Monday, March 10, 2008

“It’s Getting Hot In Here” at Montserrat

and “Greed, Guilt & Grappling” at BCA

From my review of “It’s Getting Hot In Here” at Montserrat and “Greed, Guilt & Grappling” at the Boston Center for the Arts:
When Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize last October, it was a triumph for anti-global-warming forces as well as a triumph for art. For years, scientists have struggled to focus attention on the urgent dangers of global warming, but with his film "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore summed up the problem in a way that helped millions finally get it, kick-started the “green” environmentalism movement, and gave a push to government and private efforts to stem climate change.

Going green has become so popular and pervasive a phenomenon — if still only beginning to produce manifestly different behavior — that it’s easy to forget how new this sea change in thinking is. Gore’s film premiered in 2006, and it quickly affected the art world, with global warming, sustainable living, and green becoming a major focus of art. In the past year or so, exhibitors have begun to round up the stuff. New shows at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly and the Boston Center for the Arts represent the two poles of green and global-warming art: inward-turning meditative gallery art and outward-reaching, simply framed activist art.

Curated by the college’s Leonie Bradbury and Shana Dumont, Montserrat’s “It’s Getting Hot in Here” addresses “how the progressive philosophy of sustainability affects art making.” The art is quiet, gentle, stylish, thoughtful, often exquisitely crafted, occasionally droll. The primary method of the eight artists is recycling, via compassionate conceptualism and crafty minimalism.
Read the rest here.

A previous post on green/global warming art.

“It’s Getting Hot In Here,” Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St., Beverly, Feb. 15 to April 5, 2008.
“Greed, Guilt & Grappling: Six Artists Respond to Climate Change,” Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, Feb. 1 to March 30, 2008.

Photo by Mr. Hyland of, from left, Vaughn Bell’s “Personal Landscapes: A Pack of Forests,” 2008; Ellen Driscoll’s “Revenant,” 2007, and Niizeki Hiromi’s “Windows,” 2007 - 08.


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