Tagged: decordova

Boston area photo roundup

It’s an incredible time for Boston photo fans. I’ll never blog it all properly, but here’s a passel of updates on photography stuff of the recent past, present and near future.

The DeCordova (sculpture park and) Museum has three (three!) photography shows up right now: a solo exhibition by Lalla Essaydi, a wonderful collection of Jules Aarons‘ work, and an array of portfolios curated by ace photographologist Leslie K. Brown.

The Photographic Resource Center just opened an exhibition of the winners of the Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards, named in honor of a co-inventor of the recently canceled Kodachrome film.

Also at the PRC, the Fall photography lecture series continues next week with Roger Ballen.  Ballen follows Keith Carter, who last week delivered a charming lecture that conveyed and illustrated “seven mantras” for creativity and life.  Carter observed, “The search for beauty is huge in peoples’ lives. Not so large in graduate schools.” It reminded me of both Arno Minkkinen’s bus station and Andrea Robbins and Max Becher’s travel philosophy, both observed at past PRC lectures.

Gallery Kayafas is showing the work of Caleb Charland right now.  Charland makes beautiful prints that play with concepts from physics using elemental substances like water, ice, fire, and oil. The work reminds me a bit of that of John Chervinsky, whom I first met at the PRC satellite gallery at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics.

Continuing a line from Charland through Chervinsky, we can’t help but arrive at the MIT Museum’s new Harold “Doc” Edgerton Digital Collections, opening this weekend.

And lastly for the moment but surely not leastly, next week, the MFA opens an exhibit of Harry Callahan’s photographs.

North Station to North Station in 50 years

I set out last week from North Station, taking the commuter rail with legions of downtown office-workers headed home to the suburbs like Don Draper.  But wasn’t headed for scotch and family, I was taking my first car-free trip to the DeCordova museum for the opening of three new shows.

When I arrived at the museum an hour later, I found myself looking at where I started, fifty years ago.

That’s North Station in the ’40s, photographed by Jules Aarons, part of an exhibition at DeCordova called “In the Jewish Neighborhoods” consisting of pictures of Boston’s North and West ends as well as Paris and New York in the 1940s.  The green line trolley is just about the only thing recognizable in this picture now, even though the tracks have been sunk underground and North Station has been subsumed (literally) in the TD BankNorth Garden.

Grazing and gazing on Newbury street

Last week the Young Members of DeCordova (YMOD) massed on Newbury street for a gallery walk.  Both L and Professor M joined me and up to 75 other YMODers for a tour of nine Newbury street galleries.  Honestly, we managed to visit only eight of them, and I’ll write about even fewer here, but it was a grand night out by all accounts.

Joseph Barbieri, Another Day, Another Dollar, at Gallery NAGAAt Gallery NAGA we saw Joseph Barbieri’s “New Ducks and Scenic Scenes” and got a great kick out of the ducks, especially the artist themed ones such as “Rich Artist” and “Another Day Another Dollar” Barbieri’s landscapes (of Italy, I think) were pretty enough but lacked a certain duck content, although one of the trees did look a bit like a chicken in silhouette.

At the Arden Gallery M was transfixed by the translucent rubber sculpture of Niho Kozuru in the front window and we all enjoyed Bob Jackson’s Dogs Playing Poker in the back room, furthering in the rubber theme.  My favorite was the one with a cigar in its mouth.

The Nielsen Gallery mounted a handful of different artists’ works, including Forrest Bees, Porfirio DiDonna and Martin Ramirez.  Ramirez’s work was very reminiscent of that of Adolf Wolfli, and apparently both were institutionalized much of their lives and drew with what meager supplies were made available to them by guards and doctors.

Finally, (well, it wasn’t the last place we visited, but it’s the last one I’m writing about today), at Barbara Krakow Gallery we saw Stephen Prina’s show, The Way He Always Wanted It, which was just installed and we could still smell the paint on the rolling shades hung from the gallery ceiling.  In addition to the blinds (which we were told had come with chains that were too short but the new, longer chains would be installed in time for the opening the next day), Prina also showed Untitled/Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet, illustrated as a rectangle at the scale of 1mm=11.39cm for each of Manet’s 556 paintings, and larger ink on paper representations of three.  The Harvard Film Archive is showing two of Prina’s films in conjunction with this show.

In a back room I spied an excellent Liliana Porter piece, Forced Labor.

Galleries are a lot like tiny museums, but they are also a lot different.  Comparing this free evening to an afternoon at someplace like the ICA certainly makes one think.  I’ve only mentioned four of the nine YMOD destinations, which are only a fraction of the total Newbury Street galleries, themselves only a part of all the galleries in town.  I encourage you to get out there and see what there is to see.

Drawn to thirds at DeCordova sculpture park

I woke up early Sunday hoping to catch one more day of decent weather this Fall and headed out to the DeCordova museum’s sculpture park, which is open dawn till dusk even when the museum is not.  (and there’s no charge to enter the park when the museum is closed) Last year around this time, I took a ramble on a cloudless sunny day with great foliage still on the trees and took lots of photos looking upwards.  This year, I was a week or two too late for foliage, and it was rather overcast and soggy.  So I turned my gaze downward and found some patterns and colors of interest.

This is a first for me, embedding a flickr sideshow.  The fades work to emphasize the thirds.  I like that you can change the size and the aspect ratio of the flash embed.  Obviously, mine is square. If you click through to my flickr stream, understand that it’s more storage space than gallery for me.  Only the photos on this blog are officially endorsed by me for viewing.  Please remember that both my photos on this blog and those on flickr are protected by copyright.

I know, I didn’t photograph any of the wonderful sculptures in the park.  I cetainly did enjoy them, but you should go see them for yourselves.  For the purposes of this post, I took pleasure in a quiet walk and noticing patterns in the built and natural environments.

YMOD does SoWa

I visited the hip South of Washington Street (SoWa) arts district Accompanied by some good people from the DeCordova and gallery buddy L for the YMOD gallery walk.  There was a similar event on Newbury Street in the Spring.

We began at the 450 Harrison at Thayer Street complex with Gallery Kayafas, Bromfield Gallery, Kingston Gallery, OHT Gallery, Samson Projects, Soprafina Gallery and Steven Zevitas Gallery.  The Thayer Street alley itself was decorated with some timely guerrilla art.

Nearby were also the Laconia Gallery and Boston Sculptors Gallery, and the crew wound up the evening at Rocca for some snacks and drinks.

It would take several posts to describe everything I saw, but I’ll devote some extra space to the work on view at Gallery Kayfas because Arlette and Gus were such gracious hosts.  Kayafas has just moved upstairs from their prior location and approximately doubled their exhibition space.  They have three shows running now: Robert Knight, Bruce Myren, and “Ahh, Italy,” a group show of images of Bella Italia.

Knight, whose current body of work, “My Boat is So Small” investigates the spaces we inhabit and the stuff we keep there, was good enough to give a brief gallery talk and answer some questions.  He photographs people’s homes and is always looking for subjects, so get in touch.

Bruce Myren showed a completely new body of work, The View Home, as well as a trio of tripychs from his markers series.  The View Home shows each of Myren’s residences photographed at an angle directed at his current home, along with the duration of his habitation and the bearing and distance.

In the interest of disclosure, you should know that Bruce is a friend of mine and my tonsorial inspiration.  He also has an upcoming solo show at the Danforth Museum in Framingham where you can see his Markers:Memory work.

The small show of photos of Italy included classic images by Mario Giacamelli, a set of 1891 photogravures of Venice, and more contemporary work from the likes of Nick Nixon and Eric Lewandowski.

Also of note, Rose Olsen’s subtle translucent geometries on wood panels called Just Colors No Curves at Kingston, and Randy Garber’s What You Already Know – prints with intricate verbal and typographic themes – at Bromfield.

We ended the evening with drinks and appetizers at Rocca, a stylish italian place next to the galleries.  Despite a minor mixup on what was vegetarian and what was not, we filled up on tasty finger foods in the engaging company of the other gallery walkers.  Plus, I must give kudos to the alert valet who recognized me coming out of the restaurant and fetched my car without even asking for the ticket.  Wow.