About Deborah Davidson

As Kingston Gallery's Public Relations Consultant I blog about KIngston Gallery artists and exhibitions and related art and events in the Boston area.

Text/Subtext

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“You are one of the few artists I know who really live it, without any commercial concerns – Brava.” Comment by Jennifer Moses in exhibit guest book

Susan Alport’s exhibit There for the Taking is a performance. That is, she has asked the objects which make up the installation in the gallery, and which are in relationship to each other, to act. We see the evidence of her mind, what she is drawn to, what she has decided to present here. These relationships are relative, and can only be understood in this way.

She renders an imaginary studio for us, using and referencing these elements simultaneously. She lets us in on her vision and presents the objects in high relief by placing them in the gallery setting. We see the evidence of the studio through the objects placed on a wooden table: painted bottles, photographs of the painted bottles, yellowed newspaper articles, photographic images of her studio, which in turn become objects, a collection of pottery shards in a box, postcards, notes, receipts.

The installation reads, like the blown up statement with edits and notations which one encounters as one enters the space, as a record of her thinking. It does so best when seen from a single frontal point of view, as if it were one image. Neither a still-life nor a theatrical set, it exists as a text containing a subtext, and this viewer was transposed and transported. Brava.

Alport is joined in the Center Gallery by Eugene LaRochelle’s I Love You and by Elif Soyer’s New Work in the Member’s Gallery.

The exhibits continue through November 2.

Image: Installation view of There for the Taking

Photo credit: Susan Alport

 

 

 

 

 

What are we talking about when we talk about art?

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Last Saturday we had a wonderful (first ever) event in the new Second Saturday series organized by the Boston Art Dealers Association in conjunction with the current exhibit Ground Cover: Contemporary Abstraction between Figure and Ground, curated by William Kaizen, Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, Northeastern University. The panel Abstraction and Contemporary Art included Kaizen in conversation with Peter Kalb, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Chair, Brandeis University and Martha Buskirk, Professor of Art History and Criticism, Montserrat College of Art. They had a terrific conversation and great feedback from the audience as well. This is my response to and understanding of both the talk and the exhibit itself.

Sometimes I see things differently. It can happen after I read something, hear a lecture or visit an exhibit, and I will be profoundly affected and pleased by this new understanding of the world around me. This is the case with Ground Cover, seeing the works in the exhibit with the particular lens of the relationship of ground to figure and the ways the artists express their relationship to the theme. They all make their work by hand, perhaps expressing our collective anxiety to an ever-increasing technological world; perhaps balking at the trend of many contemporary artists whose practice involves technology for the production of the work.

The artists chosen by Kaizen exemplify the exhibit’s theme of ground cover and they each articulate in a variety of ways this relationship of figure to ground. In his curatorial statement he says: “Dancing between thing and nothing, event and non-event, appearance and disappearance, the works in Ground Cover transmute ground into figure and figure into ground.” Each of the works asserts itself in relationship to figure/ground or ground/figure and also articulates the space of the gallery and in so doing reaffirms itself as an object. For each, the question of what is figure and what is ground is one that is answered or resolved by the process itself and the resulting object. This assumes that the paintings are objects and not just surfaces for material. In fact all the works hover in the liminal space between object and surface in varying degrees.

The artists in the exhibit are not ambivalent about making objects and raise several important questions. How does their work function in our ever-increasing technological world? Why is abstraction still relevant? Artists always have responded to their particular culture. Art is made in response to society and thereby becomes its window. The work in Ground Cover gives us many different ways to see.

Don’t miss this exhibit! Ground Cover: Contemporary Abstraction between Figure and Ground runs through September 28.

Photo credits:  Will Holcroft, Installation view of Ground Cover exhibit, Mary Bucci McCoy, Attendees September 13 event

Ground Cover

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We are looking forward to the panel discussion Abstraction and Contemporary Art: Curator William Kaizen with Peter Kalb (author of “Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary”) and Martha Buskirk (author of “Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art between Museum and Marketplace”) on Saturday, September 13, 4–5 pm.  This is the first event in the Second Saturday series organized by the Boston Art Dealers Association and is in conjunction with the current exhibit Ground Cover. Hope to see you there!

Image: Julie Graham, Multistory, Plaster, wood, paintings on panel, 69 x 10 x 9 inches, 2012.

 

 

The Room is Breathing

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On a recent visit to the current group exhibit Free Association 2014 at Kingston Gallery, a question presented itself: what holds this exhibit together? In spite of the enormous variety of mediums, from tyvek, vintage books, photography, acrylic, encaustic, fabric, weaving, to graphite, there is a wonderful sense of rhythm and synergy exuding throughout the gallery and between the works as well.

There is also a great sense of space and air. The gallery is enlivened, it seems to be filled up with air. Although there was no curatorial overlay here, it is as if there was a plan and direction for the exhibition, creating this ineffable sense of lightness and breath.

What ties these artists together is simply that they are all Kingston Gallery Associates. But it is as if they colluded with each other in advance, so that the work would resonate in terms of color, form and shape, and so it does, so it does.

Don’t miss Kingston Associates’ Annual Exhibition: Free Association: 2014. It runs through August 29. There is an Artist Talk this Sunday, August 10, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Image: Shawn Salinger, Hang Around Sundown, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 46 x 40 inches, 2013.

Everything and Nothing

Lynda Schlosberg’s current solo exhibit on view at the Kingston Gallery is a tour de force.

The works are about everything and nothing. All the paintings are inferences of something possibly recognizable, and the mind/eye wants to make sense of the formlessness of the forms:

Swirling water

A galaxy

A riverbed

Sea creatures

The shape of a hurricane

A vortex

They are also very much a demonstration of labor, emphatically made by hand, and evidences of time.

The paintings, on paper or wood supports, seem to be made by looking down and inward (a kind of internal mapping) and the results are dazzling, expanding outward.

The squareness of the supports force the eye to keep moving in the space and to keep looking, trying to resolve the visual field.

They bring to my mind images and ideas associated with the Australian Aboriginal notion of Dreamtime, a place beyond time and space in which the past, present and future exist wholly as one.

All of these thoughts resonate with the notion of Zero Point Field, which is the guiding title of the exhibit.

Zero Point Field runs through July 27.

Image: As Within, So Without, Acrylic on panel, 36 x 36 inches, 2014.

 

Here is something to think about!

“In a quantum world the Zero Point Field is an omnipresent energetic substructure. It is the lowest possible energy state where all matter has been removed and no particle movement should remain. Yet no particle ever comes completely to rest, every particle is forever in motion due to an endless ground-state field of energy that continually interacts with all subatomic matter. Thus, the Zero Point Field becomes a mirror image and record of everything that is and ever was. In a sense, it is the beginning and the end of everything in the universe, a basis of oneness.”

After contemplating this idea as stated by artist Lynda Schlosberg, come see the work for yourself and talk to the artist about this concept and how she attempts to express them in paint.

Friday reception July 11 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The exhibit runs through July 27

Image: Lynda Schlosberg, Frequencies Rising, Acrylic on panel, 36 x 36 inches, 2014.