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Review: Umberto Crenca's introspective retrospective at AS220

Trying to make sense of it all
If you've been around the Providence art scene very long, you've surely heard the story. In the early 1980s, Umberto Crenca exhibited at the Antonio Dattorro Studio Gallery and the Providence Journal panned his art as shallow and simplistic.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 16, 2010


OMFG: The new MFA

Great finds — and what's still missing
The completion of the Museum of Fine Arts' new 121,307-square-foot Art of the Americas Wing, which opens Saturday (with a free community day), is an America-the-beautiful, knock-your-socks-off survey of great art.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 17, 2010


Review: New work by C.W. Roelle and Nick Hollibaugh

Wire and wood
C.W. Roelle of Providence twists black wire into dazzling optical illusion magic tricks resembling pen drawings whose lines have wandered off pages and into the air. His show "Lamp Lit" at Craftland (235 Westminster Street, Providence, through November 13) is more evidence that he's one of our most exciting artists.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 11, 2010


The tyranny of nice

Assessing public art in Rhode Island
Over the past several weeks, Mikyoung Kim's new $480,000 public art installation Horizon Garden has taken shape at southwest corner of Providence's Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.
By: GREG COOK  |  November 02, 2010


Tedium and enchantment

Frances Stark, Bruce Myren, Rebecca Lieberman, and Megan & Murray McMillan
Can it be a good sign when a curator writes that the artist he's featuring in her first US museum survey "has laid bare the creative act in all its tedium and enchantment for over two decades"?
By: GREG COOK  |  November 03, 2010


A Lynda Benglis retrospective at the RISD Museum

Manufactured surprises
When you talk about the art of Lynda Benglis, there's just no avoiding the giant dildo photo.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 27, 2010


Zacchilli + Kent's 'Night For Day,' Test, and Planka at AS220

On the dark side
Mickey Zacchilli and Natalja Kent's installation "Night for Day" at AS220's Project Space (93 Mathewson Street, Providence, through October 30) is like a manic, feral, black-and-white, punk, strobe light, spook house — just in time for Halloween.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 19, 2010


Kentridge's South Africa and Coe's disasters of war

Plus posters from Hatch
South African artist William Kentridge is often hailed for providing "a vivid history of apartheid and its legacy," as Time said when it named him one of the 100 most influential persons of 2009.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 20, 2010


Review: A. Cemal Ekin's 'Touching the History' at PC

See the light
In June 2009, A. Cemal Ekin, a marketing professor at Providence College, found himself in Istanbul, Turkey, atop scaffolding rising some 16 stories high inside the historic dome of Hagia Sophia.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 12, 2010


Honk! Fest blasts back into Providence

Brass Dept.
The third annual "Providence Honk! Fest" (aka "Pronk!") rounds up 10 brass marching bands from Texas to Chicago to New York for a great big hootenanny in Providence on Monday, October 11.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 12, 2010


Can you love Boston art and still love the Foster Prize?

And what happened to the Morgan Prize?
When I roam Boston galleries or stumble upon Brandon Nastanski's "Unofficial Franklin Park Research Outpost," I feel the buzz of potential.
By: GREG COOK  |  October 05, 2010


Salem's spookiest tourist traps

With Halloween fast approaching, we haunt as many spooky, scary attractions as possible
When America's original Mean Girls started accusing all their Salem neighbors of being witches in 1692, who knew that the city would remember the community hysteria that sent 20 innocent folks to their deaths with the awesomest Halloween shindig anywhere?
By: GREG COOK  |  October 21, 2011


Review: '10 Most Endangered Properties'; plus, 'Chromophilia'

Faded glory
The most striking reminder of the threat to buildings featured on the Providence Preservation Society's "2010 Ten Most Endangered Properties" list is that Brownell & Field Company at 119 Harris Avenue, which the society highlighted because it feared it would be torn down, was approved for demolition on September 20 by the city's Historic District Commission.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 29, 2010


Review: 'Our Founders' at the Pac, and 'New Mastery' at RIC

Past and present
One of the landmark tales of Rhode Island art is the story of how Edward Bannister won the oil painting prize at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 22, 2010


An Emperor's heaven on earth

The Peabody Essex Museum scores a curatorial coup
Salem's Peabody Essex Museum has pulled off the curatorial coup of the year with "The Emperor's Private Paradise," which reveals to the public for the first time 90 "treasures from the Forbidden City," the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 22, 2010


Fall Art Preview: Old meets new this season

O pioneers
Art in Rhode Island this fall is a parade of founding mothers and fathers. AS220 co-founder Umberto Crenca fills his institution with his latest "ugly" work.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 14, 2010


Review: Dan Wood and Pippi Zornoza at AS220

Fever dreams and fantasies
The giant headline on the poster hanging in the window of AS220’s Project Space proclaims: "Antichrist Is Alive, and a Male Jew, Falwell Contends."
By: GREG COOK  |  September 14, 2010


Fall Art Preview: Heavy construction

Boston museums take off their hard hats
Over the past decade, museum building has boomed across the region.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 14, 2010


Review: The Addison Gallery returns

Welcome back
Closed for two years of renovation and expansion, the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy reopened this past Tuesday with "Inside, Outside, Upstairs, Downstairs: The Addison Anew," nearly 400 greatest hits from its great collection.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 08, 2010


Worst Public Art Manifesto No. 1

Taking the stuffing out of stuff we have to look at
Long-term public art has a greater responsibility to the community, to the public, than regular gallery art.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 13, 2010


Treasure trove

'Pictures from the Hay' and Alison Owen's 'Divisibility'
Visiting "Pictures from the Hay" is like rummaging through your grandparents’ attic . . . if your grandparents are amazingly curious, incredibly well-connected, and fabulously well-to-do.
By: GREG COOK  |  September 07, 2010

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