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‘Distillation’ at RIC; Salvatore Mancini at Candita Clayton

The purity of paint
At first, the approaches of abstract painters Lisa Russell and Mary Bucci McCoy can appear opposite.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 17, 2012


Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order’ looks at self-sufficiency

Of humans and nature
In 2006, after finishing undergraduate studies at Brown University and photographing a series on community gardens managed by Providence's Southside Community Land Trust, Lucas Foglia bought a minivan, put a bed in the back, and drove south "to photograph people who had responded to current day events ..."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 10, 2012


Matt Rich and Zoe Perry-Wood

Fascinating rhythms
If street art made a baby with Frank Stella's 1960s geometric abstractions, the offspring would look something like Matt Rich's show "Ghost Muscle" at Samson (450 Harrison Ave Boston, through April 28).
By: GREG COOK  |  April 13, 2012


Mirthful morbidity

“Penguins, Zombies, and Nudes” at Craftland
Greenville painter Greg Stones writes that he sketches a basic landscape or figure study, "then I try to think of what would make the painting especially awesome. Penguins, zombies, and nudes are invariably the answer."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 03, 2012

Shapeshifting totems

The Peabody Essex explores Native America

The Cree artist plays his drag show for laughs, but underlying it are serious questions about white genocide of Native American societies, about the stereotyping of Natives, and about gays in America, as well as Native American society.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 02, 2012


‘#Occupy’ at Yellow Peril; Roger Shimomura at RIC

Artist’s statements
The art world and the Occupy movement have a somewhat awkward relationship.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 27, 2012


Maxey’s sprawling landscapes; Blackburn’s altered spaces

Exteriors and interiors
After years of visiting her second home in her husband's native United Kingdom, Providence artist Madolin Maxey says it finally occurred to her to paint the hedgerows, rolling hills, giant boulders, and ancient stone crosses in Devon in southwestern England, where their house overlooks the River Dart as it winds northwest from the English Channel.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 21, 2012


Buck Hastings’s ‘Vibes & Stuff’ at AS220; ‘Acquire/Inquire’ at RIC

Accidentally on purpose
The first painting in Providence artist Buck Hastings's series Vibes & Stuff at AS220's main gallery features quick, flat brushstrokes that give a curious paint-by-number feel to what appears to be an abstracted shrub.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 14, 2012


Radcliffe Bailey and ‘Six Artists from Cairo’

Global unrest
From a distance Radcliffe Bailey's 2009 installation Windward Coast looks like a rolling ocean of big, burned matches, or maybe straw.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 13, 2012


Spencer Finch’s ‘Painting Air’ at the RISD Museum

Mission: Impossible
The question at the heart of Spencer Finch's art is: how to recreate fleeting impressions, like the green-blue-brown surface of the Hudson River or the sunlight filtering down from the Pantheon's dome in Rome.
By: GREG COOK  |  March 06, 2012


Jerry Uelsmann hallucinates for you

Darkroom magic
Jerry Uelsmann's photos are like hallucinations.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 29, 2012


‘Hunters and Gatherers’ at Cade Tompkins Projects

Eye of the beholder
The subject of the 10-artist survey "Hunters and Gatherers" at Cade Tompkins Projects (198 Hope Street, Providence, through March 31) is building art from recycled scraps.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 28, 2012


Portraiture dominates Boston gallery exhibits this spring

Photo shops
"I figured," Alex Katz said of his paintings of his wife Ada in 1969, "well, if I get Ada right, if you only get one person right— if you get a woman or a man right — it's universal."
By: GREG COOK  |  February 27, 2012


Agata Michalowska’s ‘dom’; ‘Surfacing’ at the Chazan Gallery

No place like home
"Dom: means home," Providence artist Agata Michalowska says in a sign introducing her installation "dom" at AS220's Project Space (93 Mathewson Street, Providence, through February 25).
By: GREG COOK  |  February 22, 2012


The ICA's ''Figuring Color''

Body talk
"Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented," Willem de Kooning argued in the 1950s.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 23, 2012


The ‘2012 RISCA Fellowship Exhibition’

Bright spots
Last weekend The New York Times proclaimed Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning , the debut video game of former Red Sox pitcher and outspoken Republican millionaire Curt Schilling's 38 Studios, "one of the finest action role-playing games yet made."
By: GREG COOK  |  February 15, 2012

Sun Tunnels Holt

Nancy Holt locates the cosmos

View finder
Holt is part explorer, part surveyor, part hippie/New Age dreamer. And this thorough survey of her art from 1966 to '80 shows her finding her way to becoming one of the pioneers of the "Land Art" or "Earthworks" movement.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 14, 2012


‘Valentined’ showcases geek love at Craftland

These missives don't have the swooning, steamy, bodice-ripping passion of romance novel covers.
By: GREG COOK  |  February 08, 2012


‘Taoist Gods’ and ‘Immortals’ at Brown and RISD

The language of aesthetics
As China marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon with lion and dragon dances and fireworks last week, Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology was debuting "Taoist Gods from China: Ceremonial Paintings from the Mien".
By: GREG COOK  |  January 31, 2012


The deCordova Biennial roots for the home team

Regional pride
"Contemporary and Boston, Opposites No Longer," a New York Times headline announced in October. It was another alert that $1 billion invested in expanding and endowing local museums over the past decade is paying off in a newly vigorous Boston contemporary art scene.  
By: GREG COOK  |  January 31, 2012


Myoda and Pender in ‘Illuminations’ at Chazan Gallery

Tricks of the light
Paul Myoda's kinetic sculptures are beautiful and unsettling.
By: GREG COOK  |  January 24, 2012

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