Monday, January 01, 2007

Winter 2007 preview

"Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)," Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass., Jan. 9 to April 15, 2007. Walker’s signature silhouetted characters become ghosts haunting period illustrations of the Civil War. A withering interrogation of the portrayal of African-Americans in history and their role in the war.

“Big Bang! Abstract Painting for the 21st Century,” DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Mass., Jan. 20 to April 22, 2007. Fifteen Northeast artists (including Christi Rinklin and Sarah Walker) who aim to keep handmade abstract painting fresh in these virtual times. Expect lots of trippy virtual-looking paintings (like Barbara Takenaga's "Tremolo (Blue)," 2004-2006, at left). Also lots of abstraction that might as well be realist paintings of dot-matrix printouts or galaxies or computer screens or cells under microscopes. And a little bit of graffiti style for good measure.

“Thin Ice,” Jan. 27 to May 13, 2007, with “Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic,” Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., March 27 to May 20, 2007. “Thin Ice” deploys Inuit art and crafts from the museum’s collection to consider how global warming affects native peoples of the Arctic, while “Our Land” presents a collection of contemporary Inuit art that was seen at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum in the winter of 2004-’05. The threat of global climate change finally became one of our society's foremost concerns in 2006 thanks to Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth.” And unlike our wars against terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan and civil liberties (which the art world is still pussyfooting around), it’s something pretty much everyone agrees is very, very bad and needs to be much more significantly addressed. So expect 2007 to be a big year for global warming art.

“Donatello to Giambologna: Italian Renaissance Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Jan. 24 to Aug. 19, 2007. The MFA rifles through its attic for Renaissance objects and, oh, what pretty things they find gathering dust.

“A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr.,” Portland Museum of Art, Maine, Jan. 25 to March 25, 2007. Paintings by a seminal itinerant Federalist-era New England portraitist (1766-1854).

“Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology and Contemporary Art,” MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Feb. 8 to April 8, 2007. The second half of an exhibit that, in it’s first half, proved to be one of the most provocatively annoying shows in recent memory.

“Philip-Lorca diCorcia,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Feb. 9 to April 29, 2007. Surveys the Hartford native, Museum School alum, New Yorker’s strangely narrative, strangely cinematic, faux documentary photographs since the 1970s, including his latest series depicting pole dancers like "Hannah" (2004) at left.

“A New Key: Modern Belgian Art from the Simon Collection,” McMullen Museum, Boston College, Feb. 10 to July 22, 2007. A look at modernist art made in and as seen from Belgium, with works by Rene Magritte, James Ensor, Paul Delvaux and others, drawn from a significant French collection.

“Acquired Tastes: 200 Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum,” Boston Athenaeum, Feb. 13 to July 13, 2007. A major survey of the venerable institution’s historical and artistic collections at its bicentennial.

“It’s Alive! A Laboratory of Biotech Art,” Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Mass., Feb. 16 to April 7, 2007. A group show investigating the weird and wonderful intersections between biology, technology and contemporary art. (Pictured is a detail of Brian Burkhardt's "Embryo," 2006.)

“Darwin,” Museum of Science, Boston, Feb. 18 to April 27, 2007. Darwin’s revolutionary theory of evolution – and continuing research in the field today – explored via an assortment of fossils, mounted specimens, bugs, live tortoises, an iguana, frogs, carnivorous plants, a recreation of Darwin’s study and more.

“Multiple Strategies: Beuys, Maciunas, Fluxus,” Harvards’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, Feb. 24 to June 10, 2007. Draws on Harvard’s permanent collection to look at the relationship of these two artists through their participation in the influential international art collective Fluxus.

“Bourgeois in Boston,” ICA, March 28, 2007, to March 2, 2008. Works spanning Louise Bourgeois’ career drawn from local collections.

“Momentum 7: Misaki Kawai,” ICA, March 28 to July 8, 2007. New work by an irresistibly charming Brooklyn Cute Brut sculptor-painter. (Pictured above is "Himalaya Space Station," 2004.)

"William Wegman-Funney/Strange,” Addison Gallery of American Art, April 7 to July 31, 2007. A major survey of the Holyoke-native’s serious-funny art – with more than just Weimaraners. (Pictured is "The Tilted Chair," 2003.)


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