Barbara Moody is a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center this month. She kindly sent photos of her studio and the drawings and paintings in progress. Like much of her work, these pieces possess rhythmic compositions that make the imagery seem to float, despite the elaborate compositions.
Those of you who visited Kingston Gallery this month may recall Moody’s large biomorphic, abstract piece in I Know Just What You’re Saying. It is the first piece you see when you walk in the door, and when you visit the exhibition page of our website: kingstongallery.com. My favorite part of it are the scratches into the surface of the varied colors.
Have a look, and take note that Moody’s next solo exhibition at Kingston will take place in April 2017. Stay tuned for other opportunities to see her work in Greater Boston and beyond.
Barbara Moody’s smart new series of collages are on view at Kingston Gallery through August 2. The landscapes offer a complex revision of the suburbs, using photographs she took in various locations of Boston’s North Shore, where she lives and works. An overall pattern, quilt-like, emerges, with rich patches of texture and color, such as that of brick and rusted chain. At first the works seem like mixed media, but with the exception of acrylic, the swathes of color are all from photos. Moody cuts them in complex patterns, at times abstracting the original so it appears unfamiliar. The pieces are rejoined so that they arch, buckle, and ripple into spaces that do not recede and settings that do not impart a sense of order.
The collages rarely offer a space to “walk” through, but there is a hallway in Dwell, one of the smaller pieces. Moody captured buildings in the process of being destroyed or returning to nature. She uses these images to consider the vulnerability in residential environments betrayed by rough edges such as crumbling roof tiles, chipping paint, and rust. There are things we purposely ignore in order to retain a sense of stability, but, viewing these images, we continually shift from one form to the next, to a restless effect. Enter at Own Risk #2 is one of the darkest pieces in terms of mood if not color, with piles upon piles of ruin in turquoise, yellow, and white.
The palette, including the whites and coastal grey of worn wood, gives hints of its setting of Boston’s North Shore. She placed the images of the wood, lightened, dried out and cracked by the salty seaside air, as the sky on most of the pieces. As we focus on the horizon of the landscapes, then, we see things that are found on the ground.
The collages conjure a specific setting of suburban, coastal Massachusetts, but they also relate to disturbing stories in the news, such as the recent earthquakes in Nepal and the drought in California. The culture humans built is jumbled up as a result of the forces of the earth, a theme that relates to Moody’s earlier series of paintings. The different media provides a change in composition, as the collages fill the grid of the picture plane in contrast to the more atmospheric feel of the paintings. Both series comment on the fragility of life. The opposite of Instagram filtering, they intensify and compress the ravages of time on our built world to comment on the damage inflicted by nature.
Not all art should make you feel comfortable, and often the best art awakens you in some way. Humans are just as much a part of nature as the trees, complicating the victim/culprit dialectic. This idea came up at a gallery talk by Steve Locke, who curated the current exhibition, Arcadia: Thoughts on the Contemporary Pastoral, located nearby at Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts. We were looking at photographs by Eirik Johnson, who photographed details of trees that people carved words into. The tree bark entirely fills each frame. Many of the words are evidently old, and the surface of the bark has since healed and obscured the language. One tree says “we were here,” and the ghostly letters manage to come across as both predictable and prescient. Our knee-jerk reaction to carving letters in trees is that is disrespectful, but in the scheme of things, and as captured by Johnson, they seem more like an ongoing and ancient conversation. Likewise, in Moody’s collages, the unease is apparent, but a specific perpetrator is not.
Ilona Anderson has work in Pipe Dreams, Wishful Thinking, Grand Gestures & Dirty Lies at ASC project space, 526 West 26th Street, Room 304, New York, NY through July 15. Ilona also has work in the group exhibition As | Orchard opening July 31, Lower East Side, NY.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer and Barbara Moody were named Co-directors of Kingston Gallery for 2014. Kathleen Gerdon Archer and Conny Goelz-Schmitt both had work in the group exhibition Synchronicity at the Associazione Culturale Rosa Venerini (ACRV) in Viterbo, Italy from June 27 – July 6. They spent the month of June at the Associazione Culturale Rosa Venerini (ACRV) Residency Program.
Barbara Moody taught a new studio intensive course entitled Expressive Interpretations of the Landscape, at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in both January and July. She exhibited her photo-collages March 17 – May 7 in a three-person exhibition at the Albright Gallery, in Concord, MA. And she and Ann Wessman both have work in Dreaming Gardens at Suffolk University Gallery, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA, which runs June 10 – August 22, curated by Deborah Davidson.
Jennifer Moses showed her work in a group exhibition of 12×12 paintings at the Oxbow Gallery in North Hampton, MA, December 5, 2013 – January 5, 2014. She has work in the summer long exhibit Surface, Strokes and Light, a group exhibition of of contemporary painters and sculptors at Kelly Roy Gallery. Broadsided Press is displaying a collaboration between Moses and poet Annie Finch on the Cape Cod Public Bus Transit through September. Jennifer is also an artist in residence at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY for the month of July.
Rose Olson will be featured at Hutson Gallery, 432 Commercial Street in Provincetown, July 25 – August 7. She also has work in Danforth Art Museum’sCommunity of Artists Annual Juried Exhibition, which runs June 8 – August 3.
Lynda Schlosberg had a solo exhibition Field of Potentiality in the Spencer Presentation Gallery at the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts, Endicott College, Beverly, MA, January 28 – March 20. She was the featured gallery artist at Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, ME for the month of March. And her work was included in Painting Intricacies, curated by Resa Blatman at Nave Annex Gallery in Somerville, MA, April 18.
Luanne E Witkowski’s mixed media works were included in a group exhibition in the President’s Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, December 9, 2013 – January 23, 2014.
Barbara Moody is known for her tremendous versatility and virtuosity, often presenting very different work for each of her exhibits. In her current show at Kingston Gallery several compelling groups of work contribute to the whole. For me, the most intriguing is the group of four paintings titled Inside/Outside. Each has a swath of terrifically strange color, informed by the layers underneath and by the adjacent passages of paint.
Moody talks about the instability of everything and that the work here is informed by this idea; nothing is held in place and danger lurks everywhere at anytime. But Inside/Outside is contained, held by the internal geometry and the limits of the rectangular support. The other works, especially the wall of small paintings in the Center Gallery, expand beyond the frame (either by inference or actually) and are not to be tamed or contained. The central passage of each in the Inside/Outside series is singular in color: pink, several yellows, green; each one holds its respective center and draws us in. A tour de force indeed.
I am intrigued by the title of Barbara Moody’s current show: Escape.
It can mean or infer so many things, for her, all of the works in the exhibit act as metaphors for her fears of the potential dangers that may occur at any moment. There is no stasis and everything feels random. There is no escape.
Barbara Moody is one of three artists exhibiting photographic work in Photographs: Chap-Malacara, Moody and Greenspun at the Albright Art Gallery in Concord, MA. Moody says about her work, “This photographic work connects my three obsessions: linear complexity, simultaneous representation and abstraction, and transforming the natural world.”
The exhibition runs from March 17 through May 3, with a reception on Saturday, March 29, 3–5 pm. For more information visit the gallery’s web site: www.albrightartgallery.com.
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.
Barbara Moody has been chosen as the “Distinguished Artist/Teacher of the Goetemann Artist in Residence Program” at the historic Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA for the week of May 12–18. In addition to offering workshops and studio critiques, she will give a slide presentation, free and open to the public, entitled “Finding Your Unique Voice as an Artist” on Mother’s Day, May 12 at 2:00 pm at the Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester. Barbara will show images of her work to illustrate different ways of seeing, as well as a short video of her process. A reception will follow at 3:30 pm at The Cultural Center of Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Rocky Neck, Gloucester. For more information, see http://www.capeannmuseum.org or call (978) 283-4141.