Recognition and Care: New Paintings by Jamie Bowman

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Jamie Bowman enlivens the practice of traditional figurative painting with her exhibition Portraits, on view at Kingston Gallery through February 28. This series of small-scale works depict the nurses who care for Bowman’s mother, who was paralyzed in an accident a year IMG_0251ago. Doubtless, complex emotions accompany the fallout from such an extreme and unfortunate accident. This series is significant for recognizing the people who became a part of her life.

The paintings also record what can come of creativity in times of crisis. The artist chose to represent each nurse as an individual engaged in quiet reflection, rather than relating to others and in action, as Bowman likely got to know them. While she became acquainted with her subjects through their profession, these portraits demonstrate the psychological intimacy that can come about in the process of direct representation.

Models can significantly influence the outcome of a work of art. They bear witness to its process, and even as silent, unstirring, paid professionals, their presence can inform choices in an artist’s mark-making. In this case, the models arrive first as part of a support system, then become models. Their significance often comes across in the IMG_0253portraits. Bowman’s charcoal drawings focus directly on the faces of each person. We associate nurses as being in constant motion, even when exhausted, their job is to care–both as an action and as a discipline. These images allow us to contemplate what thoughts and images may be on each nurse’s mind as they sit for the artist. By creating these portraits, Bowman bears witness to the value they play in the life of her family as her mother recovers. They acknowledge that she sees them as people beyond the function of their job.

Bowman is an Associate Member of Kingston Gallery. Based in Boston, she has shown widely, including at the Danforth Art Museum, Framingham, MA, First Street Gallery, NYC, and Walter Feldman Gallery, Boston, MA. Bowman has a MA in Studio Teaching from Boston University, Boston, MA, an MFA in Painting from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, and a BFA in Painting from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY.

 

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Snapshots from Barbara Moody’s Residency

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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.

All About Paint

 

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Stacey Alickman’s paintings are all about the paint and the paint is alive. It is emphatic; it exceeds the boundary of its support. In fact there is a painting in the exhibit which has literally been shattered by design and has shed its frame. The paintings are filled with gesture; the paint swoops and flourishes, shimmies and shakes. It asserts itself. It announces itself with bravado. Each piece is a complete world; collectively the paintings create a universe, a universe that is emphatically hopeful, one filled with motion and connection. The artist invites the viewer to share in this exuberance and these worlds. She holds up a mirror and lets us in the door.

Stacey Alickman: Humpty Dumpty runs through December 28. Don’t miss this exhibit!

Image: Stacey Alickman, Lost Year, Oil on canvas. 48 x 42 inches, 2014.

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

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.