Monday, July 13, 2009

“Salt of the Earth” at Montserrat

From my review of “Salt of the Earth” at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts:
Montserrat College of Art in Beverly rounds up its own summer survey by inviting each of seven local curators to pick one artist who (loosely) fits the show's title, "Salt of the Earth." Montserrat assistant curator Shana Dumont chose David Curcio of Watertown, who combines folksy 19th-century imagery with etching, woodcut, pencil, paint, and stitched thread for a charmingly old-time handmade goth look. “100,000 Fish Caught in Two Tides” shows a steepled red mill or church building sprouting the floating heads of a family tree. Four birds, like time-lapse photos, flap away to freedom. The scene is surrounded by a border of winding leafy branches plus vignettes of birds, buildings, and a dour woman. Curcio's work doesn't feel deep, but it's catchy.

Camilo Alvarez picked a sculpture duo from his Samson Projects gallery, Alexi Antoniadis of Newtonville and Nico Stone of Chelsea. Their stuff distills the saddest bits of urban garbage and decay in an off-kilter mix of minimalism and the au courant "scatter trash" style.
Read the rest here.

By the bye: If Montserrat continues this exhibition series, it may be wise to restrict curators from picking artists they represent or that are their coworkers. This show leaves itself open to charges of nepotism as the commercial gallery curators here pick artists from their gallery stables and Jose Luis Blondet of the Boston Center for the Arts picks that institution’s gallery manager. Not that these picks themselves are bad, they’re actually on the whole good to great.

“Salt of the Earth,” Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St., Beverly, June 5 to July 24, 2009.

Pictured from top to bottom: David Curcio, “Happy House,” 2007, drypoint, etching, woodcut, acrylic and stitching; David Curcio, David Curcio, “100,000 Fish Caught in Two Tides,” 2008 etching with woodcut, acrylic and stitching; “Ursa Minor,” 2008, etching, woodcut and embroidery; David Curcio of Watertown, “My Grief is a River,” 2009 etching, drypoint, woodcut, colored pencil and stitching; Alexi Antoniadis of Newtonville and Nico Stone of Chelsea, untitled installation, 2009, mixed media; Deb Todd Wheeler of Newton, “Worktable & Wallflower,” 2009, 2008, mixed media installation; Deb Todd Wheeler, “Topsy” 84” x 5” x 48” floral foam 2009; Nate McDermott of Brighton, untitled, oil on canvas, 2009; Lorna Williams of New Haven, Conn., “Untitled (Hurricane),” 2009, mixed media on wood; and Patricia Tinajero of Knoxville, Tenn., “Where miracles happen,” 2009, video installation with recycled VHS tapes, metal frames, fabric and lights, dimensions variable.


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