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Center Gallery Emerging Arts Writer event exhibition gallery news press studio visit

Inside Look: Rose Olson’s Rain and Sunshine

The maxim that Rose repeats throughout our interview is: “the person you don’t want to bore is yourself.”

I spoke to Rose ahead of her upcoming show Rain and Sunshine, set to open on June 24th in Kingston’s main gallery. We discussed newer elements of her work, especially in the context of her long tenure as a painter.

“I’ve always painted all my life,” she explains. “I can’t change. No matter what my job was, how many hours of teaching I did or whatever I did, I would have to come home and do some work sometime during the evening before I went to bed.”

Over the course of her career, Rose has honed a distinct aesthetic. Using acrylic wash to play with light, movement, and opacity, Rose brings depth to the surface of her seemingly simple works. “When I was younger, I worked on everything: paper, it might be charcoal drawings. It might be anything because I had to work. Now, I work strictly with paint and wood and nothing else because that’s what interests me right now.”

Her upcoming show at Kingston signals a new dimension of this familiar medium. Perhaps reflecting the mercurial social environment, Olson’s show includes works like Red Intrusion, below. The notion of intrusion is something Rose explores deeply in her more recent work. The push and pull that results from the integrity of Rose’s natural canvas meeting the piercing strip of red that truncates its base is a relationship she relishes.

Rose Olson, Red Intrusion, acrylic on wood, 20”x 30”x 2”, 2019.

“I love what I’m doing right now,” adds Rose. “A lot of it is new because of blocks of colors. And the color is quite heavy. But it doesn’t eliminate the grain of the wood, which is very important to me when I’m painting.” 

Rose goes on to explain the importance of maintaining the integrity of the surface on which she paints. It’s as much a part of the painting as the materials that cover it: “The grain of the wood is something that I respect. So I try to make it clear. I try to make it available for the viewer to see no matter what color is over it.”

“A grain is unique,” she says. “They’re like our fingerprints, so no two are alike.”

Rose Olson, Violet Calm, acrylic on wood, 2020.

Within this medium, Rose’s work retains its fluidity. “Sometimes I’ll look at a painting that I had done and it bores me, so I will go back and work on it. So I guess they never end,” she muses. Five minutes before our interview, she made a final adjustment to a recent work titled Violet Calm, left. “I just finished a painting now that I had started earlier and it needed something desperately and I wasn’t sure what it needed. And I just discovered that it needed a golden band. So I put it in. It’s just a slim band and it enhances the grain as it goes up.”

Once she has finished a piece, Rose strives to keep the viewer’s experience of her work dynamic. “The colors keep changing continually, which is important to me. Also, when the work is on the wall, there’s the light going from one end of the room to the other that continually changes the colors, because there are so many layers of color and the light will pick up one layer after another.”

Rose did not cultivate this dynamic approach alone. She credits a shared workspace and creative process with her interest in the ongoing nature of her work. “My husband was a writer. He wrote poetry. We would very often stop our work and I would show him my work.”

Creating side-by-side elevated both of their processes. “When he would start reading his poetry, I would say, you know, it’s not quite there yet,” Rose recalls. “Then, all of the sudden, he would do it. It would be right there and I would get the goosebumps and I would say, stop. This is it. You’ve made it. You know, you don’t want it any different than this.”

While her husband passed recently, she continues to find motivation through these memories of collaboration: “My husband died suddenly three years ago, and that is a blow to me. It’s overwhelming,” says Rose.

“But,” she maintains, “it doesn’t stop me from painting.”

Rose Olson, Swirl, acrylic on wood, 12”x 12”x 1”, 2019.

Swirl is shot through with two, thick lines of red, lending the work a different feel than Red Intrusion possesses. The color pushes against the grain of the wood, and the whorls through which it slices seem to bend in protest, or perhaps in welcoming. The paler, nearly iridescent wide stroke of violet below lends a tactile element to the piece. Beneath the lines, straight and firm, it almost serves as the memory of a hand has followed their course, leaving behind an imprint. The work, like its maker, is pushing at the boundaries, suggesting a sense of continuance, and of potential chaos.

In addition to her career as a painter, Rose also taught for many years, spurring on her students in the same way she pushed her husband and continues to push herself.

“I don’t think there was anything that I didn’t like, and I don’t think there was a student that I didn’t like,” she recalls. “I pushed them very hard. I wanted them to create something uniquely theirs, and I think they understood that because we would both get excited.”

Rose encouraged her students to trust their unique perspective on shared, human experiences rather than attempting to break away from artists who inspired them. “Sometimes you can try to copy something, just so you understand what, what colors that person is using,” she explains, “but they’ll never come out the way that person uses them. They’ll come out the way you use them. You find yourself doing it in such a unique way.”

“That is, it becomes exciting to you because we are all different from each other,” she adds. “That quality within each person is very important to me.”

Rose Olson, triptych. From left to right: Canals of Mars, Martian Sky, Martian Water, all acrylic on wood, 20”x 20” X 1.5”, 2020.

Ultimately, Rose views painting as a deeply personal, emotional experience that turns one’s internal experience outwards to face the world. “Whatever you are, whatever your passion is at the moment, whatever you see out there comes through in the work.”

“Whether you’re a painter or you put it into poetry and words, the way my husband used to, when it hits just right, that’s it. You get the goosebumps and that’s when you know.”

In any creative pursuit, Rose concludes: “When something is real, it’s it. It just affects you completely.”

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artist news press

And more news!

Kingston Gallery member Lynda Schlosberg is featured in Boston Magazine this month! Her exhibit is coming up next month.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/home-design/article/2014/06/03/go-read-summer-design-fix/

 

 

 

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artist news exhibition gallery news press

Congrats! Joan Baldwin in The Improper Bostonian

A mention of Joan Baldwin’s exhibit is in the current issue of The Improper Bostonian with an image and this line:

“CAPE SCAPES Joan Baldwin’s paintings capture Cape Cod scenes at Kingston Gallery through June1.”

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artist news exhibition press

Cate McQuaid’s review in today’s Boston Globe: Shows that paint outside the lines, and one that sticks to the script

Mary Bucci McCoy’s review in today’s Boston Globe along with Jered Sprecher and Lot F Gallery:

Shows that paint outside the lines, and one that sticks to the script

 By Cate McQuaid  Globe Correspondent   April 08, 2014

“Within” from Mary Bucci McCoy’s show “New Paintings,” at Kingston Gallery.

Two refreshing solo painting shows up now in adjacent galleries have much in common, but wander down wildly different paths.

Mary Bucci McCoy, at Kingston Gallery, and Jered Sprecher, at Steven Zevitas Gallery, make mostly small, mostly abstract works. Bucci McCoy’s delicately toned and textured paintings read like haiku: swift, elusive, ripe. Sprecher’s much denser, hotter-toned works display an exuberant virtuosity: He cuts up, sorts, and juggles forms; he layers veils of pigment. Small as his works are (the paintings on linen are 11-by-8 inches), they are deep, whereas Bucci McCoy’s are more wide open.

For the smaller paintings, the artist chopped up photocopies of his pigeon photo and made collages, which he re-created in oil paint. The birds can be discerned in only one of these works, “Pigeons,” in which we see a plump green silhouette, with the fluff of the wing feathers accentuated, but again the image seems incidental to the spark and flow of abstract painterly fireworks: down-rushing smears of gray and yellow, a narrow curtain of hot pink on one side.
Knowing the birds are there, if only in fragments, you might start to look for them. Is that the curve of a breast in “Invention of the Chair”? And maybe the stony face of the cliff along the bottom?

But this painting hinges on the thick, flat bars crossing one another, in black with great gaps of orange, over a changeable orange and red ground. The violently colliding bars have heft, but they vanish. There’s a broad passage of dun in the background at the top, a bland banner. Sky blue brushes lightly over the surface.

Sprecher plays tricks with space and surface; he makes bold marks and dainty ones. There’s so much going on in a relatively small space, it’s as if he’s deftly answering in paint the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Bucci McCoy offers a deep breath. Her painting “Another Grace” is simply a pale peach, near square. When I saw it I sensed vaguely that the corners were receding, and I got up close. The paint along the sides is infinitesimally yellower than it is in the middle. The surface gently puckers and wrinkles, like water in a breeze. A barely perceptible zigzag, perhaps just evidence of the paint drying, saws softly down the right side. Discovering these is like unearthing secrets.

Early in her career, Bucci McCoy worked with ceramics. Her paintings have the tactile quality of clay and the surprises afforded by kiln-fired glazes. “Within” is an oval, like a cameo, in powder blue. It’s matte flat, but the blue rises off the surface in one thick dollop. Below that hovers a blurry white dot, and to the right, a dot of black, veined and glittering like mica. Each of these reveals itself on a largely unsullied plane, little eruptions through a placid surface.

These paintings convey the unlikely combination of patience and spontaneity. Sometimes Bucci McCoy takes action: Her finger makes a deep gully down the center of the pristine white “Channel.” But sometimes it’s also just about seeing how the paint reacts. “Sanctuary” has a ground of tender terra-cotta, perfectly flat. A heady wash of aqua pours in from the upper right, like a wave rushing onto sand. The breathtaking contrasts are many: the colors, the textures, opacity versus mottled transparency, stillness versus movement. This artist achieves all that with startling economy.

Signs to celebrate cursive

“Its Virtue Is Immense: A Pre-Vinylite Tribute to Script Lettering,” a jaunty show at Lot F Gallery, suggests that thanks to dedicated practitioners around the world, the art of hand-painting signs is not dead. It’s on the decline, and has been since vinyl signs came on the scene in the 1980s. But this show isn’t merely about hand painting. It’s a cri de coeur on behalf of handwriting, and in particular cursive, which is being taught less the more technology dominates communication.

“Handwriting Is Handy,” Bob Dewhurst reminds us in one snappy sign. Kenji Nakayama, in “ABC Script,” layers a cursive alphabet in autumnal enamels and variegated gold leaf, which glimmers with coppers and blues. It’s eye-catching, to be sure, but it goes beyond signage into art, with its complex layering of letters.

Nakayama came to Boston from Japan to study at the Butera School of Art, one of the last academic outposts to teach hand-painting signs. It closed two years ago. The work in this show reminds us that there’s something rich in the human touch that can’t be replicated in a prepackaged font.

Mary Bucci McCoy: New Paintings

At: Kingston Gallery,

450 Harrison Ave., through April 27. 617-423-4113, www.kingstongallery.com

Jered Sprecher: Half Moon Maker

At: Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., 617-778-5265. http://www.stevenzevitasgallery.com

Closing date:
May 10

its Virtue is Immense: A Pre-Vinylite Tribute to Script Lettering

At: Lot F Gallery, 145 Pearl St., through April 25, 617-620-8452, http://www.lotfgallery.com

 

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artist news gallery news press

Cate McCuaid’s Critic’s Pick in The Boston Globe: Mary Bucci McCoy, First Friday reception this evening

Image

MARY BUCCI McCOY: NEW PAINTINGS Bucci McCoy’s small paintings hinge on the materiality of the paint, how it flows, how it dries, and how her spontaneous actions impinge upon it. Color matters, but the works are catalyzed by substance. Through April 27. Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-423-4113, http://www.kingstongallery.com

CATE MCQUAID

Image: Crux, acrylic on plywood, 9 x 7 x 1″, 2013

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artist news exhibition press

Congratulations to Mary Lang on the review in The Boston Globe by Mark Feeney!!

At Simmons, ‘Like Water’ for spirit

By Mark Feeney

Water dominates this planet. Light dominates photography. So what’s the relationship between water and light? Well, it’s ambiguous. Water can’t quite make up its mind about light. It reflects light. It also lets light in. It’s mirror and lens, and to at least some degree a distorting lens, to boot. Back and forth, up and down, in and out: From that duality, all sorts of arresting visual effects arise.

For a decade, Mary Lang has been photographing water: as river, ocean, puddle, cloud, droplet; between banks, along beaches, in parking lots, on windows; in Auburndale, on the Cape, by the Oregon coast, in the Andes. Variety of type and location is one of the attractions of water as camera subject. It’s not quite as ubiquitous as light, but it’s found in numerous forms all over the Earth even as it always remains the same: good old H2O.

In photographing water, Lang has said, she seeks “something intangible, impermanent, and luminous.” Those qualities are all evident in “Like Water.” These are quiet pictures. Lang’s waves don’t crash; they flow. One can more easily imagine her water evaporate than cascade or inundate. The power of water is there, but it has no need to call attention to itself.
It’s up to each viewer to decide whether those qualities Lang seeks take a form that’s more spiritual or strictly visual. Lang’s consistent ability to present color in a handsome, unemphatic way conduces to either interpretation. The images create their own sense of reality, not so much flirting with abstraction as inviting it in for a chat. Attractive as these photographs are, they are anything but pretty. Don’t expect to find them on a calendar or postcard. Not that there’s anything wrong with calendars or postcards. But staying up to date and tracking road trips are the furthest thing from Lang’s mind. That old putdown, “Hey, you’re all wet”? Lang shows that it might also be considered a compliment.
Image: Mary Lang’s “Near the Pump House, Auburndale, MA”
WATER: Photographs by Mary Lang

Trustman Gallery, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, 617-521-2268. http://www.simmons.edu/trustman

Closing date: April 17

Mark Feeney can be reached at mfeeney@globe.com.

 

Categories
exhibition press

“Mira Cantor: Meltwater” Reviewed on Big Red & Shiny

Many thanks to Big Red & Shiny for their review of “Mira Cantor: Meltwater”!

Slippery Slope
Slippery Slope — oil on canvas, 48 x 36″, 2012

From the review:

“‘Meltwater’ and Cantor’s previous series [‘Silver Lake’ (2005), and ‘White Paintings’ (2008)] reveal her kinship to American landscape painters. Thomas Cole (1801-1848) created a native landscape vision which emphasized America’s unique natural heritage.5 In The Course of Empire (1832), Cole interpreted the extinction of glorious nations. Cole described Old Age in the Voyage of Life cycle (1840): ‘The stream of life has now reached the Ocean to which all life is tending.’6 With her passionate concern for sustainable life, Cantor continues in Cole’s legacy of cherishing the preciousness of nature. Cantor says that, in addition to the weather, she also thinks about death, which we cannot escape. ‘I want to know my world and alert people to it… And change will happen. The ice is melting. In a painting I can stop time.’7 The monumentality of Cantor’s minimalist forms is awe inspiring. The technical aspects of her painting style make palpable the slow transformation of our planet’s environment. A dynamic synergy between Cantor’s sweeping gestures, her control of the defined edges, and the way she allows the paint to function independently are what make the Meltwater series so compelling and demanding. When confronted with her work, we are immediately engaged with the profound implications of what we see.”

Read the full article here.

“Mira Cantor: Meltwater” will be on view through Sunday, December 29. Gallery hours are Wed–Sun 12–5. In addition there will be special Public Relations hours with Deborah Davidson on Tuesday, December 24, 2–4 p.m. NOTE: the gallery will be closed Wednesday, December 25.

 

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exhibition press

Boston Globe Review of “Mira Cantor: Meltwater”

Thank you to Cate McQuaid for her review of “Mira Cantor: Meltwater” which appeared in The Boston Globe Wednesday, December 18:

Installation view
Installation view

“Icy Truths: Mira Cantor’s glacial landscape paintings in ‘Meltwater’ at Kingston Gallery are not huge, but they are expansive and generous. Cantor eloquently lets the paint’s textures mimic the surfaces of water, ice, and mountain. Her cool, luminous colors feel charged with energy. Massive forms seem to quiver, as if on the verge of dissolution.

Purple Majesty, oil on canvas, 48 x 36"
Purple Majesty, oil on canvas, 48 x 36″

‘Purple Majesty’ sets a peak beneath a periwinkle sky. Along one side, it’s shadowy lavender above icy blue-white. Slick white outlines the other side. But in between, the white thins to rivulets and drips, and the center vanishes into a gray abyss.

The paintings, with their monumental forms, verge toward abstraction. The title piece depicts a flat iceberg, mauve and tamped with pale, drippy orange, floating in a still, green-black sea. A thick frost of electric aqua green edges the berg beneath the water. That edge is no boundary. It’s a threshold, through which light and form passes into blackness.

These are cautionary images about climate change. But they’re extraordinary paintings, perilously active, filled with color, light, and texture, yet spare in composition. Marvel, and beware.”

“Mira Cantor: Meltwater” will be on view through Sunday, December 29. Gallery hours are Wed–Sun 12–5. In addition there will be special Public Relations hours with Deborah Davidson on Tuesday, December 24, 2–4 p.m. NOTE: the gallery will be closed Wednesday, December 25.

Categories
exhibition press

Artscope – thanks for the coverage!

Artifact and Underlying Harmony at Kingston Gallery

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013, 4:21 pm
Exhibit OpeningsExhibitsFeatured

Elif Soyer<br /><br /><br />
Three<br /><br /><br />
metal, concrete, porcelain<br /><br /><br />
18 x 18 x 5 inches<br /><br /><br />
2013

Elif Soyer Three metal, concrete, porcelain 18 x 18 x 5 inches 2013

 Elif Soyer: Artifact

Paul Andrade: Underlying Harmony

At the Kingston Gallery

By Cole Tracy

Boston, MA- The current exhibitions at the Kingston Gallery are certain to catch some intrigued glances. Both artists have a strange, and fitting harmony between them.

Elif Soyer’s body of work, “Artifact,” is an intensely personal exploration of how the artist navigates through the everyday. By using cement, she calls to mind all sorts of commonplace objects, through her use of texture and items exploding out of masses of grey. A fist is the only recurrent image throughout the work, reminding us of the artist’s hand, and our relationship to a material that surrounds us through much of our life.

The viewer also questions preconceived notions about art; it’s not everyday that one sees hanging blocks of cement in a gallery space. They stand on their own successfully, and reward those who give the objects more time.

The pieces fascinate and astound, each one is a world of it’s own, reminiscent of a topographical map from another planet. The objects coming through bring to mind artifacts, of whom or what is impossible to say but the collision of textures, colors and fabrics creates odd juxtapositions.

Not many of these items are identifiable, a ceramic bulge, red shiny fabrics wrapped in oblong shapes covered by mesh. The confusion and uncertainty of what these things actually are, is an affirmation to Soyer’s underlying theme: anything can be anything. If this is a representation of her perception of the everyday world, we can only imagine the fascinating things we might glimpse taking a walk in her shoes.

Paul Andrande’s “Underlying Harmony” paintings similarly push the viewer towards unfamiliar territory in his abstract and formal line paintings. Andrande’s influence for these works comes primarily from music, dubbing the series ‘color chords’ after the notes of harmony he is creating through color selection and interrelation.

The colors are bold, and tend to be within a similar palette, to show his ‘scale’ in a given color zone. The dynamic paintings are easy to stare at, comparing the thickness of each drip of paint. The artist’s hand is still visible, and he walks a fine line between abstract formalism and expression by letting the lines go towards imperfection and letting the lines remain uneven it reminds us of the humanity behind the paintings.

In “Red Strings,” a square 12” x 12” image dominated by several tones of reds, pinks and oranges, is also interspersed with touches of black and blue. These darker colors serve the plane well, breaking it up at intervals and making sure the viewer doesn’t get lost within all the warm tones. Andrande has a keen sense of the spatial relationship of his canvas.

The show is nontraditional and invites the viewer to question preconceived notions about what is and is not art. Elif Soyer shows us the capability of all objects to be elevated to the high status of art. Paul Andrande also transforms his thoughts, musical and otherwise, into geometric abstract expressionist paintings. Both series draw on the mystifying beauty of a world many can only find banality within.

(“Elif Soyer: Artifact” and “Paul Andrade: Underlying Harmony” continue through October 27 at the Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston. For more information, call (617) 423-4113.)

 

Categories
exhibition press

July in the City

This is the last week for the three wonderful exhibits at the Kingston Gallery: Linda Leslie Brown’s Chimeric, Rachel Thern: Curves and Barbara Moody Blonde, which are up through July 28.

While in the gallery yesterday, I noticed how all three shows resonated with each other, especially as one moves through the space from one artist to the next. They rhyme and echo, the gestures of the forms in each leads the eye and the body, and guides the viewer to compare and appreciate these very distinct bodies of work.

We are so pleased that both Brown and Thern have recently been reviewed respectively in the Boston Globe http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater-art/2013/07/16/what-boston-area-art-galleries/QD8enGbaxSnV4Fmudp3dVM/story.html and on the Artscope Blog http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs191/1101530073189/archive/1114171649305.html.

Check out our Facebook page and Kingston Gallery Blog Thinking About Art Out Loud to see the articles as well.