Greatest hits

By GREG COOK  |  June 4, 2008
the Gaîte Rochechouart (Café-concert).

Radeke favored works revealing the artist’s process, like Matisse’s streamlined sketch of naked ladies. Danforth preferred showcase pieces like a terrific Van Gogh drawing of a flowery field running off to trees and a village. Its accumulation of pen dots and dashes reminds how much of his style was driven by transposing the techniques of drawing into painting. Danforth also contributed an amazing Georges Seurat drawing of woman singing on stage and an orchestra in a pit at the foreground. Though just black crayon accented by white paint, it feels like an apparition.

The exhibition “RISD and Photography,” on view through October 26, emphasizes RISD’s leadership in acknowledging the medium as a fine art with a sampling of works by the school’s twin stars — Harry Callahan, who arrived at the college in 1961, and Aaron Siskind, who joined him in 1971, as well as photographs by graduates and current faculty. A two-video exhibition by Mika Tajima (though October 12) includes Broken Plaid (2003), which shows geometric lines rolling around on screen and then escaping into the gallery itself.

Before you leave, check out the new bathrooms. The wallpaper — malachite pattern for guys, surreal ladies’ heads for gals — by the late Italian designer Piero Fornasetti is excellent.

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