A special Maine feel

By KEN GREENLEAF  |  December 22, 2009

GLEASON FINE ART in Portland held a good-sized show of the work of the late Robert Solotaire, who died in 2008. He was a fine painter and a presence in Portland for many years. It was sad to see the paintings and know there won't be any more, but good to see they are finding exhibition time and perhaps good homes.

Some gallery shows stick in memory. Certainly Mark Wethli's show at ICON. The Emily Nelligan and Marvin Bileck, and at another time the show combining Carl Gordon Cutler and William Thon, both at JUNE FITZPATRICK, made lasting impressions. Mary Hart's show at AUCOCISCO was a quiet, almost private affair, but persists as well. One especially interesting pairing took place at GREENHUT GALLERIES when they showed Joe Nicoletti, who paints carefully detailed landscapes, with the loose, almost abstract paintings of Ying Li. They had painted the same Italian scenes, quite differently.

Aaron Stephan's show at WHITNEY ART WORKS continued his thorough-going examinations of the history of artistic thought. The "Twilight" show at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, with Kim Keever, Jim Campbell, Bennett Morris, and Megan Greene, updated the Gothic Romantic tradition to fit contemporary circumstances.

Taken together, it seems like quite a lot.

Ken Greenleaf can be reached at ken.greenleaf@gmail.com.

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