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.

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

A Studio Visit with Steven Cabral

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As Steven Cabral begins a new journey to receive his MFA from Lesley University to integrate his artistic practice into his working life as a professor of art, he says he has noticed a shift in his creative process. Before he started the program, he would have begun making a piece by intuitively painting the first layer, which according to him, “…can either be good or bad.” Now however, he takes time to carefully consider how his geometric paintings will be laid out by drawing preliminary sketches.

Cabral’s works included in the Kingston Associates group show, Pushing Forward, is part of a series he began during his residency at Vermont Studio Center in August, 2018. During his time there he became obsessed with a piece by Agnes Martin which encompassed two triangles – Untitled #1, 2003. He remembers thinking that her use of negative space was powerful and his series that followed was a reinterpretation of that image.

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This isn’t the first time shapes have been the subject of Cabral’s work though. He mentions he has always been attracted to geometric shapes as an “innocent element,” – the purest form of form itself. It’s a way for him to activate space, and play with composition and applying his often transparent layers of paint.

In response to asking what it’s like to be a part of the Kingston Associates his immediate response was, “We have a great group of artists.” Cabral has been an Associate at Kingston Gallery for a year and says he has found a supportive group of artists and friends. They always have a good time at monthly meetings, making time for seriousness and also for fun!

Kingston Associates: Pushing Forward is on view at the Kingston Gallery through January 27, 2019.

A Studio Visit with Jane Lincoln

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Kingston Gallery Associate member Jane Lincoln wanted a north lit studio with an attached office. Today she has such a space in Falmouth, MA, where she has created the works now included in the associate member’s exhibition, Kingston Associates: Pushing Forward, on view at the Kingston Gallery. Lincoln joined as an associate member to be part of a young, energetic group of artists, who challenge each other to create meaningful work. She sees the group exhibition as a challenge to work on a common theme which makes her ‘do something different.’

Lincoln has created many series of paintings; previously exhibited at the Kingston Gallery were her abstract line drawings which were part of the exhibition Ten Kingston Associates: Entangle. The artwork for the current exhibition is a departure from this work and takes on a political edge. She began this new series by hammering dowels through black paper, when the sound reminded her of gunshots. Lincoln then did research on the many mass shootings in this country, particularly focusing on the tragedy of Sandy Hook, to design the grid like patterns of her work, which reflect the individuals lives lost and the paths of the shooters.

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This new work is an exciting addition to an already impressive career for Jane Lincoln. She identifies herself as a colorist, influenced primarily by the theories of Joseph Albers, but has developed a very contemporary approach to her practice.  Her new work, with that of the other associate members, is currently on view at the Kingston Gallery.

Kingston Associates: Pushing Forward is on view at the Kingston Gallery through January 27, 2019.

Rose Olson & Elizabeth Olson: CURVE/STRAIGHT

by Emily Brodrick

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Currently on view in the Kingston Project Space is a two-person exhibition on the duality of curvilinear and uniform line. In CURVE/STRAIGHT Rose Olson’s minimal, colorist paintings are dominated by hard, overlapping edges, whereas her granddaughter Elizabeth’s photographs embody the organic edges of natural forms.

EOlson_Phoenicia_sm.jpgWhere their works overlap is in their sense of color. According to Rose, Elizabeth has been painting and drawing from nature since a very young age and her interest in color stems from this lifelong fascination. Rose states that her love of color also began during her own childhood. Growing up in the Boston’s South End she remembers walking down to the Public Garden and noticing the way the light hit the surface of the water and ‘it would sparkle like diamonds.’ She would note how at different times of day, different colors would appear and disappear.

Her fascination with the changing of light throughout the day is something Rose translates into her work. Her painting process, which starts out with sanding and sealing her wooden panels to protect their unique grain, is comprised of painting numerous layers of watered down, nearly translucent acrylic paint. It is important for her that viewers see her works at different times of day – in various lighting – to see the depth of that layering of paint and how the colors change.

When asked about why she and her granddaughter like to show together, Rose responded that although everyone in her family needs to make a living through various careers, everyone in her family is also an artist, emphasizing ‘what Elizabeth makes with her camera is extraordinary – she has to do it just as much as she has to do anything else.’ Art is part of who they are as a family Rose says and she hopes to one day show with Elizabeth’s son as well.

On view through December 30, 2018:
Rose Olson & Elizabeth Olson: CURVE/STRAIGHT, in the Kingston Project Space
Joan Baldwin: Unkempt Gardens, in the Kingston Main Gallery
Chris Maliga: Lamenting Echo, in the Center Gallery

Joan Baldwin: Unkempt Gardens and Chris Maliga: Lamenting Echo

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The surrealistic painting style of gallery artist Joan Baldwin’s Unkempt Gardens paintings continue to pull from the colors and scenery of the marshes and paths along the inland waters of Cape Cod. One painting, Blue Moon Man,in particular, is a different, more spontaneous style, consciously pushing the artist out of her comfort zone.  It goes against her years of training where she was taught to have everything neat and rendered accurately. Baldwin repainted it several times and finally completed it just before the show. The smaller pieces, which Baldwin identifies as portraits, are new to this body of work. Also pushing Baldwin’s creative comfort is the way that the paintings are installed in the gallery space, with the large and small pieces interspersed.

When asked what inspired this new way of working, Baldwin describes a recent trip to Southern Italy. She was intrigued by all the architectural relics and statuary, but also by the numerous grotesque gargoyles on the churches. One church had 450 gargoyles decorating it to scare away the evil spirits. She wanted to incorporate these strange creatures into her work and put them in different settings. Baldwin wants the audience to see her work as a continuation of what she was doing before, but also notice there is also something new and innovative. She wants people to see areas, in this case the gardens, and imagine how the area itself has evolved felling the spirits that previously occupied the space.

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Guest artist Chris Maliga began working on the Lamenting Echo project in 2011. The roughly year-and-a-half period prior to that was extremely difficult for him. He had been dealing with a relapse into mental illness during his final year of college, and had completed his degree while struggling with the aftermath of serious bodily trauma. Maliga’s previous work had involved a distorted depiction of the landscape using a physically demanding process. After the end of that project, he decided to start working exclusively in black-and-white using a larger camera, and started experimenting with using his own figure as part of the image.

Maliga had written about body image issues for his earlier work, but he decided to more directly address the concept visually. He was particularly inspired by the work of Francesca Woodman, as well as Edvard Munch, and how each of them approached difficult circumstances through their art. At the same time, Maliga was reading a lot and feeling a sense of connection with work by Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf. In particular, Shelley’s vivid depiction of the tortured mental state of her protagonist in Frankenstein was deeply moving. With his own work, he strives to take the viewer through a similar experience.

Maliga acknowledges that the images can be uncomfortable, but it’s a discomfort that most people can likely relate to. He contends that the most beautiful things in the world are also the hardest to look at. The things he finds while photographing feel very temporary to him, as he ventures into places most people would not. Maliga defines his process as a validating experience, because he can share that unusual finding or experience with any number of people who see his photographs.

Joan Baldwin: Unkempt Gardens is on view in the Kingston Main Gallery, Chris Maliga: Lamenting Echo is in the Center Gallery, and Rose and Elizabeth Olson: CURVE STRAIGHT is on view in the Kingston Project Space through December 30, 2018.

Discussing the Promiseland

Article and Photos by Nat Martin

On Saturday, December 1st, Mira Cantor was joined by Pamela Allara at Kingston Gallery for a lively discussion of her exhibit “Promiseland.” The conversation touched on her personal history as well as her process and influences.
PromiselandEvent_03_smCantor described Promiseland as a poem with a number of stanzas, with each stanza created by groupings of work from various periods including sculptures from the 1970’s all the way to watercolors created as recently as within the last six months.

One of Promiseland’s centerpieces was a ‘crowd’ of oversized fabric people of various ages and ethnicities. Some figures appeared to be interacting with each other while others appeared lost in their own thoughts or activities. Cantor described how she felt as though she knew each one, that each one reminds her of people she has known in her life. Gallery visitors commented on how the strange, distorted faces quickly revealed a kind of realism, humanity and warmth.
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Cantor discussed her particular interest in the times in which people of different backgrounds are brought together, using the example of subway travel. Gallery visitors were encouraged to move through the sculptural installation and become part of the crowd and Cantor’s close arrangement of figures meant that as viewers moved into the crowd they were quickly face to face with these strangers. The experience was not about observing from a distance so much as it was about joining and experiencing.

In the middle gallery, a large clear box was stuffed with more of Cantor’s fabric denizens. Awkwardly packed together, the figures suggest a final, unceremonious grouping after life. Cantor discussed her disappointment in the ways in which war, nationalism and hatred continue to push people away in 2018.
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Promiseland was on view at Kingston Gallery from October 31-December 2, 2018. To learn more about the exhibition click HERE.