Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Eddie Anderson; 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20
In a photograph taken in 1978, you see a kid staring blankly into an open refrigerator. It looks like a random snapshot of a meaningless moment, strangely lit both by the harshly glowing appliance and by weak yellow light coming in from an unseen kitchen window — or perhaps a fluorescent bulb above the range? In fact this photo was meticulously staged — it’s the work of Philip-Lorca diCorcia, just three years after his graduation from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and he had his brother play and replay the scene countless times before he was satisfied that it re-created a moment in real time. It reveals the artist’s early interest in both photography as documentary and photography as a fictive medium.
Opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art on June 1, “Philip-Lorca diCorcia” presents a survey of diCorcia’s work from the 1970s to the present. He staged the mysterious early domestic tableaux with the help of family and friends; in the 1990s, however, he found inspiration in the great tradition of street photography, and his work from that period includes the series “Hollywood Blvd,” in which he photographed male hustlers in carefully scripted shots (their names and their photo fees included in the titles), and “Heads,” which captured unsuspecting passers-by in large-scale close-ups. Fantasy and documentary are entangled in these seductive works, which stop the world for a moment so we can stare at it.
The connection between performance and identity is the subject of “Self-Entanglements,” which opens at GASP on May 25. Curated by participating artist Jay Bordage, the multimedia show also includes work by Gillian O’Flaherty, Darren Miller, and Annie Heisey. It asks whether self-knowledge doesn’t come from acknowledging a multiplicity of personal identities rather than from trying to discover the one person within.
Jim Falck’s colorful watercolors bring to mind Stuart Davis’s jazzy modernist style and John Marin’s deep engagement with the places he painted. “Radiant Design: Recent Paintings by Jim Falck,” which opens at Montserrat College of Art on May 31, features a variety of landscapes, abstract works, and still lifes.
Artist, curator and energetic event organizer Brendan Killian has put together what he calls “a small exhibition/sale” as part of an event to raise funds for a new documentary film by Rick Berlin and Todd Drogy, Jamaica Plain Spoken. The “event” takes place at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain on June 2; in addition to the art, you can enjoy food, drink, and music by local JP bands Mittens and Jake the Snake.
“Philip-Lorca diCorcia” at Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | June 1–September 3 | 617.478.3100 | “Self-Entanglements” at GASP, 362 Boylston St, Brookline | May 25–June 30 | 617.731.2500 | “Radiant Design” at Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St, Beverly | May 31–June 25 | 978.921.4242 | Exhibition for Jamaica Plain Spoken at Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St, Jamaica Plain | June 2: 8 pm–midnight | $20 | 617.524.6373
On the Web
Institute of Contemporary Art: www.icaboston.org
Montserrat College of Art: www.montserrat.edu/galleries
Jamaica Plain Spoken: www.jamaicaplainspoken.com