A peek at Portland art shows in 2012

Radicals and friends
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  December 28, 2011

art_lookahead_Degas_main
A NEW WAY OF SEEING Degas’s ‘Before the race,’ coming to the Portland Museum of Art in February.

Degas and the PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART headline the news for early next year. We're so used to Degas and his point of view it's easy to overlook what a difficult and radical artist he really was. He had a wonderful hand and a way of looking at his subjects that was new and so influential it seems everything was always like this. The PMA will mount "Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist" starting on February 23. Comprised mostly of drawings, pastels, and photographs, it will include some paintings and sculptures as well. Over the course of the rest of the year look for "The Call of the Normandy Coast" and a big Homer show in the fall.

Tanja Hollander has lots of Facebook friends and some real ones as well. For a project called "Are You Really My Friend? The Social Media Portrait Project" Hollander has physically visited and photographed some 600 of her FB friends around the world, and shows these at the Portland Museum starting February 4. The images will change over time, so for those of you who are her FB friends but didn't make the cut, there's still hope.

Having closed her small High Street gallery JUNE FITZPATRICK is now concentrating her efforts in her Congress Street gallery in the bosom, as it were, of the Maine College of Art. Two MECA-connected events will start the year. The first, based on the likely premise that fewer than two percent of art students will be seriously making art after a decade, is called "MECA Ten Years Later" sought out from grads who are still in the art world. Another, "From the Inside," will be gleaned from MECA staffers who also make art. It'll be interesting to see if any qualify for both shows. Later on Fitzpatrick will show drawings by Avy Claire and others, as well as prints by Leonard Baskin, Karl Schrag, and other printmakers.

GREENHUT GALLERIES will find its way through the mid-winter with a couple of group shows of gallery artists, self-explanatorily called "Art Maine" and "Color." In March it will host the now-regular "Portland" show, filling its rooms with a great stew of work with the common thread of the city itself. This can be a fun and at times odd show. A regular round of solo shows will start in May, including work by Susan Barnes, Sandra Quinn, and Jeff Bye.

AUCOCISCO will start the year with works by Blackie Langlais and will also be showing paintings by Jean Cohen, who was a member of the Tenth Street artists in the 1950s in New York, along with Langlais and Alex Katz and Lois Dodd. A "Love" show of small works, benefiting the new Maine Artist Assistance Fund, will go into February, followed by the Union of Maine Visual Artists Invitational and Silent Auction. Later on there will be solo shows by Devin Doborwolski, Christopher Mir, and Grace DeGennaro. In May they will host another UMVA event, "In the Spirit of Carlo Pittore."

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Related: Catch the summer art buzz, Statewide exhibit series winds down; are photos next up?, Hope and energy, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Luc Demers, portlookahead2012, Edgar Degas,  More more >
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