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Arts
Museum And Gallery

    PotpourriPotpourri:  Naked ladies, bearded ladies, naked dolls, and more
    In Carolee Schneemann's 1975 performance Interior Scroll, she stood naked and read about sexism from a three-foot-long strip of paper that she pulled out of her vagina.
    By: GREG COOK


    The Candy ManThe Candy Man:  Félix González-Torres at The Carpenter Center, Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting at the Sackler, and Chuck Close and Robert Storr at BU
    Glittering piles of cheap candies are probably Cuban-born artist Félix González-Torres’s most iconic works.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Les jours de gloireLes jours de gloire:  Napoleon’s Empire style at the MFA
    “Symbols of Power: Napoleon and the Art of the Empire Style, 1800–1815” looks at the Napoleonic riddle in the mirror of its art.
    By: JEFFREY GANTZ


    I will surviveI will survive:  John Osorio-Buck in Lawrence, street art in Central Square, and Corita Kent’s Rainbow Gas Tank
    “There is no such thing in civilized society as self-support,” claims a handwritten, hand-held, Dylan-esque cardboard sign.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Everyday useEveryday use:  Rethinking design at the ICA, and City Hall at Pinkcomma Gallery
    Two new exhibits take design — the familiar background of our daily lives — and give it immediacy in a gallery setting.
    By: DAVID EISEN


    Inspiration and a tune upInspiration and a tune up:  The mechanical arts
    I’m lost. I was supposed to be at Aladdin Auto Service in Cambridge like now.
    By: IAN SANDS


    The Empire strikes backThe Empire strikes back:  Napoleon at the MFA, Samuel MCIntire at PEM, and Local Food in Union Square
    Napoleon himself was well aware of the force that iconic images can have on the public imagination.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Take it to the streetsTake it to the streets:  Mexican street graphics at MassArt
    “¡Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics" is a funhouse of brilliantly clunky handmade Mexican street art.
    By: GREG COOK


    Not a girl who misses muchNot a girl who misses much:  Sound and video at MIT, “Eyewitness” at Axiom, Carolee Schneemann at Pierre Menard, and Kaspar König at the Sackler
    Sound is all around: pop music acts as a hair trigger for memory.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Show fetishShow fetish:  The MFA’s new ‘Walk This Way’ exhibit traces the history of footwear fashion, from sandals to stilettos
    Ever since Salvatore Ferragamo designed the first stiletto heel in 1955, podiatrists have faced a steady stream of female patients seeking physical relief from their devotion to fashion over function.
    By: SHARON STEEL


    Mortification of the fleshMortification of the flesh:  'Global Feminisms' turns sexism inward
    “Global Feminisms” at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum could be one of the most important exhibits of the year.
    By: GREG COOK


    Locomotion commotionLocomotion commotion:  Trains at the DeCordova, the Kabakovs’ Utopia at Tufts
    The DeCordova Museum’s “Trainscape: Installation Art for Model Railroads” is a great, wild, flawed 14-artist circus.
    By: GREG COOK


    New new thingsNew new things:  “Design Life Now” at the ICA, Tom Sachs, Steve Miller, and “Women Artists of India” at Brandeis
    Robolobster, an underwater crustacean with eight plastic legs and an industrial-strength plastic shell, is a groundbreaking example of the new science of biomimicry.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Utopia stationUtopia station:  Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Museum School, “Gods In Color” at Harvard, “Arts Of Japan” at the MFA, and the new Proof Gallery
    The grimy surfaces of walls, sidewalks, and utility poles in neighborhoods of San Juan have replaced canvas as a medium for Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Turn on the bright lightsTurn on the bright lights:  Art, women, politics, and food
    Art this fall grapples with issues like gender and journalism, personal space and human survival, and what to have for lunch.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Nothing's sacredNothing's sacred:  Biting art at AIB
    “I’ve been called anti-woman, a racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American, you name it!”
    By: SHARON STEEL


    A case of identityA case of identity:  'Pollock Matters' at Boston College
    In 2002, the year after his mother died, as Alex Matter tells it, he found a brown paper package in his father’s storage locker on Long Island.
    By: GREG COOK


    Security blanketsSecurity blankets:  Caruso and MClaurin in Lawrence, “Belief in Paint” at the New Art Center, Benefit Auction Exhibition at the PRC, and Visiting Faculty at Harvard
    The show includes Gayle Caruso’s swaddled-doll series of drawings and paintings, inspired by terra cotta votive sculptures left at gravesites to invite heavenly protection.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    What’s in a name?What’s in a name?:  Why it’s Fitz Henry, not Fitz Hugh, Lane — and why it matters
    The discovery that we’ve had Lane’s name wrong since at least 1913 has prompted questions about what else scholars have gotten wrong about him.
    By: GREG COOK


    Across the UniverseAcross the Universe:  “Cosmic Energy” at Tufts, Aerial Photography at BU, Dawoud Bey at the Addison, and 2007 Photo Biennial at the Danforth
    Intuition tells us that certain places are powerful, that certain spaces are sacred, and that we are sometimes in the presence of cosmic energy.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    People get readyPeople get ready:  ‘Trainscape’ at the DeCordova, ‘Merging Influence’ at Montserrat, and more
    Fourteen New England artists/artist teams hook up to produce a variety of interconnecting installations.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Desperately seeking shoulder padsDesperately seeking shoulder pads:  Amy Arbus and ’80s style at the Schoolhouse, Hung-Chih Peng’s video at MIT, and ‘Drama and Desire’ at the MFA
    In the glorious fall of 1980, young photographer Amy Arbus approached the Village Voice looking for freelance work.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Natural selectionsNatural selections:  Gorilla-made paintings at Franklin Park Zoo
    The gorilla is a black blur, out of nowhere, barreling into the cage door — clang! — and then zooming off through the fake rocks and trees.
    By: GREG COOK


    When worlds collideWhen worlds collide:  The Collision Collective at AXIOM, Stencils at NESAD, and Alice Neel on film
    We humans are quick to anthropomorphize the non-human.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Salons of summerSalons of summer:  Group shows at the Berenberg and the Pepper, flowers and Fox at Howard Yezerski
    I’m not sure when the word “salon” started to mean an all-inclusive sampling of a gallery’s artists.
    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    Flow chartFlow chart:  The ICA's 'Art on the Harbor Islands'
    The sea air was cold and damp and foggy as we rode to Georges Island.
    By: GREG COOK


    What was, and what might have beenWhat was, and what might have been:  Sara and Gerald Murphy in Williamstown
    Sara and Gerald Murphy are back, and in the words of their friend Cole Porter, “What a swell party it is.”
    By: WILLIAM CORBETT


    GangstersGangsters:  Nave exhibit rounds up Somerville collectives
    Somerville has become a bastion for the wild and woolly.
    By: GREG COOK


    All sewn upAll sewn up:  A quilted movie at the Revolving Museum, Ernesto Pujol at the ICA, and ‘Touch But Don’t Touch’ at Harvard
    Patchwork quilts, crazy quilts, quilts that tell stories, quilts that point the way to freedom, and quilts that just keep us warm are all part of the rich history of this art form.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Digital or timeless?Digital or timeless?:  ‘Opening Night at Tanglewood,’ the Dutch and the Danes at Jacob’s Pillow, ‘The Unknown Monet’ at the Clark
    Garrison Keillor went into one of his trademark reveries and began to tell us about Tanglewood’s “designer” fireworks.
    By: JEFFREY GANTZ


    Premier coupPremier coup:  Edwin Dickinson in Provincetown, ‘The Exposure Project’ in Brookline, and architectural drawings at Montserrat
    American modernist painter Edwin Dickinson has never fit easily into art history’s categories.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    The soft shock of the newThe soft shock of the new:  ‘New Art Collective’ at Montserrat College, ‘New Art ’07’ at Kingston Gallery
    One of the great dreams of any art aficionado is the dream of stumbling on a new, unheralded talent.
    By: GREG COOK


    Remembrance of things pastRemembrance of things past:  Greta Pratt at Bernard Toale, Bonnie Donohue at the Center for Latino Arts
    Pratt is a connoisseur of historical faux pas.
    By: GREG COOK


    Ch-ch-changesCh-ch-changes:  Dave McKenzie at the ICA, ‘Sculpture Walk’ at Forest Hills, ‘ArtBeast!’ in Somerville, and summer Fridays at the MFA
    McKenzie’s humorous examination of self and society also led him to create a giant Bill Clinton mask.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Tiny tomesTiny tomes:  Miniature books at the Boston Public Library
    One day, over 35 years ago, when searching at a rare book shop in Wilbraham, MA for new items for her rare book collection, Anne Bromer discovered a toolbox on top of some bookshelves.
    By: MICHELLE MINKOFF


    Maximum cityMaximum city:  ‘Gateway Bombay’ at the Peabody Essex, 20th-century German sculpture at Harvard
    “There will soon be more people living in the city of Bombay than on the continent of Australia,” writes Suketu Mehta.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Putting the ‘art’ in ‘fart’Putting the ‘art’ in ‘fart’:  ‘Pull My Finger’ explores the dark vortex where comedy and poop jokes meet
    Everybody poops.
    By: SHARON STEEL


    Sixteen candlesSixteen candles:  ‘New Art ’07’ at Kingston Gallery, plus ‘What Is BIG’ at Brickbottom
    Kingston Gallery has been operating as an artist-run cooperative since 1982, when it opened on Kingston Street in Chinatown.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Under the seaUnder the sea:  Andrew Mowbray at Space Other, ‘Endosymbiont’ at Axiom
    Andrew Mowbray climbs through the hatch at the back of a white diving bell.
    By: GREG COOK


    Oh, to live on Sugar MountainOh, to live on Sugar Mountain:  LaMontagne Gallery opens with ‘Regional Highlights’ — plus ‘Endosymbiont’ at Axiom, and Joel Janowitz at Victoria Munroe
    Melcher Street in South Boston still feels like a little piece of the late 19th century.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Burning issuesBurning issues:  Global warming is the new hot subject in the art world
    “Human beings just can’t affect climate that much,” David Arnold remembers Bradford Washburn telling him in 2005.
    By: GREG COOK


    KineticKinetic:  Pat Keck’s undead, plus Joe Johnson, Bert Antonio, and Gary Green

    In their doll-like stiffness and manufactured hair, Pat Keck's shamelessly wooden, unmistakably hand-hewn figures suggest a descent into the underworld.


    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    Seal of approvalSeal of approval:  The ICA plays it safe with Philip-Lorca diCorcia
    Photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia is a safe, easy choice for the new ICA’s first big artist retrospective.
    By: GREG COOK


    Know when to fold ’emKnow when to fold ’em:  ‘Origami Now!’ at the Peabody Essex
    Origami has been practiced in Japan for at least the past 400 years, and we’ve all seen the usual paper cranes, boats, hats, boxes.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Fighting wordsFighting words:  The ‘War on Terror’ in Jenny Holzer’s declassified documents
    Imagine that suicide bombers have just blasted three American shopping malls.
    By: GREG COOK


    Staged?Staged?:  Philip-Lorca diCorcia at the ICA, ‘Self-Entanglements’ at GASP, Jim Falck at Montserrat, and ‘Jamaica Plain Spoken’ in JP
    In a photograph taken in 1978, you see a kid staring blankly into an open refrigerator.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    WrestlemaniaWrestlemania:  Cameron Jamie grapples with Michael Jackson, hot-dog eating contests, and cranky Klauses at MIT
    Plus, Ed Ruscha and Raymond Pettibon in Worcester
    By: GREG COOK


    Local colorLocal color:  The 2007 DeCordova Annual Exhibition
    It’s an art-world misconception that, to champion local art, you have to grade on a curve.
    By: GREG COOK


    Visions of isolationVisions of isolation:  Edward Hopper's master works at the MFA
    In Edward Hopper’s world, everyone is lost in an unending rut of office overtime, rattling El trains, cheap fluorescent diners, and bad dates.
    By: GREG COOK


    Thinking inside the boxThinking inside the box:  Joseph Cornell in Salem
    Joseph Cornell was the quintessential odd duck.
    By: GREG COOK


    Radical dudeRadical dude:  Cameron Jamie at MIT, Edward Hopper at the MFA, and the 2007 Annual at the DeCordova
    Cameron Jamie grew up in the ’burbs.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Conversations wantedConversations wanted:  The Boston Cyberarts Festival looks for interactive
    Just what is cyberarts?
    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    Power surgePower surge:  The Boston Cyberarts Festival launches everywhere, Gabriel Orozco and Benjamin Buchloh converse at Harvard
    The Boston Cyberarts Festival arrives to blanket the town with an onslaught of visual-art events and exhibitions connected by their use of technology.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Walk on the mild sideWalk on the mild side:  William Wegman at the Addison Gallery
    In 1970, William Wegman was making short videos — jumping around in his underwear with purses hanging all over him, that sort of thing.
    By: GREG COOK


    Shape upShape up:  Fernand Léger at the Fogg, ‘Encounters’ at the BCA, ‘War’ at the MFA and Pierre Menard Gallery
    “Fernand Léger: Contrasts of Forms” is a powerful contribution to our understanding of Léger’s role in the development of abstract art in the early 20th century.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    All dolled upAll dolled up:  Misaki Kawai and Louise Bourgeois at the ICA
    Misaki Kawai’s Space House is what Barbie’s Dream House would look like if Barbie weren’t such a stuck-up square plastic bimbo.
    By: GREG COOK


    Culture war gamesCulture war games:  Karen Finley moves on, ‘It’s Alive’ goes after bio-tech, ‘Personal Computer’ gets Webby
    Karen Finley sat at the edge of the stage of Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre last week and spoke about a woman who got off on war.
    By: GREG COOK


    Very funneyVery funney:  William Wegman at the Addison, Ed Ruscha and Raymond Pettibon at WAM, and John Ruskin & friends at the Fogg
    Early William Wegman videos on YouTube are grainy black-and-white mini-musings on watching and being watched.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Quiet strengthQuiet strength:  Power and Serenity at the RISD Museum
    Goshawks scowl atop knotty bent branches, kingfishers stare intently down at water, and dragonflies alight on begonias in the RISD Museum’s new exhibition.
    By: GREG COOK


    What? Institutional? Us?What? Institutional? Us?:  Fluxus gets the Harvard treatment
    George Maciunas was the sort of artist who composed musical scores that called for hammering nails into all the keys of a piano.
    By: GREG COOK


    Light sensitiveLight sensitive:  ‘Picture Show’ at PRC, ‘The Green Line’ at Brickbottom, Matthew Ritchie and Jerry Saltz at BU
    Shake the hand-sized, high-tech version of a Magic Eight Ball and the image breaks apart, then begins anew.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Objects of desireObjects of desire:  Louise Bourgeois and Misaki Kawai at the ICA, Robert Parker at BU, and Eric Gordon at Art Interactive
    It’s hard to avoid thinking about Freud when contemplating the richly symbolic, highly sexual sculpture and drawing of Louise Bourgeois.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Going deepGoing deep:  One-person shows dominate, Cyberarts proliferate, and a few artists collaborate
    A gaggle of big solo shows share the art waves with that powerful influx of computer-reliant art known as the Boston Cyberarts Festival this season.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Absence and presenceAbsence and presence:  ‘Sensorium II’ at MIT, Francis Peabody at Harvard
    “Sensorium I,” which was up at MIT’s List Center between October and December last year, was an ambitious mixed bag of what one critic aptly termed “circus art.”
    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    Every picture tells a storyEvery picture tells a story:  Children’s-book illustrators at the New Art Center, Alexander Ross at WAM, and Hélio Oiticica at Harvard
    “Dear Diary: I know I should be asleep already, but I just can’t sleep if I don’t write this all down. I’ll burst!”
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Draws in digitalDraws in digital:  ‘Animated Gestures’ at Art Interactive, Hans Tutschku and Victor Burgin at Harvard, Coco Fusco at MIT
    New-media artist Camille Utterback revealed that her “love and/or obsession with computers” began when her parents bought their first Apple computer.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Show me the monkeyShow me the monkey:  Darwin’s revolutionary evolutionary theory comes to the Museum of Science
    On December 27, 1831, Charles Darwin sailed from Plymouth, England, an unpaid naturalist aboard the British brig HMS Beagle.
    By: GREG COOK


    An exile’s journeyAn exile’s journey:  María Magdalena Campos-Pons gets a retrospective in Indianapolis
    Cuban artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons arrived at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art one December day in 1991.
    By: GREG COOK


    Carry onCarry on:  Mexican shawls and competitive flowers at the Essex Art Center; Rachel Harrison at MIT, Dario Robleto at the MFA
    In Mexico, a woven textile that has long been used by women for carrying children and bundles, as well as for warmth and cover, is the focus of “The Rebozo: A Traditional Mexican Women’s Garment.” 
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    It’s the end of the world, and isn’t it lovelyIt’s the end of the world, and isn’t it lovely:  Edward Burtynsky and ‘Altered States’ at Tufts
    Toronto photographer Edward Burtynsky spent the 1980s and ’90s roaming North America, photographing strip mines, quarries, oil fields, trash heaps, and junk bundled for recycling.
    By: GREG COOK


    Must warn othersMust warn others:  "It's Alive!" at Montserrat, "2007 North American Print Biennial" at 808 Gallery
    It’s a cliché of bad novels and late-night movies that scientists and artists represent two extreme — and mutually exclusive — poles of objectivity and subjectivity.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Playing with historyPlaying with history:  Kara Walker's civil war
    In February 1862, with the Civil War not yet a year old, Union forces took Fort Henry, a Confederate outpost on the Tennessee River, as they began to open up Southern waterways for supply lines.
    By: GREG COOK


    Who are you?Who are you?:  "Identy Construction" at G-A-S-P, "Sensorium II" at MIT, "Traveling Scholars" at the MFA
    I’d hazard that when most of us think of pictures with “hidden meanings,” we don’t envision portraits, a genre that usually entails straight-ahead representations of, well, heads, at least.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Ah, painting!Ah, painting!:  At the DeCordova, abstraction is new again
    “Big Bang! Abstract Painting for the 21st Century” rounds up 15 painters who reinvigorate abstraction by drawing inspiration and imagery from computers, stars and constellations, quantum physics, data mapping, the Internet, genetics, squiggly microscopic critters.
    By: GREG COOK


    Now on tapeNow on tape:  ‘E-Flux Video Rental’ at the Sert, ‘Only Connect’ at the Mills, and Luigi Ontani at the Gardner
    Spending a rainy Saturday night curled up in front of Dodgeball or the first season of Six Feet Under is great and all, but what if you want to find Michael Auder’s “Polaroid Cocaine,” a five-minute, 1993 video montage of images that “dwell on the themes of death, destruction, and desire,” accompanied by cabaret music?
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    PRC anniversary showPRC anniversary show:  30 years and counting
    The Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has announced a call for entries for the 12th installment of its annual — and acclaimed — juried exhibition.
    By: NINA MACLAUGHLIN


    Eye on youEye on you:  The new ICA’s pretty, so how’s the art?
    Oskar Kokoschka is reputed to have asked, if the Louvre were burning and you could rescue either the Mona Lisa or a cat, which would it be?
    Slideshow: "Super Vision" at the ICA

    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    The artists’ viewThe artists’ view:  What we talk about when we talk about the new ICA
    Recently I was chatting with a local painter, whom I’ll call Picasso Menino, about Boston’s new Institute of Contemporary Art.
    Slideshow: Architectural images from the new ICA
    Bold steps: The new ICA sets the agenda for Fan Pier. By David Eisen.

    By: GREG COOK


    Bold stepsBold steps:  The new ICA sets the agenda for Fan Pier
    The new Institute of Contemporary Art is a gleaming jewel on the desolate South Boston waterfront, but it has the potential to be the catalyst for a new Seaport District.
    Slideshow: Architectural images from the new ICA

    The artists’ view: What we talk about when we talk about the new ICA. By Greg Cook.

    By: DAVID EISEN


    Touchy feelyTouchy feely:  Cecily Brown’s paintings at the MFA, Louise Bourgeois’s dolls in Worcester  
    Art-world sophisticates are schooled not to hunt for hidden pictures in abstract paintings, but that’s just what Cecily Brown encourages.
    By: GREG COOK


    I’m your fanI’m your fan:  The new ICA opens with ‘Super Vision,’ ‘2006 James and Audrey Foster Prize,’ ‘Momentum 6: Sergio Vega,’ and ‘Chiho Aoshima’
    It’s time to smash that big bottle of champagne over the bow of Boston’s glossy, glassy new Institute of Contemporary Art, as the museum throws open the lofty doors to its new Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed digs on Boston’s Fan Pier.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    The joy of lookingThe joy of looking:  Surveillance and power at the Rose
    In the hurried world of print journalism, little time goes by between seeing an exhibit and writing about it.
    By: CHRISTOPHER MILLIS


    Around the edgesAround the edges:  ‘Boundaries and Infinities’ in Lawrence, ‘Medicine Wheel’ and the Rhys Gallery in the South End
    Focus and framing, two devices that help us zoom in on what we are interested in looking at, and to filter out what we would rather not see, are critical tools not only for artists but for humans in general, as we make our way through a visually complex world.
    By: RANDI HOPKINS


    Underground lifeUnderground life:   Elsa Dorfman's photographs
    Bob Dylan was in Lowell with the Rolling Thunder Review, and Allen was staying at our house.
    Audio slideshow: Elsa Dorfman talks about her photographs for the Phoenix  

    By: ELSA DORFMAN


    Fashionistas, rejoice!Fashionistas, rejoice!:  Haute couture storms the MFA
    I feared for my life when I walked into the Downtown Crossing H&M one morning last November.
    Slideshow: "Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006” at Museum Of Fine Arts 

    By: SHARON STEEL


* *
BLOGS
  Funny Gamesmanship
posted at 7:18 PM / 10.26.2007
  Terror campaign
posted at 6:23 PM / 10.24.2007
  More Lust, More Caution: Ang Lee II
posted at 6:11 PM / 10.10.2007
  Cautionary tale: Lee on "Lust"
posted at 4:38 PM / 10.5.2007
  Video: Nick Hornby on Slam, the Sox, Tony Hawk, and Time Traveling
posted at 11:21 AM / 10.29.2007
  This Thing Is A Lot Like That Thing
posted at 3:53 PM / 10.19.2007
  Friday Literary Links: Ungrateful Edition
posted at 12:26 PM / 10.12.2007
  Wednesday: Iron Chef Morimoto at the BU Barnes & Noble
posted at 6:30 PM / 10.9.2007


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