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Selena Kimball (United States, born 1973), “The New World,” 2009, collaged engravings (made from the contents of the 1894 print edition of Glimpses of the World by John Stoddard), 38 x 275 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Poller Contemporary, Frankfurt am Main.

The biennial finishes strong, at least according to our route. Looking back, there are a few notable standouts that I'm thrilled were included. Selena Kimball's "The New World" thoroughly disrupted a pattern of comfortable landscapes, a motif that emerged early as an exhibit theme. She uses cut pages of archival engravings from a 19th-century travelogue as connective tissue for an otherworldly collage that rewards every bit of the attention it demands. Another work that deserved closer inspection was "Transgender Walkway," a piece fixed to the floor by Gavin Laurence Rouille. The inclusion of this varnished memorial of murdered trans men and women is laudable, and the work made even more powerful by the symbolism of its inglorious placement.

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Gavin Laurence Rouille (United States, born 1987), “Transgender Walkway,” 2009, wood, paint, photographs, silkscreen, varnish, 47 x 70 inches. Lent by the artist.

Overall, there are some remarkable works here, prize-winners Philip Brou, James Groleau, Siri Sahaj Kaur, Don Voisine, and Michael Shaughnessy among them. Unfortunately, their strength gets diluted by a distracting number of works that are almost embarrassingly included in a showcase of new perspectives in contemporary art. I was disappointed not to find a higher standard, especially given the success of the museum's exciting new Circa series. Maine's landscapes are clearly inspirational, but a reach beyond the beauty of reflective shorelines into the dynamic, dimensional pool of compelling ideas being explored by Maine artists today is long overdue.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Kim Bernard, Alicia Eggert, Photography,  More more >
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