450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA



CALL FOR ART: "Winter Works"

Annual Juried Show
Dec 2 - 20, 2015
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Nov 4 - 28, 2015

Opening Reception
Friday, Nov 6
6-830 pm

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Sally Lutz:
"Relics: Between Sea and Sky"

For several decades, I have tried to spend at least six months of each year close to the edge of one sea or another, sometimes looking across the bay at Provincetown, sometimes in the South of France or in the French Antilles. When I first began thinking about this series of paintings, the horizon line between water and sky began to suggest itself as the place where a collection of cast-off objects from my studio might live. As the work progressed, what was originally a suggestion became more insistent.

The work that evolved into this Relics Series began as a way to both glorify and rid myself of an obsession with these objects. Discarded and worn, often difficult to identify and probably humble in origin, they are made of metal, paper, plastic, styrofoam or cloth. With the exception of one small piece of rebar, I have no memory of how they came to be in my possession nor any clear understanding of why I find them so compelling.

As these paintings developed it became evident that what interested me more than the individual objects was what could happen when they came to be in each other’s company, particularly with a framework of rebar established as a kind of anchor for the others. This led to the idea of setting them up in still-life-fashion on a mirrored surface where I could manipulate the lighting as I photographed them.

Over time the spaces between the objects and the resulting color shifts that were reflected in the mirrored image seemed to become what these paintings were about. Yet something seemed to be missing for what began as images of a collection of cast-off objects still had no sense of place or belonging. My choice to make these particular seascapes their dwelling place has engaged me in a new challenge, perhaps even a shift to a new form of obsession.

Included in this show are five oil paintings, two small black and white solar plate etchings (editions of ten) and four color prints taken from the original photographs I used as source material (editions of five.)


Betsyann Duval:
"Wow. That was fast."

Ron Padgett

That was fast.
I mean life.*

Wow That Was Fast, is a visual memoir that explores the mystery and energy of my life and how the vicissitudes of time have impacted it.  These two themes interplay through 12 connected paintings and are reinforced by wrapped-object sculptures, and related poem fragments. 

The paintings reflect my emotional life and accumulated memories at various developmental stages and how the perception of time changes from its solid, and seemingly endless quality in childhood, to its fleeting and frangible quality in old age.  Starting from What the #@%*? at the beginning of things, I enter the serious childhood years of Why? and How?—the  heaviness of waiting:  for  parents to return, for Christmas to come, for the class bell to ring.  In adolescence time is all over the map. It can last forever with a touch or rush past when one most wants it to linger. It is filled with passion, confusion, wrong choices, and startling successes.  Then, I'm riding the wave of discovery: work, ambition, marriage, responsibility that carries me through the lush and sensuous middle years. I'm too busy to think about time, but I feel there's never enough of it. And suddenly as I slow down, time seems to fragment.  When I'm best able to understand the changing dynamics of time, it betrays me.  So I come back to the Why? of things, but, on reflection, the answers are more elusive and impenetrable than ever.

I developed this painting series from an automatic drawing exercise using Post-it® notes to explore my personal myth in a constrained time/space continuum. Using these ephemeral notes allowed me to find the intuitive visual language, symbols and metaphors of my life, through stream-of-conscious abstractions. The challenge then was to retain in scaled-up paintings the spontaneity of the original gestures and vibrant colors of the note sketches. 

Although the theme of the paintings reflects my personal life experience, these abstractions might also be read as an exploration of any theme of twelve: the cycling months of the year, the Stations of the Cross, chapters in a novel, or 12 steps to a better self.  They open a door in your mind for personal reflection and reference.   

The sculptural pieces of wrapped materials are "memory banks" that hold the things we never see in others or hide in ourselves. Words, questions, objects, hidden or only partially exposed hint at the secrets, desires, and yearnings that push-and-pull us.  The wrapped sculptures were inspired by a performance piece I designed to explore the power of memories hold over the self. 

Holding the loose ends of brightly colored balls of yarn, a group of people tossed them into a busy atrium from a circular balcony.  They then sat and
re-wrapped the yarn into a ball, concentrating on enclosing good and/or bad memories within. During the performance multicolored threads moved up through the atrium, while the yarn balls below skittered and diminished engaging passers by, as the memories accumulated above. Each participant had the choice of saving or destroying their emotionally charged "memory ball."  Some kept them to save and venerate, while others said that destroying them would be cathartic. 

The sculptures in this exhibit are wrapped objects or ideas that hold an emotional charge for me. 

The poem fragments reflect the existential and philosophical challenges that we meet and question throughout our lives. 


*Ron Padgett, Collected Poems, Coffee House Press, 2013






















































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