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Josiah McElheny’s cosmos at the ICA

In 2000, when Josiah McElheny attended his first performance at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, he was wowed by the auditorium's 1966 midcentury modern "starburst" chandeliers.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 29, 2012


Natalie Gruppuso’s ‘Love and Equality’ at Yellow Peril

Happily ever after (finally)
When the Massachusetts Supreme Court approved gay marriage, I covered one of the first gay weddings there as a reporter in 2004.
By: GREG COOK  |  July 09, 2012


‘Rolemodelplaytime’ at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Serious fun
Randy Regier's Dime Star is a story about disappointment. A traveling salesman's sample cases are stacked up, displaying vintage '60s (looking) toys — a "Dime Star" space cowboy policeman and his human-headed space horse, wristwatches ("Shows exact time twice a day — anywhere in the world"), a clock.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 19, 2012


‘Homecoming’ at Brown’s List Art Center

Body works
A sign of a thriving art community is its influence, the way other artists adopt and adapt its looks and methods and thinking.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 13, 2012


P.E.M. misses Ansel Adams's big picture

In the last gallery of "Ansel Adams: At the Water's Edge" (at the Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem, through October 8 on their site) hang three impressively giant photographs.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 12, 2012


Markham Starr’s ‘In History’s Wake’; and Linda Nagaoka

The seafaring life
Living here near the coast, commercial fishing is never far away, but it can seem otherworldly, like an old romantic myth that surprisingly turns out to still be true.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 05, 2012


Jasper Johns cools it

Secret sharer
The title of Jasper Johns's 1975 painting The Dutch Wives refers to a slang term for, alternately, a prostitute or sex doll or a glory hole.
By: GREG COOK  |  June 01, 2012


‘Traces: Persistent & Fleeting’; and Kathy Halper’s ‘POS’

All the small things
Jon Laustsen's new Lilliputian-scaled sculpture is a shack made of wooden shipping pallets precariously balanced atop a stack of more shipping pallets and a familiar real estate yard sale sign rejiggered to read "21st Century/For Sale."
By: GREG COOK  |  May 29, 2012


The ‘2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition’

Stars on parade
The star, literally, of the "2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition," the school's annual showcase of its graduating graduate student talent at the Rhode Island Convention Center is James Franco.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 23, 2012


Alex Lukas’s post-apocalyptic landscapes, plus the New Topographics of Barbara Bosworth and Stephen Tourlentes

Doom sayer
The skies are seared gray and scuffed by clouds that could be smoke from toxic fires along the horizon.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 16, 2012


‘Quigley’s Magic Show’; and Marguerite Keyes’s miniatures

Brain storms
"Quigley's Magic Show" at Buonaccorsi + Agniel (1 Sims Ave, unit 102, Providence, through June 9) is a psychedelic creature double feature by Providence wife and husband team Kyla and James (Gunsho) Quigley.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 15, 2012


The McMillans’ video installatons are open to interpretation

Some assembly required
Megan and Murray McMillan's videos unfold with dream logic.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 08, 2012


Watertown vs. Walmart

Thinking Outside the Big Box
Some 75 people stand holding signs along Watertown's Arsenal Street on Saturday morning as Mike Mandel shouts their goal: to keep Walmart from moving in up the road.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 07, 2012


Daria Tessler at Craftland; AS220’s ‘Delicate Shudder’

‘Realm’ of wonder
The realm of Daria Tessler's "In the Realm of the Seedkeepers," an exhibit of drawings at Craftland, seems to be an often hushed, mystical place.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 01, 2012


Alex Katz’s MFA retrospective is no abstraction

Keeping it real
When Alex Katz launched his career as a realist painter in the 1950s, it was a daring move.
By: GREG COOK  |  May 01, 2012


Photography ‘In Character’ at the Addison

Photography is always seducing us with its whispered promise that what you see is what you get.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 25, 2012


‘Distillation’ at RIC; Salvatore Mancini at Candita Clayton

The purity of paint
At first, the approaches of abstract painters Lisa Russell and Mary Bucci McCoy can appear opposite.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 17, 2012


Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order’ looks at self-sufficiency

Of humans and nature
In 2006, after finishing undergraduate studies at Brown University and photographing a series on community gardens managed by Providence's Southside Community Land Trust, Lucas Foglia bought a minivan, put a bed in the back, and drove south "to photograph people who had responded to current day events ..."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 10, 2012


Matt Rich and Zoe Perry-Wood

Fascinating rhythms
If street art made a baby with Frank Stella's 1960s geometric abstractions, the offspring would look something like Matt Rich's show "Ghost Muscle" at Samson (450 Harrison Ave Boston, through April 28).
By: GREG COOK  |  April 13, 2012


Mirthful morbidity

“Penguins, Zombies, and Nudes” at Craftland
Greenville painter Greg Stones writes that he sketches a basic landscape or figure study, "then I try to think of what would make the painting especially awesome. Penguins, zombies, and nudes are invariably the answer."
By: GREG COOK  |  April 03, 2012

Shapeshifting totems

The Peabody Essex explores Native America

The Cree artist plays his drag show for laughs, but underlying it are serious questions about white genocide of Native American societies, about the stereotyping of Natives, and about gays in America, as well as Native American society.
By: GREG COOK  |  April 02, 2012

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