Dava Newman speaks Tuesday at MIT
Dava Newman, “Soap Box: Humans in Space,” MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 6 p.m. Dec. 8, 2009.
In his his black-and-white "Ohio Horizon" photos, Andrew Buck of Farmington, Connecticut, adopts a short, wide format — like two or three old photo booth photos arranged end to end — that seems especially attuned to the resolutely flat, horizontal landscape of these farms in northwest Ohio, where his in-laws reside.Read the rest here.
Buck documents landscapes reshaped by people. A semi truck stands outside a farmhouse in the snow. A mass of windbreak trees rests like a great dark cloud that has landed in the middle of a vast sea of low planted fields. Silvery silos, white barns, windbreak trees, and power lines rise out of a shimmering field of what looks like corn.
New York painter Eve Aschheim has said that she uses geometry in her abstractions "to 'think about' the intersection of nature and cityscape. My works might suggest the chaotic geometry of the city, the expectant stillness of air, the tenuous balance of a wire line against a building."Read the rest here.
Aschheim's drawings and paintings on view at Rhode Island College's Bannister Gallery are filled with dashed lines and hard edges that look cut up and scattered about and at the same time recall the taped lines of a house painting job. Her drawings in blue, black, and violet gesso, and ink and pencil on frosty mylar, have lots of visible erasing and rubbing out, as if revealing her rethinking and redrawing as she looks for the right balance.
Sebastian Smee: “I am always on the look-out for interesting art by New England artists, but it's not at the forefront of my mind. What is at the forefront is looking for shows that might be interesting for New England audiences to see (or to read about). This makes me dependent, as any newspaper critic is, on what shows New England museums choose to put on.”Previously
“Some - though not many - of the shows I write about might be outside New England, since my understanding is that New Englanders regularly travel to see art, and are interested in what is happening outside New England.”
“My priorities at this stage are New England museums, while my colleague Cate McQuaid focuses on New England's commercial galleries. The boundary is porous, and Cate and I are both hoping that it will become more porous over time.”
“I'm not sure I follow the logic of the connection you suggest between reviewing in Australia and reviewing in New England, but I would say that my experience working as a critic whose jurisdiction was the whole country rather than just a city or region, made me alert to the dangers of provincialism. I have been particularly excited to discover how many high quality museums there are all over New England, and I take great pleasure in visiting them every week.”
“You count the number of New England artists I have written about, but it's important to remember that my brief is not just to review artists but to assess shows (of Egyptian art, of video art, of Renaissance art, of installations, etc) as well as to write about art-related issues that come up in New England: Shepard Fairey, the Rose, the Gardner museum's expansion, Hyman Bloom, etc etc.”
If you were going to recount the evolution of hippie guy fashion, you might say that what began with psychedelic ruffled shirts and corduroy pants in 1968 has in late middle age split into two streams: collarless white button-down shirts, usually buttoned right up to the neck and worn with a black vest, and Hawaiian shirts. Both still signal rebellion — the collarless shirt announces: "I'll dress up, man, but I won't be constrained by your collar" — but it's rebellion softened into something a guy can be comfortable wearing day in and day out.Read the rest here.
Guy fashion isn't renowned for its invention, but this narrow range clarifies the corresponding ideas in women's couture that are illustrated in "Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel" at Salem's Peabody Essex Museum and "Mary McFadden: Goddess" at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. To put it simply (and somewhat simplistically): McFadden's refined designs parallel those collarless shirts, whereas Apfel's flamboyant wardrobe (she's pictured at left) mirrors those guys sporting Hawaiians.
Read the rest here.
For the majority of us Americans, Iraq and Afghanistan are a series of news-data points — number of Americans killed today, number of car bombs, spending tallies, estimates of civilian deaths. We connect these dots to try to form a hazy picture of Iraq, where at least 4276 Americans have died and 30,182 have been wounded and as many as 93,793 Iraqi civilians have been killed since we began our fight there six and a half years ago.
Stories with intimate details can help us to understand. Recent studies have shown that being in pain and watching someone else in pain activate similar areas of the brain. But most of our war reporting is data, not narratives. That’s what makes Krzysztof Wodiczko’s new video installation, “. . . Out of Here: The Veterans Project,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, so powerful, and so necessary.
You stand in a large dark gallery lined with (projections of) grimy factory-style windows 13 feet above the floor that show blue sky and blurry clouds. “Outside” you hear kids playing, giggling. Adults call to them in what must be Arabic. A radio broadcasts Barack Obama telling us that “we need to use diplomacy to resolve our problems wherever possible” and a report that “a senior Hamas official has told Al Jazeera that this is a Martin Luther King moment.”
A man sings in Arabic as a helicopter — seen in silhouette in the windows — whumps down and hovers. The darkness and the height of the windows make you feel cut off, blind, but also safe. Kids kick a soccer ball past a window, then aloft again; it shatters one of the panes.