installation works that explore contemporary social and environmental issues.
Click for event details.

Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism. Image courtesy of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

2. Sheila Pepe – February 28, 6:30–7:30 pm at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA
Pepe is a fiber artist who creates playful large-scale sculptural and installation pieces using traditional female craft mediums to examine patriarchal roles and methods of art creation.
Click for event details.

3. Andrew Fish – March 2, 12:00–2:00 pm at Childs Gallery, Boston, MA
Blending traditional media and contemporary motifs, Fish explores the transient nature of technology-based images and human memory in the digital age.
Click for event details.

Andrew Fish, Bride on the Bridge, 2018, Oil on linen, 54 x 54 in. Image courtesy of Childs Gallery.

4. Guerrilla Girls – April 3, 5:00–6:00 pm at Brown University, Providence, RI
The Guerrilla Girls is a group of feminist artist-activists who use their work to expose gender and ethnic discrimination in contemporary art, politics, and pop culture.
Click for event details.

5. Trenton Doyle Hancock – April 10, 6:30–9:30 pm at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
Hancock is a mixed media artist who uses comic-book style and pop culture illustrations to flesh out characters that inhabit his world and mythological creations (and a fun fact: Abigail Ogilvy attended Art League Houston’s 2017 Gala where he won Award for Texas Artist of the Year!).
Click for event details.

Trenton Doyle Hancock, Becoming the Toymaker, Phase 14 of 41, or Common Phenomenon or Simply Commomenon, 2017, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 16 x 16 x 1 in. Image courtesy of Mass MoCa.

Summer Guide: University Art Galleries

Boston is a college town, so it's no surprise we have incredible university art galleries in the area. Last week we visited three exhibitions that we highly recommend adding to your summer bucket list! 

Harvard Art Museums
Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001
Exhibition Dates: May 19 - August 12, 2018

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

Photo courtesy of Harvard Art Museums instagram @harvardartmuseums

The exhibition Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001 at Harvard Art Museums presents nearly 450 photographs printed over three decades by Gary Schneider of the Manhattan-based studio Schneider/Erdman, Inc. as well as an informative look at darkroom photography and printing techniques.

This exhibit provides the viewer with a window into New York City art communities during the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s and their responses to issues of the time, notably the AIDS crisis. On display one can view images of “The Beatles, London, August 11, 1967” by Richard Avedon and “Twins at the Beach” by Louise Dahl-Wolfe as well as three-color photographs by Paul Thek and his studio by Peter Hujar.  The exhibition also includes photographs by Robert Gober, who is most well-known for his sculptures and installations. Visitors can interact with large monitors that display various videos about the printer’s practice. 

The exhibit is exciting to visit for someone who knows little about photography or for someone who is well versed in the matter. Overall, the show is a fantastic presentation of the work of numerous photographers in collaboration with the printer Gary Schneider. 

MIT List Visual Arts Center
Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates
Exhibition Dates: May 18 - July 29, 2018

This summer the MIT List Visual Arts Center presents Allison Katz: Diary w/o Dates–her first solo exhibition in the United States. Allison Katz is a Canadian born painter currently living and working in London. This suite of 12 paintings is an exploration of the concept of the calendar and it’s regularly spaced demarcating of time. The paintings, which are all the same size, hang along the longest wall of the gallery with one painting on either end of the line spilling onto the short end walls. One painting for each calendar month hangs so that as the viewer enters the space they are met with their expanse. The opposite wall remains blank except for the titles which are along the floor molding directly across from their corresponding paintings.

Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

Photo courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center and Peter Harris Studio

According to the exhibition video Katz says that the exhibition title Diary w/o Dates refers to “a sort of contradiction that I wanted to get across which is that a diary is something structured by time, but if you remove the time component, it seems to be a sort of collection of experience connected to one person, but not necessarily personal.”  Katz’s goal in these paintings was also to explore the presentation of women in calendars and push against the exploitation of their images. Though they explore questions of women’s representation and historical exploitation in their images through the paintings’ relationship to calendar’s such as the French Republican calendar, showing each month as an allegorical woman, and the contemporary examples of Sports Illustrated calendars, the paintings do not take an explicitly feminist stance against exploitative modes of representation but rather simply offer a more subdued and more self expressive example of representation.

Boston University
Boston Young Contemporaries 
Exhibition Dates: June 22 — July 21, 2018

The Boston Young Contemporaries exhibition at Boston University displays works by nineteen graduate student artists from New England, providing viewers an introduction to up-and-coming artists in the Northeast. This eclectic curation of artworks was selected by this years BYC juror, Sean Downey, who received his MFA from Boston University. The exhibition includes paintings, photography, sculptures, and videos that span a variety of subjects. 

In her work Just an Everyday Conversation, Nicole Winning lines a metal shelf with glass bottles containing porcelain clay and water. The variation in clay used makes every bottle a unique shade of brownish-grey, and each bottle is labeled with a QR sticker that if scanned, takes the viewer to a video. William Karlen’s painting The Strangeness of Sleep (oil on canvas) depicts a blue sleeping bag, propped upright against a dark window. The sleeping bag appears to be empty and it is unclear how the limp fabric is able to maintain its gravity-defying position. Marisa Adesman’s Vertumnus’ Bride depicts a female figure whose skin resembles melting wax. The title of this painting refers to Italian painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo’s portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II as Vertumnus. Although instead of constructing her figure from vegetables, Adesman paints her subject in what resembles thick globs of paint that appear to have not yet dried, but is actually perfectly rendered frosting covering the figure's body.

As a whole, the exhibition is an impressive presentation of works by emerging artists. Each piece in the exhibition is excellent on its own, yet together the collection reveals the multitudes of talent in New England and celebrates the early careers of these artists. 

Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror

Photo courtesy: Sean Downey, exhibition juror