The De C ordova Annual, New Orleans after Katrina, ‘Superartificial,’ 19th-Century Leisure Travel, and El Chango Verde
Matt Brackett, Distant Waves
The DeCordova Annual has been going strong since 1989, indefatigably showcasing work by New England artists chosen each year for the quality of their individual work rather than for their collective cohesion under any unifying theme or broader topic. “THE 2008 DECORDOVA ANNUAL EXHIBITION,” which opens at the DeCordova Museum on May 10, presents work by 12 artists/artist teams. Keep an eye out for Mitchel Ahern’s interweaving of text, textiles, and politics, Matt Brackett’s mysterious and compelling paintings, Leah Gauthier’s heirloom melons, the Institute for Infinitely Small Things’ post-9/11 dictionary, Mark Schoening’s densely layered canvases, and Marguerite White’s fantastical, nautical installation in the DeCordova’s big window.
“DeCordova Annual Exhibition” at DeCordova Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln | May 10–August 17 | 781.259.8355
“Symbols of Search” at Essex Art Center, 56 Island St, Lawrence | May 29–June 29 | 978.685.2343
“Collision1101:superartificial” at Axiom Gallery, 141 Green St, Boston | May 9-25 | 617.953.6413
“Always Delightfully Cool” at Boston Athenaeum, 10-1/2 Beacon St, Boston | May 7–August 22 | 617.227.0270
“Chingasos” at New England Gallery of Latin American Art, 184 Cottage St, East Boston | May 5–June 5 | 617.418.5838
Eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, photographer Goodloe Suttler spent a week taking pictures of Massachusetts high-school students who had traveled to the area to help with the clean-up during their spring break. Each day, the students’ assigned work sites varied; as Suttler drove among the various locations, he was struck by large X’s spray-painted on homes by improvised search teams immediately following the disaster. His photographic record of this journey makes up “SYMBOLS OF SEARCH: PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOODLOE SUTTLER,” which opens at the Essex Art Center on May 9.
The Collision Collective, now in its sixth year of cooperative activity at the junction of art and technology, examines the irrational realm of superstition in the 13th Collision group show, “COLLISION1101:SUPERARTIFICIAL,” which opens at Axiom Gallery on May 9, taking in Tim Murdoch’s “Who’s That,” a slippery reflected image seemingly detached from the plane of a mirror, and John Slepian’s “cornered,” with a simulated shrieking creature and a tree stump. Leisure travel in 19th-century New England is up for examination in “ALWAYS DELIGHTFULLY COOL — SUMMER VACATIONS IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND, 1825–1900,” which opens at the Boston Athenæum on May 7. Advertising prints, photographs, maps, sheet-music covers, and more bring the area’s beaches, mountains, and lakes to life — visitors may recognize Maine’s Moosehead Lake and New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee as they appeared in the days of steamship lines and grand hotels.
Mexican boxing legend El Chango Verde, or El CV, is the subject of “CHINGASOS,” a solo exhibit of work by Raul Gonzalez that opens on May 5 at the new New England Gallery of Latin American Art in East Boston. Gonzalez, a member of the lively local art collective Miracle 5, has chosen Cinco de Mayo to kick off a show that looks at cultural identity and the Mexican immigrant experience.
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