Journey to the surface of the Earth

Landscape anew at Mass MoCA, ‘Exposure’ at the PRC, Dana Clancy at the Danforth, and grouped figures at GASP
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  May 13, 2008
M&G_boyle_tracksINSIDE
Boyle Family, Study of Brown Mudtracks with Tyre Tracks and Coal Dust, Portishead

“Badlands: New Horizons In Landscape” at Mass MoCA, 87 Marshall St, North Adams | May 25 spring 2009 | 413.662.2111

“Exposure: 13TH Annual PRC Juried Exhibition” at Photographic Resource Center, 832 Comm Ave, Boston | May 23–July 2 | 617.975.0600

“Dana Clancy: Viewing Space” at Danforth Museum of Art, 123 Union Ave, Framingham | May 21–June 29 | 508.620.0050

“Figure It Out” at GASP, 362 Boylston St, Brookline | May 16–June 21 | 617.418.4308

Looking at the landscape brings out the artist in everyone. We are moved by the sight of a mountain peak, a craggy ridge of trees, or the dusty colors of the desert. But the way we see the world around us can also reflect the politics and æsthetics of our times: the romantic painters of the mid-19th-century Hudson River School reinforced ideas about America’s Manifest Destiny, depicting pristine, unspoiled landscapes, whereas photographers practicing the “New Topographics” of the mid 1970s expressed a radical, non-idealized view of the American landscape. Earth Artists of the 1960s and 1970s saw the Earth as a medium in and of itself, developing pioneering ideas about context and the ephemeral in art. And now, as questions about land use and environmental politics abound, the landscape surfaces as a particularly complex topic, one that’s explored in depth in “BADLANDS: NEW HORIZONS IN LANDSCAPE,” which opens at Mass MoCA on May 25. New commissions by Vaughn Bell, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Joe Smolinski, Nina Katchadourian, and Mary Temple will be shown alongside new and historical work by Robert Adams, the Boyle Family, Melissa Brown, Ed Ruscha, and Jennifer Steinkamp.

War, abstraction, family, and the places where people congregate are a few of the ideas engaged by the 14 photographers chosen for “EXPOSURE: THE 13TH ANNUAL PRC JURIED EXHIBITION,” which opens at the Photographic Resource Center on May 23. Guest juror Lesley A. Martin, publisher of the book-publishing program at Aperture Foundation, has selected a geographically and artistically diverse group that include locally based Cree Bruins, Lana Z. Caplan, and Robert Knight.

Dana Clancy’s paintings have been described by independent curator Rachael Arauz as taking “the act of looking” as their subject, proposing a “complex understanding of how we see with our eyes and our memory.” Clancy’s new work, with its disorienting depictions of contemporary museum architecture, is the subject of “DANA CLANCY: VIEWING SPACE,” which, curated by Arauz, opens at the Danforth Museum on May 21. Clancy uses unexpected color and extreme perspective to place you on the edges of balconies and to create other dizzying, dramatic spatial relationships.

Interpersonal relationships: connections, communications, how we share space, information, money, you name it — these pressing matters are the subject of “FIGURE IT OUT,” which is curated by Lizi Brown and opens at GASP on May 16. Among the 10 artists exploring the topic via multiple-figure compositions are Brown, Denise Marika, and Steve Locke.

On the Web
Mass MoCA: www.massmoca.org 
Photographic Resource Center: www.prcboston.org
Danforth Museum of Art: www.danforthmuseum.org
GASP: www.g-a-s-p.net

Related: Body and Sol, Killing me softly, States of the art, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Politics, Portishead, Photography,  More more >
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