The year ahead in visual arts

See and be seen
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 26, 2012

'HOT WAR' Gouache on paper, 8.5 by 11 inches, by Kenny Cole, 2012.

While the PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART is about to wrap its wildly successful Winslow Homer exhibit, something tells me we'll be feeling the various expressions of "Weatherbeaten" for awhile. But I digress, and so does the museum, mounting a retrospective of the New York modernist-expressionist painter Lois Dodd through April as well a roundup of 25 years of work from Architalx, Portland's architecture lecture series. Late spring, the documentarian art photographer David Brooks Stess shows photos of Maine farmers and laborers, while the Iraq émigré and MECA grad Ahmed Alsoudani displays his chaotic, colorful canvases in September, which should complement the museum's fall 2013 Biennial nicely.

In the city's most rigorous gatherings of contemporary art, SPACE GALLERY unveils a deep photographic study by Michael Kolster, who shows abstracted ambrotype photos of tangled ribbon and nylon strapping. That comes early January alongside an entry in Edwige Charlot's I.M.Migration series called "Creator / Creations," which uses 3D prints to explore notions of homeland and cultural narrative. Nearby ROSE CONTEMPORARY does what most of us do in January: shut the doors and box ourselves in. The gallery is technically closed, though an animate installation of membranous folded paper and projections by Rebecca FitzPatrick and Petra Simmons is designed to be viewed through the windows. In February, see what Madrid saw in January, as Rose welcomes the new effort by Tetra Projects, the international art exchange program headed by Jeff Badger, whose "Esta Tierra Plana/This Flat Earth" brings together nine local artists (Badger, Kyle Bryant, Anne Buckwalter, Kenny Cole, Kimberly Convery, Cassie Jones, Justin Richel, Carrie Scanga, Irina Skornyakova), alongside the work of 16 artists from Spain.

After a two-part series honoring the MECA-affiliated — an alumni painting show in January and, smartly, a non-faculty show of MECA staff works — the JUNE FITZPATRICK GALLERY will show the methodical graphite works of Noriko Sakanishi in March, while its coterminous art space, the ICA, lodges a whale skeleton in its back gallery (assembled with corresponding performances by Ander Mikalson and Dan DenDanto).

Equipped with a very impressive range of contemporary artists, the UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND — PORTLAND ART GALLERY completes the final three installments of its Maine Women Pioneers series from the new year through July. A CMCA-stamped printmaking show goes up in the PORTLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY's Lewis Gallery, while the USM GALLERY IN GORHAM hands the reins to the obsessive ink artist Astrid Bowlby. The relentlessly engaging art thinker/maker Greta Bank is plotting a two-part site-specific installation piece interpreting the gendered history of oil painting at the forthcoming PLANNED PARENTHOOD gallery (see page 8 for more) and the SPACE Gallery Annex. At least one of those venues will find Bank embodying the character Gustave Menet, "a fat little French man on stilts," who she says is designed as a living synthesis of doctrinal 19th-century painters.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , University of New England, Portland Public Library, Portland Museum of Art,  More more >
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