Sally Farnham‘s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Ogdensburg, New York, was inspired by the Nike of Samothrace, a sculpture the young Sally saw in the Louvre. The historic photo at left is the clay sculpture before casting; at right, the finished monument on its plinth. Check #GoddessID for my recent posts. Sally’s over-life-size bronze goddess is described in some historic detail here.
Have been really enjoying Deborah Lee’s blog, Art Outdoors. I’m planning some outings based on her visits to Massachusetts sculpture parks and sites, especially the Boston women sculptors she documents on her tour of the Public Art Walk. I’m late posting for International Women’s Day, but here goes!
Women Artists Represented on Public Art Walk Boston
Gail Erwin‘s niche sculptures at 6 Bridges Gallery in Maynard explore the hidden, often very private, nature of prejudice. The aggregation of tiny boxes shows us intimate scenes of cruelty or implied violence. Nails, charred wood, chain, and wire are sometimes dusted with glitter or placed against shiny foil, creating an eerie attractiveness. Erwin also shows her signature cyanotypes; this new series of studies of empty windows and doorways often represent scenes of former violence, such as the homes of the ill-fated Cathars, or long-dead Celts.
The cooperative 6 Bridges Gallery presents Niche: Cyanotypes and Constructions through April 15, 2017. Gallery hours are Tuesday 11-3, Wednesday-Friday 11-6, Saturday, 10-5.
At Lasell College’s Wedeman Gallery, artist-curator Janet Kawada has created a show that embodies the artist’s quest for ideas. Says Kawada, “Like an archaeologist who sifts through the dirt seeking an image of history to bring to life, an artist is constantly looking intently at the world around them to portray their feeling or vision.” Each of the five women in the show (Hilary Tolan, Janet Kawada, Samantha Fields, Gail Erwin, and Deborah Klotz) work in widely varying media, from cyanotypes to performance art. The show seems at first visually dissimilar, but time spent with each piece reveals the way in which it embodies the act of exploration. Below, Samantha Fields’ performative installation which will be featured in Sunday’s opening (1-4PM).
Harriet Hosmer, the 19th century’s premier American female sculptor, created many popular pieces, but everyone’s favorite was “Puck,” shown here at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Carved in flawless white marble by the artisans in Hosmer’s Rome Studio, Puck seems sedate by today’s standards, but he was a naughty Victorian indeed. His fetching wings are a bat’s, he sits on a group of poison toadstools, his chubby right fist grasps a beetle (to pelt an unsuspecting dryad?), and his upraised big toe can be seen as—what?
Puck—or “my son,” as Hosmer called him—was an instant success with the aristocracy, including Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales and the crown princess of Germany, who, upon seeing the work, remarked, “Oh, Miss Hosmer, you have such talent for toes!”
Laurie Simmons has a retrospective at Andover’s Addison Gallery this month. Her early dollhouse photographs comprise “In And Around the House,” which blends seamlessly with a companion show, the beautifully curated “Walls and Beams, Roofs and Dreams: Images of Home.” What would the terminally isolated dolls of her iconic 1970s work do in the colorful Kaleidoscope house (above) Simmons designed in 2001 with Peter Wheelwright? Through April 17.
Join me for “Fanfare” Thursday night at 6 Bridges Gallery, Maynard. I’ll be accepting the grant award on behalf of Fruitlands Museum, in recognition of my soon-to-be residency:
Fanfare for The Arts; Maynard Cultural Council 2016 Awards, Thursday, March 24th, 2016, 7pm – 9pm
The council invites all supporters of the arts, mavens of culture, enthusiasts of all things expressive, lovers of life, denizens of downtown, and thrill-seekers of all stripes to help them toast and applaud the recipients of this year’s grants. The Council wishes to alert prospective revelers that the evening may include great small bursts of live music, flashes of light and photography and calls for ‘stepping into the booth’ in addition to various refreshments and provisions from local victualers and assorted sources. Proper and/or inspired dress is encouraged and will be rewarded.
Alicia Dwyer crafts metal exoskeletons in dress form–a handy thing for riding the subway at rush hour, or otherwise enduring the slings and arrows of everyday life. Her new show is now up at ArtSpace Maynard and also features paintings of floating dresses animated solely by air.
photos courtesy http://adwyerstudio.com/
The multifaceted Rosalyn Drexler, whose astounding retrospective is now at The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, was originally a sculptor. Her first solo show, at New York’s Reuben Gallery, featured eighty-four sculptures made from scavenged materials, plaster, and poured lead. Seen here are: Samantha, Fat Lady, White Winged Victory, Pink Winged Victory, Untitled, Balzac, and Home Sweet Home, all made between 1958 and 1961. She is now best known for her Pop art painting, but she also wrote an array of popular fiction. Her work today seems timeless—fresh and fearless—and from this vantage point her influence can clearly be seen in the work of younger male artists like Robert Longo. The retrospective takes up the entire museum, and is worth spending the day with.
ROSALYN DREXLER: WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?
Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg + Lower Rose Galleries
February 12 – June 5, 2016
Have been framing 2D work this month to install at the visitors’ center (The Wayside building) at Fruitlands Museum, in preparation for my Artist-in-Residency which begins next month. I hope to also have prints and smaller sculpture for sale in the museum’s gift shop. This is a favorite, “Woman and Diatoms.”