About Kingston Gallery

Kingston Gallery features contemporary art by New England artists specializing in a diverse range of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. The 30+ Kingston artists exhibit in our three on-site gallery spaces; the Main Gallery, Center Gallery, and Kingston Project Space. Kingston is an artist-run gallery space incorporated in 1982 and supporting a schedule of 22 shows per calendar year plus several special events and group shows. Kingston Gallery takes its name from its original location on Kingston Street near Boston's Chinatown. In the mid-1990s, the gallery was one of the very first to relocate to Thayer Street, anchoring what has since developed into the vibrant SoWa Arts District of Boston's historic South End.

Lynda Schlosberg: Frequency Tuning and Cree Bruins & Sarah Hollis Perry: Reflecting (Then and Now)

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Schlosberg, Lynda, Not Here, Not There, acrylic on panel, 16 x 16 inches.

 

The paintings on view in the exhibition titled Frequency Tuning by Kingston gallery member Lynda Schlosberg investigate how the eye experiences the image within and through the work, as in the space between the physical and non-physical worlds. In creating this work, Schlosberg asked herself, “Is there some sort of barrier, or plane, that separates the two? Is it a chasm to be crossed? A wall to be climbed? And is it possible to adjust one’s frequency-tuning abilities to move easily between worlds, or to experience both at the same time?” Schlosberg is inspired by both natural and unnatural elements, transforming them into flowing fields of color, lines and dots.

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Schlosberg, Lynda, Love Can Break Your Heart, acrylic on panel, 40 x 30 inches.

 

There is movement and energy in these works. Each painting creates a unique tension between the foreground and background allowing the viewer to shift seamlessly between the two. Schlosberg constructs these works using a rule-based system creating complex layers resulting in a unified field of energy. Art critic Cate McQuaid, in her Boston Globe review, says of the work, “Her paintings foil expectations of space and form. Vaulting us into the unknown, they awaken the eye.”

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Bruins, Cree and Hollis Perry, Sarah, Reflecting #3, Archival Pigment ink Print, 6 x 4 inches.

 

On view concurrently in the project space, gallery member Cree Bruins and visiting artist Sarah Hollis Perry present a collaborative work, Reflecting (Then and Now), created from all-but-obsolete photographic production materials. These materials become the basis for a physical installation, which is then photographed from varying vantage points. The reflections and shadows created in the physical structure are breathtakingly reproduced in intimate archival pigment prints, framed and hung in the space. This collaborative project began in 2017 in honor of their former teacher, Joyce McDaniel.

Lynda Schlosberg: Frequency Tuning is on view in the Kingston Main and Center Galleries, and Cree Bruins & Sarah Hollis Perry: Reflecting (Then and Now) is on view in the Kingston Project Space through June 2, 2019.

 

Julie S Graham: Unexpected Places

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The current exhibition in the Center Gallery and Project Space at the Kingston Gallery, curated by gallery members Mira Cantor and Chantal Zakari, celebrates the life and work of the talented and celebrated artist, Julie S Graham. Graham’s work was inspired by her travels, wherever she went. Locally or internationally, she saw unexpected juxtapositions between spaces and things, nature and the man-made, each trying to fit together in odd combinations and special configurations. Graham had her eye on oddities, strange places, and the leftover cultures that were behind walls of memories of what had been. She built her work step by step like an architect piecing together a structure in relief, in painting or as a sculpture and this posthumous exhibition showcases her mixed-media creations to their fullest. Trained as a painter, Graham’s practice also incorporated photography, a medium which she used to explore the geometry that architecture imposes on nature.

On April 13th, the gallery hosted a gallery talk with Gerry Bergstein, Professor Emeritus, and Allison Gray, Post-Baccalaureate, MFA student and Graham’s Teaching Assistant, both of whom were colleagues of Graham from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The event was attended by many friends, colleagues, collectors and lovers of Graham’s work and stories of her life, teaching and artwork were shared. Co-curator Mira Cantor, a Kingston member and friend, says, ‘Thanks to all who came to the talk. As curator with Chantal it was interesting to show some of Julie’s work which was not shown before and which she had so much fun doing.’ There are a few more days to see this exhibition and get to know the work of such an engaging artist, with the exhibition closing April 28th.

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Originally from Elmira NY, Julie S Graham lived and showed her work in Boston for most of her life. She participated in the Boston arts community on many levels, as an educator and a practicing artist. She was on the painting faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts since 1991, has taught at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Cambridge, as well as at numerous international venues. Graham led a critique group at the Maud Morgan Arts Center and served on the board of the Brookline Center for the Arts, was on the jury of Cambridge Public Arts Commission, and was the Visual Arts Editor of the Harvard Review. Graham’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at venues such as Kingston Gallery, Chase Gallery, and Victoria Munroe Fine Art. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Los Angeles, and Frederieke Taylor Gallery in New York, NY, among others. In 2007, her work was featured at the Kinkead Contemporary Gallery booth at Aqua Art Miami art fair. In 1988 she joined the Portia Harcus Gallery and in 2013 she joined Kingston Gallery where she was an active member and instrumental in gallery programming. In 2018 Julie S Graham was the recipient of the Berliner Award from the Brookline Arts Center in recognition of her contributions to art.

Jamal Thorne: Timestream Muckery is on view in the Kingston Main Gallery, and Julie S. Graham: Unexpected Places is on view in the Kingston Project Space through April 28, 2019.

An Interview with artist Jamal Thorne

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What is different or specific to your practice or creation of this work?

Some things that are really specific about my work include image content, process, and the balancing of precision with emotional reaction. The images I really enjoy working with are usually emotionally charged. In that sacred space, I am always careful and thoughtful about the changes I make to those images, because they often touch on sensitive subjects like race, income inequality, and presentation of masculinity. Knowing how important these subjects are, to approach them without clear intention would be irresponsible in my view.

This leads into the importance of my process, because I am always having to think a few steps ahead when it comes to hiding parts of an image or revealing parts of an image. In my process, I’m always thinking about what I should keep and what I should throw away in an image. The broader “guessing game” in the process is the question of how these decisions will affect each layer of content (paint, tape drawing, representational drawing) moving forward. I liken this process to the way humans process events that occurred in our past. When we think back to important experiences, what do we instinctively remember, what do we instinctively block out, and how do those decisions shape who we are today?

Finally, there’s a balancing act between letting the work evolve organically with making sure I’m comfortable with technique and composition. If it feels like there is too much control in the work it doesn’t feel genuine to me. However, I enjoy a little bit of structure and I really enjoy representational drawing. These aspects of control keep me grounded in a visual language that I know well, while the organic nature of the process keeps me excited about the endless possibilities that can unfold in the work.

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How did you begin working on this body of work? What are your inspirations?

In terms of aesthetics, I draw a lot of inspiration from painters like Jackson Pollock, Norman Lewis, and Frank Kline. When it comes to process, I take a lot of cues from artists like Mark Bradford, Cullen Washington Jr., Jack Whitten, and Leonardo Drew. I respect the looseness and spontaneity of the abstract expressionists, but I don’t think we speak the same language when it comes to content. Bradford’s process and his use of materials feels more parallel to what I am trying to express in my work. The same goes for Whitten, Drew, and Washington.

How do you want your audience to feel after viewing your work?

Ideally, I’d like for the audience to focus on the number of layers that exist in each piece first. I always hope that the audience can look at the work and see the evidence of what exists behind each layer. Whether it’s color, tape, aluminum cans, or a drawing, I try to leave at least a small piece of what existed before the creating of a new layer. If the work can put the audience in a place where they think about what exists underneath, then hopefully they will make the connection between the work and their own personal experiences. Whether it is a traumatic event or joyful experience, there is always something behind human behavior. There is always something behind our biases against ethnicities. There is always an event that shapes our values and ideals. I want viewers to look inside their pasts to figure out why their identities exist in their current form.

Jamal Thorne: Timestream Muckery is on view in the Kingston Main Gallery, and Julie S. Graham: Unexpected Places is on view in the Kingston Project Space through April 28, 2019.

Kingston Gallery’s Newest Members

Kingston Gallery is very excited to welcome and introduce our newest members Stacey Cushner, Bonnie Donahue, Jeesoo Lee, and Vaughn Sills. Each of these artists were selected from a large pool of exceptional applicants and bring a high quality of diverse artwork to the gallery. Please see below for a brief introduction:

10 Oneiric Temprament 2Cushner, Stacey, Oneiric Temperament 2, color pencil on paper, 30″ x 40″, 2018.

Stacey Cushner has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her drawings and sculptural installations depict the grandeur of nature and invite the viewer to look with wonder. Trees, forests and flowers are iconic and an endless font of inspiration in her pieces. Cushner says of her work, “In these drawings, I locate different textures and emphasize the shapes of trees and differing values in blue pencil and graphite to speak to their sturdiness and the capacity to withstand these times. They’re a metaphor for life.”

09_Bridge_to_nowhereDonahue, Bonnie, A Bridge to Nowhere(drone footage), documenting the trail of the Cold War Iron Curtain which is now a 12,000 km long greenspace, 2018.

Bonnie Donohue creates works of art in and about areas of conflict both nationally and internationally. She has documented militarized zones in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and most recently, Puerto Rico. These projects involve photography, personal interviews with people who lived through the transitions, and intensive archive research on the conditions that formed the militarized spaces. She is currently beginning two new projects. One is to examine and document the trail of the Iron Curtain in Europe and the other documents the American South by working with specific sites and monuments.

 

12_leejeesooLee, Jeesoo, A form of learning, mixed media on glazed clay, 13″(H) x 16″(W) x 4″(D), 2018.

Jeesoo Lee creates mixed media works on paper, canvas, wood and clay. Her work explores redefining psychological states of being through the physicality of these materials. She says of her work, “I enjoy manipulating contrasting mediums to create and explore tensions between abstract painting and contemporary practices.” She has exhibited extensively in New York and nationally including galleries in San Francisco and Covallis, OR.

A Room of Her OwnSills, Vaughn, A Room of Her Own, from True Poem Flee, 2010.

Vaughn Sills is a photographer who explores the natural world and our connections to it. She lives and works between Cambridge, MA, and Prince Edward Island, Canada. In her project titled, True Poems Flee, Sills creates a type of visual memoir dealing with the experience of grieving her mother and the connections found with her in this site. In discussing this project, she asks and says, “where exactly is that horizon? And since we can never get there, how can we get to the beyond? Perhaps that is what these photographs are about – they help me get to what lies beyond.”

Jennifer Moses: Ghost not Ghost is on view in Kingston’s Main and Center Galleries and Chantal Zakari: Cogent Message is on view in the Kingston Project Space through March 31st.

 

Jennifer Moses: Ghost not Ghost

While sorting through older work, Jennifer Moses saved paintings specifically from a point when her work was in transition from figurative to more abstract. Now having begun to assert the figure back into her work, these paintings became the perfect backbone for her current series in Ghost not Ghost, now on view at Kingston Gallery along with a collection of collages and a few paintings on yupo paper.

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The title Ghost not Ghost stems from a few places and Moses breaks up the origins into two categories: “Ghost” comes from the up-cycling of “paintings past” as she puts it, the character of the ghost that pops up here and there throughout the show, and more solemnly, the accumulation of deaths that have occurred around her recently. While “not Ghost” relates to the rebirth of her work through repurposing and the sense that those departed live on through our rumination of them.

This duality in Moses’ paintings between humor and tragedy is fueled by her interest in pre-Renaissance panel paintings; images that simultaneously portray violence and beauty but with almost animated and goofy-looking figures. She says her use of comic-like characters is also inspired by those images as well as the works of artists such as Robert Colescott and Philip Guston who used comics as references for their paintings.

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Collage is a slightly newer medium for Moses. She began making them in 2014 during a residency in New Mexico. Surrounded by an expansive, southwestern sky, she says the idea of using the confines of a rectangle to display imagery felt bizarre. Collage feels “completely liberating” she mentions, because the technical issues of oil painting don’t exist and elements can be moved around easily.

Jennifer Moses: Ghost not Ghost is on view in Kingston’s Main and Center Galleries and Chantal Zakari: Cogent Message is on view in the Kingston Project Space through March 31st.

 

New Works by Emerging Artist Emily Brodrick

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Currently on view in our Center Gallery is What we Choose to Keep by Emily Brodrick. This work is a series of paper installations and sculptures in which the paper was first painted with vibrant acrylics, sometimes front and back, and then geometric and organic patterns were cut out by hand to reflect on childhood memories, evoking the past, both recent and distant.

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When asked about how she wanted viewers to respond to the work and what inspired it, Brodrick says, “For my show at Kingston, my main focus was creating an environment rich in color, texture and movement. A space that feels alive on some level – magical or fantastical perhaps even. It feels urgent at this time of year, especially, to have a place that emanates life and warmth. I want viewers to take that with them… I wanted to make work that brings the outside in, both in terms literally bringing plants inside but also bringing rurality into an urban setting and share that with urban dwellers.”

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 6.31.53 PMIn November of 2018, Brodrick created Collective Growth at Facebook Boston in Kendall Sq., Cambridge. The piece is a mural, comprised of 270 cut paper flowers, pasted onto of a painted background that was a reference to elements including earth, water and air. The installation, which encompasses two 20 x 8ft+ hallway walls, is about the ways in which social media connects individuals and communities and helps them to develop collectively because of it. Collective Growth is a permanent installation at Facebook’s 100 Binney St. offices in Cambridge, MA.

Brodrick also has work currently on view at the Google offices of Cambridge. This show has many earlier works and includes Reclaimed, a grouping of pompoms made from fiber, wire, plastic bags, tape and other up cycled materials and a series of larger than life crocheted flower sculptures titled Watch Me Bloom. This work will be on view for at least the next 5 months.

Hilary Tolan: Emerge is on view in the Kingston Main Gallery, Emily Brodrick: What We Choose to Keep in the Center Gallery and Elif Soyer: Daily is on view in the Kingston Project Space through February 24, 2019.

Hilary Tolan: Emerge

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“I want to take you on a journey into this forest.” Hilary Tolan first remarks in her artist statement. She does just that through her solo exhibition, Emerge, a series of photographs and graphite drawings currently on view in Kingston’s Main Gallery. As I look at her dark, almost eerie, images of dense rhododendron shrubs, I feel as though I am transported there, peering up through them and feeling their waxy leaves brush against me. The low lit underbrush of the forest recedes into the non-visible and become spaces for viewers to rest their gaze, explore and wonder.

With her photos, Tolan asks “Can you tease out this space, understand it, what you are perceiving, seeing or not seeing?” Branches and leaves perfectly cut out with an X-ACTO knife mimic moments washed out by overexposure and become like drawn lines. The contrast of these white lines emphasize the motion of growing branches – upward – towards the sunlight.

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Tolan’s drawings on the other hand are far more spacious and light. Her use of fine graphite lines on mylar highlight the intricacies of a plant’s veins, trichomes and blooms. These drawings ask the viewer to slow down and “…be reminded of the plant’s ephemeral nature.” says Tolan. They have viewers think about space in a very different way than her photographs, causing them to glace back and forth between them, comparing and asking themselves What did I miss?

On view through February 24th, 2019:
Hilary Tolan: Emerge in the Main Gallery
Emily Brodrick: What We Choose to Keep in the Center Gallery
Elif Soyer: Daily in the Kingston Project Space