...And the living is easy

Get it while the getting is good this summer
By IAN PAIGE  |  June 13, 2007
MAPPING HEIDEGGER: Four feet by five feet,
collaged anatomy book, 2007, by Aaron
Stephan, at Whitney Art Works.

Fellow Portlanders, we have about three months until we return to our caves for hibernation. In the meantime, a frenzy of artistic activity is one of the city’s finest excuses to walk out the door and engage the social and creative explosion of summer in Vacationland.

The museums and galleries know this seasonal desire well and have scheduled myriad opportunities for walking and talking, experiencing and contemplating the natural world around us, all centered around the fruits of an artistically laborious winter.

WHITNEY ART WORKS has both its hands full this summer. More precisely, both its exhibition spaces will be filled with a group show entitled “Wax.” A cadre of the gallery’s reputable artists will explore said medium. Come late July, “Wax” will be relegated in its entirety to the Congress Street space to make room for Aaron T. Stephan’s new solo show. Stephan has been busy cutting and pasting small portions of Grey’s Anatomy textbooks to assemble large-scale portraits of Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Surely time well spent, but we sincerely hope he’ll be able to get out in the summer sun once his show is up.

The PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART brings down the house with a dynamic duo exhibition of an interior nature. “Frank Lloyd Wright and the House Beautiful” promises to be a unique showcase of the architect’s forays into interior design featuring both decorative drawings and objects. The PMA wisely gives this exhibition a local complement that brings Maine architects together with their funiture-maker Pine Tree State counterparts. Expect both functional and conceptual pieces from the twelve designers’ fifteen collaborations, a process on display from napkin sketches to finished objects.

AUCOCISCO GALLERY is jam-packed with talent all summer long, but particularly exciting are their August offerings. Emily Brown’s prize-winning large scale drawings of paradoxical precision and ethereality push the concept of landscape work through a gifted tunnel vision. Also on the August agenda are paintings and sculptures by legendary Fluxus-trained, Warhol Factory-associated, and Portland School of Art-graduated artist William Rand.

MAPPING MARX: Four feet by five feet,
collaged anatomy book, 2007, by Aaron
Stephan, at Whitney Art Works.
A trip over the Casco Bay Bridge is well worth the trip to see Karen Gelardi’s work at the FRONT ROOM GALLERY in South Portland. “Saco Bog” will feature the pattern queen’s paper collages, drawings on fabric, and sewn sculpture all inspired by the natural geometries of the Saco Heath Preserve (the aforementioned bog) and explores a new relationship to manufacturing the artist refers to as “mini-production.”

Both patterns and a do-it-yourself aesthetic will also arrive at SPACE GALLERY this summer. Greta Bank will take advantage of her Good Idea Grant by installing a purportedly “very very very large” window installation for the Congress Street staple. Expect baroque renderings for a furniture installation based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Hot Iron Press artist Kyle Bravo will also be in town providing a punk perspective on the apocalyptic events in New Orleans. His latest highly graphic work features screen prints of destroyed Ninth Ward houses.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Nature and the Environment, Wildlife, Cultural Institutions and Parks,  More more >
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